Jess Joy Returns and Highlights from the November Haze Festival

Jess Joy - All photos by Notes From Vivace
Jess Joy - All photos by Notes From Vivace

Photos and Review by NOTES FROM VIVACE

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles music scene was humming on a recent weekend with Jess Joy returning to Los Angeles to support her Sourceheiress album release and June Gloom founders putting on November Haze festival.

Jess Joy was a mainstay in the Los Angeles music scene when she was part of the band duo Moon Honey, which was originally from Louisiana. The band ended their run in 2019. The band breakup didn’t stop her music career. She has continued as a solo artist, releasing Patreearchy in 2021 and now Sourceheiress. Then in late 2021 she moved back to Louisiana. Fast forward to November 2023 and she returned to Los Angeles. A Friday night crowd of friends and fans greeted her at The Goldfish.

The Goldfish stage was adorned with faux roses that wrapped around the mic stands. Jess Joy herself wore a trash bag dress and had a necklace made partially out of soda bottle caps. It made for the perfect setting for her avant-garde music. The set opened up with “The Other Cheek.”

Her vocals modulated as she sang: “I’ll wash your dishes. I’ll wash your feet. Yeah you can hit me, but don’t forget the other cheek. A thousand smiles for free. I’m your little wing. Yeah you can hurt yourself. But you can’t hurt me. ‘Cause I’m low. As low as I can be.”

Jess Joy sets are an enjoyable experience due to the attention made to more than just the music. Her body motions at times mimicked that of a mime and at other times one could imagine that her body movements were being controlled like a marionette puppet. For one song she wore a full face respirator that was bejeweled as her backing band of Mike Byrne on drums and Zhao on synths hit the hypnotic beats. As for Zhao, Jess Joy turned the reins over mid-set so that her synth player could perform a mini-set.

Opening the night was Jean-Luc Eldenwood and Coco Columbia. Jean-Luc Eldenwood hit the keys with flare. Coco Columbia was playing her first set in four years.  Jess Joy can be followed on Instagram here. Check out Coco Columbia on Instagram here.

In Los Angeles, this particular Saturday morning did not start out on the best foot. A fire resulted in damage to a bridge portion of the 10 freeway, which is one of the major freeways that goes through downtown Los Angeles. That resulted in the freeway being shut down and is expected to be an ongoing problem for LA commuters. That didn’t stop the November Haze festival. Twenty bands and singers performed on two separate stages at the Art District’s Boomtown Brewery.

Some of the highlights:

Ashley Keene used to be one of the Pistachios in Harry Katz and the Pistachios. That, of course, means she has great vocals that were highlighted throughout her set. Her song “Bad Bitch” had the big vocals and was a highlight song of the festival. Follow her here.

Broadway B sang a song that he called his anti-gold digger song. Another of his songs was one that he worked on with his dad. He mentioned that his dad had passed away. His dad, upon learning of his health prognosis, told Broadway B that they had to go to the studio. Backing vocals for the set was provided by Nina Nepa who played earlier in the day; that brought a sense of a close knit festival to the forefront.  Follow here.

Greg in Good Company delivered folk tunes with a catchy beat. He had a backing guitarist who casually strolled up to the stage, rolling his gear behind him on a cart. He took about a minute or two to set things up and off they went. Check out Greg in Good Company here.

Lux Lawless closed out the night on one stage. The song “Steps” had the heavy bass beats and vocal screams that got the blood pumping. Lux can be followed here.

Minimall had friends running the mosh pit circle around the stage as the band’s garage rock beats meshed perfectly with vocal grit. Check out Minimall here. 

Nixxi has a quirky sense of humor. How so? They have a song called “Chocolate Milk,” which is part of a short three-song EP that was mentioned as the beverage EP. Nixxi can be followed here. 

One of the festival organizers is Ryan Trask who fronts Niantic. As the band was getting ready to start their set, Trask commented on his attire, “I couldn’t be dissuaded from wearing the bear onesie. I love bears, they’re my spirit animal.” The band hit their alternative rock tunes while giving breathing room for guitar interplay. Check out Niantic here. 

Odd Army put on a dynamic performance that sent ear plugs and guitar picks flying. Now that’s a stage show.  Odd Army can be followed here.

Suzanne Egertson wrote a song about not liking to date men who own Teslas. Check her out here.

And as a side note: all the bands and singers started their sets within 10 minutes of their stated set times. When it comes to indie music festivals, you often have to factor in 30 minute to one hour delays into the schedule. That wasn’t the case here and showed how organized the festival was. Looking forward to the next event.

Listen to Jess Joy here: