Hawnay Troof, Panther Top Lo-Fi, Hi-Energy Fest @ The Smell (11/06)
Very occasionally, what should have been yet another multi-band bill turns into something much bigger than the sum of its parts. On Friday, The Smell witnessed what might have been the shortest, most satisfying mini-festival in recent memory. Though not billed as a music festival at all, the combination of Hawnay Troof, Snowsuit, The Urxed and Dave Scott Stone packed all the punch of a well-curated event.
(Mysterious Hawnay Troof transmission below. Read the rest of our "Smell-fest" review after the jump.)
The five-act bill started with the great Dave Scott Stone (note to the organizers: many might have missed due to the show's aggressively early start time), then rolled into The Urxed, the solo side project of High Places' Rob Barber's solo side project. Percussion-based (dare one say "trance") The Urxed provided a sample phantasm that more than slightly alluded to heavy, darker parts of High Places--the points when the music reaches almost deafening levels and becomes a convoluted tunnel of off-beat cuts and drum saturated loops.
Next was Snowsuit, perhaps the night's most unexpected treat. A screamo one-man-act of such outright commitment and fervor that all watching were silent in their shared admiration. Just as the crowd had warmed itself to the spastic outbursts and flash stage-diving, Snowsuit threw the mic down and walked off, leading smoothly into the main event.
Hawnay Troof's act is a spoken word, loose-rap, dance/rock, small-stage-as-stadium masterpiece of self-confidence. The man otherwise known as XBXRX's Vice Cooler has no qualms interrupting an irresistible hand-clapping extravaganza to share with the audience the story of a friend who helped him find his confidence and voice and how she recently was murdered in a hate crime. The confession ended with him noting that art and music, in essence, are almost secondary to the act of community. He then launched into a brief cover of Laurie Anderson's anti-government anti misogynistic piece O Superman.
It was a tough act to follow, but somehow Panther managed to get up and pull together an ecstatic shot of energy that brought the entire thing to a neat cozy two-hour experience. The Smell, as usual, gets it right.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.