For those music fans not up to spending three parched days and several hundred dollars in the desert of Indio, California Brokechella 2014 was a fun, sane way to spend a Saturday. The impecunious could enjoy live music for $10, including some fine sets by up and coming LA bands and the trek was only as far as Downtown LA. Having the Sixth Street Bridge as a background, the outdoor cARTel stage was an excellent setting for catching some music. The festival atmosphere was laid back and despite some logistical problems (food lines that did not move, a single beer garden tucked into a corner behind the comedy stage), festivalgoers seemed to take these setbacks in stride. In addition to music and food there were craft vendors, impromptu art exhibitions and an event called Puppychella, a daytime dog-friendly program for folks whose plus one was a furry friend.
There were four stages, including hip-hop, electronic, comedy and but of most interest to the Radio Free Silver Lake readership was the cARTel Stage, where the indie rock bands played. Here were some of our highlights from the cARTel Stage.
Kera & the Lesbians
Kera and the Lesbians—the titular lesbians are a bunch of longhaired dudes in the band—bring together influences of East LA Latin rock, surf guitar, and a gypsy punk of the flavor of Gogol Bordello. Kera is an incredibly magnetic performer at the heart of the group. Onstage she is so insanely charismatic that she illuminates the stage.
LA Font play with such reckless abandon that you never question whether rock n roll is supposed to be fun. The only question is where are the other bands who bring this excitement to the stage when we need them for summer festivals.
HOTT MT (Hour of the Time Majesty Twelve)
Fronted by the charismatic Ashi Dalas, HOTT MT injected the evening crowd with a dose of eastern post-pop psychedelia and theatrical energy. The band is known for having made a pilgrimage to Wayne Coyne’s house in Oklahoma that resulted in a collaborative 7” with the Flaming Lips’ singer. HOTT MT has an energy and showmanship that honors Mr. Coyne's musical spirit. Their set energized and rejuvenated an evening crowd that moments earlier was drifting off toward the waning light of the beer garden.
Yoya’s sweet harmonies bring to mind Simon and Garfunkel, and they put on a pretty great show with sing alongs like "Fireworks," the song the band described as “the smash hit featured on the Kardashians.”
More photos from Brokechella 2014 (after the jump)