From The Front Lines: Echoplex with FLYamSAM, Gaslamp Killer & More
Does it do it for you? Does the early-night sight of a cheap plastic table piled high with laptops with glowing, bitten apples, USB cables up the kazoo and out the wazoo, wires and boxes with buttons and knobs all over the place do it for ya? Does it make you bob up and down like a cork in whiskey with a stupid fucking grin plastered on your face for so long your cheeks hurt? Does it bring your heart up in your throat like you just saw the boy you like staring at you with very bad intentions in his head? Does it make you dance like this is your only life and you are going to die someday? Does it?
Well it sure as hell does it for me.
Can I get a FUCK YES for the button pressers? For the unapologetic wizards who give us the gift of dance night after night? For the boys and girls moving forward the future of fucking sound with their electronic creations and tireless efforts?
I woke up this morning after less than four hours of sleep, bright eyed with strands of words in my head desperately trying to worm their way out before they disintegrated into a lost dream. Maybe it was the pseudoephedrine-laced cough medicine I took last night (now I understand why they make FUCKING CRANK out of that shit), but by all practical purposes I should have slept deep into the bright and sunny day. But I couldn’t stay in bed and was up by 7AM, energized by the talent I experienced the night before and yes, this insane LA sunshine on my face. I had forgotten what it was like to walk outside and have the weather lift your spirits, instead of peering into another gloomy, overcast day and wanting to kill a bird and break somebody’s windshield just for the hell of it.
Sorry Seattle. My bad. But you are going to have to put up with my super annoying OMFGILOVETHESUNSHINE shit for a while. I will try and send some up the West Coast to you; expect it mid-July. For a month.
So anyway I arrived around 11:30 last night at the Echoplex, a big dark belly of a place with the stickiest floors I’ve danced on in a WHILE. That’s how I like it though- give me divey and grimey and filthy and city OR give me the outdoors in the forest or field or beach. I am a woman of extremes, though I did not favor the pussy little drinks in Dixie Cups at the Echoplex one bit- next time I’m bringing a flask. The sound was pretty good up front although towards the back it got a little cloudy; this didn’t bother me however since I am never in the back of the room. I am a card-carrying speaker freaker, and you know this.
Now the Echoplex is in the neighborhood of Echo Park in Los Angeles, an area I was warned to never, ever to go at night lest the roving gangs of marauders decapitate me the instant I stop at a red light and disperse my body parts to the four corners of the universe. Obviously this did not happen. Cough cough, did somebody say culture of fear?
I arrived as the earlier show of the night was coming to an end and the funky Latino punk-hop band Ozotmatli was working the crowd- it was hot and sweaty and smelly up front as the dance floor jumped around, got down, and waved arms on command. Great dance music and lyrics (DONDE ESTA LA AFTER PARTY?), but since I was there for the late-late action I didn’t want to go too crazy and instead had a drink and went out to the smoking section where I met friends # 12, 13, and 14 in Los Angeles, all of whom welcomed me with big smiles to their city which they obviously love. I also met Carmen, the chick in the bathroom selling cigarettes, condoms, and gum- I don’t think anyone had asked her name since 2006. I have had a very warm welcome here indeed- not only have the temperatures been flipping sub-tropical but the artists I know in LA have reached out to me with open arms, putting me on lists and inviting me to sweet parties all over the city.
Ozomatli finished up with a powerful political message, truly a great introduction for me to LA’s vibrant and active Latino community and a great funk-forward band. The crowd thinned out dramatically and became more rainbow with fewer women. And I ask again, why the hell are electronic music shows so dominated by the boys?
“BOYS! MUSIC! NOW! PRESS SOME BUTTONS!” was what I was screaming in my head at the sound guys of the Echoplex who had quite the rough time getting their shit together so Eliot Lipp and Alex B could play. Finally, the bass boomed out and we got the fat fucking beats we had been waiting for. These guys are the shit, in case you didn’t know. Check out the mixes on their Myspace pages. Now.
The Echoplex ruckus was the official after party for the STS9 show; people started to trickle in and by the time the Gaslamp Killer went on, the floor was getting hot with one crazy blond chick dancing like a mad woman down front (there’s freaks in LA, WATCH OUT YO). “Hope you sound guys are ready for me,” the artist taunted the techies with a smile.
Now, I must tell you: I love the Gaslamp Killer. No, let me rephrase that: I FUCKING LOVE THE MOTHERFUCKING GASLAMP KILLER. His set was rudely and heavily cut with grimy dubstep and the boy acts like he is commanding an orchestra of dancing zombie minions or maybe an army of club kid-skeleton freaks to do his bidding as he swings his arms and fro maniacally to his hefty beats. Jesus Christ, where do I enlist? Another sound guy had to crawl out and put some sort of jack under the table to hold up the weight of the equipment and of course, that chunky bass. And wow, do the ladies love that fro or WHAT? He is my new favorite.
After that inspiring set, the oh-so-loveable Flying Lotus stepped onto the stage alongside SamIYam and together as FLYamSAM, proceeded to lay down crackled, warped brain music, a perfect fit in the dank underground club, and I danced the rest of the night away. The two play off each other well, having a great time. I always love watching Flying Lotus do his thing because he exudes joy, his passion for his music as apparent as his smile. I always just want to hug him. I left before the very end, ‘cuz motherfucker I’m ill, not sick- no really, I am existing way under the weather and my normal hyper-energetic self. I have no health insurance, but no worries- music is the medicine.
The crowd last night was not huge, but truly these cats are ahead of their time. A lot of people don’t quite ‘get’ the music they are making, for they are on the bullethead of the art of sound and it takes the majority of people a while to catch up. But they will. Keep doin’ it, yall, for all of us alive out here. I see how the bass slut scene in Seattle has grown in one year, and I must say I could not be more excited to see and help this music dominate the West Coast and then on to the world. You guys with me?
And speaking of noodling up to artists: please, people, when a DJ or producer or MC or visual artist wows you, TELL THEM. Thank them. Creating something from your brain and putting it out there and saying “hey everybody, judge me please” takes a lot of balls. As a writer I know the power of words; kind statements from my friends nourish me for weeks and weeks. So tonight while you are out if someone rocks your world, let them know. You don’t have to have a colorful vocab (watch the low jab)- just saying ‘thanks’ helps artists to keep creating and making the world better for all of us. SO DO IT.
Speaking of tonight: STS9 plays another show here in LA at the historic Wiltern Theatre; I will be there early as to not miss one second of Kraddy, OOah, edIT and Boreta as they rain down mad sulphurous thunderfuck upon the crowd. Then for me it is on to a sweet rooftop party downtown with Robot Koch- after getting to party all night with his Jahcoozi-mates Sasha and Oren at this year’s Decibel Festival, I must say- it’s going to be one HELL of a night.
Seattle, you’ve got Mr. Rogers and birthday boy novaTRON at J-Sun’s going away party tonight at the Lo-Fi. DO NOT MISS.
Again, this blog is a work in progress. I LOVE getting comments, yes even negative ones. I like to hear what you have to say, so say it loud. Does anybody get my referrals to random lyrics and songs? Souleye, maybe?
Peace and love. Have a great Saturday night and remember, safety first, after fun.
This entry was posted on January 17, 2009 at 11:08 PM and is filed under From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags alex b, boreta, decibel festival, echoplex, edit, Eliot Lipp, FlyAmSam, Flying Lotus, j-sun, Jahcoozi, kraddy, lo-fi, mr rogers, novatron, ooah, ozotmatli, Robot Koch, samiyam, STS9, the gaslamp killer, the glitch mob, wiltern theatre. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.