Twee melody follows nasty beats at an incestuous Knock Out Monday. Mission Creek Music Festival keeps it real intimate and cheap. -- By David Downs Summer mega-festival season can lick my balls. Give me a dead venue with a $5 cover, $2 drinks, and an eleven-inch stage I can walk right up to any night of the week.
The Mission Creek Music Festival lived up to its "intimate" and "unknown" vibe Monday night with enthralling sets from Dust Brothers worshippers Dusty Brown (I hope the name's a drug reference), and twee folk closers the Moore Brothers. In the middle were LA's the Lava Children; beloved?Not so much.
El Cerrito's the Moore Brothers Greg and Thom switched off playing a lone acoustic guitar as they harmonized their way through about a dozen folky, twee, G-rated songs that enraptured the thirty or so fans in the building. I mean, what were these hoodied and bearded and Vans-wearing men doing playing 1967 folk-pop? Where are the MPCs and the rapping? The bros channeled Brian Wilson more than Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) with songs about girls with awesome hair, girls overseas, and other boy-meets-girl tropes. They're working on their seventh album, and they seem to be mining the same vein that Rivers Cuomo mines, in terms of point of view, song structure, and simplicity. Refreshingly simple or twee as fuck? It comes down to taste.
Dusty Brown's badass-ness, however, cannot be disputed. Trashy beats and fem vocals did battle alongside some effects-laden guitar work in this Garbage-inspired, brother/sister setup from Sacramento. Beat maker Dusty Brown absolutely spazzed out behind a Moog Prodigy, laptop, and a big bank of knobs. He fucked with prerecorded drum and bass loops, twiddling knobs to tweak them out and blow them up while vocalist Jessica Brown channeled Portishead, and a guest guitarist focused on sets of three- or four-note flourishes to glaze the whole concoction. The trio covered their experimental bases with drum machine freakouts, but they also drove straight into the stadium for sing-along-friendly pop numbers complete with banging drums and overdriven guitar. (Hear the song "How's That"). Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson should pay this band a lot of money to salvage their barren output.
The Chalk Marquee
The Lava Children
The KO Crowd: