Only in it’s second year, Filter’s Culture Collide Festival is the newest kid on the festival block, however, given A) it’s AMAZING line-up for a second year running, B) a variety of easily navigable venues, and last but certainly not least C) a STUNNINGLY economic wristband fee of $20…Culture Collide is fitted to become LAs most beloved music festival. Four days worth of great music from hot bands from all over the world at over 8 venues for 20 dollars. Do the math, that’s 5 bucks a day for a week’s worth of awesome.
I’m super-excited. And in the interest of caring and sharing, I’ll give you a couple of my personal super-excited picks from this year’s worldly line-up.
1. Hailing from Brazil, CSS (Cansei der Ser Sexy) has a name that translates to “Tired of being sexy.” To which I say, “yeah, cool story bro.”
A couple of years back, these kids dropped a self-titled cherry bomb of an album on Sub Pop that had new millenial classic jams, “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above”, and “Alala” whose videos basically consisted of very attractive people going nuts and partying hard. They took a slightly more experimental approach on their sophmore release “Donkey,” and have just released a brand new album on V2 that splits the difference, “La Liberacion.”
Although not as blatantly raucous or squelchy as their debut, “La Liberacion” is hooky indie spazz-rock that pays tribute to the well-crafted neon pop songs of early MTV. The first single, “It Hits Me Like a Rock,” features a duet with the usually irascible lead singer of Primal Scream, Bobby Gillespie who sounds as if he’s actually letting his guard down for Lovefoxx.
Their live shows are a fun, spunky spectacle lead by frontwoman, Lovefoxx, and if you don’t fall in love with her bouncy, pouty sprite-vibes, you might not have a heart or eyeballs.
2. Disclaimer: I love LA’s very own Cosmic Kids. Not only as artists, but as super awesome rad dudes... but I digress, earlier this year, Dan and Ron Cosmic released a fantastic 12″ single on Throne of Blood called “Reginald’s Groove“ that has become one of 2011′s ubiquitous dance tracks. It’s charted on most major dance dj’s playlists worldwide since it’s release and with good reason, it continues to build steam.
They’ve recently done remixes for Saarid, Superhumanoids, and VHS or Beta and are hard at work on new stuff. I’ve seen them spin a number of times and it’s always a real blast. Don’t miss it, spaceface.
3. Imbued with an endlessly incandescent star power, Mexican singer-songwriter Ximena Sarinana has lived more of her lifetime on-stage than offstage. She started acting in telenovelas at the ripe age of 11 and has been in a number of films. In 2008, she released her first album, the critically acclaimed, “Mediocre“,which was written when she was barely 22-23. Full of lyrically heavy themes about ideas of modern femininity and social expectations, she crafted a hit pop album that was the smart antithesis and welcome relief from all of the mindless songs about “humps” and “ladylumps.”
She has a new self-titled album, which I had the pleasure of hearing her perform live a number of months ago. She is graceful, charming, and remarkably talented. Ximena is special, and you’d do well to check out her live show.
4. A recent and truly…TRULY amazingly mindbending addition to this year’s Culture Collide Festival is the one and only, DJ Harvey. It’s possible you already know of him. It’s highly probable you don’t. Unless you’re a nocturnal party monster who loves to dance 8-9 hours at a time and watch the sunrise in industrial downtown warehouses or a DJ History fiend who has studied Bill Brewster’s tomes and website tracing the last 30 years of dance culture, the name DJ Harvey is a mystery. He’s produced and remixed everyone from LCD Soundsystem to Stereo MCs to The Police. In the early 90s he was the resident DJ at Ministry of Sound on Fridays AND Saturdays, and spun shoulder to shoulder with DJ legends Larry Levan and Francois K.
Earlier this summer, DJ Harvey Bassett released an album of epic throbbing post-genre dance tunes under the name Locussolus, which bangs endlessly and he’s also released a number of brilliant 12″ disco edits on his Foghorn Leghorn graphic’d Black Cock label. Harvey is a legend, and if we’re all reeeeeally lucky Culture Collide will let him play for 9 hours straight, however, if it were merely a 40 minute set, it’d be well worth the $20 wristband.
— Mario Cotto