Fave bands at Culture Collide

Klaxons still have that live energy and enthusiasm

Culture Collide is an annual weekend festival put on by the good people at Filter Magazine. Held at various L.A. venues, it features bands from all over the world, including the U.S. Attendance at most showcases was light to moderate, so it’s understandable on a certain level if some of the bigger bands maybe didn’t quite bring their “A” game.

If I had to pick one favorite from the festival, it would probably be Klaxons. I caught them at The Troubadour Saturday night rather than at their Echoplex festival appearance. (The Echoplex has a strange layout and isn’t my favorite venue.) Klaxons was a Coachella highlight for me a few years ago, and one has to love this band’s exuberance. New single “Echos” held up in comparison to the leading tracks from their debut album. The other new material didn’t hit me as well, but I look forward to hearing the entire album.

White Lies is another band I was keen to see– a band I’ve been following for a couple of years now. Their set consisted mostly of new tunes from their January, 2011 album; and the band kept it high-quality and low-key. I attended a listening party for this new album on Monday night, and it hurts me to say that the sound was terrible. I felt so sorry for the band members as well as the label people. We were able to determine that the album sounds like a second strong outing for the guys, but I’ll develop a more detailed opinion when I can hear the record under better circumstances.

Jenny & Johnny were off to a great start when I had to leave Sunday night. A large crowd had gathered by the time they hit the stage. Their Troubadour gig rocked earlier in the week and you can read about it in my October 8 post.  I got great reports on the Black Lips and Fran Healy shows, which I missed out onTokyo Police Club was solid but I’ve seen them better. Passion Pit bassist Jeff Apruzzese joined in for TPC’s finale of “Your English Is Good”. Amusement Parks On Fire was besieged by bad sound. Fuzzy guitars are one thing, but that’s about all we could hear. Their hooky melody lines were almost completely buried. Soft electro artists Phantogram didn’t stir the crowd too much, but they have some interesting ideas.  

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