August 10th, 2009 |

Summer is the season for downtown warehouse parties where artsy urban types can play promoter and art curator for a night. These events more often miss than hit, because they typically run out of beer, the art sucks or the bands aren’t good or they won’t let people smoke pot. I hit One Crazy Summer 2 at Loft 265, next door to the Smell, because the band pairing of psychedelic rockers, Dios, and Euro disco via Los Feliz, Polyamorous Affair, was intriguing enough to overcome my aversion to urbanites.

The artwork was pretty freaking amateur. It was like they all got together that day and painted stuff in their garage. The beers were totally overpriced ($4 for a PBR?). I was also unable to bum any smokes off anybody there. I protested by smoking more pot than I wanted to on the dance floor. Luckily, Dios came on stage first. I have to say, the stage set-up and the sound were really good. You could tell that some people were disappointed that the ‘80s disco music ended to shift focus toward the band. Dios apologized for interrupting the dance party and leaped into a sweet 30-minute set of California beach psych rock. I think singer Joel Morales has a rad vocal delivery that reminds me of walking on the sands of Venice Beach during a June gloom. His voice infuses a pop sensibility to their psych rock that makes them stand out from other bands with similar psych formulas. It’s not fair to judge a rock band in this setting, but I am definitely going to catch them the next time they play a dark, dingy club in Hollywood or the east side.

By the time Polyamorous Affair was setting up I was pretty tired. I’ve seen them a bunch of times in the Silverlake/Echo Park rock clubs, but I’d never seen them in a dance club. Maybe it was all of the protest weed that I smoked, but I was really digging the video projections by Mr. Cocoon. I noticed that right away, and it was a definite advantage over the screens at other shows I’d seen. Even though I’m not into dancing, I like this band a lot. Sissy Saint-Marie and Eddie Chacon are a fun band to watch live. Chacon works the crowd from his side of the stage like an aerobics instructor in a commandant’s outfit, while Saint-Marie plays cool Euro diva so convincingly, that for a long time, I actually thought she was from Europe and didn’t speak English, even though she’s from California. The crowd was ready to dance, and once they were assured that the psych rock was over they filled the floor. This was a release party for Polyamorous Affair’s new album Bolshevik Disco, and they played most of those songs, including their cover of “Satellite of Love,” and of course they closed the set with their staple, “Whoever Controls the Groove (controls the world).”

Scott Schultz