by Brad Roberts
This year's Echo Park Rising was a huge success from what I could see. Big crowds at all venues, a wide variety of music and entertainment choices, restaurants full, and even impromptu stages popping up all over the neighborhood. Even the weather was sublime, especially contrasted with last year's over 100° temperatures.
Over the course of four days, one could drop in and out at random and pick up three or four bands or stay for hours and see ten to twenty bands. I think I saw 0ver 30 performers in over 13 venues, some of them just set up on the sidewalk, and stayed at least four hours one day and seven hours or more the other three days.
I intended to see as many bands I had never seen before as I could, and I think I succeeded. Some of the stand outs were Pompeya (above), a band from Moscow who play a peppy uptempo indie pop that is totally ingratiating, Ghost Lit Kingdom, who charmed with intricate four part harmonies, and legendary local band Dios reuniting for another beautiful show. And this was just Thursday.
The rest of the weekend brought Sand Babes, Broadcast Station, Send Medicine, Korey Dane, Banta, Golden Animals, and a sterling performance from Manhattan Murder Mystery (at left), who have reached something of a creative peak recently.
Monday, August 22
Tuesday, August 23
Nina Diaz, of Girl in a Coma, has an intimate show at Hotel Cafe tonight and has invited Haunted Summer to participate. Doors are at 7 for this early show. Bones Muhroni, My Hawaii, Nightgown and The Absolute have a date at The Hi Hat.
Wednesday, August 24
Thursday, August 25
The Album Leaf have transported me to semi-conscious states during ,most of their shows I have seen, and his latest album, Between Waves, is available at a free in-store this evening at Amoeba Music, before being officially released tomorrow.
Friday, August 26
Back in the day, ten years ago, when I was easing my way back into the world of rock music, I was a fan of Wolf Parade and saw them at The Wiltern, ten years ago this month as a matter of fact, but tonight they show up at The Echo. My passion for Arcade Fire was leading me to any band that came from Canada. They are still a popular band and sold out this show almost immediately.
Father John Misty, in town to play FYF FEST has a regular show at El Rey, with Tess & Dave tonight, and the equally theatrical, classic new-wave band Culture Club land a two night gig at Hollywood Bowl.
Saturday, August 27
Sunday, August 28
ECHO PARK RISING
Saturday, August 20:
Day one highlights included Pompeya, an amazing indie pop band from Moscow with a real talent for arresting and beautifully crafted songs with an unpretentious and direct delivery that transfixed a large audience at Echoplex. Ghost Lit Kingdom, which features powerful four-part harmonies, and Dios, back together again and sounding better than ever.
Day two brought me to Sand Babes, Broadcast Station, and Send Medicine, three new must-see-again bands.
But I've fallen behind and there's simply too many bands to sample them all before I go to the festival. So I'll be winging it today. But I hope to see Gregg Garvey and the Wintergreens, Billy Changer, Ryan Fuller, Korey Dane, Drinking Flowere, SWIMM, FEELS, Froth, The Black Heartthrobs, Donna Bummer, Bloody Death Skull...oh hell! I'll just go over and see what I find. Sorry, no links or photos, No time!
ECHO PARK RISING
Friday, August 19:
Once I started really researching the bands for this year's festival, I found a ton of music I was attracted to, raising the excitement and anticipation I already felt about Echo Park Rising 2016.
Friday starts earlier than Thursday with a fuller schedule and tighter choices. Around 2:30 and 3:00 music starts at Spacedust and Lot 1, but I'm holding off till around 4 to try to catch the twangy, surfy psychedelia of Solar Sons the first day of the outdoor at Liberty Stage at 4:15, followed immediately by my buddies in Winter and the haunting, dream pop, garage rock music they create at 5:05, again Liberty Stage.
Want to try and catch some of Ryan Fuller/Cuz'n Roy at The Semi-Tropic, though he plays again on Saturday, so maybe I'll get to the beautifully sung indie pop of WASI at The Lost Knight but they, unfortunately, go on at 5 also. Too many choices.
I'm intrigued by the lo-fi, trippy indie-folk of The Berkshire Hobbits that reminded me of Chad VanGaalen, at 5:30 at Spacedust, but I'll be catching solid 70s style rock and roll in he form of Broadcast Station at The Lost Room at 5:45. Across the street to Lot 1 for Sand Babes at 6, who sound like classic rock and roll artists who play lush organ psychedelia with a flavor of the east.
At 6:30 clever writing and classic folk elements make Send Medicine an easy bet at The Lost Room, though at The Echo, female-fronted Chastity Belt bring an interesting a varied sound to their punk metal., also at 6:30. Damn it!
The rest of the evening is up for grabs and I wonder how I'll be holding out. there's Ducktales at The Echo at 9, Emerson Star at 9:30 at The Lost Room, and more... now it's time for me to run out to the Thursday shows.
Friday, Aug 19
Stories Books & Cafe:
Taix Champagne Room:
ECHO PARK RISING
Thursday, August 18:
Perusing the schedule and sampling as many bands as I could, I came up with a schedule that is heavy with competing sets that I'll have to choose from. And this is just the first day.
As the Thursday line ups don't really get up much before 6 PM, the opening day is mostly evening events. I'm already torn and it is just the beginning.
Since they're right across the street from each other I'm hoping to catch some of the first sets at Lot 1 and The Lost Room at 6PM. DreamVacation (at left) opens The Lost Room festival schedule playing a layered, atmospheric shoegaze I find very appealing, while at Lot 1 The Eleventh Frequency attract with a new wavy, jangly alt pop. From there I'll probably wander over to The Lost Knight for Featherwolf to hear their prog rock instrumental work. Competition for the 8 o'clock slot comes from Buddha Jones and the Man and their wild-eyed soul/classic 60s rock blend at Lot 1 and the beautiful alternative pop of Rosechild at The Lost Knight. So far, so good...I'm centered at the far end of Sunset Boulevard.
I can then mosey on up to The Echo for Numb.er (right) at 8:50. I like their dark, expansive, atmospheric post punk. I can then go downstairs to Echoplex to see Pompeya and hear some of their very pretty new wave pop from Moscow at 9:30.
Have to miss The Flusters at Lot 1 at 9, who I wanted to see, but I'll be back at that end of Sunset to try to catch some of the King Washington set at 9:45 at The Lost Room. 10:30 presents the worst dilemma of the night with gutsy garage rock seasoned with a 60's English beat from Mind Meld at The Echo, while Ghost Lit Kingdom (left) offer terrific power pop indie at The Lost Knight, which will probably be my destination. At the same time classic troubadour folk rock comes from Patrolled By Radar at The Lost Room.
The night will end with three possibilities at 15 minute intervals (providing the schedules are adhered to) I want to catch as much of the 11 o'clock set by the psychedelic indie favorite Seasons (right), back at Lot 1, who are reaching classic status, or the 11:15 set by baroque indie pop band I, Us & We at The Lost Knight, and hopefully be able to get back to The Echo for part of the 11:30 show by Dios, who represent the best of L.A.
What a way to begin a festival!
Next up, I'll talk about Friday.
Thursday, Aug. 18
Stories Books & Cafe:
by Brad Roberts
This is one of my favorite weeks of every summer because Echo Park Rising tends to fall right around my birthday. And with this year's festival extended to four days, I've arranged to take all four days off of work, plus Monday (for recovery). The most up-to-date schedule I could find appears after the Low Down. I've starred (*) the bands I know are worth seeking out and I'll update it daily as I sample more and more of the unknowns.
It's also interesting that this year The Eagle Rock Festival falls on the same Saturday. If you get tired of Echo Park, you can jump over to Eagle Rock for all, or part, of the day, for variety. Over the years The Eagle Rock Festival has become a more neighborhood-centric event and can't really compete musically with Echo Park. I recall some of the past ones that got pretty wild after the sun went down so the city seems to have gone for a more traditional, family-friendly day fair. This year's musical performers include Orgone, Dengue Fever, Boogaloo Assassins and Leftover Cuties, so there's definitely some prime acts playing. My focus will be on the Echo Park Rising festival this week.
by Brad Roberts
Kind of a quiet week, probably a prelude to next weekend's Echo Park Rising and Eagle Rock Music Festival collision. Though the EPR festival runs for four days (Thursday thru Sunday) the Eagle Rock event is plunked down right in the middle on Saturday.
Big names in town this week include Silversun Pickups at Hollywood Palladium on Saturday, who sold out before I could get a ticket, Indigo Girls on Thursday at The Fonda Theatre, and Rodrigo & Gabriela at Hollywood Bowl on Sunday.
Pioneering folk singer Judy Henske, who was a contemporary of Mary Travers, and has influenced everyone from Beverly Bivens of We Five and Mama Cass to Jefferson Airplane's Signe Anderson and Grace Slick. She's still performing and turns up at McCabe's this Friday night.
I'll have a big feature on the Echo Park Rising festival next week. I took all those day off from work so I'll be there every day.
Monday, August 8
Wednesday, August 10
Thursday, August 11
Friday, August 12
When I first heard her voice it was on the soundtrack of the 1963 M-G-M/Cinerama super-spectacle How The West Was Won. Composer Alfred Newman wanted to use some authentic sounding folk singers who could conceivably have been in the American West in the pre- and post-Civil War era and found what he needed in Dave Guard and The Whiskeyhill Singers which included Judy Henske among it's members. Her voice stood out like a sparkling gem with its confident power and control. It was years before I found out who the voice belonged to, but it's easy to hear why she was such an inspiration for so many singers. With Jerry Yester at McCabe's.
In other highlights The Donkeys, Two Sheds and The Pesos have a show at The Hi Hat, and there's An Acoustic Set by Dawes with Joe Purdy at Hotel Cafe, along with sets by Lincoln Durham and Ryan Sheridan.
Saturday, August 13
Sunday, August 14
by Brad Roberts
Giant stars have giant shows this week as August festival season kicks in. Modern legends Radiohead (at right) play the Shrine Auditorium on Thursday, with Shabazz Palaces, and superstars Barbra Streisand on Tuesday at Staples Center and Gladys Knight, with Tower of Power at Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday. Friday night offers Ryan Adams & The Shining and Nice As Fuck at The Greek, and HÆLOS have a show with Golden Daze at Teragram Ballroom. Kansas play a free show downtown on the Downtown Stage at Pershing Square on Saturday with Blitzen Trapper. On Sunday night Sufjan Stevens takes over the Hollywood Bowl.
Local shows of the week include Dawn of Sequins at Lot 1 celebrating the 15th anniversary of Mary and Eli Charkoff on Thursday night. Joining in the festivities will be The Do-Its, Matt Teardrop playing solo and Andy Creighton of The World Record (also solo). Also at Lot 1, on Saturday I have my Feed Your Head and Vert Ventures show featuring Psychedelic folk acts.
Bones Muhroni brings I See Hawks In LA to the Hi Hat on Tuesday, and there's three terrific local bands at The Roxy on Wednesday including Dear Boy. On Friday, Draemings are holding an Album Release Show, with VOWWS, Psychic Love and Brass Box to help then celebrate at The Echo. Many other favorite locals are sprinkled throughout the week as well.
Last week's concert at The Greek with The National (at right) was another sensational show. This band really knows how to deliver a superb audio/visual experience. Throughout the fantastic, all-encompassing light show experience was a selection of many old favorites while they liberally sprinkles an intriguing sampling of some new tunes off their next album.