So the world didn't end on Saturday. And from the looks of this kid in the picture, he would have been very disappointed if the Rapture had taken place and he never got his chance to play at the Silver Lake Jubilee in around 18 years. He thought the music selection was pretty good this weekend, as he paraded up and down Myra St. with the rest of the neighborhood, eating lobster balls and drinking O.N.E. coconut water. The adults stayed in the beer corrals and watched as bands wearing beards and sunglasses delivered gentle entertainment. It wasn't an overly exciting time, but it was a good time. Right, kid?
Despite the toughness of the toddlers, the audience was easily pleased. The band selection had people somewhat enthused but mostly confused. This was due in large part to the fact that no one knew who was playing at any particular time. The Jubilee provided a map of the street fair, but most folks had no trouble navigating from one end of Myra St. to the other without any help from a piece of paper. It would have been nice to know the set times. They were posted on one port-a-potty in the middle of the street and behind the Santa Monica stage, where no one but the bands were allowed. Nevertheless, the people walked back and forth all day long without any complaints.
Afterall, you go to one of these things for the people watching. And there were many people to watch in funny outfits displaying peculiar behavior that became normal by being so prevalent.
The Jubilee organizers asked every tastemaker in town for their input on bands. Some of the suggestions were taken. Psychedelic rockers Crystal Antlers are infallible and they swung their hair around triumphantly. The percussion for Mia Doi Todd could be felt halfway down the street and it pulled bodies to her voice like a magnet for flowers. Jail Weddings and Dante VS Zombies each have frontmen that know what a crowd wants is to see them crawl on the ground and point to the sky, their eyeballs rolling up into their heads as the music boils between their lips like hot liquid. The tropical party with a whistle delivered by Rainbow Arabia and the leather clad dancing badasses of We Are The World have been lauded as some of the most innovative acts in town. But we knew about them two years ago. And Black Apples played last year, too …
So what's new to get excited about? Tommy Santee Klaws! The band played early Sunday and the soundman turned to me and said, “This band is incredible.” We know. Howling harmonies, toys, mandolin, cool hair, plus a violin player, goose bumps = sold.
Ghestapo Khazi is a band well-equipped to satisfy the punker who enjoys lyrics with a sense of humor, despite being delivered with a good amount of “fuck you” behind them. Although the Jubilee spreads the genres all over time and space, in the many microcosms of music that existed over the weekend, Khazi might fit with TRMRS and Audacity on one bill together. Rounding out the D.I.Y. scene representation were Peter Pants and Heller Keller, who played in a gay bar and on the street, respectively.
Cobra Lilies provided a lively almost vaudeville folk pajama party experience, with not one but two autoharps. The child onstage singing into an unplugged microphone was adorable. Ximena Sariñana is a star in Mexico and moved to Los Angeles just two months ago. She commanded the audience all by herself with a few effects on her voice that caused butterflies to crawl right in under the skin of her infatuated fans. NeverEver was a surprise, like a garage band invaded by a burlesque dancer who dressed the part but wasn't about to rub herself on a pole for anyone. A fan mentioned that they get crazy on their own turf, but this performance was subdued. Why did they hold back? It seemed many of the bands weren't letting it all hang out. In fact, most behaved rather politely. The Finches wore beards on their faces, and while their music was mellow, the hairy faces were a nice touch.
So this was a big weekend for Silver Lake. The world almost ended but didn't, and the Jubilee went off without a hitch. Are the organizers pleased? What did they want and what is the point of the Jubilee? It's not totally about the music and it's not totally about the food trucks (as it seemed to be last year) or promoting local businesses, or the attempt to keep poetry alive for a handful of people that got sunburned while eating foods fried in ball form. Perhaps the Jubilee hasn't found its groove yet, but it does have a good-looking neighborhood.