The first Silverlake Jubilee succeeded in bringing out the area's finest and strangest. There must have been one dog for every three people, permeating the event with cuteness and providing nature's best clean-up crew. Not one scrap from the 40 taco trucks at the event remained after two days of noshing and beer-drinking. People paraded between two stages, discovering how many ways a band can pop or rock without revealing any underwear.
The music selection had an overall wholesome vibe, so the freakiness rested on attendees' shoulders.
Everyone loves a souvenir, and fake mustaches were on sale for $1. Girls, babies and men with beards of their own donned these little Chaplin ornaments and sipped drinks from coconuts. Meanwhile, children finger-painted on people, poetry was read in the corner by the peanut stand, baby plants and feather earrings were sold and every kind of taco imaginable got washed down with beer. The beer gardens were cleverly situated next to the stages. People drank until the kegs went dry, then simply meandered to the other side of the festival until that beer was gone. Then they went to nearby El Cid, and engaged in drunken summaries of the day's festivities.
Unlike Coachella or Sunset Junction, the Silverlake Jubilee's vibe was more laid back, less haughty and cluttered, and even without a schedule there were much fewer ways to get lost on one-way streets. Most importantly, it cost a mere $5 donation to attend, which made everyone less frantic about getting their money's worth. The music featured some truly up-and-coming local bands, as well as some acts that have been “emerging” for so long they've got veteran status.
The Entrance Band had the largest audience on Saturday night. As Paz leaned back on her high heels and Guy wailed into “Grim Reaper Blues,” the cold wind blew everyone's hair around epically. Eastern Conference Champions emerged triumphantly on many drums at El Cid after a good long while not causing a stir in town.
Mississippi Man rocked flannels and harmonies for an excited crowd that probably saw them play last week, and the week before, and the week before that without complaint. While Foreign Born and Voxhaul Broadcast are appropriately recognized as headliners of the “emerging for the last three years” camp, it was the young bands that really made the festival.
Moses Campbell just might have the chops to follow Avi Buffalo's legacy as a high school band that formidably rocks. Management made them do three encores. Halloween Swim Team and Big Whup kicked things off early on Saturday, getting political with synths and unicorns, respectively. My Pet Saddle drew attention playing a unique garage pop that caused a yearning to match them on a bill with The Strange Boys.
Social Studies came from San Francisco, the only band not living in our ZIP code to play the Jubilee, and they were so smooth they should have been singing in French. Country folkster Amanda Jo Williams had a 72-year-old grandma on percussion (last time we saw her, she had an 8-year-old breakdancing) to the delight of a hooting audience.
It was also good to see some familiar bands stepping up their games. Spirit Vine seems closer to finding its groove. Weave doused El Cid with high panty line post punk funk, the danciest of the bands this weekend. The Allah Lahs explored the miraculous power behind a maraca, and The Black Apples know the force and amusement attainable from double drummers. 60 Watt Kid played the same time slot as buzz band The Like, and the audience, mostly unfamiliar with the band, seemed completely enthralled by Kevin Litrow's performance and with Dylan Woods, who was wearing a tambourine on his foot and flaunting post-rock drumming skills.
Surrounded by friends and new drunk fans, fresh blood So Many Wizards closed things down at El Cid Sunday night on a pogo experimental garage note. The DIY scene had a strong presence here at the Jubilee, almost a sneaky one.