Music Tastes Good
Marina Green Park, Long Beach
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Part three of three
The second day of a relaxing weekend filled with good food, art, and a nice variety of music to appeal to a diverse audience. Music Tastes Good Festival was pleasantly situated in Long Beach just belong the waterfront. The concert promoters paid attention to creative details that made this festival fun, but again the stages took full attention overall and there were more fantastic acts to check out.
Some of the acts we caught on day two included;
Big Freedia, Dengue Fever, Hot 8 Brass Band, Los Lobos, Old 97’s, Peaches, Sleater-Kinney, and Tune-Yards
For over 20 years one of the most popular and visible funk-style brass bands in community parades and funerals has been the Hot 8 Brass Band. The Hot 8’s funk style is a blend of influences from the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth, with more elements of contemporary R&B, rap, and its local variation, “bounce.” The uniqueness of their sound is mainly due to a steady stream of creative original songs and ideas composed or introduced by various band members.
Dengue Fever are recognized for their trademark blend of sixties Cambodian pop and psychedelic rock.
“Before it was partly Cambodian and partly indie rock,” explains Williams of the band’s evolution. “Now it’s 100 percent both.”
Although they became one of the most enduring bands in the alternative country-rock catalog, Old 97’s, drew inspiration from a broad range of genres, including the twangy stomp of cowpunk and the melodies of power pop. Formed in 1993 by frontman Rhett Miller and bassist Murray Hammond, the group spent the bulk of the decade posed on the brink of mainstream success, issuing albums that often drew warm reviews but never yielded a substantial hit. Old 97’s tightened their sound as the decade drew to a close, retaining their bar-band vigor while introducing a stronger pop/rock sound on albums like Too Far to Careand Satellite Rides.
Big Freedia, known as the Queen of Bounce, is a New Orleans-based rapper and ambassador of Bounce music. A vibrant twist on hip-hop, Bounce music is characterized by call-and-response lyrics over rapid-fire beats and booty-shaking.
Peaches had spent the past decade pushing buttons and boundaries with a sexually-charged blend of electronic music, hip hop, and punk rock that she delivered via one of the most raw and creative stage shows in popular music. When she first emerged to international attention with ‘The Teaches of Peaches,’ her 2000 debut album, single “Fuck The Pain Away” catapulted her into the spotlight. She followed it up with ‘Fatherfucker,’ which further challenged and reversed issues of gender politics and sexual identity on her 2006 call to revolution, ‘Impeach My Bush,’ and by the time she returned with ‘I Feel Cream’ three years later, The New York Times dubbed her a genuine “electro-clash heroine.”
And that’s what’s in the teaches of Peaches
Back in 2003, when Los Lobos was celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their humble beginnings as a garage band in East L.A., Rolling Stone summed up their distinctive, diverse, freewheeling fusion of rock, blues, soul and Mexican folk music: “This is what happens when five guys create a magical sound, then stick together… to see how far it can take them.”
When Merrill Garbus first committed her tUnE-yArDs persona to tape, she used a simple dictaphone to capture every part and then lovingly pieced it all together on GarageBand. A laborious process partly enforced by tight finances, the resulting album “Bird-Brains” (2009) was a sheer joy. A record so unique, it immediately set hearts racing; The Guardian in their five-star review went as far as to call her “the find of the year.” At the same time, she enlisted Nate Brenner on bass to help her make tUnE-yArDs an unmissable live act. It worked. Word of mouth quickly spread, helping to fill every venue they played and to take the magic of Bird-Brains across the world. With a record deal also in the bag, she was able to now concentrate on being a musician full-time.
Sleater-Kinney came crashing out of the ‘90s Pacific Northwest riot grrrl scene, setting a new bar for punk’s political insight and emotional impact. Hailed as “America’s best rock band” by Greil Marcus in Time Magazine, and as “America’s best punk band ever. EVER” by Rob Sheffield in Rolling Stone, the band put out seven searing albums in 10 years before going on indefinite hiatus in 2006. Almost a decade later, the trio—guitarists/vocalists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein, and drummer Janet Weiss—came back together for 2015’s acclaimed No Cities To Love.
Images by Caren Spitler