Eagle Rock Music Festival 2008

I hadn’t been to any of the previous ones but since a couple of friends had glowing reviews of last years Eagle Rock Music Festival, I figured it was time to check it out. They were right, it’s a very fun festival with a good mix of bands, food, booths, and most notably, people. (It’s kinda like the Sunset Junction used to be in the early days which just reminds me how bad that “festival” has become.) I was only there for a short time, but click ahead if you want to see what I saw!

As the pic above demonstrates, the ERMF is free which instantly gives it a bunch of extra points. This very fact is what leads to the wide range of people in the crowd; there isn’t an economic barrier to check it out. (When the Sunset Junction was free there was much more diversity in the crowds, in the range of ages, ethnicities, and background. Once they started charging it became a showcase for homogenity, and no matter how good the music might be, that’s just wrong and boring.) Make sure you drop in some money next time to keep the free-ness going.

Even though I got there around 10:30 (I had to finish my recycling route and feed the chickens) it was still going on pretty strong. Lots of folks were just hanging out, not necessarily listening to bands. People like to be around people.

I got there in time to see a bit of Aztlan Underground but I didn’t recognize any of their songs, I guess I haven’t been paying attention to their new stuff. Yaotl made a statement something along the lines of being excited to play to a such a diverse crowd rather than just being limited to the barrios of East LA and Santa Ana, because “we are all in this mess together.” I have to agree, it’s good to see AUG outside of the Chicano context.

I have to be honest: I didn’t go to this event for the music, my musical interests are elsewhere these days. So I’m not going to say much about the bands, if that’s okay with you. But I do appreciate the diversity of music styles and how they seem to get lots of local groups and bands. I did take a pick of Glank while they were playing some crazy stuff over at the children’s stage. Not many lil’ kids in the crowd though.

There were merchant booths as well, but I think a bunch had already closed by the time I got there. Here we see a very LA t-shirt, with the proper font and the corazon sagrado thrown in for good measure.

They also had this nice one but I can’t figure out what it means; I Calavera LA? Sepa…

Oh yeah, the Obamaiites were out in full force. Aren’t you all getting a bit carried away with your faith in one politician? Didn’t he just approve that massive bailout for the wealthy corporate banks? Just like Villaraigosa, get ready to be dissappointed.

Hahahahahaha! Hohohohohohoho! Hehehehehehehe! If you really believe voting will make “them” pay attention, well I just feel sorry for you. This message appropriately found next to a rack of hipster granny fashion wearables. As my friend said, “in ten years, these kids are going to regret dressing up like their grandmas.”

The most entertaining part of this street festival were the dance crews and the crowds that were cheering them on.

I’m not sure I understood what was happening, but I think this guy in the white mask (someone joked he was a jabbawockeez) was challenging the dude in the muscle shirt that seemed to be controlling the dance floor, err, street.

I also wasn’t sure if beard guy was trying to do some ironic dancing, but even so, he joined in to the street dance challenge.

I’m quite sure he lost when the Controller did this hat-take-away-head-pat move, but the the more-beard-than-hair guy was a good sport, and the crowd was enjoying all of it.

You can’t have a congregation of people without a source of sustenance. Here we see the stall for King Burrito, ready to join the royal ranks of King Taco, and King Torta. All we need now is for someone in LA to claim the title of Menudo King!

On a more humble note, this fundraiser claimed to have the best tacos only in Eagle Rock and Highland Park, I like their modesty! I should have asked the salsa verde lady for her opinion.

Figueroa Produce also had a booth, in case you want to make your own tacos. This new grocer has a good selection of unique products for the size of their store (Veganaise!) and it’s worth a visit. But I think they need to reconsider their POS software, as that seems to be the reason the checkout process takes so long. Just saying.

Over at the Loft hair lounge (?) there was a whole different set of kids and growups into the dancing thing. The word that best describes the vibe and mood of these dance circles is ‘sincere’. The kids weren’t trying to be ironic, they weren’t performing for cameras, they were just doing what they do. Sincerity amongst hipsters is no small feat.

Even the young ones got center stage.

This guy’s confidence was inspiring!

Much of the good-natured vibe around the event might be due to the drinking of proper liquids, most of which had to be concealed in paper bags. Even though it was pervasive in the crowd, the chota was quite prepared to look the other way. I should note, for the sake of pointing out a sad reality some of us have to live in, that during the Fiesta Broadway these attempts at subterfuge were not effective, and the police seemed much more willing to enforce the open container laws. I fully support and encourage the “looking the other way” practice as it’s a reasonable approach, but it sucks to be aware that this “looking the other way” tends to happen only for certain groups and for certain events. It’s that “selective” enforcement part that many new Angelenos, often in parts of town that are less policed, have yet to encounter. Worse, they tend to base their opinions on never having to see how these things play out. Hang out with the “wrong” crowd for just a little bit and you will understand exactly what I mean.

Crazy smoke happening in some stalls.

Artwork that emulates the look of stack of LP’s and Casssettes.

EL CHAVO! amongst the OG Zapata and the newer Zapatista leader. As long as I’m in good company, no hay problema!

Text messages and phone calls are taken into consideration as plans are formed for the next party stop. May Ye Always Have Another Destination!

4 thoughts on “Eagle Rock Music Festival 2008

  1. The t-shirts with the corazon sagrado and the calavera are by Herbert Gonzalez, formerly of Blue Chips and presently a board member at the Mexican Cultural Institute at la Placita Olvera.

  2. Being on the streets of Eagle Rock during the festival was like being in some multi-cultural Mayberry. I haven’t seen such a large group of diverse people have so much fun around each other in such a chill laid back way. It reminded me a lot of the old Street Scenes.

  3. That kind of street closure needs to happen much more often. It gives people the facilities to get together and enjoy each others company without having to be “customers” on private mall property.

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