Josh Fischel’s Legacy Is Honored And The Music Tastes Good REVIEW+PHOTOS: MUSIC TASTES GOOD 2017 @ MARINA GREEN PARK 9/30/17 - 10/1/17
Long Beach, CA- Days after the critically acclaimed inaugural Music Tastes Good festival concluded, it’s founder, and beloved patron of the Long Beach music scene, Josh Fischel, passed away. What made last year’s festival such an unexpected success was Josh’s curation of a superbly eclectic yet cohesive musical line-up and the infusion of tasty edibles from world renowned chefs for a festival in the heart of the city of Long Beach. In his absence, would this year’s incarnation of the festival live up to the legend of it’s first time up and running? By all accounts, yes.
Though the “city-charm” of the festival was no longer present due to the change of location, the Marina Green Park next to the ocean was a pretty nice alternative. With green lawns as opposed to gravel streets to walk and lay out on, and with views of docked boats that gently bobbing in the Ocean, the setting couldn’t have been any more relaxed or “California”.
Food was a big part of this festival, and the festival organizers brought in a who’s who of local chefs and chefs from New Orleans to cook up some tasty culinary offering. Insofar as my weekend pass didn’t allow me to even enter the “Taste Tent” located in the middle of the festival grounds, I was only able to spend most of the time “at” the Taste Tent ogling from afar the delicacies that were being nibbled on, snapping pictures with a telephoto lens. Notice that I said “most of the time” as I had one or two guests humor me by sneaking a treat or two through the home-made fences to let me taste what it was I was taking pictures of. Thank you, strangers. You were way too kind.
But that’s what the vibe was like at Music Tastes Good. It was festival that lacked any kind of attitude or snobbery. It was a place where people offered to sneak you a bit of their food in a naughty act of playful fun. It was a festival where people drank a beer to mellow out, and not to get sh– faced. It was a scene that was all about the food and music, and not a scene to seen unlike a lot of other “fashionable” music festivals. Families played around on the grass or explored some of the art installations that were set up through out the grounds, men and women were give space dance around to the misc that was in the air. It was about as pure a community of music lovers as there could be.
And that sense of community was borne from the musical lineup that was curated for this year’s festival. Josh was known to love a broad range of music. He was, as one of my peer’s once told me, “such and inclusive guy”, and it that sense of inclusiveness was reflected in the various acts that took the two stages.
A champion of up and coming local bands, Josh would have been proud to see Spirit Mother and Dengue Fever take turns on the main stage. He probably would have been giddy knowing that fans of Big Freedia and Peaches would be running across the festival grounds to catch their back to back sets on opposite stages. He would have been thrilled to have acts from foreign countries infuse a little cultural diversity into the line-up with Argentina’s Juana Molina and Guadalajara’s Los Master Plan. He probably would have reveled in the fact that the festival was able to book Alvvays right after they released their latest album … book one of the most influential shoezgazing bands EVER in Ride … book a coveted Ween reunion … book two killer female fronted acts to close out the festival’s main stage action with Tune-Yards and Sleater-Kinney … And he probably would have shed a tear or two to hear his favorite Los Lobos album, “Kiko” performed in it’s entirety.
There were so many awesome moments – both musical and otherwise- that happened over the Music Tastes Good weekend. Let’s not forget about that Ween inspired Mardi Gras mini-parade.
— Derrick K. Lee (@methodman13) October 11, 2017
We’ll do our best to fill you in on everything music that we were able to catch, but needless to say … actually, I think it goes without saying … Josh would have been pretty damn happy with what went down at Music Tastes Good this year. Let’s hope they keep the party going for years to come.
BELOW ARE THE MUSICAL ACTS THAT BLURRED CULTURE WAS ABLE TO CATCH AT MUSIC TASTES GOOD. STAY TUNED AS INDIVIDUAL PAGES ARE POSTED HERE TO READ OUR THOUGHTS AND CHECK OUT OUR PHOTOS!!!
Derrick K. Lee is a music attorney, blogger, concert photographer and co-owner of Blurred Culture. He goes to a lot of shows and sometimes he writes good. Music is his boo.
All photos are edited with iPhoto. Lightroom edits can be made upon request. For prints and/or approvals for special uses of any photo taken by Derrick, please contact him directly.