About the crooked east

THE CROOKED EAST plays haunting and emotional wall-of-sound rock/post punk with catchy hooks, poetic lyrics, and a splash of psychedelia. Based in Mexico City, THE CROOKED EAST was formed by Buffalo, NY native Jon LaPoma just before the pandemic. Their swelling guitars, synths, cellos, pianos, drums, and bass enhance LaPoma’s literary lyrics, which often tell raw and honest tales of mental illness, addiction, the complexities of love, the search for identity, and the loss of innocence/religion.

Before moving to Mexico in 2019, LaPoma spent most of the previous decade inside his apartment, where he battled crippling OCD and turned his pain, triumphs, and trauma into songs, novels, and scripts. Once strong enough, he moved to Mexico City to start a band and share his healing journey with the world. Though their songs can seem bleak and desperate, they’re often brimming with hope, encouraging people to move toward their suffering as a means to find self-acceptance and peace. 

Their first LP, “Where it’s Warm,” tells the tale of a troubled young man who follows his aspiring-actress girlfriend West, only to find himself a rising singer/songwriter. But the higher he rises, the lower he sinks into a haze of depression and substance abuse, until a panic attack on stage forces him to seek help and change his life.

With songs that are often like aural three-act plays, THE CROOKED EAST invites you to let your mind wander as they guide you along an epic psychological journey through the darkness and beauty of life.



Jonathan LaPoma is a songwriter, award-winning novelist, optioned screenwriter, and poet from Buffalo, NY. In 2005, he received a BA in history and a secondary education credential from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and he traveled extensively throughout the United States and Mexico after graduating. These experiences have become the inspiration for much of his writing, which often explores themes of alienation and misery as human constructions that can be overcome through self-understanding and the acceptance of suffering. 

LaPoma has written five novels, sixteen screenplays, and hundreds of songs and poems. His screenplays have won over 160 awards/honors at various international screenwriting competitions, and his black comedy script HARM FOR THE HOLIDAYS was optioned by Warren Zide along with Wexlfish Pictures (AMERICAN PIE, FINAL DESTINATION, THE BIG HIT) in July 2017. 

LaPoma's novels have been recommended by Kirkus Reviews and Barnes and Noble (B&N Press Presents list), have hit the #1 Amazon Bestseller lists in the "Satire," "Urban Life," "Metaphysical," "Metaphysical & Visionary," and "Religious & Inspirational" Kindle categories (USA, Canada, and Australia), and have won awards/honors in the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award, the 2016 and 2017 Florida Authors and Publishers Association President's Awards, and the 2015 Stargazer Literary Prizes.

Though fiction, LaPoma's loosely-linked series of five novels roughly tell the history of The Crooked East's music. The novels follow the life of a young boy as he struggles to overcome his mental illness and better understand his need to write and make music.

The Crooked East encourages you to read these novels to get a better understanding of their music. 

Click here to check out LaPoma's novels. 

Click here to join LaPoma's personal mailing list, where you'll receive free downloads of his short stories, novels, scripts, and more.

Oscar Díaz was born on July 15, 1988 in Mexico City. From the age of 10 he showed an interest in music thanks to a program called “Escalofríos” in which he heard a Beethoven sonata “opus 32 No. 2” for the first time. 

His grandfather gave him his first keyboard at age 13, and with that he began playing music, first studying in a cultural house in Tláhuac. 

At first he wanted to be a pianist, but when his grandfather died, he began to compose his first chords, and at this time, he discovered his ability to write music. 

In 2005, at the age of 17, he entered the preparatory course in composition at the then National School of Music, currently FAM. 

In 2012 he finished his bachelor's studies and in 2014 he took his qualification exam, obtaining “Honorable Mention.” He has made various arrangements and transcriptions on request, as well as taught piano and music classes in private schools. 

In 2020 he met Jonathan LaPoma, and upon hearing his work he became very interested in joining the project “THE CROOKED EAST," which LaPoma began in 2019. Diaz and LaPoma have worked formally since the beginning of 2022, having the same vision regarding the project and working mutually on the development of the music.

Mailing List

Add your email below, and as a free gift, receive free songs, an ebook with song lyrics, a free novel from Jon LaPoma, and more...