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Echo Park Rising, Saturday August 20th 2016

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Once again, covering Echo Park Rising looked like a marathon especially because I wanted to catch another show downtown, but, in the middle of this show-super-saturation, I managed to see a few bands during the afternoon, starting with Drinking Flowers on the outdoor Liberty stage. They sounded more Bauhaus than ever, darkness under the bright Cali sun, a shoegazing static fuzz with monotonous vocals, a bit krautrocky, although their last song had something from an Ariel Pink after-dark perverse disco.

In the Champagne room, I caught Butch Bastard’s a song and half, probably because I liked the moniker but the duo guitar-drum had a folksy poppy country sound with an interesting brand of introspective lyrics,

Warbly Jets were a complete different story, tall guys with spider legs in skinny jeans, rocking out with a supersonic loud sound, a bold attitude and some weird synth noises. This big sound had attracted a tall and sexy crowd, wow, where did all these beautiful people come from?

Swimm’s style was as elusive as a wild fish, softer like War on Drugs meets Girls on a song, then building up energy, bringing up R&B wobbling piano, staying sensual with one outburst of violent energy to the next, alternating with hot vocals. I am not sure if they wanted to be Prince on their last one, because it turned very sexy and funky.

Back in the Champagne room, Brit Manor had an exotic energy but had also slower doo-wop pop songs, and on the outdoor stage, Feels were the punk rock band not to miss, with gracious dance moves and an attitude going from pure abandon to hard aggression. Some songs were harder than other and it was still too early to mosh, but the band was definitively getting physical with harmonies and a mad psychedelia.

I also saw a bit of Globelamp, a girl playing alone with a sweet voice and an intimate setting, getting a bit weird and quirky may be like Joanna Newsom quirky? I need to see more to decide… Then Froth, a Burger Records favorite, played on the main stage some of their epic numbers with 60s’ retro surf guitars or grinding chords, lots of reverb, and little by little, bringing some real action on stage. It’s too bad I also wanted to see Sex Stains, the Weirdos, La Luz and Bleached, and so many others, but we were told by the officials that more than 300 bands were playing in over 50 venues!

Echo Park Rising is a fantastic and exhausting project, which keeps expanding each year. ‘Guns N’ Roses may have just played the Dodger Stadium, but they can’t hold a candle to all this talent,’ said one of the officials at one point. Let’s just hope the Axel Roses of the world will never get invited to this festival, it has to stay as it is, played by local bands for locals and beyond.

More pictures here.

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Drinking Flowers

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Warbly Jets

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