Saturday show preview: Beach Dazed with RJD2, Voxtrot, Busdriver and ice cream
When you’re a little kid, your unspoken desire is to grow up and attend events as cool as Beach Dazed, an all-day “celebration of Los Angeles' music and arts community,” to be held Saturday at Out of Asia.
Sure, the idea of a celebration strictly for celebration’s sake might seem slightly self-indulgent, but not when you book RJD2, Voxtrot and Busdriver as headlining acts -- especially when you combine them with free ice cream, Korean BBQ from CalbiBBQ, slip 'n’ slides, water-balloon fights, a pool slide, arts and crafts and uh, KY Wrestling.
Presented by bicoastal music and arts collective FMLY and The Tape, the event boasts two stages of music going from 2 p.m. until well into the evening, including Ke$ha and DJ Skeet Skeet, Best Coast, [Post-foetus], Alligators, DJDT, Haim, Pizza!, Railcars, Evan Voytas, Your Majesty and Philip Seymour Hoffman -- the band, not the Academy-Award winning star of “Capote."
With tickets available for $30 online and $40 at the door, those looking to cut costs would be well served to buy them in advance, save for college students who are eligible for discounted $20 tickets at the door. Rumor has it that a certain Oscar-winning rap trio might make a guest appearance too. Oh, and did I mention that there will be free ice cream?
Here are the can't-miss acts.
When you’re born with the name Ramble John, your future career options are exiguous, boiling down to professional musician or carnie. Luckily, Ramble John Krohn mastered DJ turntablism, amassed dozens of crates full of hallucinatory source material, and became RJD2. Debuting with sample classic “Dead Ringer,” the Columbus, Ohio-raised artist evolved considerably on album No. 2, issuing the electro-leaning but still elegiac, “Since We Last Spoke.”
On his last record, 2007's "The Third Hand," the now-Philadelphia-based DJ deity became an entirely different animal altogether, ditching Def Jux for XL, and hip-hop for bedroom indie dance-pop. Reviews were mixed, but his stage show never fails to dazzle, particularly when he’s terrorizing up to four Technic turntables simultaneously.
Coming out of the gate with a pair of classic EPs, 2005’s “Raised by Wolves,” and 2006’s “Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, & Wives,” few buzz bands that emerged from the hyperbolic mid-decade blog bubble evinced more potential than Austin-based Voxtrot. Boasting salient Belle & Sebastian, Smiths and Sarah Records influences, front-man Ramesh Srinastava’s lyrics displayed a winning combination of flippancy and fragility. Unfortunately, their diffuse but still-decent debut on Beggar’s seemed to halt their forward momentum when audiences met it with a more muted response.
In March, Voxtrot returned from a hiatus with the electro-skewing single, “Trepanation Party,” promises of an upcoming full-length, and the news that guitarist Jared Van Fleet has left the band. Expect to hear new material and cross your fingers that it delivers on the band’s awesome promise.
Over the last decade, the enigmatic, motor-mouthed rapper born Regan Farquhar, has steadily built his fan base beyond his Project Blowed roots into a role as the token indie rap darling of every Eastsider with a flannel shirt and a bushy beard. His eighth studio album, “Jhelli Beam,” is evidence why, full of Busdriver’s turbid tangents about everything from politics to the failings of conscious rap to white suburban kids who swig soy milk and worship Soulja Boy. On stage, he’s one of Los Angeles’ most gifted and singular talents, rapping at speeds that radar can’t catch, and somehow navigating seemingly un-rappable beats with aplomb.
Photo: Busdriver. Credit: Brian Tamborello