While Austin has South by Southwest, Los Angeles has Culture Collide, a transcontinental sonic voyage that brings groups from all the world’s corners to Echo Park for a multi-day, venue-hopping bandstravaganza. More than 60 bands from far-off locales--Poland, Japan, Peru-- show off their sound with the overall vibe leaning toward rock and electro music. Think of it as It’s a Small World without psychosis-inducing music.
For those who want to get the party started early, Taix will host happy hours at 4 and 6 p.m. curated by country. Israeli and Latvian acts show up on Thursday while Dutch and Swedish bands stop by on Friday. Performers will play as representatives from their homelands mingle and compare notes intercontinental rockage.
Headlining acts Dinosaur Jr and Phoenix cancelled the Wednesday night kickoff, but there are scores of great bands visiting our fair city, spread across seven stages across various venues in heart of Echo Park. For a sampler of the almost overwhelming action, here are each day’s must-see acts along with a Spotify playlist of choice cuts from top acts.
Thursday, October 10
No Joy (Canada)
Taix Champagne Room, 10:30 p.m.
Lithe-voiced frontwoman sings over starward-looking dream rock, bolstered by churning guitars and warped synths.
Go If You Like: My Bloody Valentine
Mumiy Troll (Russia)
United Methodist Church, 10 p.m.
Fronted by Vladivostok’s Ilya Lagutenko, the band has a sound that wanders through pop, folk, and Euro-dance, making them one of the biggest rock bands in Russia.
Go If You Like: Superchunk
Ice Age (Denmark)
The Echo, 10 p.m.
Super grimey, smartly constructed hardcore from the much-buzzed, kinda insane band.
Go If You Like: Warsaw, the frenzied Northern English band comprised of musicians that would become Joy Division.
The Men (United States)
The Echo, 9 p.m.
Hi-octane psyche rock from dudes who almost certainly sweat Schlitz
Go If You Like: Iggy Pop and the Stooges
GRMLN (United States)
The Echo, 8 p.m.
Slightly snotty, sorta poppy rock from Santa Cruz
Go If You Like: Wavves
Friday, October 11
Fuck Buttons (United Kingdom)
The Echo, 11:30 p.m.
Tracey sensory overload from the electro duo whose shows often blast light shows alongside pulsating beats
Go If You Like: Burning Man
Bleached (United States)
World Stage, 9:15 p.m.
Upbeat pop rock with 1960’s girl-group vibe
Go If You Like: Best Coast
The Deer Tracks (Sweden)
Taix’s front lounge, midnight
Lush and glitchy orchestral pop with thumping dance beats
Go If You Like: Mum
Saturday, October 12
The Echo, 9:00 p.m.
Pearl-clutching soul from broadcast from the killer pipes this English sensation
Go If You Like: Adele with edge
The Raveonettes (Denmark)
Dark moody rock with tidal waves of fuzz with a Wall of Noise
Go If You Like: TK
Rhye (US, Denmark, Canada)
The Echo park United Methodist Church
Slow jams held up by Michael Milosh’s soaring androgynous vocals.
Go If You Like: Sade
Bobby Gillespie and Andrew Innes of Primal Scream (DJ Set)
Taix, Champagne Room, 12:30 a.m.
Longstanding UK rockers spin records that reflect their wide-ranging sound
Go If You Like: the 1990s
Liars (United States)
World Stage, 9 p.m.
New York City noiseniks who meld forward-lunging rock with piston-pumping dance beats.
Go If You Like: the Swans
King Khan & the Shrines (Germany, Canada)
World Stage, 7:40 p.m.
Psychedelic garage rock from a man wearing short shorts and a Egyptian headdress.
Go If You Like: James Brown on acid