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Live Indie Tunes at Echo Park Rising

To be honest ,there really isn't a time that I don't crave live music. I'm always down to see a show. But last week I realized that it had been quite some time since I had seen small-time, indie-type bands play. Little-known bands are my heart and really, what are we without our hearts? What are we without hyphens?

When I caught wind of a (read: FREE) music festival happening in Echo Park, I was all the way down.

It was simple enough to rope my tune-lovin' Jersey boy into coming with me because he knows the lead singer/guitar player of The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs, one of the bands playing the event. 

We got to Echo Park in time to hear the end of the set preceding The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs.
The band: The Groms.
The sound: Loud.
Think surf party music but darker and with more yelling. This makes sense because apparently a Grom is a young surfer. Thanks, Urban Dictionary. The venue was a gallery – as Echo Park Rising was also an art festival – so the sound wasn't the best. Everything was overwhelmingly loud, and then the loud resounded and bounced off of itself, multiplying into a force strong enough to burst your eardrums. Get a taste of their sound with this three track EP called Alvarado. Get it? Echo Park? Alvarado? 

Whatever, L.A. things. 

OK, next up were the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs.

These California guys were pretty big not quite 10 years ago, especially in Texas. They disbanded in the early 00's (the lead is now in film production, which is how Jersey Mike met him), but have now reconvened to tour a bit and have some fun. There show was W.I.L.D. They had so much energy on that stage it made me want to take a nap. I attempted to capture this energy in this image:

Note the jumping bass player. iPhone photog I am not, but just believe me when I say they were a ton of fun to watch and the crowd absolutely loved them. Their music is heavy glamish rock with some potent punk angst sprinkled on top. Test out Jersey Mike's personal fave, "Fuck The Future, I Want Now."



After the 'Cheetahs, we grabbed a bite at Two Boots (YUM) and then walked over to Origami Vinyl to see who was playing up in their loft. We were blessed with the mellow sounds of The Mynabirds.

The lead singer, Laura Burhenn, sounds a bit like a mix between Carole King and Zooey Deschanel. They played "un-plugged," so everything sounded a touch different than what you'll find on Spotify. But isn't that one of the absolute best things about seeing bands live? You get a totally personal experience that you get to keep all to yourself. Well, I mean, you have to share it with the countless other people present, but STILL. It's just for you (all). My favorite song from The Mynabirds was "Buffalo Flower." Check it out and let me know what you think:



Next, we went out in search of a drink and happened upon this swank French restaurant called Taix. I had heard a chick mention she was playing there in a small room called The Champagne Room (I told you it was swank). We grabbed a sip and went in search of said room only to find it was packed to the brim and that the band, Banta, was already playing.

They have a fun, alt-pop sound. I liken them to Meiko or perhaps recent Tegan and Sara. They aren't quite on the sisters' level, but they're pretty good. I couldn't find them on the YouTubes, so search "Dark Charms" on Spotify.

  Once Banta wrapped we decided we were exhausted and should call it a night. We walked outside to find that the party was just getting started. There were thousands of people at the outdoor stage dancing to a pretty fly DJ set. Still, Jersey Mike and I were ready to call it quits because it was getting late. I mean, it was already 9:30 p.m. on a Saturday night.

Then we realized we were old.

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