On Sunday, July 1, Dirty Laundry TV and Penniback Records held their third annual “Dirty Penni Fest,” celebrating local garage, surf, psych and punk rock acts including Feels, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, SadGirl, No Age and many more. The day was stacked with bands performing from 2:00 p.m. at the upstairs Echo, the Echo Patio and Echoplex. Around 5:00 p.m., the legendary Mike Watt was performing at the Echoplex stage with the “Tom & Terry Show.” The San Pedro punk legend drew in a medium size crowd of fans who danced and headbanged along to the fast and loud punk songs including “Surfin’ With the Shah” and a Stooges cover to close the set before Mike Watt declared the theme of the night, “Let your freak flag fly!”
Outside in the Echoplex parking lot, a taco food truck and bean bag toss game were set up, and plenty of space was provided to those in attendance who wanted to take a breather between sets. Meanwhile, upstairs at the Echo, local surf rock/punk band Espresso was playing a raucous set to a packed house. Stage diving, moshing and crowd surfing were rampant throughout their set. The funky bass line in “Space Ship/Space Dick” had everyone dancing around.
Back on the main stage, female-fronted punk/hardcore outfit The Side Eyes had just started their set. Songs like “Cat Call” and “Please Float Away” featured breakdowns that had the crowd up front headbanging, and when the crowd from Espresso came down, more moshing ensued.
Feels took the stage next, this time with a substitute for Shannon Lay, who was on her own tour. The garage-rock band opened with “Tell Me,” and for the first few songs, a low feedback rang through the crowd, adding more of a My Bloody Valentine experience to their set. Once they got into their groove, singer Laena Geronimo’s powerhouse voice had a huge presence throughout their set. “This song is about making a difference by doing what you can,” Geronimo shared before taking the mic off the stand for a particularly contrasting slow/fast song. They closed their set with “Close My Eyes,” leaving the crowd wanting more.
Frankie and the Witch Fingers took the stage next and blasted everyone with their noisy psych rock. Frontman Dylan Sizemore wore his guitar strapped high, channeling John Dwyer of Oh Sees, both in stage presence and sound. They had the largest crowd yet, as the center transformed into one giant pit for the duration of their set. Songs like “Cops and Robbers” and the headband worthy “Tea” kept the energy on high at all times. This was also the final performance with their current drummer, who is leaving the band to focus on Triptides full-time.
Mt. Eddy appealed to the younger crowd with their more pop-punk sound. “We’ve been here since 2:30 and have seen so many cool bands,” frontman Jakob Danger shared with the crowd. “Jump! Jump! Jump!” he encouraged the audience in several of their songs, who followed suit. They played high energy tracks like “Zombie” and appealed to the crowd’s “emo” side with the heart-wrenching “Lovely.”
SadGirl also had a large crowd and a constant onslaught of stage divers throughout their high-energy set. Their softer songs like “Little Queenie” and “Breakfast is Over” had the crowd swaying and dancing. Singer Misha Lindes showed off his guitar mastery, playing jangly surf rock licks while singing with his entire body for songs like “Feel Like Shit.” For the final song, everyone sang along to the catchy “Oh-oh-ohs” Lindes so commonly puts in his songs.
A large amount of the attendees made for the exit after SadGirl, considering it was late on a Sunday night. But those who stayed to catch No Age’s set on the Echoplex stage were still going in full force. For the noise-rock duo, the intimate crowd still moshed around with each other, carried each other about, made fast friends and even breakdanced. The duo, consisting of Dean Spunt and Randy Randall faced the audience side by side on the drums and guitar, armed with a fall of amps and plenty of pedals to achieve their dreamy, noisy wash of sound. They performed some songs off Snares Like a Haircut including “Cruise Control” and “Send Me.” A mini-pit started for the high energy “Fever Dreams.” The wash of sound never relented, as they plowed through their set until just before midnight.