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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mini SXSW in Downtown San Jose

Posted By on Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 10:35 AM

click to enlarge Yo La Tengo plays this summer's Left Coast Fest
  • Yo La Tengo plays this summer's Left Coast Fest

Last year, San Jose held its first annual Left Coast Live Music Festival, and no one really heard about it. It was headlined by Bay Area's soul man Booker T. and East Bay rapper Lyrics Born. Dubbed "a mini-SXSW", the Left Coast Live Music Festival was staged over the course of six days at 35 different venues in San Jose with more the 100 different bands playing.

For a city most known more for its sprawl through Silicon Valley, its vast number of business parks, industrial complexes, and new housing developments, Left Coast Live comes as a welcomed cultural oasis for the folks of the South Bay. The city of San Jose shut down streets from San Carlos to Reed Street to make way for the fest. The first four days of the festival (June 21st-24th) will be free and open to the public with panel discussions and film screenings that will run throughout the week. Starting on Friday June 25th, the musical acts take over with OK Go headlining. Other bands playing over the weekend include Neon Trees, Crash Kings, Free Energy, Big Jay McNeely, Lisa Dewey & the Lotus Life, Yo La Tengo, The Mumlers, and over 100 other bands.

Besides being a music festival, Left Coast Live will have other activities and events set up such as the Lifesize Mouse Trap, a replica of the beloved board game, surely a nod to the headliner's insanely viral Rube Goldberg video. The Silicon Valley Roller Girls will set up a demo track for visitors at the festival, and a new craze called Silent Disco where attendants out wandering the main drag will be given headphones tuned in to a dj nearby. The effect will be tons of people dancing in the streets to sounds passerby's won't be able to hear.

Admission to the Left Coast Live are available online, but you can also purchase them at the event. Twenty bucks at the door might just make the Left Coast Live Music Festival the most bang for your buck this entire summer.

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Carla Selvin

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