Friday, October 5, 2012

GIRLS ROCK "CULTURE COLLIDE" DAY 1 (with Balconies, Blood Red Shoes & Marit Larsen)

The Balconies
The Balconies perform at The Echo during day 1 of Culture Collide.
photos by picksysticks
by Jeff Pegg
Picksysticks contributer

The world is singing. Los Angeles is listening. It was opening night of FILTER Magazine’s Culture Collide third annual music festival, Thursday, October 04, 2012. It was the beginning of four consecutive days of music from abroad and from the states, representing twenty-five countries this time. Female fronted bands were represented in vast amounts, spanning ten continents themselves.      

Performing at the Echo Park United Methodist Church is Marit Larsen of Norway during day 1 of Culture Collide.
photo by picksysticks
The four-day tour of female fronted bands across the lands began with the sound of Norway by the way of Marit Larsen gracing her presence at Echo Park United Methodist Church. During her set, she looks on her arm as though she has a slit wrist scar to remember the pain of misplaced love and other regrets. Her voice is soft, but heavy, as though singing through heavy tears in her heart. She strums the guitar gentle but determined, like rain showering hard against a windowpane.

Jacquie Neville of The Balconies
Jacquie Neville of The Balconies
pic by picksysticks

It is obvious she is releasing a humble hurt as though her performance whispers a confession of guilt love. However, in songs of happiness her voice changes from burden to bliss. The thickness in her vocals dissipates and frees a confident crisp delight like that of a morning songbird. After, she lets us know that it is not a scar on her wrist after all, but rather her set list for the evening she penned on her arm, so not to get lost as she moved seats from piano to guitar. Though little does she say that the songs may be scars themselves. A church of woes.
Laura-Mary Carter of Blood Red Shoes

After spending time in church, it was forward into the enchantments of the darkness that is The Echo to submerge into the sinful wickedness of The Balconies (Canada). Jacquie Neville leads vocal and guitar like an insane immortal sorcerer setting herself on fire for fun, repeatedly. She spasms as though possessed by a James Brown in flames. She does this while transforming her guitar into a rampaging adrenaline drugged bull. Her voice sounds like a disco Blondie, but instruments lash with guitar and bass torturing tones of Psychobilly. Neville's performance vibes of a damsel turning werewolf in dead of night under a full moon disco ball. She has to be seen for this to be truly understood and believed. Supernatural.  

Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell of Blood Red Shoes
UK's Blood Red Shoes Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell  performs at the Taix Champagne Room.
photos by picksysticks

Jacquie Neville of The BalconiesMarit Larsen
Then there was the final twist of the evening with Blood Red Shoes (UK) in the Taix Champagne Room. Not darkness, nor the light, but rather a view of an awkward dream where an arena stage with a bad ass band meant for a high school gym dance crashes down into the room of a crystal chandelier wedding banquet in the back of Taix. Blood Red Shoes with leading vocals and guitar of Laura-Mary Carter eats into the memory like first and final love in ever-wavering turmoil. Love regretting memories of the future. Fake ID whisky filled flask dropped into a champagne bottle. A confused message that is not possible, but the feeling is exact. The glitter green prom dress looks normal at the altar. The music pulsates between vibrant life and vibrant loss, deep into torn restlessness. Passion bursts captured and corked in a bottle. Glitter lights over carpet soaked alcohol. Good memories gone bad. There is a bright light shinning in from an open back door for an awaking escape, but realizing it only leads to a street light outside. Where are all the tables and chairs anyway? Now it is a VIP green room without an open bar. What kinds of drug are in those Blood Red Shoes soaking in the punch bowl?

This was only night 1 of 4. It was only a four-day event, but how long would it really last in the body and mind? Permanently, is likely the diagnosis?  

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