When: Fri., March 4, 7 p.m. and Sat., March 5, 7 p.m. 2011
The name of Deepak Mantena's collage-pop act is a clue to the kind of music he creates. Junk Culture crams a garage sale of sounds—brief piano loops, skronky horns, airy background synths, tambourines and bongos, hard-funk bass, cheesy keyboards that might as well come straight from a Super NES theme—into concise, hooky, danceable tunes filled with swirling melodies and precise beats. Mantena shares a label with Girl Talk, but on Junk Culture's recent EP, Summer Friends (Illegal Art), he doesn't use his more popular comrade's method of intertwining recognizable samples into a single fluid track. Here and there he borrows a snippet from another artist, but the bulk of the samples that make up Summer Friends come from him: field recordings he made during his day-to-day routine, bits of his own guitar or piano, even fully arranged tunes he wrote for traditional rock instruments. Mantena isn't the only artist to try to replicate the effect of mashups with original music, but he might be the first to capture the ecstatic energy of the hyped-up party jams that made Girl Talk such a sensation. Onstage Junk Culture is a duo, with a drummer to give Mantena's bouncy tunes extra kick. See also Friday and Saturday. Junk Culture plays a free in-store Sat 3/5 at 1 PM at Saki, 3716 W. Fullerton, 773-486-3997. —Leor Galil
Price: Sold out.