For a weekend of globally diverse music selections, the anchoring leg of FILTER MAGAZINE‘s 3rd annual Culture Collide Festival seemed ironically and unquestionably American. The block party took place in the heart of Echo Park where hipster families sat in their yards mere feet away from the action.
Receiving the email confirmation for this free event was more like getting directions to an unfixed location. There was no exact address or venue to look for, but rather directions that stated, “Reservoir Street (between Sunset Blvd and Alvarado Street.)” But this is exactly what a block party should be!
There was something perfectly homegrown about this entire event that made it feel less like a concert and more like a family get-together. It was set between two neighborhood streets where curious children sat overlooking the banisters of their homes to get a better glimpse of the festivities happening in their backyards. And there was no shortage of sounds or sights for any curious onlooker.
Around sunset our favorite tropical troupe, Poolside, took the stage to play a time slot that seems to have been engineered just for the group’s sultry grooves. Having made the transition from DJ sets to live sets this past year, they seem to be improving with every performance. They played all the crowd favorites including, “Do You Believe” and a lovingly prolonged synth version of “Harvest Moon.”
It is a guarantee that wherever Of Montreal performs it will be accompanied by fantastically obscure production. Lead singer and visionary Kevin Barnes’ sexually ambiguous lyrics seem almost normal set alongside performers costumed in sequins, silk and fake-plush titties. Yet despite Of Montreal’s eye-catching and promiscuous performance, my favorite set for the evening was by Swedish electro-pop duo, Niki and the Dove.
It must have something to do with the fact that most Scandinavian countries seem to spend their time indoors – on account of the frigid weather – and have nothing better to do than produce music. Whatever the case may be, there is no denying that the Viking homelands are outputting some awesome music at that. This is made all the more apparent in the strangely euphoric tunes of Niki and the Dove. Malin Dahlström’s lyrics are metaphorically enigmatic, and yet, they seem to reflect the uncertainty of life decisions. These vignettes placed on top of pop-infused tunes create the contradictory sound of Niki and the Dove. The two delivered an energetic set that proved memorable even amongst multiple stellar performances.
By: Shea Kopp
All photos via FILTER Magazine (view full gallery)