Sunday was an awesome, music-filled day. The weather was just about perfect, not too hot, just right for listening to music outdoors.
Take the Green Line to the Blue Line to the Red Line .....
Grand Performances is a free performing arts series held at California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles. It is a beautiful space at the top of Bunker Hill, a water garden set amid soaring skyscrapers. If you know where the top of Angel's Flight is..that's the place. (Note to city...hurry up and fix Angel's Flight! I almost had a coronary climbing the steps!)
Sunday's performers were The Pinker Tones, one of my latest favorite bands. They are from Barcelona and play the happiest blend of sounds around.
We were treated to a special acoustic set first. Mr. Furia and DJ Nino played guitar, Professor Manso was on a bongo type drum, and there was a fourth guy who played bass. They played the title song of the last album "The Million Color Revolution", Love Tape, Pink Freud (in German, with Professor Manso playing a little "washboard tie" for percussion), L'Hero (in French) and finished off with Rock and Roll Star (originally by The Byrds). This set was pretty interesting in that they seem to be pretty accomplished musicians and singers. It's always hard to tell in electronica bands what are samples and what are original sounds.
After a little break, the three were back (no bass guy) with the electronic set. Wow!
This was high-energy and they were really having fun. In between songs from TMCR they mixed in Kraftwerk, FatBoy Slim, Queen, The Hustle, Beach Boys, Bob Marley to name a few of the songs/artists I know. A small area had been set aside for dancing (a great foresight) and there were plenty of people out there shaking their booties. Quite a few families were there...kids love to dance. There was an elderly black man there wearing a Miles Davis t-shirt who danced the whole set! Just made his own little groove. That was great. On the last song, the guys came into the dancing area and did a little "photo op" which I thought was really cool of them to do.
AUG 2 UPDATE: I snatched these photos from The Pinker Tones newsletter that I just received.
This was my second time to see them. I don't know if it is the venues they are booked at (last time was at JC Fandango in Fullerton) but not that many people show up. First time, maybe 200 people at the night club, and this time maybe 200 again. When you look at pics of their shows in Spain and the rest of Europe, the audiences seem much larger. I wish them more success, cuz they sure put on a fun and entertaining show.
AUG 3 ADDITION:
This little clip is from a review in the LA Weekly...couldn't have said it better myself!
The Pinker Tones at California Plaza
Barcelona’s Pinker Tones are just flat-out unbelievably fucking great. The beat-happy crew, spearheaded by enigmatic pop geniuses Mister Furia and Professor Manso, work an interstellar brand of electro/new wave/funk/Latin/flip-out groove that’s downright irresistible. Put over with lacings of robo-vocoder, mysterioso Devo atmospherics, Furia and the good Professor are also constantly plucking exotic tidbits from a wild spectrum of international influences and coloration that are so deftly assembled and executed that they rate as one of the finest exercises in pop confection currently working in the known universe. The Tones are sharp as hell (check their “Sonido Total,” “Pink Freud”), and it’s painfully difficult to accept the fact that this free 3 p.m. shindig is their only Los Angeles appearance — they oughtta be selling out huge venues, not sweating their asses off for unsuspecting passersby. (Jonny Whiteside)
Red Line to Hollywood and Highland
Hopped the shuttle bus for another evening at The Hollywood Bowl.
The performers were Groove Armada, who I am a fan of, and Cafe Tacuba, a band I had only heard of, but not listened to before.
Groove Armada was up first. I thought the band was just two DJ's, but there was a full-on band...with real instruments! They played a great high-energy set that had everyone dancing in the aisles. The songs I recognized were "I See You Baby" and "Superstylin' ". Gramma Funk was not with them, instead two singers..a male and female that were great. They also have a new album out, so I'm sure they played songs from that.
Next up was Cafe Tacuba from Mexico City. They were all over the map as to style: rock, rap, slow songs. The program mentioned that the band takes inspiration from The Cure and Violent Femmes, which I could agree with. Everything was "En Espanol" so I'm not sure what the songs were about. But, man, they sure do have a solid fan base that sang along with every song.
Back on the bus and a relaxing ride home.