The Echoplex turned a few away at the door last Friday (cue flashbacks). That happens when you put five bands of the moment on one bill. I didn't stick around to see YACHT headline, but the preceding hours were well spent. My mind was lost in thought at times (this post could've turned into a discussion on 'the live translation of chillwave', which didn't really sound fun, so we'll let the pubs do that) while at others, lost in pleasant energy. Onward.
It's always wild to see Pictureplane come through LA; musically stimulating as it should be, and also this personal case study in the progressive cycle of things (read: I get really happy for him). Initially shawled and masked, Travis took the stage at 8:30 with an air that felt more like 1am. He didn't just 'open' for the early-goers, he dared them to dance. Most responded in the usual places ("Time Teens", "Boys in Blush", "Trance Doll"). There was a new standout, and for now we'll call it the one that repeats something like "would you be my boy if I was your girl" and samples something like Billy Ocean. UPDATE: it's "Trancegengender" with a vocal sample from The S.O.S Band. No footage of the jam surfaced, but "Goth Star" did:
LA's Bobby Birdman followed. Sorta catchy, sorta campy, sorta went and got a drink. Then came Small Black. No stranger to S&S love, these guys had my expectations high. Probably too high given how young they are, and how perfectly distorted their EP is. Still, they hit a stride towards the end with "Lady in the Wire" and "Despicable Dogs". Next was Washed Out, where my own 'live chillwave' mental commentary continued. He broke into it alone, which bordered on karaoke, but then invited Small Black as a backing band and gave proper treatment to Life of Leisure. This move officially marked a whole that was greater than the sum of its parts (so, they're buddies, they remix each other, they tour together...a future collaboration makes sense here). Pictureplane joined the fun on "Feel It All Around", and we were reminded that songs like these are not for analysis, but rather, good times.