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Suspect Junction

The Sunset Junction street fair is a fun chaotic day out for the whole family. Bring your parents with long memories, they'll enjoy the music

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by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: August, 2006
who are these guys? They were so much more brilliant than anyone else I saw it was like they dropped in from outer space
by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: August, 2006
who are these guys? They were so much more brilliant than anyone else I saw it was like they dropped in from outer space

You gotta love Redd Kross, but their dilemma is... Austin Powers stole Jeff McDonald's show years ago. And okay, you might agree with wife-x when she says, bass player Steve still looks like a rock star, but that's only if the rock star look requirement requires an unhealthy dose of the Robert Plants, the well by the sell by date version. Oh I don't mean to be so kind.

Wait. And then they opened their set with my favorite Redd Kross song after fussing with the monitor sound for an hour and they remind me, they were more than pretty good. So good they're not bad. But they're not great and peddling their own nostalgia with their 'classic' line up, while a little scary to see, is pretty cool. After all, Redd Kross were pretty sentimental from the start.

And all in all, it's not really Redd Kross' fault that they were the best band on the opening day at Sunset Junction this year. They're probably embarrassed by that too. As Jeff from Ultraviolet Eye mentioned, paying $15 this year is like, well, I could see a good band for that, or spend it with the vendors or indie stores, which I'd prefer to do. He said, it's like Avalon [attractions] have booked the show this year. Damn, scanning the bill, you kinda wished they had. Or someone at least a shade under 40. Look, I love the Cramps as well as anyone, but if they'd been headlining ten years ago they would've been has-beens then. Truly the only band I can find throughout the entire weekend whose future isn't in their past is probably The Drive By Truckers, or maybe, the idiosyncratic I See Hawks in LA, if you can stomach you're contrarian country music at a sobering 1 in the afternoon (I know how conservative of me). The restof the acts, well, you know, check their schedules, for an extra $10 the Capistrano Coach House will throw in a chicken dinner and a seat near the front.

Okay, I don't know anything about the booking bands or the booking policy over there. Is that the scheme of thinsg? The LA sound... The Eels are an LA act because they record for a company with offices in LA? Or Hollywood records or whatever? Aren't the Cramps from Glendale? I dunno, I haven't been paying attention to the LAT's hot property column; they could've changed their zip code. So, I'm not sure if the idea was/is to hire ultimate LA transplant party acts, like Black Rebel Motorcycle club. But even then, where are my personal favorites... Joe Baiza, Wives and Lovers, Ultraviolet Eye and why oh why the balkanization of the stages? Oh and why-oh-why the MC who has yet to figure out that red-lining the mic with imploring screeching actually didn't make these bands more exciting in the 80s, even less so now.  I'll know when I am ready to have a good time, I won't need you to tell me.

What I loathe the most though, is the Balkanization of the stages. It's like most LA rock radio. Every station a little ghetto heaven of their own. Same at Sunset Junction. Damn, what if I was too lazy to move and a pop/rock act was followed by an r'n'b band and then a DJ or they wheeled on the sublime green-surely not driveable Aurelito and Shakespeare reggae van (the very best act - they didn't even get a stage - but had people dancing in the street - I mean those guys were so much more brilliant than anyone else I saw it was like they dropped in from outer space) - that's right, I want to see all those acts, all on the same stage... This is the 90s, I want a mish-mash and I don't want to have to move my feet to get it.

After all I'd already walked 2.1 miles up hill and down dale to get here.

Get this, the street vendors are more interesting than the bands. It all seems to be done without the finesse the area deserves, look at this on the website - do they have a fucking lisp? "...of people to attend this citing community event" I was really looking for at a partial list of vendors, they really were on the whole more interesting than most of the music.

Ultimately, I am bitter, of course! Why not! Wife-x appeared to take great pleasure in pointing out another festival go-er who was wearing my magic hat!

Otherwise despite all above a great day out for me and the whole family. I'd recommend it to anyone. Next year they should just call Snoop and I am sure everything will be alright.

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