“By locals, for locals” remains the byword for the 19th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival, which will take over a stretch of Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock with music, visual artists, food and crafts vendors Saturday afternoon and evening. Once again produced by the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock in tandem with Councilmember Jose Huizar and Council District 14, the family-friendly festival at its heart celebrates community — not just Northeast LA’s diverse and deep network of artists and musicians, but also its residential neighborhoods and businesses.
A pair of legitimate marquee acts, Vintage Trouble and Cut Chemist, top the dynamic lineup — a sonic cornucopia of R&B, funk, Afrobeat, Latin rock, indie and old-school rock, reggae, ska, cumbia, hip-hop, Americana, soul, jazz, pop, punk, folk, electronic music, and myriad permutations fusing elements of all of the above. Curated from hundreds of submissions, it’s a solid representation of NELA’s creative community. These artists in particular are not to be missed:
Vintage Trouble (vintagetrouble.com): This LA foursome made their bones as a live act, and with their hard Stonesy crunch and sartorial flash, they deliver the kind of electric performances that make concert going memorable. Frontman Ty Taylor, in particular, is a born performer with his James Brown-style moves and vocal theatricality. Whether he’s sending up a joyous shout with fan favorites like “Still and Always Will” and “Gracefully” or crooning recent single “These Arms of Mine,” the effect can be seductive. Expect a few teasers from the band’s “Chapter II — EP I,” due Nov. 18.
Cut Chemist (cutchemist.com): The lifelong turntablist found a way to crosswire his passion for global beats with hip-hop in both of the bands he helped launch, Ozomatli and Jurassic 5, and continues to excavate fresh sounds from what we think we’ve already heard with his thoughtful solo projects. For his recently released album “Die Cut” he recruited an eclectic assortment of friends, including Ozo/J5 alum Chali 2na, fellow rappers Biz Markie and Hymnal, electronic musician Dntel, and The Long Lost vocalist Laura Darlington; whether he calls friends onstage remains to be seen, but you can bet it won’t be boring.
Africali (facebook.com/pg/africalimusic): Jazz, rap, funk and soul weave together in this unpredictable ensemble’s jams. Tunes like “Daughters of the Sun Mothers of the Brave,” “The Devil is a Liar” and “We Need Water for California” urge unity while inspiring the body to move.
Allensworth (allensworthmusic.com): Jamie Allensworth percussive “coastal soul music” dips into rock, reggae and blues as he sings with a finely sanded rasp reminiscent of Sam Cooke. It’s an uplifting combination, especially combined with a steady-grooving band and messages of peace, love and harmony. We could use more of that these days.
Gingee (gingeeworld.com): Incorporating traditional Filipino instruments and percussion as well as spoken word into her bass-heavy compositions, DJ/poet/vocalist Marjorie Light raises questions of identity and life purpose. As she declares on “Sound System” from her 2015 EP “Tambol,” “We’re here to spread love, we’re here to spread light/ Give you good vibes until you feel alright.”
GLIFOS (glifosmusic.com): This Southland’s collective’s self-described “voodoo funk” is as indebted to Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke and Afrobeat father Fela Kuti as it is to ’70s funk and psychedelic jazz. The most restrained track on their eponymously titled EP is, surprisingly, “Welcome to the Party” — a theme that kicks into higher gear onstage, when their drums-and-congas setup is bolstered by multiple percussionists, guitarists, vocalists, and a magnetic impulse to dance.
Lily Waters (facebook.com/pg/LilyWatersMusic): Mazzy Starr springs to mind when listening to singer Gabbi Green’s dusky tones. The songs she’s creating with guitarist Robert Cifuentes are less narcotic but conjure similarly dark, compelling dramas.
The full lineup also includes reggae-soul veterans the Lions, “SpongeBob SquarePants” voice actor and kinetic rock ‘n’ roll frontman Tom Kenny and the Hi Seas, Baja California ska sextet Almalafa, El Conjunto Nueva Ola, the Paranoias, DJ Seano, stylish cumbia crew Viento Callejero, Subsuelo, Healing Gems, El Santo Golpe, Small Forward, Billy Changer, Nancy Sanchez, Super Lunch, High Cameras, VV Friendly & Easy Joe, garage rockers Thee Idylls, Armand Paul, local pop-makers Jones, Dahli Mamas, Primaveras, Quimica Humana, ERHS Latin Jazz Band, Eye 5, Eagle Rock quintet Burning Manilow, drummer Dean Mucetti & Rhythm Real, Jackass, Americana singer-songwriter Andrew Christian Haun’s alter ego Dead Wren, soulman Clinton and the Love Me Nauts, Chet Happens, Beboluz, singer-songwriter Cynthia Brando, and the Kawalea Polynesian Dance troupe.
General admission is free, but VIP tickets are also available for those who want fast-track entry, and include a 2018 ERMF T-shirt as well as entry into the VIP section in front of the Main Stage. Proceeds from VIP tickets support CFAER’s after-school arts enrichment program Imagine Studio, which takes artists into classrooms across Northeast LA.
The 19th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival takes place at various stages and venues along Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6; festival entrance is on Colorado Boulevard between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Caspar Avenue. General admission is free; VIP tickets $10-$25, available at ticketfly.com/event/1770266-19th-annual-eagle-rock-music-los-angeles. Info:
(323) 561-3044. For more details, go to eaglerockmusicfestival.org.