It’s only October 22nd, and sadly most of my concerts have come and gone. I have other reasons to be sad, but I knew they were coming and I’ve accepted the inevitable. I’ve seen several of my favorite bands this month and a few more thanks to Culture Collide Festival, though I did really only attend a few performances. There probably were more I wanted to see, but schedule conflicts and distance always make going to shows harder for me. Orange County isn’t that far from LA, but most music fans I know are not here. Anyways, enough complaining about my friends.
I’m still happy I saw Secret Shine, Gliss, and The Raveonettes at Culture Collide since getting to the festival the past few years hasn’t been easy. I purchased Secret Shine’s latest “The Beginning and The End,” which came with “Elemental EP” (3 more great songs). I got the back of the CD cover signed by the whole band after the show. The venue was called Lot 1 Cafe and the band played in a room off to the side of the cafe part. The location was a bit removed from the rest of the festival.
Secret Shine are a British shoegaze band, who formed in the early 90’s – so it’s one of those cases that I’m glad they’re still around and even playing shows in the US. Even My Bloody Valentine took their time after Loveless, but it’s hard enough being in a band when your there are no expectations on how good your last album was. I saw a lot of people recording video the set, which made me feel less sad about being in the back where I couldn’t see much. I got about 30 seconds of video of “Honey Sweet,” which is fine to get an idea of their sound.
I saw a few other bands the first day, but didn’t know the names, aside from Ice Age who I think I confused with No Age. The other band I saw most of their set had a Greek name, which I forgot even though they spelled it. The singer was kind of funny, making jokes and being overly observant at times.
I missed the 2nd day of Culture Collide so I could see The Raveonettes at the Observatory, which also included the sound check for people who bought the VIP passes. They actually played a few songs all the way through, which was nice. I posted all my videos on Facebook, since my YouTube account still doesn’t seem to let me use it separately from Google+.
There were 2 opening bands for the Raveonettes show, one of which (Summer Twins) had started by the time I’d gotten some food (turns out the Observatory serves food!). Anyways, Summer Twins had kind of a poppy surfy sound with a girl group sound (a good fit with the Raveonettes), and they actually are twins. How appropriate. The other opener Mystic Braves were very 60’s sounding and looking, right down to their outfits and beards. I thought I was in the 60’s during their set, which does seem to be a very popular thing for psych rock bands these days. They sounded good, though I’m not sure this was the right show for them to open.
During the Raveonettes set, I had a great spot for photos and videos and took plenty of both. I really wish Facebook were better for videos as I have quite a lot I’ve posted on there and they just seem kind of unorganized and mixed with photos. I will just upload them to my new YouTube channel, since I am not happy with Facebook’s video embedding.
I always enjoy seeing The Raveonettes and seeing them twice over two days was great. It’s funny, the more I see a band the less I really have to say about their shows. I love their harmonies and their voices individually, they speak a lot of Danish during soundchecks and I find it very interesting how they limit that during the shows.
Though they are from Denmark, the Raveonettes’ sound is very rock and surf and clearly more influenced heavily by American artists. Sune Rose Wagner’s Sonic Youth shirt is evidence of that. Sharin Foo is always so glamorous on stage and boy, does she play a mean bass. They played a good selection of songs from all their albums, though mostly from the latest Observator (how perfect for The Observatory) and closing with some tracks from their debut EP Whip It On (which is a bit darker and heavier than later albums). I ended up recording “Gone Forever” during the show and soundcheck, as well as “She Owns The Streets,” “Heart of Stone,” “Young and Cold,” “Attack of The Ghost Riders,” “My Tornado,” and “Cops On Our Tail.”
We got to the Echoplex fairly late on the last night of Culture Collide, a heavy rock sounding female fronted band called the Heliotropes were in the middle of their set. I was just there for Gliss and The Raveonettes. Near the start of their set, Gliss gave a shout out to Alexander Laurence, who was helping them with their gear before the show. I’m not sure how many people really were as amused by it as I was, but it’s one of those things that amuses me.
Gliss were pretty awesome too, just the main 2 band members Martin Klingman drumming and singing and Victoria Cecilia singing and playing synths. Victoria seemed pretty confident on stage, she reminded me of Madonna in the 80’s (though it was probably the synths that made me think that.) Sadly my memory card was either missing or improperly placed in my camera, so I just used my iPhone for crappy Instagrams. Fortunately, there were plenty of photographers and videographers present. Here’s some excellent front row footage of one of the more upbeat songs during their set:
I still have Travis @ the Wiltern and BRMC @ The Glass House to discuss, which I will save for on another day – possibly after uploading everything to YouTube. Getting through this post has actually taken me a lot longer than usual. Though I have been trying to get other things done despite multiple distractions, which is my excuse for not writing at times. Keep checking back and eventually all my Raveonettes videos will be here: