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Echo Park Rising Keeps the Beat; Bassists from Cheap Tissue, Plague Vendor, Cat Scan, Rock and Rule

Schizophonics and C.G. Roxanne Blow Doors


Echo Park Rising is a unique kind of music fest, one that people look forward to all year long.

Bands of every type are scattered throughout the outskirts of downtown, playing in well-known venues like Echoplex, in restaurants like Taix and even on the street corner. What’s great is it’s a free opportunity to see some excellent talent.

And while the bands are leaving their mark on the music-downloading public, no group made a bigger impression on Friday night at Echo Park Rising than the bass players. Watching the bass players on Friday was like getting a free lesson in how to keep excellent bands on track.

The bassists for Plague Vendor, Cheap Tissue, C.G. Roxanne and the Nightmares, Cat Scan, and the wild Schizophonics showed the crowd how it’s done.

Quincy Larsen of Cat Scan ripped it up at Echo Park Rising – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Cat Scan

Cat Scan is a band that blends surf music and punk to a successful result. The bass player, Quincy Larsen, is adorable with her schoolgirl-style outfit of plaid skirt and knee socks with glasses. The music is original and this is a band we will be seeing again. Comprised of David Evanko and Ian Waters on guitar and Jeff Goodhart on drums, it’s great to see a band enjoying what they do — it’s a group that clearly enjoys making the music happen. They’re on Instagram @cat_scan – check them out.

C.G. Roxanne and The Nightmares

C.G. Roxanne and the Nightmares, who said there was no other reason for their name other than it’s funny, got on some serious playing Friday.  Frontman Marlon Rabenreither has a cool style with original songs and bassist Sam Thornton, who never seems to crack a smile has an upbeat and fun-loving repertoire in his basswork. He works closely with a very non-traditional drummer Carlos Laszlo. With style and purpose, C.G. Roxanne and the Nightmares shows what it takes to grab the audience. Check out their Bandcamp page:

C.G. Roxanne and The Nightmares - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

C.G. Roxanne and The Nightmares – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Schizophonics

The Schizophonics represent the best in new musical performance.  These people can’t be stopped with dynamic frontman Pat Beers and Lety Beers on drums. The bass player Brian Reilly keeps it going despite all the wild physical activity going on on stage and for that alone, he should get a medal. After all, not everyone can leap five feet off the ground and do the James Brown splits on command. This is a band to watch. Check out their Facebook page

The Schizophonics put on a show that should not be missed - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Schizophonics put on a show that should not be missed – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia


Cones, with its mellow but statement-setting music opened the night for many attendees with Patrick manning the bass. The style is precise but fun with exacting finger work. We want to see this band again and watch where this group goes.

Cones – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Cheap Tissue

Cheap Tissue is a local favorite and the beloved players had a packed house to play a late set at the Echo. This band is tight and all the fuss is justified. The players are Andrew Taylor, Jesse Youngblood, Matt Spizer and bassist John Tyree. Tyree, a favorite musician extraordinaire, steps out from behind the drum kit to man the bass duties for this band.  He brings an energetic flare and plays a decisive bass, it’s a reason to get past the ripped-sleeve shirt and tie, which is definitely original. There is a lot of buzz about Cheap Tissue and for obvious reasons, they bring it. Check out their Facebook page:

Cheap Tissue’s John Tyree – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Plague Vendor

Plague Vendor is an original who has been on stage entertaining the masses for a while now. The act is quite remarkable with frontman Brandon Blaine creating the moves that bring to mind many of the great punk acts. Except he is classier as musician-poseur, he is artistic and precise in all his actions. But it is clearly the bass player Michael Perez who drives this band in the live performance, with wild fingerwork and keeping the music on track. It’s unusual to see the bassist take such an equal position to such a commanding frontman. But in this case it works. With Jay Rogers on guitar and Luke Perine on drums, the music is a great listen and a winner from all sides. Plague Vendor’s dark tone with light presentation is a unique show that proves balance can be achieved among players. Check out the Facebook page

Plague Vendor - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Plague Vendor – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Plague Vendor – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Plague Vendor handstands – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Schizophonics – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Schizophonics – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Deap Vally, Mike Watt, The Shrine Among Bands to Take Echo Stage at Sunday’s Dirty Penni Festival

The Echo Comes Alive in All-Ages Show


This Sunday, a plethora of powerful bands will take the stage at the Echo for the Dirty Penni Festival.

Performers are: Deap Vally; The Shrine; Plague Vendor; Mike Watt and the Jom and Jerry Show; Enjoy; Starcrawler; Zig Zags; Jurassic Shark; Girl Pusher; Flat Worms; Here Lies Man; Beach Bums; Hit Bargain; The Red Pears; Clit Kat; Espresso; Keif Season; Girl Tears; Janelane; Fringe; Capital Wasteland; Sabrina is Not in This Chat; Sketch Orchestra; Model/Actriz and Worn Tin.

Starcrawler will perform at Dirty Penni Festival – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The show is presented by The Echo, Dirty Laundry TV and Penniback Records.

It’s an all-ages show that starts at 12 p.m. (that’s noon to those of you from a different time zone). General admission tickets are $20.

The Echo is located at 1822 W. Sunset Blvd, The Echoplex is located below The Echo, enter through the alley at 1154 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, Calif.

Get Tickets for Dirty Penni Fest by clicking our link.

Mike Watt will play Dirty Penni Fest Sunday at The Echo – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

British Punk’s Prolific Colin Newman: The Band Wire is Not Just Some Heritage Group from The 1970s

The Drill Fest by Wire Packs the Echo


Wire held its Drill Fest at The Echo and Echoplex, and it was a rare opportunity to see some of punk’s originators tell it like it is.

Judging by the attendance at the fest, which ran over three days and included performers like Mikal Cronin, Bob Mould and of course headliner Wire, it’s easy to see punk is very much alive today. Or it’s making a “curated” comeback at the very least.

The Pink Flag Guitar Ensemble – a roaring finale – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Drill Fest is not just Wire playing on tour, founder Colin Newman told

“Drill is curated by the bands,” Colin said. “It’s just another aspect of what the band do.

Colin Newman: 'Being influential is a double-edged sword' - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Colin Newman: ‘Being influential is a double-edged sword’ – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Wire: Not Re-Living The Past

“The importance is it’s partly to us,” Colin said. “One of the things about Wire is we’re not doing the heritage circuit. We’re not trying to relive our past. It’s about us making connections to other artists, not necessarily younger artists, but artists of different genres, with different ways of working and in a way it’s putting ourselves in a situation and saying this is what we are, we’re not just some band from the ’70s living off our past.”

Great musicians curated at Drill - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Great musicians curated at Drill – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Newman On Being ‘Influential’

Wire has been so influential to so many bands, but that’s an interesting conundrum, Colin said in typical fashion.

“It’s a double-edged sword, really,” Colin said.


“Because you don’t like everything that you’ve influenced,” he said. “But everything influences everything else in music. Music is a dialog.”

Musicians and friends - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Musicians and friends – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

That dialog connected this weekend as the crowds at the Echo and Echoplex appreciated the music of many favorites.

Among those who hit the stages were:  Malka Spigel (Minimal Compact), Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (Luna), Jason Falkner (The Grays, Three O’Clock, Jellyfish), Jessica Lipstate (Noveller), and Jess Labrador, and Shannon Sky Madden (Chasms).

Not just 'Part-Time Punks' The Drill is the real deal - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Not just ‘Part-Time Punks’ The Drill is the real deal – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Other friends and players on hand included Rafe Mandel, Caroline Borolla, Geoffrey Halliday, James Hamblin, Stefan Nelson and Sandy Yang. Wire is Robert Grey, Matthew Simms, Graham Lewis and Colin Newman.



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