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A collision of cultures (with music) in Echo Park

The Filter festival takes over the L.A. area for a weekend of bands, food and film.

October 07, 2011|Katherine Tulich
  • CSS performs Sunday, April 17, 2011, at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival in Indio.
CSS performs Sunday, April 17, 2011, at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival… (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles…)

For those without an airline ticket to some far off land this weekend, the international sounds have come to Echo Park with Filter Magazine's Culture Collide Festival, a multi-day super-eclectic music event that features 80 artists from 24 countries and is taking over a two-block stretch of clubs and venues.

Now in its second year, the festival is a rare opportunity to see the catchy Danish pop band the Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Australia's Cameras -- or even recently reformed East Coast indie band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Sunday brings a free block party with Reservoir Street closed between Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado Street, where CSS, Datarock, Gang Gang Dance and others perform on two outdoor stages.

"It's not always easy for international bands to tour here, so this gives them a great opportunity, and for L.A. it's a great chance to discover all the amazing music that is out there," says Alan Miller, co-founder of Filter magazine and the festival.

To encourage the international spirit, there are ethnic food trucks, happy hours promoting the music of countries such as Poland and the Netherlands, film screenings and a pop-up art exhibit featuring images from artists including Moby as well as a series of photos remembering Amy Winehouse.

Buzz-worthy Australian band WIM, which is releasing a self-titled album in November, is thrilled. "This is really our debut performance here," says lead singer Martin Solomon, just off the plane from Sydney. "We are really just getting started, so to be given this amazing opportunity to play here is so exciting for us."

"There is a really great inclusive atmosphere in Los Angeles. We have sold out more shows in L.A. than we have in our own city of Bergen," says Datarock's Fredrik Saroea, Skyping from his home in Norway. The electronic band's distinctive red jumpsuits and catchy tunes are ubiquitous in ads and video games in the U.S. "The audiences have a great open-mindedness," he says.

CSS, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, will be headlining the block party Sunday with its infectious blend of dance pop, reggae and punk. "The Internet has really bought everyone together. Music is not regional anymore. It doesn't matter where you're from to make a particular style of music," says Lovefoxxx, CSS' flamboyant lead singer. "Brazilians love to party and have fun, and that's what we bring when we perform."



Culture Collide

What: Filter Magazine's Culture Collide Festival

Where: Various venues. Sunday Block Party on Reservoir Street between Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado Street

When: Through Sunday. See website for details.

Price: $20 for multi-day festival wristband. Block party free.

Info:; tickets:

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