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Bedrocktoberfest, At Bedrock LA, Saturday September 17th 2016

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Andy Clockwise

 

Once a year, Bedrock LA, Echo Park massive music mecca, throws a Bedrocktoberfest in the middle of September, with plenty of beers and bands, and this year, they had even opened their place to the public! Bedrock is a vast recording studio, 40,000 square feet to be more precise, featuring more than 100 rooms where working local and touring musicians can record, rehearse and relax. This time, we had access to several of these rooms to taste beers or Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, while DJs like DJ Mamabear and Gringo Fire, were providing the soundtrack of the evening, making us dance all night long. Meanwhile, diverse entertainers were keeping us occupied in the many rooms of the maze-like place. There was a photo booth with a Classic Hip Hop playlist curated by dublab, a Live Screen Printing on vintage t-shirts by artistic genius David Garcia of Dream and Destroy (I got a shirt with ’Echo Fuckin’ Park in the back), an strange room with classical musicians experimenting all kind of weirdness involving vacuum cleaners and giant tubes, a Pinkturban room featuring Otm Shank with live tabla drum performances by one of India’s best Aanand Dika, Simon Wright, Dj dika and his Bollywood dance party, a play room with 3D virtual tour serving Jack Daniel’s whiskey, and a magic room with Magic Castle artists Jon Armstrong and Simon Coronel – I saw Coronel and all I can say is that he is a brilliant illusionist who can change a $5 bill into a $50 bill in a second in front of your clueless eyes. I may have forgotten the pinball room and the Jeff Ellis Worldwide room (yeap, the recording engineer who worked on Frank Ocean’s albums) which was presenting a Freestyle Competition hosted by his friend Brother Elephant and webcasted live to the world…. And some of these hip hop kids were really good!

The place was of course about music and I caught a little bit of what was going on in The Powder Room, the largest place of this giant labyrinth of corridors, with a line-up curated by Fer Uli and featuring performances by Pi Jacobs, Sin Color, Edith Crash, Little Lonely & Eva and the Vagabond Tales.

And did I mention that each room was offering a different brand of beer, from Anchor Brewing Company, Eagle Rock Brewery, Firestone Brewery, Golden Road Brewing, Indie Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Co and Solarc Brewing, and did I mention that the whole experience was absolutely free?

I spent most of the 4-5 hours I was there, watching the bands playing on the outside stage, starting with Jackson Tanner, a great live band, first playing a few tough trucker-hat-convoy type of outlaw country, with aggressive riffs and heavy head-bangs. You could hear the middle west in their electric guitar solos, and if they continued with poppier harmonies there were enough twang and crying guitars in the mix to never forget about their origins. Just after them, The Bolos took over, and it is always great when members of famous bands come together and play under a different moniker… I imagine the place would have been a bit more crowded if they had announced that FIDLAR, Together Pangea, Meatbodies and No Parents were playing together? Sure the Bolos were only featuring a few members of these bands, but they were seven on stage, dressed in black western outfits and performing covers, some great punk rock classics with a country spirit in mind! If you have ever wanted to hear a country version of T-Rex’s ‘Jeepster’, or the Ramones’ ‘Rockaway Beach’, this band was for you… of course Lennon’s ‘Crippled Inside’, Ween’s ‘Piss Up a Rope’, Brad Paisley’s ‘American Saturday Night’, or even Elvis’ ‘Tiger man’, seemed to have been written for this wild bunch, who was chain smoking like old cowboys. They even did a few great country classics, but even an old fashioned honky-tonk like Hank Williams’ ‘You’re gonna change’ was punk-ified to the core. Then, in a fest that was offering beer-galore, it was easy to bring up a few drunk songs, ‘Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ and ‘What’s The Use Of Getting Sober’… Everyone had sure a lot of fun during their set, it was true country, whipped in the right angles with too much cigarette ashes on the guitar strings and way too many drinks.

However, more fun was about to come with majesty entertainer Andy Clockwise… all I can say is that this Australian knows how to work a crowd, he swears like a rapper, moves like the prince of the 80’s dance floor, and stands still like the lion king at the top of his cliff, between his songs. Girls kneel down in front of him and he even brings some of them on stage to play guitar or hugs them as if there was no tomorrow.. This force of nature plays hard, lives hard (doesn’t he have a song with cocaine and champagne in repeat?), sings hard, and his dance floor hard pop-rock anthems can make you dance till way past any reasonable hour.

Bedrocktoberfest is my underground private music festival, it seems to be a well-guarded secret with a small crowd, and it was all free this year, with an unprecedented all-access. Let’s hope it stays that way!

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Jackson Tanner

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the Bolos

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Andy Clockwise

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