Litronix, Ghostporn, Thee Commons And Rudy De Anda At The Echo, Monday December 29th 2014
During my Monday-haunting-clubs, I often stumbled on bands that are out of the ordinary, while reflecting a very important part of the city where I live: More than 60% of Latinos live in Los Angeles, there are tons of little ethnic communities and everyone here is at the crossroads of so many different influences. The bands who played on Monday night at the Echo were the perfect example for this, bringing a myriad of influences lived through music. I had never heard of any of them, but the night, organized by L.A. RECORD, Porch Party Records, Qvolé Collective, Freak Style Booking brought a good part of this LA diversity.
Litronix was a one-man band, standing behind electronics and guitar, and giving an unique number, part theatrical, part experimental, with throbbing electronics layered to guitar, story telling and shouted anger. With his silver tie, he looked like a man of the future giving the most mechanical and expressive performance, engaging the crowd with his vibrant soundscapes, loops in repeat, screams and violent electro stabs or swirls, inventing a new sound system, intense and cathartic, like a car chase in the street and a fight with a gun. Litronix is about to release an album ‘Pump the Gas’ produced by Avi Buffalo’s Avi Zahner.
Ghostporn (what a name!) was next on stage and they had probably revealed a lot with their moniker as they were both mysterious and dangerous, vulnerable and sexy. Fronted by the very expressive Anastasia Trevino, they started with stripped down guitar, rare drumming and weird lonely and ethereal vocals, which may have been more Nico than Karen O, but she had some of her stage dance antics. Suddenly they were strangely loud, hard hitting but still moving slowly, staying in a sort of dream stage, then went super fast for a few seconds. Their melodies were really hard to get at the first listening but they were sure wandering into some strange and original territories even habited by old waltz.
Thee Commons define their music as Psychedelic Kumbia Punk, and it sums up things quite beautifully as the Cumbia rhythms (so much more badass with a K) were present on most of their songs. But there was so much more around all this joyous music, some old rock & roll — and I am talking old school rock, think for example Chuck Berry as the singer/guitarist had some of his moves and exuberance. They held their guitars like hard rock stars and the overall brew was a mix of surf-60s rock beats, with a heavy Latino flavor in the lyrics,… well, they sang in Spanish of course. People knew all their moves, knew they could turn a nervous bass line into a cumbia dance party, and of course there was the expected song going overboard, a truly punk Mexican number that made the crowd go crazy.
Rudy De Anda was closing the night and he was another sophisticated number. Rudy is part of the Long Beach psych-prog group Wild Pack of Canaries, but he is currently recording his own songs, although he said he had no merchandize to sell,… yet. Back up by a bass and a drum, he was holding his guitar very high as John Dwyer does, and the result was quite surprising and puzzling, despite some occasional very catchy melodies (‘Tu Esquina’). They were playing a sort of foot-tapping garage pop rock with moody changes, bringing confusion and distortion but staying playful and joyful. However the music was very hard to describe, and the influences probably all over the place, as unconventional as Ariel Pink is eccentric… Not sure why Pink came in my mind at this instant because the music was quite different, but it was bipolar enough, and yes, eclectic.