On Saturday, June 22nd, a little bit of magic touched down in Venice as the first ever Venice Music Crawl (VMC) took place. The event, which featured 60+ artists in a handful of venues ranging from burlesque bars to art galleries, drew in approximately 4,000 people total and kept pumping bass way into the night. Meanwhile, a stretch of Lincoln Blvd that is typically the opposite of photogenic and festive–filled with Bridgestone tire signs and stop-and-go-traffic–was transformed into a music lover’s Valhalla, immersed with color, sound, and energy.
VMC is a brand-new concept, started by Ben Adamson – who co-founded DANCEiSM and worked for HardFest, and Mark Rojas – who founded Venice Art Crawl and the Venice UI/UX Design Firm Sparkwave. “We see Lincoln Blvd as a fertile place for developing a music scene. Many of the spaces are closed, it doesn’t have foot traffic and is commercially zoned. Rose, Abbott Kinney, and Venice Blvd have all been developed in the area and Lincoln looks like the next logical step,” said Adamson. If last week’s turn-out is any indication, Adamson and Rojas are on to something. Adamson said post-event, “It was a beautiful thing to see the seeds of a music scene developing. Everyone was open-minded, free-flowing and totally immersed in the music. There are few organizations that put together multi-venue events in the world and I can’t believe we pulled this off!”
We’re stoked to watch and help VMC continue to grow. You can find out more on VMC’s website, Facebook, or via the App. In the meantime, below are a few key acts we caught at Venice Music Crawl that we bid you to keep an eye on:
The three-piece rock outfit brought reverb-soaked punked-out rock to Deus Ex Machina, the uber-cool bike shop, coffee house, which served up burgers and an elite set of up-and-coming indie music, hosted by All Scene Eye. The band have just wrapped up their residency at Silverlake Lounge and will be releasing their EP online this week. Stay tuned on their Facebook.
(Credit: Steffalo’s instagram)
Steffalo, otherwise known as Steph Thompson, crafts sun-drenched ballads, in which her dreamy, wafting vocals draping over simple, acoustic guitar or blissed-out electronic jams. She had the crowd at Witzend jumping up and down and singing aloud. Feel free to mellow out to her cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.”
Midnight Therapy: Midnight Therapy is the collective collaboration of Jake from Beat Mass (LA/Madrid), Crash Landon (LA), & Max Jack (LA/SF), who “focus on taking you straight to Ibiza, Los Angeles with the funkiest tech house and underground sounds that catch breeze from the Pacific,” at least according to their Facbook. After turning up the volume at the gallery and arts education center Venice Arts, they are getting groovy this Sunday at Grand Park, as part of the free Grand Park Sunday Sessions in downtown, if you are around. Info here.
Fox Hollow (above): These cuties were one of the early opener bands at Deus Ex Machina. They’re cute and sweet and… kind of awkward? Like a younger cousin to Vampire Weekend, who listens to the Beatles a lot. They’re so new they don’t have any music up (that we could find) but feel free to like ’em on Facebook.
The Get Down Boys (below): The Get Down Boys prove that “Los Angeles Americana-Blue Grass” is not an oxymoron. We first saw these guys at Villain’s Tavern downtown, where they caused us to dance our pants off. Saturday, they packed Witzend to the brim and got everyone humming and grinning to their banjo-strumming and sweet harmonies.
Caught A Ghost: These guys make the type of neo-soul with mo-town flair that would be perfect for the next Bond flick…you know, when Bond is driving away in a Lamborghini Diablo in Capri, with a chick on his arm? If you dig Fitz And The Tantrums or Mayer Hawthorne, you’ll adore these folks. Fronted by Jesse Nolan, Stephen Edelstein on drums, and vocals and percussion from babe Tessa Thompson, “Caught A Ghost” provides the perfect grooves to accompany the weekend. Enjoy.
(Photos and words: Faith-Ann Young)