Jubilee Music and Arts Festival
6/7/13 & 6/8/13
This year the Jubilee festival departed Silver Lake and set up camp under the 6th Street bridge in the arts district. The new digs gave welcome respite from the previous bottleneck at Sunset Junction and offered beautiful views of Downtown's smog-infused sunset skyline. A collection of outdoor and indoor stages built into scrap-metal warehouses set an austere yet comforting scene; it looked like a wasteland but, you know, with good beer.
Unfortunately, the attendance was not up to par especially on Friday; bands griped about early Friday set times, worried people wouldn't be able to get off work. Angelenos have never had the great passion for the this event as they had for, say, FYF, and even with this year's lineup heavy on L.A. acts, it felt a bit barren. Still, there were plenty of great moments. Here are our highlights:
Over the last couple years, Pangea have become an indispensable part of the L.A. garage-rock scene. Sure they have the booze-drenched antics and don't-give-a-fuck attitude down, but there's also a serious songwriting here. They recently signed to Capitol's newly relaunched Harvest imprint, joining the ranks of titans like Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, and Iron Maiden.
On the outdoor stage, Pangea mixed in a fair amount of new material in with familiar songs like “Night of the Living Dummy”. The new songs have a more old-school straight up rock n' roll feel to them — they would be right at home on a '60s variety show. Single Badillac has a rollicking harmonica lick running through it. Towards the end of their set, they played “Too Drunk to Cum,” which singer William Keegan insisted didn't have any deeper meaning.
Per usual, Black Lips brought the ruckus. Although their set was under-attended for a headlining spot, the Atlantans showed everyone why they're banned from India. Cole kept his pants on but a mosh pit erupted and everyone TP'ed the stage.
The Black Lips have a pretty extensive catalog to draw from: “Family Tree,” “Modern Art,” “Veni Vedi Veci” were all played. But they also performed some new tracks, which must be going towards the follow up to 2011's Arabia Mountain. They ended with their hit “Bad Kids,” after which Jared Swilley smashed his bass into pieces and threw it into the crowd. One lucky guy (a lifeguard from Redondo Becach, pictured above) caught it and, being a diehard Black Lips fan, plans to frame it.
These young rockers feature frontwoman Chloe Chaidez who, though only 17, seems to be channeling the ghost of Janis Joplin, with a wild mane of frizzy hair and a commanding stage presence. At Jubilee she climbed amps, turned her back on the crowd, and swung the mike above her head, reminiscent of Karen O's Coachella shenanigans. Make no mistake, Chaidez isn't yet at the level of the two performers just mentioned (how could she be, she can't even, like, go to war yet) but it's just nice to see someone laying it all out there.
At Riff Raff's show, there were beach balls and platinum blondes in neon bikinis and plenty of ice. Said Riff Raff himself: “We thought we was gonna be outside but it's too summery, so we had to bring the blizzard indoors.” (Or something to that effect.) After motoring through songs like “Marc Jacobs, “Jody Highroller brought out the crew from Far East Movement to do their collab “The Illest,” who brought tons of spastic energy.
A couple of quibbles: Riff Raff's set was at least ten minutes shorter than its scheduled hour and his backup dancers looked listless. For someone who brags about inspiring the adulation of the finer sex, Riff Raff didn't even seem to have these booties golf clapping.
The Face Painting Girl
Throughout the entirety of Jubilee, the girl pictured above was going around giving free face-painting. She made a palette of her hand and transfored ordinary citizens into tigers, kittens, and Aladdin Sanes. “It's always free,” she said, beaming while putting the finishing touches on this guy's forehead.