This weekend, while you're engaging in the age-old debate over what you and your friends are going to do on Saturday, why not try something weird? Sure, the term "weird" has a smörgåsbord of different connotations, some of which we don't suggest you explore with friends who may judge you harshly. But at the Party Weirdo Festival, the latest installment of hipster-centric outings sponsored by The Academy boutique store in Long Beach, "weird" takes on a slightly more specific meaning. It seems to revolve around roping it's audience into a full-day of some of OC, Long Beach and LA's craziest aural mavericks.
From tripped-out power pop to electro vixens and roaring psychedelics, Party Weirdo, (raging underground from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Basement Lounge in Long Beach) hopes to give you a taste great, eclectic bands and DJs. But which bands ones on the bill qualify as true weirdos? Whose sounds, looks (maybe even smells) require the most caution as you shuffle toward the stage? We've compiled a short "top five" list (weird to weirdest) out of the 20 bands performing at Saturday's festival, if for no other reason that to warn you that bands that sound crazy awesome can sometimes be uh, just crazy. Check it out after the jump.
#5) Rainbow Arabia
It might be easy for some people to describe eclectic world music as "weird" based solely on the principle that it is inherently different than anything you were brought up hearing state side. But any cultured hipster (okay, you don't have to be a hipster) will tell you that it can be some of the best shit ever recorded.Echo Park's electro duo Rainbow Arabia seem to fall into the "best shit" category. And oddly enough their quirky name seems to directly match their sound. At certain points on "Omar K" and "I know I see I love I go", where their music takes the essence of traditional Arabic music, disco tech sounds, American club-kid culture and sticks it in a proverbial blender.
What comes out is indeed a rainbow of sounds. And while they seem pretty relaxed and mellow as they plug away on their synthesizers and various instruments, their intense ethnic sounds are slow to compute for the average drunk American. But once you latch on to the beats, you're not gonna want to let go.
#4) 60 Watt Kid
Any band that employs "loops and tasers" in their sound is usually considered kind of weird. Luckily being "weird" is hardly a handicap in the world of experimental rock. In that case, 60 Watt Kid take advantage of that fact, and audiences love them for it. Our own Chris Ziegler certainly seems to be a fan (judging by the feature he penned in last week's music section). If that piece alone doesn't illustrate the insanity of a band whose reckless abandon is likely to spill onto their audience at any given show, maybe this video of their live performance will put things a little more clearly. As guitar slaps and throaty wailing ensue, watch closely for a hint at what you can expect out of this band when they get in front of you on Saturday. Here's a hint: it involves a lot of shirltess jiggling.
As far as country-tinged punk rock goes, most of us (those who like it anyway) have our own handful of go-to bands. At some point it might feel like there's little than any band can do to put their own stamp on this hillbilly genre. That's where you'd be wrong. Armed with empty gas cannisters, old car license plates, various plastic doodads and a slide guitar, a duo from Victoria, Texas by the name of Restavrant is turning the genre on it's ear (and screaming bloody murder directly into of it). It's got all the elements of punk: raw, noisy, rude intentions. But you've also got to factor in that they literally spend their entire set banging on trash. It makes traditional punk look like child's play. And to top it off, their saving a lot of money on instrument repair. It's probably easier to replace a broken bucket than an actual bass drum.
#2) Geneva Jacuzzi
Sorry if it seems a little lazy (especially this high up on our list) but this video for the song "Love Caboose" by electro vixen Geneva Jacuzzi pretty much does ALL the talking in regards to her weirdness. We hope she's enjoying her '80s parallel universe.
#1) DJ PUBES
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Even if it seems like L.A.'s DJ Pubes (born Steve Ternoski) deserves to win just by his name alone, you're only partly right. Because besides the hair moniker, Pubes is also a consummate showman both on and off the turntables. It's hard to describe just what kind force of nature we're dealing with here; suffice to say that his eclectic knack for grimy, in-your-face break beats is only a slice of what you get out of a DJ Pubes set. The rest involves a mad mastermind with the wit, humor and delusions of grandeur it takes to film your own imaginary jack ass-esque YouTube show. Viva la Pubes!
Nate Jackson is the gatekeeper to your dreams of local dive bar stardom. If he writes about you, expect your band to be offered at least one more drink ticket than the rest of the bands on the bill. Get his attention with some groovy tunes and he might just do it. Then, boy will you feel special.