Head shakes, nods, and body jerks surfed The Echo on Sunday September 15th, 2013 as Cold Showers, Disappears, and Weekend played the heck out of everyone’s eardrums before the start of the week.
If there is anywhere to catch a legit indie show in the L.A. area it’s at The Echo in Echo Park. The city is more than just neighbor to the hipster capital of the world–Silver Lake (great hunting grounds by the way). It’s a broth of rich history as intellectuals and artists–Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck among them–were known to have resided there in the early 20th century.
It’s lake is home to the Lotus Festival, birthday parties, paddle boats, ducks, and frogs (oh my!). If you’re in the mood for a hoedown, The Grand Ole Echo opens its saloon doors for a fine hoot and holler. There is barbecue and sweet twang every Sunday from 5-9 p.m. for free.
That night’s country line-up included Taryn Stickwrath, Casey Neill & the Norway Rats, Chris Laterzo & Buffalo Robe, and the jammerific Gimme 5’s. Somewhere Hank Williams gave those guys a serious thumbs up. Their jam band super powers and Hammond B2 wunderkind can take you on a midsummer night stroll through New Orleans’ French Quarter whilst jasmine is in full bloom.
Not bad for a free show. The only minor drawback is that there’s an hour between The Grand Ole Echo and the main show line-ups. Fortunately, there are some places that are leap-frogging distance away.
Like f’r instance:
Origami Vinyl — The folks there are really nice. Their prowess, collection, and knowledge of music are genuinely diverse. It’s very easy for any audiophile to spend hours sifting through their soul, punk, locals, country, indie, or whatever else tickles your fancy. Rummage carefully though. Lest ye be experienced, you might end up with six-packs on your fingers and miss the show!
Two Boots Pizza — Very original and tasty slices. Also, they’re open until 2:30 p.m. Try “The Dude” slice, and you too will abide.
The Gold Room — Want to watch some sports, milk a drink, drink a milk, crack open some peanuts, and savor some tacos (yeah, all in that order!)? Try this happy-go-hipsterish bar. Ask for the Gold Room special, you’ll thank (or curse) me later.
Stories Books and Café — It’s is a hop-skip-and-gothic-twostep away, next to the Jensen building and across from Rodeo Grill. Check them out if you need to procure java or embalm some Edgar Allen Poe couplets in your poetic psyche. Try their iced mojito coffee (gyration alert level orange) and or raspberry lemon tart. Also, they have wifi (pronounced weefee).
Once you make your way back to The Echo you’ll notice the crowd for Part-time Punks is very chill. Most aren’t there to shake it like a Polaroid picture as much as they’re there to hang out, unwind, and get some noise. As things started up you could see people starting to make their way to the stage.
Cold Showers’ guitarist blasted some aura-oric arpeggios and chaotic strums into the crowd. Their vocalist channeled Ian Curtis’s doleful legattos. These young lads brung on the noise and put on a magnetic set. Definitely worth you catching ‘em. Don’t forget your earplugs!
Intermissions at The Echo are great because they have an outside area around the back where you can sit and get some air, you can hear when the next band is starting up, or notice how everyone is scurrying to get their spot.
Disappears had less noise but a much more polished sound. Think The Rolling Stones meets Krautrock meets crisp minimalism. Prevalent were the sharp sonic riffs that their recordings at legendary Electrical Audio Studio in Chicago spawned. Their act didn’t require that much audience participation or energy which was perfect because it was conserved for our headliners.
Weekend opened with “Mirror” from their second album Jinx which received good reviews from both Rolling Stone magazine and The New York Times. Frontman Shaun Durkan’s reverb and echoing words, “ I feel sick sick sick” resonated with the abrasive urgency of My Bloody Valentine. The song galvanized nostalgia with bittersweet euphoria like driving through downtown Los Angeles amidst skyscrapers as every moment stretches into a wormhole of long exposed lights.
When they played “July” you could hear the post-punk growl and rhythmically visceral similarity with their San Franciscan cohorts Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The feedback and acidious flange from guitarist Kevin Johnson suspended their brooding mood while the off-and-on fuzz from their bassist kept everyone’s head nods honed in. Abe Pedroza’s drums set a sinister beat for all of their more atomic tracks without ever breaking a sweat. Their overall cohesion shot right through the lo-fi plane of shoegaze and rained down like a meteor shower. Captivating, indeed.