A solid three years into the game, COOL TITE bring it fresher and bigger than ever. Crystal, Mat, and Sergio are all about keeping it D.I.Y. and Janky Smooth wants to acknowledge and participate in how local music blogs in LA, like CT, contribute to and enrich the community, stay connected to share what music we’re all digging at the moment and to tell music fans more about when the music from that band you love is set to be played at a show, at your favorite venue nearby, or when they are releasing new music. Without confirming with COOL TITE directly that they feel the same way, I know the people at Janky Smooth feel like they are an extension of the sounds emitting from the city and collaborators of sorts that prop up the scene and some of the bands in it.
When I use the word “collaborate” it’s not to insinuate that the BEST blogs work in conjunction with bands as a promotional arm- no. Leave that to Pitchfork or COS.
The collaboration is to relay the straight dope, raw dog like a conversation with your friends when a band you have loved have just put out their most impressive piece of work or when a band falls short of what you expect from them and you take it just a bit too hard- when your disappointment effects you a bit deeper than it probably should and you’re committed to broadcasting a subjective opinion that could cause resentment in a community that you kick it in- that is integrity and THAT is what people don’t understand when they say something trendy like, “these writers and publications sacrifice nothing to give their opinions on a REAL artist that bares their soul, while these bloggers sit in a room, thinking they are clever and cute when they tear it all down.”
I personally want to take this opportunity to publicly thank the L.A. blogs like Cool Tite and Janky Smooth for allowing me, not only to participate and collaborate along with them but to hone and improve my craft by shooting the bands that inspire me. It’s they that allow me to do that.
This time around, the CT gang brought their booking to the HI-Hat in Highland Park with a rad line up featuring potent feels from Cigarette Bums, Pinky Pinky, and Prettiest Eyes. Those that showed up for a wild line up for ONLY $5 were in for a treat.
Cool Tite set up band merch right at the door to remind you on your way in and out to support and share the love with the artists but they set up their shirts/merch between the sound board and bar, almost tucked away in a corner, making a statement that during the daylight hours, come, LOOK AT US and Visit our pages. But when the sun goes down or the festival gates open, it’s not about them, at all, anytime an artist is live, doing their thang live on stage- unless they booked them, of course.
Cigarette Bums are- spastic punk riff frenzies and drum beats to keep you bobbing your head and talking about sleazy hangouts when you’re feeling like soaking in your grime from the night before. Steven Carrera, lead singer, has a cheeky sense of humor that shines through in his song writing and no doubt is a result from working at Amoeba. Carrera is a rich resource for all things local music, going to shows and supporting the community.
Pinky Pinky are a nouveau debut three piece that prove they are music nerds that seemingly set out to squeeze the most out of their instruments. Their live set has touches of Le Butcherettes attitude and Cream appeal. Emitting saturated guitar tones with bass thumps that attach to the downbeat of the drums and pull you into their world of teenage dread. Bratty vocals from Anastasia Sanchez bring fresh energy to that heat seeking warmth of youth culture, out for push/pull honey trouble on a summer day on Sunset Blvd.
Prettiest Eyes are gaining momentum and recognition while their music is becoming a trademark staple in the Los Angeles music community. They seem to be drawing in bigger crowds that want to lose their minds to their sound- like they did the last time they were in the house in a chance encounter when Prettiest Eyes played a gig. “Psychedelic punch” as described by their website, their music gives you a taste of that “whack over the head” when Pachy starts up on that post punk drum beat. Marco keeps the “no fucks given” energy going, swinging his bass and specifically not giving a fuck if it hits you in the face while exuding an alpha-like stage presence. Paco’s keyboard work is just as wild as he hammers down on the keys with an untamed and frenetic energy.
On one hand, there was nothing unique or “special” about this show. But that’s only because having an exceptional lineup of wonderfully fun and competent bands is a nightly occurrence in Los Angeles. Any night of the week you can find small shows, big shows, tour stops, record release parties, residencies, rock and roll riots and weekly club nights with both high profile and unknown bands and DJ’s playing any kind of music you’d want to hear, dance or drink to at any time- all the time. What time to be alive.
Photos: Grace Suzette Dunn