This past weekend marked the 8th year of Echo Park Rising, a neighborhood gathering of new and upcoming bands from Los Angeles and beyond. As guests walked the streets of Echo Park, local businesses and venues open their doors to artists and performers for the general public just before the end of the summer.
On Saturday, August 18th, I was able to attend one day of the all-weekend event and enjoyed some of the artists that were featured. As I made my way down Sunset, music poured from the doors of the surround buildings and vibrant colors led me to vendors across the Boulevard. Peaking into small businesses including Little Joy Cocktails, a small restaurant, Trencher and moving to the large Liberty Stage; I was able to see some interesting acts and unconventional sounds.
At the Liberty Stage, I caught three performers that presented an array of styles and musical genres. The event started with the performance of a troop of tap dancers whose routine was set to jazz and Latin music. They were then followed by a band called Albert and his Dreamboats. At first glance, I perceived the band to be an indie-rock group, but was very surprised to find out that they are more of a “honky tonk,” country group. Based in Los Angeles California, their tunes take inspiration from classic southern country artists and folk music. The band is headed by an energetic singer that emphasized the southern vibe, with his traditional country accent and by telling jokes related to the culture of the region. Each of the other members play an instrument while also providing backup vocals for the group. By the end of their performance they brought up another singer to duet a cover of “I Love LA,” which is originally performed by Randy Newman.
The show was then trailed by the up-and-coming LA rock band, Pinky Pinky. The all-female band features a drum, bass and guitar trio that recollects and relivitalizes the sounds of 50s and 60s rock. The band’s retro sounds are reminiscent of Doo-Wop artists of the 1960s with a twist of modern alternative indie rock and edgy lyrics. The trio is led by Anastasia Sanchez, powerful drummer and lead vocals of the band. They dress in very colorful outfits and makeup, and play upbeat music that masks the somber tone and message behind most of their lyrics. Pinky Pinky is a perfect combination of minimalism and complexity as they make dynamic rhythms and melodies of their songs look simple. These girls are hardcore- not even a wasp landing on their mic could phase their performance. The band has just released an EP entitled Hot Tears which contains one of their most popular tracks “Robber.” After speaking to the band, I learned that they are currently busy with their tour. Their next stop is The Roxy Theatre with Ceramic Animal on September 8.
Echo Park Rising is definitely a hub for new talent and a center for mixing of culture through musical creativity. Hopefully you’ll get the chance to immerse yourself in the artists of Los Angeles and end your summer right. See you next year Echo Park Rising.