Thursday, April 4, 2013
Burgerama 2 - American Pancake Review and YOU TUBE Playlist link--- you know you want it!
Burgerama 2 - 3/22 and 3/23/13
By any and all measurements, Burgerama 2, an indie infused musical festival adeptly engineered and hosted by record store / record label Burger Records, was a rousing success. The 2 day event was sold out weeks in advance and late comers were trying to secure tickets by any means possible. Fishing on twitter, facebook and even Craigslist for a chance to revel in nearly 40 bands on two stages, eat at the Burger BBQ, gander at lotsa merch and hold pristine bragging rites that "I were there" all in the confines of The Observatory in Santa Ana, California. Headliners were The Black Lips and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti supported by a rather eclectic mix of artists. Everything from 90's hip hop artist The Pharcyde to the country rock of Natural Child to the dream pop of Summer Twins to the swinging almost jazz pop of Nick Waterhouse to the doo wop punk / 60's garage surf rock of Tijuana Panthers, Shannon and the Clams, Hunx and his Punx and The Memories to the garage post punk/ punk rock of Pangea, Fidlar, Bleached King Tuff, FUZZ, The Lovely Bad Things,White Fence and more. Too many bands to mention but all of them brought their own flavor to the party.
Like all parties that have two stages, there were choices to be made. Many people chose to park their bodies at the large main stage and stay put. I noticed a few who appeared to not leave all day! I wondered if they had not consumed any food or liquids for hours prior to the event as to not have to take any bathroom breaks?? Others seemed to not really see that many bands at all but instead chose to hang out and party in the outside smoking area / bar / BBQ. For the rest of us, there was a constant migratory pattern from the big stage to the little one to the merch upstairs back to the little stage to the big stage and so on. At times when a band finished on the big stage the exiting audience would do a zombie march to the smaller stage. This convergence of bodies would merge into another sea of bodies and it seriously felt like a Tokyo Subway train at rush hour but even worse. At least on the Tokyo Subway you are not carrying a plastic cup of nearly overflowing beer.
While the larger stage area felt nice and cool, the aforementioned merge zone and the smaller Constellation room threw off (at times) sooo much body heat that it had it's own unique climate. It felt like the Amazon, hot, humid and when the room was cranking -sweaty. I think I hallucinated at one point and saw jungle vines hanging from the ceiling. Besides some truly awesome performances there were some wonderfully wacked out things happening as well like...
1. A girl getting her head shaved bald during a rock performance. Yes, if you haven't heard, the ever persuasive Seth Bogart from Hunx and his Punx shaved a girls head with some clippers. Actually, he just started the process and her friend finished it but it was nonetheless a highlight of the night.
2. Public displays of affection by fan to band. Ok, I have seen the normal fans hugging performers before they crowd surf but at Burgerama quite a few of the audience members were planting their lips on the performers. A guy ran up on stage to Lauren from the Lovely Bad Things and kissed her on the cheek. Max, the drummer for Fidlar got mauled by a girl who put a lip lock on him for a what seemed like a solid minute. If I am not mistaken some smooching fans had their way with members of Pangea and the Black Lips as well and of course, fan's lips touched Seth Bogart's (from Hunx and his Punx) skin.
3. Massive Security with a "hands off" attitude (yeah, can you believe it). Last year's Burgerama was marred by overzealous security freaking out and getting way too physical with the kids. This seemed to occur most frequenly in the smaller Constellation room probably because it is not set up to house all the people that want to dance to the bands AND there is no barricade in front of the stage. In 2012 a small army of security guys moved in during the Lovely Bad Things set when the crowd was (in their minds) going overboard (they were not). The security clashes happened and escalated when Pangea took the stage. The security guards even got physical with Ty Segall who was crowd surfing and then things went south from there. NOW- someone most of talked to someone else about not being so hands on because during Burgerama 2 the big dudes took a pretty much "stay back" approach even in the Constellation room were kids were stage diving and crowd surfing to their hearts content. YES, I did hear about some instances were the security were being dicks BUT I will publicly congratulate Massive Security for doing a pretty good job this time around.
Other notable "things"- Well, there was word of public nudity on stage including some genitalia exposed. Apparently, the bass player for White Fang was stripped down to his boxers when someone ran up and pulled down his shorts exposing his little Fang. There were tweets of him swinging "it" around (?) Now was this an exaggeration? I care not to think about it! In the "that's MEAN" department, I witnessed a girl crowd surfing and some dude pulled off her shoe and threw it about a guh zillion miles away. NOT cool dude!!
MY FAVORITE PERFORMANCES:
Absolute most electric performance for me was muther fucking FUZZ! This is the second time I got to see and video them and I think was makes them so damn good is the heavy, heavy inclusion of blues rock that permeates the post punk vibe. If you could transplant these guys through some wormhole onto a Woodstock stage they would pretty much feel right on. This rock roots core is what I totally enjoy and Charlie Moothart's tone on that guitar. Holy shit!
Pangea's set was also sooo kick ass and it was wonderful to see them on the larger stage. They absolutely owned it. They have always written cool songs but continue to evolve. Their scatological garage rock actually moving toward more tender tones (at least by their punk standards). William Keegan's vocals have always had a rusty hinged feel and drenched in a bit of a fuck you attitude and I love that. I also love that their sound is getting bigger and in some ways grungier.
The Lovely Bad Things once again played to a sardine packed crowd in the Constellation Room. Their newer songs bristling with progressive punk strains definitely have struck a chord with their fans. The energy in the room was something else and hard to put into words so I will leave that to Daniel Kohn from the OC Weekly who wrote: "the quartet was rockin' pretty hard. Bodies were flying and it was impossible to see them without the fear of losing a tooth or breathing in disgusting air or event someone's gross sweat in your face. That's the sign of a great punk rock show."
Fidlar were just so obviously transformed by their recent touring schedule. They have always exuded a go for broke attitude but they seem to have truly honed their balls out sound. This was evident at the Wavves show at the Echo days earlier as well. Elvis' guitar work is becoming more nuanced (yeah I said nuanced, ha).
Tomorrows Tulips can at times feel like they are at one speed but they continue to pull me into their dreamy web and their performance at Burgerama (in the Constellation Room) was no exception. AND when the hell did Alex Knost start giving off this intense Lou Reed vibe??? (or is that just to me?)- Loved what they were putting out.
Hunx and His Punx always are entertaining. Seth Bogart does tend to follow the same formula at most venues but hell, it works. He always manages to use his razor sharp and nasty wit to make me laugh.
Feeding People always feed my thirst for classic rock based indie eh... I dunno... They are a mixed bag of blendo music that is sooo good. Who could not like Jessie Jones vocal performances. I totally am digging the addition of Tomas Dolas on the keys. At first, I was not sure but his sounds add a crazy carnival on acid feel that really appeals to me. Jessie with her bizarre spectacles and almost cult like white dress was a trip.
PERFORMANCES I AM MOST SAD I MISSED:
Love Audacity and missed their set :(
Super wanted to see The Garden and missed their set :(
Wanted to see Dixie Band, The Spits, Guantanamo Baywatch, Cosmonauts, Shannon and the Clams but missed their sets :(
ABSOLUTE WORST PERFORMANCE:
EH... SORRY, I decided I best keep this to myself but boy does this band suck ass. email me- ha!
To end this rambling post I will just say that Sean and Lee are not only cool dudes but visionaries!!
Check out my Burger Records Burgerama 2 PLAYLIST on Youtube and enjoy! One hour and fifty three minutes and GROWING!