Monthly Archives: August 2009

Sunset Junction 2009 review

For the non-LA people out there, there is a yearly street festival on my block called Sunset Junction, that’s been going on for almost 30 years. It’s supposed to help fundraise for the community, but it’s been a source of drama too – neighbors complaining about the traffic, loss of revenue for local businesses, not being free anymore, and lack of transparency on how money raised is actually spent, etc!

here’s the line up for this year:

I am not too familiar with many of the bands on the various stages for this year. I think they try to mix it up to get a wider array of attendees. I assume they try to get LA based bands to play, as well as big headliners that are usually from out of town. They’ve had bands like Sonic Youth and Blonde Redhead play in the past.

This year the group that stole the show for me was “Arrested Development”, the hip hop group from the early nineties, that headlined Sunday night. I had no idea what to expect, and went to see them as a novelty because I had already seen Built to Spill a few times. AD were soooooooo much fun! This is coming from a girl who knows pretty much nothing about hip hop. This is more a pop blog I know, but I can’t deny how entertaining they were live. One of the best shows I’ve seen, and I would easily go see them again! They had African Dancing, and Speech was sooo smooth. MMmmmm….He still looks good 10 + years later and sounds great too! They have a new album coming out and they sang their old hits like “Tennessee” and “Mr. Wendel”.

I didn’t stay all day saturday, but my roomie and I enjoyed Bugaloo Assassins who are from LA. They combine latin music with Irish punk/ska influences. They were fun. She also said Connor Oberst sounded great and Jenny Lewis was a guest performer.

I also caught Mika Miko who I had been meaning to see for awhile now. On the flier, there was a typo and it said “Mica Miko” – ha. They’re cute and fun, very reminiscent of girl punk groups of the 70s like X-ray Spex, crossed with early 90s riot grrl punk rock. I liked how one of the singers is always rocking mom jeans. It’s hard differentiating between the songs because they sound pretty similar to me, but I had a rockin’ good time. I also like how they have two singers and sound like they are trying to sing like old dudes. Fun, fun, fun!

The Sonics, a cult garage rock band from the 60s, were fabulous and sounded great! I didn’t know they had 3 singers. They looked like dads performing at a free park show, but they were excellent performers and so fun. Very rock n’ roll! Everyone was having a good time. They played their old hits like “Have Love, Will Travel”, “Psycho”, “Strychnine”, and “The Witch”. Definitely worth seeing, and I’m glad they’re still out playing and sounding excellent!

This year was definitely memorable and fun!

Double-Dutch! & Malcolm McLaren

I’ve had jumprope on the brain since I took this jumprope/ weight training class at the gym. I remember jumproping a lot as a kid and loving it. This class really made me want to learn how to double dutch because: a) it’s rad b) it’s good for you c) I like how it’s a part of early hip hop culture.

I also wanted to learn about the history, so I did a little researching online about it. Long story short, various ancient people had their own version of jump rope, and the Dutch brought it over during the 1600s to New Amsterdam (now New York) and the Brits dubbed it “double-dutch”. It became big in the inner cities, especially for young black girls. It’s now been made a varsity sport in some NYC high schools. Here’s a great NY Times article about double dutch in schools.

The NY Times video about Brooklyn’s“Jazzy Jumpers”, a kid double dutch team, is pretty heart warming and great. Check it out!

It’s also interesting how international double dutch has become. At the Double Dutch Holiday Classic competition, the Japanese team seems to win consistently, and features double dutch teams from around the world.

I was also trying to see if there were some double dutch groups in LA. The only one I found,”The Jump Squad” has been around for two years, but doesn’t seem to meet quite consistently. I plan on checking out the next meeting though. It’s in Culver City, which is on the other side of town for me. I’m perplexed as to why Silverlake/Echo Park/Downtown doesn’t have something like this going on. C’mon, hipsters in LA should be all about double dutch!

Here’s a meet up link for the Jump Squadandtheir myspace for Angelinos interested in getting their jump on.

Although double dutch isn’t big in LA, I’m glad it has a following in San Francisco. Here’s a video of an SF double dutch group.

I also found this Malcolm McLaren video when I was looking for double dutch vids. Malcolm McLaren is probably best known for managing the Sex Pistols and being part of the 70s punk scene in London. Thus, this song and video came totally as a surprise. I expected a black dude to be singing, and the white Malcolm McLaren presence in the video threw me off because I wasn’t thinking that it was the same guy. This song was a fairly big hit for him, and I had no idea he was even a solo artist. Enjoy!

August = Meteor Month

I had no idea that August was known as “the meteor month” and I am always glad to be learning new things. The Perseid Meteor Shower is going on and I guess the experts say that the best time to watch this in North America is on Wednesday between midnight and predawn hours. This is going to be my fun, free summer adventure tonight!

Here are 10 facts about the Perseid Meteors

I also love how Griffith Observatory here in LA has a weekly sky observing report. Sweet!

I love the Go-Betweens & Youtube!

Oh, how life has changed so dramatically – within the past 5 years even! Technology continues to press on, while of course I’m always behind at least by two years on everything. As much as technology changes the way we live life and we reminisce on how things were so much better in “the good ol’ days”, – I must admit that I freakin’ adore youtube.

Youtube is just one of those gifts that keep on giving – like Wikipedia. I learn oh so much from these two websites. What I really enjoy about Youtube is finding these old music videos I would probably never would have found on my own (unless you spent a bit of money hunting old videos down). Anyways, thank you to all the wonderful people who put up these hard to find videos. You rock!

I found some Go-Betweens videos on Youtube and felt I needed to share them. There’s definitely a special place in my heart for the Go-Betweens and of course I am STILL kicking myself for not seeing them when they came to Los Angeles a few years back. I’ve completely missed my chance with Grant McLennan sadly passing away.They are sooooo special – perfectly crafted pop songs with real wistful sentiment and charm.

I had never seen any Go-Between videos before Youtube. What gems! Look at Robert Forrester with his lipstick! Look how cute Grant is in his little rockabilly rock n’ roll outfit circa 16 Lovers Lane! Look how hot Lindy is drumming! I also plan on including them in a secret way in the next issue of my zine. Keep an eye out!

“Spring Rain”

“Was There Anything I Could Do?”