Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Zombie Music Blog Rising

Echo Park Rising is a very DIY music festival that rose from the ashes of the now the defunct Sunset Junction music festival. Its got a great feeling of community as it sprawls across a few blocks on Sunset Boulevard taking place in music venues, record shops, restaurants, parking lots and even some other stores. So I needed that day on Saturday at Echo Park Rising. It was one of the best days I have had in a long time filled with good music, good people and good times. So I feel the need to post and will hopefully try to continue to be more active on here again. I didn't make it their until just before 2pm on Saturday or at all Sunday because of other obligations (you know making money and stuff).

So Saturday wasn't about discovering a bunch of new great music unfortunately but I did get to see some long time favorites from the local scene. Starting with Manhattan Murder Mystery who were a main reason why I needed to get there by 2 o'clock. Well they reminded me why they are a must see band and really brought it. Even though I only recognized 2 songs in their set as it consisted of all newer material which has yet to be recorded and released. But it didn't matter they always bring so much energy to every performance and even not knowing what Matt Teardrop is singing the whole time doesn't take away from all the emotion he brings with his voice. I can not help but be completely sucked into their shows and never want them to end. So I wasn't planning on going to their second set at Vlad's at 4 but their first set was so good plus I had word they were doing a throwback set and playing a bunch of older stuff. Vlad's is this tiny clothes retailer on Sunset right next to Mohawk. The place was jammed full and was hot and uncomfortable in the hot August summer day it was, but it was %200 worth it. It was stupendous to be back in a group of people jumping and singing along to songs like Ambulance again. And of course they ended the set with Parking Lot. That song is just what I always think of when I think of seeing MMM live. Especially the end with Matt in the crowd and everyone singing along. Their might be songs I like better by them and it looks like that trend is continuing with all the new stuff I keep hearing. Though Parking Lot live will always hold a special place in my heart and memory. Speaking of new things I really enjoyed the added instrumentation of the keys and violin. Apparently they have been playing with keys for quite awhile but they were new to me and the violin were new to everyone or at least most people. The violinist was very good so I really hope she stays on with them full time and even records because it's sounds great and adds more depth to their soundscape.

So unfortunately Manhattan Murder Mystery started late so I wasn't able to catch any of Johnny Seasons newish Project Haunted Summer. Which I really like what I have heard from their recordings they have online and wanted to hear how that translated live. Alas that will have to wait for another day. But before I move too far forward let's go back to my favorite band I hadn't heard of before seeing them at Echo Park Rising. So the band I am talking about is Ivory Deville and I came across them playing on the Echo Patio stage in-between Manhattan Murder Mystery sets. They have a good straight forward southern rock n' roll style. The lead singer had a great raspiness to his voice that I really dug and fit their style. Plus they had two adorable girls singing backup which is not something you see too much of now a days which help make them unique. You could tell the whole band was having fun performing and playing on the stage which made for an energetic show that attracted a lot of people to their stage and bear out the hot afternoon sun to watch them instead of hanging inside the Echo/Echoplex air-conditioned building. Ivory Deville is definitely a band I want to hear more from and would love to see live again.

The other two notable bands I saw that I had not heard of before were Beach Party and Kan Wakan. Beach Party you could tell were having a lot of fun playing and so was the crowd and while sounding good just didn't have that something special to really catch my attention. I wouldn't be against and would more than likely enjoy seeing them in a live setting again. I am sure I will also check out their soundcloud page to listen to them in a recorded format. Now I was blown away by the musicianship and ethereal soundscape Kan Wakan created. Though what completely drew me in was the hauntingly powerful vocals of lead singer Kristianne Bautista. They said they were putting out their debut record early next year and it is already something I am looking forward to checking out. Apparently Criminal Hygiene was a band I missed that put on a great performance on the Echo stage while I was busy enjoying the misters outside and some shaved ice.

But onto a band I have continually gushed over the life of this blog and before it even, The happy Hollows. This is a band you need to see live to fully appreciate and I think that is mainly due to the raw magnetism of lead singer/guitarist Sarah Negahdari. Her pure amount of joy and giddiness is so adorable and refreshing to see in a performer. I think she is happier to be in front of people sharing her creativeness than the whole crowd combined is to see her and the band perform. Not that their wasn't plenty of love showered her way. This was another set full of new stuff from their album Amethyst that came out less than a month ago which I got my copy of after the show. The new stuff heavily features the synth sounds favored by bassist Charlie. But that doesn't stop Sarah from shredding on the guitar with her fingerpicking on the fretboard on songs. It was also nice to see Chris back behind the drums for this performance. I will be getting a review up of The Happy Hollows new album up later this week.

The final band I saw that night was The Henry Clay People. The rest of the day could have been a complete and total bust along with having to deal with the heat and the hassle of traffic to and from LA not matter because their performance was that legendary. It wasn't a secret that this was going to be their final show ever which makes me sad to think about. But at least they went out like legends putting on the show of the year and easily making this Saturday the highlight of my year. One of the reasons it hurts to see this band ride off into the sunset is they are one of my inspirations for starting this blog. My love for this band dates back to my introduction to this scene from the Airborne Toxic Event. Radars to the Sky opened for them who I instantly fell in love with and talking with Andrew their lead singer he told me they were playing this thing Called Sunset Junction in a couple of weeks and that will be their next time playing. He told me they were going on super early and it would be alright if I miss them just don't make the mistake of missing The Happy Hollows or The Henry Clay People who are also playing Sunset Junction. After that Sunset Junction I knew I had found something special musically going on in the neighborhoods of Echo Park and Silver Lake. Enough with the past and back to Saturday night. The Henry Clay People got to put on the show they deserved to go out on in the Echoplex that night. The crowd was great and very into it making the show seem bigger than it was. After all the times I have seen these guys perform, this was probably the best I have ever heard them play. They played a great set with a show ender of their "punk rock" (as my Dad called it) cover of one the greatest songs in rock n' roll history, Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run. After it ended they were chants of Henry Clay pouring from the crowd but to the crowds and my own dismay an encore was not to be. Other than them not playing forever so their last set never ended I couldn't have asked for a better show from The Henry Clay People. Thanks Joey, Andy, Noah, and Eric for the great show and all the great music and times you have provided me and many others over the years. You will always hold a special place in my heart and your band will always be one of the first I mention when telling people what music they should be listening to. I hope for the best for you guys in all your future endeavors. Hope to see you around sometime.

After the perfectness of The Henry Clay People I couldn't bring myself to see anything else that night since nothing could top what I just witnessed. So the only other unfortunate thing was I missed Batwings Catwings who I really wanted to check out and Stab City over at Lot 1. The worst part of not making it out to day two of Echo Park Rising was I think I would have had more time to check out new music since the only must sees for me were The Lonely Wild, Seasons, and Fort King. Anybody else that made it out to Echo Park Rising this year and want to share some highlights from your experience in the comments go for it. Most importantly let me know which bands I was stupid for missing and put them on my radar so I can check them out and hopefully make it to some future show of theirs. I already know I need to make it to one if not both days of next years Echo Park Rising. Plus if you have the opportunity you should definitely make it out as well and maybe we could hang out while enjoying a great day of music.

1 comment:

  1. Manhattan Murder Mystery always rocks. Their music is so full of energy that you cannot not dance. Shout out to drummer Laura Velez and guitarist Kayta Arce who deliver sass and beat to accompany Matt Henderson's unique sound.