September 20, 2014
It was a taxing summer concert season. At L.A.'s biggest festivals there were long waits to get in, big police presences, arrests, and deaths.
But Bedrocktoberfest, held at Echo Park rehearsal and recording space Bedrock LA, had none of that. Now in its second year, it's something like FYF was in the past: manageable, inexpensive, and full of great up-and-comers.
There were trendy bands that you've heard of but maybe never seen (Cherry Glazerr, Deap Vally), ironic-but-still-entertaining performers (Flula, Black Sabbitch), and a reunion show — Head Wound City.
There was also magic, featuring Eric Buss, who showed off his gadget-driven comedy magic, Rob Zabrecky, who was voted "Stage Magician of the Year" at the Magic Castle in 2011 and 2012, and Arthur Trace, who has in his cabinet an International Brotherhood of Magicians Gold Medal, which is actually a big deal.
But back to the music. With a line-up curated by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs — who is apparently very into girl bands that kick ass — Bedrocktoberfest was legit.
Sean Redman of Cherry Glazerr said that Zinner sent the band a casual email that went something along the lines of: "Hey, it's Nick from the YYY's, big fan of the band, Karen too. I'm putting together a show and want you guys to be a part of it."
Cherry Glazerr, still jet lagged from hanging out in Paris for fashion week after being commissioned to write "Had Ten Dollaz" for the Saint Laurent runway show, are gearing up for their upcoming national tour (and fighting senioritis, as frontwoman Clem Creevy and drummer Hannah Uribe recently entered the 12th grade).
They were followed by Deap Vally, who have been busy touring the US, Europe, and Mexico. With hot pink hair behind a killer drum kit, super heavy guitar and sexy, soulful shrieking that was somewhere in between Robert Plant and Bruce Dickenson, Deap Vally blew through their set like a bulldozer.
The main draw of Bedrocktoberfest was the reunion of Head Wound City. The supergroup is comprised of Justin Pearson and and Gabe Serbian of grindcore group The Locust, Jordan Billie and Cody Votolato of the recently reunited Blood Brothers, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner. They took the stage for their second performance since 2005, but it wasn't what many were anticipating.
"This isn't Cupertino," said a woman we shared a table with. "This isn't the right kind of band for a bunch of hipsters from Echo Park."
Their 15 minute set, which included 2 new songs, seemed to go over the heads of much of the crowd. Indeed, noisegrind is not the most accessible genre, and the screaming vocals that defines The Blood Brothers is not everyone's cup of tea. Still, for those who could dig it, it was an awesome show.
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Flula Borg, the Erlangen, Germany Youtube sensation, hype man, and techno DJ, took the stage and rapped about looking sexy in the mirror and performed a spontaneous song about elephants. It was pretty silly, but still fun.
Finally Black Sabbitch took the stage and pretty much melted everyones' faces. The all-female Black Sabbath tribute were not only talented — nailing every note of the legendary group's familiar repertoire — but were captivating to an almost distracting level. Looking up at them from the crowd (which had erupted into a mosh pit, the first of the day) I couldn't help but wonder what these women's stories were. They emanated the effortless cool of rock and roll, but with about 10 extra ounces of sexy confidence that made me want to pick up my bass and start my own heavy metal tribute band with my girlfriends.