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Lolipalooza II At The Echo & Echoplex, Saturday June 27th 2015 Review

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I wanted to call this post the small label which could because this is a real phenomenon here in Los Angeles, two minuscule labels are revolutionizing music festivals, Burger Records has its Burgerama now in its 4th year and taking some mini-Coachella proportions, then Lolipop Records has just put its second Lolipalooza – great name by the way – at the Echo/Echoplex and the festival is simply here to stay and grow every year.

If you know the place, Lolipop Records headquarters are a tiny shop on Glendale boulevard, just next to the Echoplex, but these people are trying to start a revolution, and they are succeeding. They started their career by releasing underground bands on cassette format in 2010, and they are now releasing vinyl records, 45’s, cd’s, with a retail store and a recording studio. They truly believe in what they are doing and it shows. So the Lolipop global revolution did allow you to see (or try to see) 35 bands in one afternoon for 18 bucks on Saturday afternoon/evening, and I guess I managed to see more or less 24 of them, which is already exhausting. Three stages and non-stop rock & roll from noon to past midnight and despite the overlapping of the schedules the club is  a fantastic place for this kind of show because it allows you to go from one place to the next quite quickly.

Let’s see I managed to see The Sloths, Tracy Bryant, Drinking Flowers, Max Pain and the Groovies, Love Cop, Froth, Liphemra, The Creation Factory, Adult Books, Feels, Death Valley Girls, LA Witch, The Molochs, Santoros, Kim & TC, Paul Collins, Winter, So Many Wizards, Joel JeromeFeeding People, Part Time, Corners, Cosmonauts, White Fence… and I am truly on my knees but my apologies to the ones I could not catch!

So I guess it’s official Lolipalooza has become a big thing, the second year was denser than ever. Now I had already seen many of these bands, even several times for some of them, but it didn’t mean it wasn’t worth it. There’s something exciting about this kind of events, and more than ever, it looks like a close and growing family. There were familiar names and less familiar ones, bands multiply at the speed of light here, but it seems that a lot of them were half new: many bands have members who have side projects and voila, another band is born. Others have some incestuous relationships: some members of a band make a new baby with members of another band, and here we go again, a new one! Or even ‘worst’, other people renew lost relationships that had broken up in the past… it is an endless game, and with all this cross pollination going on, I will never see the end of it for my greatest pleasure.

So there was a lot of this game at Lolipalooza, a lot of inbreeding which can lead to some confusion because the side project sounds a bit like the main project but not quite exactly like it, and so what I am supposed to do for the review? The nuances are too thin to describe (or I miss some vocabulary) plus I did not hear enough of them to get a good idea of the many subtle differences, plus my brain is totally confused right now to make all these distinctions. Don’t blame me, just try to see that many bands back to back, coming from the same terroir, on the same day! How many times am I allowed to use terms like psychedelia, pop-punk, surf-pop…? There has to be more nuances! If a lot of bands of the Burger-Lolipop Records family had this pop-punk-surf-guitars-60’s-revival sound, there were some exceptions with others who had a unique thing going on because of a very charismatic frontperson (Kim & the TC comes to mind) or because they were older and ‘back from the grave’ like The Sloths’ frontman told us.

This is a good sign, Silverlake-Echo park has to be the most fertile musical soil ever, and with all this energy in store, this is just the beginning.

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