6 PM: DJ Jimbo Jenkins
7 PM: Thumpasaurus
7:45 PM: DJ Jimbo Jenkins
8:15 PM: Wavves
9:30 PM: DJ Jimbo Jenkins
Celebrating its sixth year in DTLA, the FIGat7th Downtown Festival (also known as FIGFest) will light up the city this June with eclectic sounds and tunes. Presented by Arts Brookfield, this free festival kicks off June 1 and runs four consecutive Friday nights at Downtown LA’s premier shopping destination, FIGat7th. The outdoor plaza will be transformed into an intimate concert venue and a poppin’ dance floor with performances by leading R&B, hip-hop, pop, soul, dance, and electronic artists.
First up is Poolside, the dreamy “Daytime Disco” project of California duo Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise. They are sure to put your mind at ease while your body slinks into a smooth sway. June 8 will deliver an electric performance by sexy New York R&B duo Lion Babe. Their sound is seductive and eclectic, promoting messages of empowerment supported by clanging percussion, a thumping synth bass, and notes of soul, dance, hip-hop and pop.
On June 15, Gabriel Garzón-Montano takes the stage with layer upon layer of his characteristically thoughtful, sultry, saturated soundscapes that oscillates between new soul, electronic, funk and R&B. The festival closes with an indie-pop-punk band Wavves, bringing their bold, raw, stumbling-through-life synergy to the FIGFest stage. See them crank it up a notch on June 22 when they are joined by the LA-based funk-rock ensemble, Thumpasaurus.
FIGFest’s unique lineup reflects the diversity of the city and the vibrant cultural center that downtown LA has become. Past festivals have featured The Internet, Anderson .Paak, KING, Superhumanoids, Soulection, Tuxedo, Hanni El Khatib, and The Belle Brigade. FIGFest is free and open to the public as part of Arts Brookfield’s continued effort to bring Brookfield Properties’ public spaces to life through music, film, interactive experiences, and visual arts.
The word ‘brat’ has followed Nathan Williams around for almost a decade, but at the age of 30, with a fully-fledged business to his name, as well as the ongoing success of band Wavves, his rebellious streak has proven not just purposeful but pretty damn inspiring. The San Diego native knows how to play the system, so when the major labels came knocking a few years ago looking to turn Wavves into the next so-called saviours of radio rock’n’roll, Williams and bassist Stephen Pope made sure they used it to their advantage.
“We were just trying to go to eat at nice places in LA,” he laughs. “There were a few people from majors who would not stop reaching out to us. They were obsessed. They thought we had heat and they needed an edgy big rock band like they used to have in the ‘90s. Me and Stephen were in our shitty apartments, Googling ‘nicest restaurants in LA’. We went to eight or nine dinners. At the end we’d say, ‘not interested’.”
Fast forward to 2016 when Wavves is releasing the album ‘You’re Welcome’ which is mostly comprised of Williams’ oddball, sample-led brainstorms and cultivating his business Ghostramp. He came up with 40 tracks, now whittled down to twelve, fat-free punk zingers. “I’d come up with an idea, fool around with it, have Brian come in and play drums, then figure it out.” A sample nerd, Williams delved into his obsession with 1950s doo-wop and – surprisingly – international folk, including Cambodian pop and ‘70’s psychedelia from South America.
Via Ghostramp, Williams isn’t just putting out Wavves’ new record, he’s signing other local garage bands, funding his tours, schooling DIY artists in how to create and distribute merchandise in a way that supports your career and provides future security where nobody else can. “The thing is I’m not just interested in making music for Wavves. I’m too ADD. Being an entrepreneur, being hands-on isn’t just smart, it’s necessary. Your art is everything you do, every choice you make. I was able to build my own thing, own it and control it all 100%. If I want to do something now I don’t ask anyone. I just fucking do it – that’s priceless.” Nathan Williams never went away, but now he’s made sure he’s here to stay far longer. And for that, girls and boys, you’re welcome.
Straight from the insane house parties of the Los Angeles music scene come Thumpasaurus, whose brand of high-energy funk and soul combines with imaginative storytelling to provide a musical experience like no other. Coming together at USC’s music school, the founding members of Thumpasaurus have developed an eclectic, homemade aesthetic unlike anything else this side of the Milky Way.
With their roving, star-bound home base the Space Barn projected behind them on the stage, Thumpasaurus have honed their ability to get people dancing. Their analog, classic rhythm-section setup recalls 70s funk acts, but the vibes they bring are pure 2018, influenced by LA’s up-all-night electronic music scene.
With the combined talents of Lucas Tamaren (vocals, guitar), Henry Was (production, drums), Henry Solomon (sax), Paul Cornish (keys), and Logan Kane (bass), Thumpasaurus are a force to be reckoned with, and the high-energy, genre-resistant band that 2018 needs.