Thursday, October 13, 2011

FILTER'S CULTURE COLLIDE: DAY 3 & DAY 4

CSS
CSS headlines Culture Collide at the Echoplex
photo by picksysticks

Culture Collide has brought together over 80 bands from from 24 countries, creating a melting pot of diverse music from some of the best artists in the world. It was all leading up to one powerhouse weekend, where CSS headlined both nights of this second annual event sponsored by Filter Magazine. It started Saturday night at the Echo when lead singer Lovefoxx came out wearing a bedazzled Batman mask, starting the dance party that lasted well past 1 a.m, playing arena rock melodies over their playful atmospherics.

Influenced by reggae, punk, dance, pop and rock, CSS epitomizes the musical diversity of Culture Collide. You can see it in the crowds. Different people, enjoying one band whose popularity transcends borders.

Quickly becoming a hit internationally, CSS formed in 2003 and got a big boost when their song "Music is My Hot Hot Sex" was featured in one of iPod's commercial, boosting the song up the Billboard charts and making them one of highest charting bands from Brazil to chart so high in the United States. And they've been making us dance ever since.

CSS
CSS performing at the Toyota Antics Block Party stage.
photo by picksysticks

CSS's electricity at The Echoplex continued Sunday night at the free Toyota Antics Block Party. It seems Lovefoxx may have over exerted herself the night before as she seemed to be losing her voice but that didn't stop her from missing a beat. The sold out festival crowd danced to the "Alala," bounced to the trippy-laced "Let's Make Love," while the reggae-ish "Hits Me Like a Rock " got everyone grooving with their neighbors. It was that type of evening. Lovefoxx even dedicated the song "Music is My Hot, Hot Sex" to MEN, the band CSS is currently touring with.

CSSCSS
CSS at the Echoplex during day three of Culture Collide.
photos by picksysticks

You Say France & I Whistle
You Say France & I Whistle
You Say France & I Whistle performing at 826 LA during Culture Collide.
photos by picksysticks

Saturday also brought back my new favorite band in You Say France & I Whistle who played their first U.S. gig Friday night at The Twonky Chateau at Taix. This time, they played across the street at 826 LA. A back alley entrance and a make-shift stage in what appeared to be a classroom also hosted Singapore DJ, Analog Girl who was just finishing up as I arrived. And as You Say France & I Whistle began setting up, the venue slowly filled, the room brimming with anticipation as word spread about this exciting new band. Again, they didn't disappoint, lavishing the crowd as though opening up a Pandora's box and releasing all the world's happiness upon us.

Decartes a Kant was a theatrical group that played fast and loud against their baby doll vocals. The pitt wasn't safe as they showered the crowd with their spray cans of foam bubbles or confetti. Hailing from Mexico, this indie-experimental punk band are influenced by a wide range of musical genres including rock & roll, punk, bossa nova and swing.

Making second appearances during the festival were Rainbow Arabia and The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Playing early in the day just as the crowds started to come in, it truly wasn't the same as watching them at night under the stage lights. The energy in the crowd was just different. Maybe it was just too early and people just hadn't visited the beer garden yet. But personally, I wasn't complaining.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour perform during the Toyota Antics free block party.
photo by picksysticks

Also making another appearance after first performing at The Co-Op on day one of the festival were V for Volume. Alternative rock felt missing during the festival. Luckily for V for Volume, they filled the void. A welcome surprise, this band from Columbia shines with catchy melodies and shows they can go from guitar-driven rock to melodious indie-pop ballad. Listen to "Cheap Universe" from their debut album Providence, released last year, and you'll be hooked.

The Asteroids Galaxy TourV for Volume
Asteroids of the Galaxy Tour and V for Volume during Culture Collide weekend.
photos by picksysticks

And hooked would be the key word that best describes my first experience with Filter Magazine's 2nd Annual Culture Collide Festival. What started as a simple idea to get a diverse lineup of bands to play together and party together can only grow with each year. As I wait for next year's festival, I'll spend my time keeping up with the new and exciting new bands Culture Collide has exposed me to and look forward for next year, when I'll be introduced to a whole new exciting crop of artists.

V for Volume
V for Volume during Culture Collide
photo by picksysticks



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