Friday, August 17, 2007
Sunset Junction Street Festival Preview: 8/18/07 - 8/19/07
The 27th annual Sunset Junction Street Festival goes down this weekend at the intersection of Sunset and Santa Monica. It's a massive carnival with some damn good bands playing on three stages. The festival started as a way to bridge the gap between the Latin families and the gays who were infiltrating their neighborhood (or so the story goes). It has evolved into a massive production with three stages and a mandatory $15 entry fee. The festival is organized by the Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance. It's a non-profit organization that runs the Tsunami coffee shop and does some community service. If you read internet message boards, a lot of people look on it pretty suspiciously (The basic argument - who gave these guys the right to take over public streets and charge me money; I want an accounting of where the funds are going). It's become a really good excuse for people in the area to have house parties.
I prefer to get to the festival on the early side. It gets too crowded and weird for me at night. You can't bring in any outside liquor, but if you use your imagination you'll figure out a way. There are plenty of neighborhood liquor stores in the area that will sell you fifths that fit easily in your shorts. The port-a-potties get pretty disgusting, but that doesn't stop dudes from going in there as couples. I know you look really cool in your black skinny jeans, but it's probably going to be insanely hot.
Saturday's Lineup 8/18/07:
12:40 PM - Division Day - Get there early for these guys. They're friends of You Set the Scene and some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. They recently signed to local lable, Eenie Meenie. Go their Myspace page and listen to "Tigers" and "Tap-Tap, Click-Click."
1:30 PM- The Pity Party - This experimental minded, post-punk duo recently exploded on the scene and has already toured with the Raveonettes. Their original sound quickly won over jaded local fans. And once again, they're some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.
2:20 PM - The Parson Red Heads - These guys won me over the first time I saw them. Like the Beachwood Sparks, they've got a heavy 1960s/Byrds influence driven by nice harmonies. The songs are toe-tapping catchy. Go to their Myspace and check out "Punctual as Usual."
4:10 PM- The Broken West - They're one of my favorite bands in LA right now. Their debut album came out earlier this year on Merge (home of Arcade Fire and Spoon) and made my short list of favorite albums in the first half of 2007. They play power-pop in the best possible way. Check out "On the Bubble" and "Brass Ring" on their Myspace page. Super freaking nice guys too.
5:05 PM- Sea Wolf - Alex Church once was the bass humping bass player in Irving. Now he's the guitarist and lead singer of Sea Wolf. The girls all love him. His debut EP recently came out on local label Dangerbird and he just got off a tour with the Silversun Pickups. The music's serious with acoustic guitars and subtle strings. "You're a Wolf" is a really good song, and you can stream it on his Myspace page.
6:05 PM - Autolux - These guys haven't put out an album in over three years. We're all still waiting. We all keep waiting and waiting. They play fuzzy, headphone, drug rock.
7:30 PM - Blonde Redhead - These New Yorkers put out quite possibly my favorite record of the year so far. They been putting out consistently great records for over a decade now. No easy feat. Hopefully the sound at the Junction is a little better than in recent years.
9:00 PM - Morris Day and the Time - If I'm still there, I'll definitely take Morris Day over Ben Harper.
Sunday's Lineup 8/19/07:
12;40 PM - Eskimohunter - Popular local noise-pop band that recently packed the house every week at their Monday night Spaceland residency.
1:30 PM - The Movies - Usually when you see the Movies, 75% of the audience is in other bands. The Silversun Pickups even covered them on their Dangerbird EP. Lead singer, Timothy James is one of those great, unpredictable performers. Many of the lyrics are hilarious, but he's very capable of writing the sensitive songs too. Go listen to "Rock in the Slingshot" on their Myspace page.
2:20 PM - The Airborne Toxic Event - These guys sold out the Echo for their second show ever. They're Anglophiles who know how to write catchy songs. Go to their Myspace and listen to "Does This Mean You're Moving On." Franz Ferdinand wishes they'd written something that catchy on their second album.
4:05 PM - The Bronx - LA has a great heavy scene, but the Bronx is pretty much the only representative at this festival.
5:15 PM - Hot Hot Heat - Their new album comes out on September 11th.
6:45 PM - Buzzcocks - Just a ridiculously good band.