Category: Local Music

Part Time Punks' shoegaze fest is a noisy way to end the week

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For L.A. devotees of the mid-'90s, noisy-pretty British rock known as shoegaze, Sunday is the equivalent of Christmas, a birthday and an unexpected inheritance check arriving all at once.

Park Time Punks, the Echo's Sunday night institution that would be called a dance party if the music wasn't so deliciously morose, has corralled some shoegaze staples and some inspired young distortion-slingers for an all-night mini-festival on Sunday. Topping the bill is a curious but welcome live incarnation of Mark Gardener's pioneering Oxford, UK, band Ride, where the local acolytes Sky Parade will back him up for a set celebrating the 20-year anniversary of Ride's "Going Blank Again" album.

The undercard is strong as well -- Sky Parade gets their own set alongside rougher San Francisco peers Weekend, the goth-tinged and very promising locals Tropic of Cancer and a slate of others who draw connections between the guitar-heavy '90s style and an electronics-doused contemporary take. Tickets are $18, and though everything gets underway at the very un-shoegazery hour of 4:30 p.m., you can just close your eyes and pretend you're in some abandoned East End warehouse in the very early days of John Major as prime minister.

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Photo: Mark Gardener, singer-songwriter for the seminal shoegazer group Ride. Credit: Karen Macmillan

-- August Brown

A field guide to this weekend's Make Music Pasadena

Canadian singer and composer Claire Boucher, known as Grimes, performs on stage at Primavera Sound Festival at Forum Park, in Barcelona, on 31 May 2012.

The L.A. area has been glutted with cheap or free neighborhood music festivals in recent years, but this weekend's Make Music Pasadena has to be one of the most successful. Last year's installment drew around 20,000 people to various indoor and outdoor venues all over that city, and this year's is only expected to be even bigger with a lineup of buzzy indie rock, electronica and some notable imports. We'll have a few reviews after the dust is settled on Monday, but in the meantime, here's a quick guide to a few of Saturday's essential sets.

Grimes - 5 p.m., Pasadena District Eclectic Stage

Early L.A. sets by this Canadian beatmaker/manic-pixie-dream-girl were completely sold out for weeks, but some mediocre reviews (those shows consisted of just her wrangling a bank of samplers and keys) tempered the deafening hype. She had a busy SXSW and her album for 4AD, "Visions," remains a creepy, perky and wholly original effort -- maybe this high-profile headline show will prove skeptics wrong after all.

Pageants - 6 p.m., Old Town Pub Stage

Avi Zahner-Isenberg got most of the attention in his indie-shredder outfit Avi Buffalo, but that band's former keyboardist Rebecca Colkeman turned out to be a star in her own right. Her new project Pageants sounds like Best Coast if Bethany Cosentino's cat were to go missing -- i.e., deliciously glum and distant. 

Y La Bamba - 3 p.m., Pasadena District Eclectic Stage

L.A. needs a Portland-based, close-harmonizing folk outfit like it needs a lane closure on the 110 South around 5 p.m. on a Wednesday. But it should welcome Luz Elena Mendoza's outlet for dreamy, eccentric and gently Mexican-influenced songwriting and her devastating soprano.

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