One of the most exciting things about South By Southwest is watching international bands that rarely get to play in the U.S. The downside is slogging all the way to Austin.
Fortunately, you can get that thrill this weekend at the Culture Collide Festival, right here in Echo Park.
Taking place tomorrow, October 6, through Sunday, October 9th, this ambitious fest brings in bands from 24 different countries for four days of first-rate music. Groups that would otherwise never get to play together will share bills.
We're quite certain that this (and a lot of beer) is a recipe for world peace; still, there will be many acts you haven't heard of, and even some you can't pronounce.
But fear not. Below are five international acts you should be sure not to miss.
Country of origin: Israel
Meat and potatoes rock fans -- who like their guitars big and crunchy -- should check out Electra. Hailing from Tel Aviv, these guys fuse rockabilly, punk, and Brit pop, reminding us of the Arctic Monkeys or the Fratellis, in the best possible way.
4. Lindstrøm and Christabelle
Country of origin: Norway
The electro-pop snob who likes music as slinky and sleek as a waxed up sports car should check out Norwegian producer Lindstrøm. His chilly, seductive sound has been labeled "space disco," and after a few bars it's easy to imagine alien life forms grooving to his beats in clubs millions of light years away.
3. The Asteroid Galaxy Tour
Country of origin: Denmark
Fans of infectious pop -- who like tunes as light and bubbly as champagne -- would be wise to check out Danes The Asteroid Galaxy Tour. Best known for their song "Around the Bend," which was featured in an iPod Touch commercial, this horn filled, squeaky pop confection is not a one trick pony. They have the remarkable ability to write an entire set that will stick with you, like caramels wrapped tightly around your molars.
2. Chad VanGaalen
Country of origin: Canada
The sensitive folk lover dressed in plaid will enjoy Calgary's own Chad VanGaalen. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a bright clear voice, this illustrator/visual artist turned musician invites you into the inner depths of his imagination. Nothing is off limits, including pterodactyls, the end of the world, and the strange creatures who live there.
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Country of origin: Brazil
If you just want to get drunk and dance your shoes to shreds, check out São Paulo's own CSS, which stands for Cansei de Ser Sexy (Tired of Being Sexy). Lead by wild child Lovefoxx, this band makes no bones about having a good time. "Alcohol for everyone!" and "Music is my hot sex!" go their choruses. The party begins when CSS arrive, and not before.
There's also a free block party featuring CSS, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and others on Sunday. RSVP here.