Posts Tagged ‘Avi Buffalo

10
Oct
11

Culture Collide Blowing Up the International Indie and Alternative Music Scenes in Silver Lake: Sunday

Sunday was the last day of Filter‘s Culture Collide following 4 days of music, movies and art events, Sunday’s performances ends Culture Collide’s second year as a festival. I was running late, due to blogging, on Saturday’s intinerary of band performances when Scott alerted me to the fact he was already at the festival via email. He was already to assist me in documentation all of this international music and wasn’t there yet. I was a little unhinged upon arriving at Taix, the hot spot for this festival. Scott and his friend Kristi met me in the parking lot of Taix. We pow wowed for a minute. I decided that Chad Van Gaalen was the band to give the once over twice.

Chad VanGaalen offered a nice soft Alternative Rock. There was no theatrics or onstage mayhem as the quartet strung us along from one melodic moment to another with the occasional whistling solo. It was one of those things that eased you into the mid-after noon. Interesting enough VanGaalen plays in a side project called Women. You’ll get my drift when your read just below here.

Soon came Men on the Antics Stage 1 and yes there were! While, I can’t say whether it is a declaration or celebration of their gender or their desired gender of interest. In either case they were energetic and very upbeat. They had matching shiny metallic jump suits with a purple and black zig zag print on their jumpsuit’s jackets. They were very uniform if appearance. It was Rockish Dance music presented with athletic histrionics and they were manic to say the least. I lasted 3 songs and then drifted to the chaos inside Taix to take’r easy.

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Once refreshed, I sauntered casually over to see Echo Park locals Rainbow Arabia on the Antics Stage 2. I think we all know what local means here: the band moved to Silver Lake/Echo Park in the last 3 or 4 years to be a part of the Hipster phenomon. Tiffany Preston, the lead singer/guitarist, has a presence similar to Patti Smith: Her hair in her face and they share a long and lanky look. There music they were playing is called electronic, but I found it to be filled with overtones of world music influences, extracting indigenous sounds found in South America and Africa music. Their approach to music blends light keyboard sounds, ethnic and tribal percussion, utilizing the guitar in riffy and slightly percussive manner with Preston’s lingering vocals over the soundscape. It was a good solid show and a fine warm up leading to finally seeing Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

I checked in to see Avi Buffalo for a short time. I’d already seen their performance on Friday in the Champagne room of Taix. I took it upon myself to shoot another video for better audio quality over that of Friday night’s performance. Avi Buffalo’s show was good enough Friday to return to document a cleaner, less noisy version of them playing. Then there’s the plus getting them up on the big Antics Stage with a large adoring crowd.

Next to come up on Antics Stage 2 was The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, a Danish band, brought their version of European Neo Soul to the stage. Mette Lindberg, appears to be channeling Hipster meets a blend of Debbie Harry and Princess. It was the gold mic that added the Princess flavor to my analysis. The band has a Soul/R&B sound with mid-tempo beats and a rich horn section with a clean straight ahead vocals, very unlike Amy Winehouse. She knew her stuff and layed it down for the next 45 minutes with me counting down to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah‘s set.

I counted some 25 photogs all in a line at Antics Stage 1. The thickening crowd that had been swelling for 15 minutes before scheduled show was to begin were now enduring the tedium of a sound check. It only proves the pulling power of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah to the LA audience. The fans were eagerly waiting and standing as things heated up in anticipation of the show. A show that was to happen at Sunset Junction, then at the Echo, which then was cancelled because of the Hurricane hitting New York. Now, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are finally going to blow up here on the street behind Taix. I mustard a position for best photographic effect, while being squeezed all around by devotees and waiting for the band to launch their set. The lights popped on as Alec Ounsworth pushed up to the mic, guitar at the ready with the band close behind. In a fraction second everyone jumped into the set. The cheers of the fans rose up with Alec’s urgent delivery with hit and run intensity that lasted for the first 4 songs with no let up. The photogs were “all up in it”, all jostling for position to capture the erupting musical assault and on stage energy! The band was busy delivering the experience. Alec led the way as a power packed showman bearing down on the mic with his vocal delivery. Mid-set they played the hit “Satan Said Dance” and the crowd went into a frenzy: jumping and singing along till they were breathless. Alec introduced a new song in their set, Maniac, in support of their new album Hysteria. Acceptance was immediate and everybody was on it with furious feet and gyrating hips! The dancing didn’t stop from then on out. The set was tight energetic and polished, as much as any “Indie” can be polished. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah gave every one that attended exactly what they wanted and then some. I loved every moment of it! It was a great show and an awesome way for everyone to experience a much anticipated band that everyone had been waiting on for such a damn long time!

Datarock then followed Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. So we switched to the Antic Stage 2 where they were set to perform. Scott and Kristi after proving 4 hours of assistance to my every video need had to move on. Once again with the running suits or glamy sweats that Datarock pioneered, as far as I know, were up on the stage giving it. Whenever, I see Datarock in their look I think of Ben Stiller and the twins from the The Royal Tenenbaums. It always creates a smirk on my face. They were active, running all over the stage working the crowd. The sound wasn’t right though for a performance but it turned out well for my video. It was like sound check didn’t pay off for them. The sound was dull, lacking brightness and volume I had heard all day long at other stages. But that didn’t deaden the enthusiasm the band or the faithful as they hammered away at the show. Nonetheless, the audience thinned a bit and the devoted were hooked on every song. Towards the latter part of the middle of their set they hit on their hit of “Fa Fa Fa” re-energizing the fans. Like Felix the Cat and his magic bag of tricks Datarock kept going for the one up on their previous effort ranking on themselves at every step. Fredrik Saroea declared that Jerry Casale of Devo was directing Datarock’s new music video for their song California.They were shooting footage right there live too. The band introduced Jerry to the audience. A group of people would barely know who he was and yet they were enthusiastic, releasing a festive cheer for him as Datarock launched in to song California. Jerry jumped in and powered a duet with Fredrik as the band posed and preened to the music soaking up all that Devo glory. At the end Fredrik declared that eveybody will be in the California music video. I was thinking, everybody in the front rows will be in the music video. Those like myself, who were in the dark, have little to no chance of being seen in that video. But I’ll buy in on the level of Sunday evening fun and I love a good pitch. Datarock closed out their set with cheery satisfied audience. At this point I’d had scored a totally awesome performance of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on video. It had been along weekend of friends, fun and great music. So I could call it a day without any guilt and chalk this Culture Collide up to another exceptional weekend of above average music and general frivolity.

09
Oct
11

Culture Collide Blowing Up the International Indie and Alternative Music Scenes in Silver Lake

I recieved  an invite from Filter Magazine, of whom I’m a subscriber to their email updates, for the kick off of event for Cultural Collide Music Festival for the concert feature Nirvana: Live At The Paramount. A concert filmed in 1991 had been forgotten till recently. Once found it’s been cleaned up and edited from 16mm down to 1080P High Definition. While the invite suggested I should post this invite to my page with a “like” I couldn’t bring myself to do this. I did share it with a few of what I’d consider devotees of Nirvana or true music fans and close friends. I couldn’t stand the idea of fighting people to find a seat or standing in any line that were a quarter mile long. Thankfully, the tactic paid off making entrance easy and more exclusive. So the lesson here is if you want to be in the know you need to get your finger is the pie or you’re going to have to get your toes wet if you want to be in the action! This Wednesday at the Vista the showing took place with a sizable crowd but no nuttiness. I was very impressed with the feature. It was a perfect time capsule of the band represented and the Punk Rock culture of the time. First point of interest, for me, was when Kurt referred to was when he referred to the music he made as Punk music, not Grunge. So Kurt saw what he was doing as Punk and being true to those ethos. Awe, Grunge you are such a lovely marketing term. Another point of interest was the band’s dress or “Look” was composed: there was no stylist there throwing furs, bedazzling thingies or designer gear on them. Kurt had a sweater with a few moth holes in it, a tee and jeans. No dressing for success here! The sound of the feature was superb and the imaging was superior. For those who weren’t there when it happened it will be a revelatory experience, or others this will be a reminder of how genuine and real music performances were and can be. I left satisfied with the nearest thing to a live Nirvana concert one can receive now. It’s worth giving it a view.

Come Friday I was ready for some live music action and so directed myself to the hot bed of activity of Cultural Collide at Taix for a mixer featuring a number of Dutch bands, in this case it De Staats. What a surprise there were, delightfully quirky and I think there was a socio-political message too. They had this odd charm, the lead singer in proper business dress, while the rest of the band were in musician gear. I think he would’ve dropped the look if he had known how hot Taix was going to be. The lead had presence and knew how to keep it moving and to keep it interesting. There sound was with filled  tinkling keyboards and at had a military cadence at times that bring to mind bands like Wall of Voodoo, Pulp or Oingo Bingo but with a less stylized or quirky vocal approach. I felt, had I been from the Netherlands, I would have picked up on a lot of satire and humor in their presentation. Nonetheless, they were a wonderful way to start the evening off in the right way.

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WIM was the next band on my itinerary or should I say, I stumbled upon them in the Champagne Room of Taix. Hum, happy endings… I was immediately struck by the front man’s presences: vocally gifted, very emotive and dramatic in his presentation. He was captivating, moving and gesturing in a very interesting manner while delivering impressive and stylish vocal performance. I thought at first they were some nutty Eastern European band that was branded as being folk glam. Is this a departure from Freak Folk? He approached the mic like a Silent Movie Star would approach a love interest: brooding, steamy and filled with dark lust. By the second song I was sold and the ladies there had been on board long before I showed up. They temperture raised a few degrees while the band slyly slipped their had up out skirts, musically speaking, while we fell into a trace of ungarded pleasure. WIM is a remarkable band and a must see!

I arrived in time to catch Portugal’s The Gift. The lead singer, has an exotic look and a lively stage presence. She dances and takes dramatic poses, while she delivers a poppy Alternative Rock. Not quite No Doubt, not quite Lena Lovich nor quite Loop Guru, The Gift delivers a tuneful dance Rock that is closer to mainstream or Euro pop than what I’d consider alternative, but lively in any case. Their sound is lush with keyboards, riffy guitars and power drumming. During the last song they the keyboardist used a theremin to great and dramatic affect bumping the overall energy and excitement to the show as a whole.

Next on my wish list was The Morning After Girl. These guys were great, providing dense dark hypnotic melodic alternative Rock to a ever growing crowd. The buzz I had received was on target and they delivered. Somewhere in the realm of Spiritualize, Pink Mountain tops or the Verve this band was a knock out pulling off an awesome interpretation of Neo-Phychedelic Rock. I could have listened to a longer set and nested there for the rest of the night had I not had more trouble to get into. The Morning After Girl knew their instruments had good stage presence and the lighting only made the experience richer and put this band on my hit list to visit again.

The local buzz on Avi Buffalo had drawn my attention to what all the hub-bub was about. So, I trekked back Taix’s Champagne room for my last show for the night. I’d say what Avi Buffalo is somewhat like Darker My Love but referencing more of Bob Dylan and less of Tom Petty with a big dip in to Neil Young and Crazy Horse and the tiniest dash of White Strips. The sound is folkish but in an electric way and in a singer song writer way too. The lyrics are thought driven and introspective. The audience were composed of Hipsters and young locals. It reminds me of how I’d often go to see Tell Tale Hearts in San Diego part of the Garage Sixties sound that was a subculture to the Punk subculture.  I found them to be more rewarding than Darker My Love: more song craft and musicality. I look forward to digging deeper with this band as time goes on. Cultural Collide has curated so far some memorable and amazing talent. I can’t wait to get my Rocks of fop the rest of the weekend here i Silver Lake.





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