Hey it’s another month and it’s another music festival for me! This time around, we have a mash up of metal, rap, techno, spoken word, comedy, skateboarding, punk, and jalapeno milkshakes. Yeah, it’s everything I always wanted at a music festival that was not at the other bajillion music festivals I’ve been to. So what is it, pray you say? Well, it’s the Fun Fun Fun Festival! And I rocked it out at the Auditorium Shores last Sunday. I’ve recovered just enough to talk about.
Okay so first off, the setup was a little unexpected. Sure, there were beer tents, smoke tents, food tents, and merch tents but there were some wacky things there as well. What first struck my eye was the Anarchy Championship Wrestling ring setup in the middle of the field. That made the closet wrestling fan in me happy. Toward the back I got to chill in the El Camino Lounge. Yup, that’s right, an area full of beat up El Caminos to sit in. Right next to it was the skateboard ramp. Fun times indeed.
Now let’s talk about the shows:
First up were The Crooks. They are a local Austin country band but they seem to be a little bit more grungy and twangy. It was the only country act of the day and it felt right to kick it off with something not completely expected.
Asobi Seksu seemed to bring a J-Pop twist to some rock and roll. The lead pads were and sweeping beats made it its own. I also dug the Jesus and Mary Chain cover song.
We Were Promised Jetpacks surprised me. I heard of them before but I didn’t really know their story. My best description of them are Scottish by epic music. The guitars rocked out but I would’ve like to have heard more solos. That said, I loved the driving sound they pounded out.
There was a break in the action and I found myself drifting toward the Zero Boys set. Who says you are too old to punk out? The grey haired dudes in this band provided the first mosh pit of the day. Good job, punk geezers.
Austra turned around as their spacey hippie rock mellowed things out. I didn’t know there were three female singers, so the harmonies make more sense now. Out of the lineup I saw, their music is still stuck in my head, even though they dressed like early 90’s hip hop artists.
Baths were next after I bailed from the Frank fail of lack of Slayer dogs. It’s just one dude doing some chill beats. Think of him as the white version of Com Truise. Yes, they both are groove grillers.
Speaking of groove, Del The Funky Homosapien brought the house down with his unique lip smacking. He drew back on his career of guest spotting doing some Deltron 3030 and even the Gorillaz Clint Eastwood. His original stuff is just a bouncy. Great set indeed.
Flying Lotus turned my head upside down. What went from the Adult Swim soundtrack is now Thom Yorke’s best buddy. His beats are not unlike Baths, but he pulls references from all over the place. He also buzzes and grinds more. The last song had the whole field bouncing.
|I wanted to catch a little bit of Diplo and I’m glad I did. It seems Diplo cleans the buzzing from Flying Lotus and makes it more bloopy and bleepy. It was pure techno and he educated the crowd how they do it overseas.
Lastly, it was face melter time. That’s right, Slayer closed out the day and the festival. I was hoping they would play some songs that I was more familiar with, but I will take the pure genius of the rest of the music. To think that these guys were around in the 80s and still are one of the heaviest bands out there is a testament to their legendary status. If you need metal, you can’t go wrong with Fucking Slayer.
All in all the day was fulfilling. The bucket list of bands I enjoy that I needed to see shrank greatly. My biggest regret was the Texas Popper from Handshakes. Oh it was delicious, but I did not expect that much jalapeno juice in my chocolate shake. It took about half of the day to recover from that. I’m still happily recovering from the tasty tunes of Fun Fun Fun Festival.
So Day 02 of my SXSW Music experience was an around the world roller coaster, so to say. The first night rocked my socks of and I was ready to get my velcro shoes back on the dirt to check out what the day had for me. It was also St. Patrick’s Day so I decked out in my luck green shirt, my lucky green beads, and my lucky green tie. I could’ve used a little more luck as my night ended on such a terrible brown note. But, minor explosions aside, I had a great time. Let’s run down the list:
Pollack is the name of the first band I saw and I can’t recall anything that stuck out in my head about this band. Maybe when I go over the videos I gathered, I can remember but right now nothing seems to pop.
Next up was Marianne Dissard. She was part of the French Rocks party tent and she had her French hanging all the way out. The sultry lady sung in deep French language and had a morose, romantic tone about her. Whatever it was she was singing about it sounded like it was sad love.
Emmylou Harris took the Radio Day Stage and I had a chance to hear two songs from her touring set. She’s a country legend and the way she picked on the guitar left no question as to why. The sound was apt for the afternoon Austin sun.
I doubled back to the French Rocks tent and checked out Revolver. They were the best of the three acts I saw at the French Rocks tent as I seem to remember they were a little more rock and hardcore than the rest of my listened to set.
After that it was back to Latitude 30 for some more British Embassy music. Matrimony and was playing and I want to say that his looks were way better than his sound. The dread locks hanging over the eyes blocked the Boy George eyes he was hiding. The music was more like piano with just a small hint of accompaniment. Nothing really special here.
The Lost Brothers took the stage next and pepped up the crowd a bit. I like this band but I wasn’t sure if it was because of the previous dude or just their good natured playing.
Flatstock, the poster convention, takes place at the same time as SXSW to help attract musicians to concert artists. This year they put on acts in front of the place to help attract others there. I dropped by there to check out the Sea of Bees. My Indie quota should be filled by this group. The harmony of the lead singer lady and her violin player shone through best for me.
The shuttle saved some foot time for the Auditorium Shores to check out The Strokes. They were top on my list to see this year and the ginormous venue didn’t shake any of the excitement off for me. They all played a very tight set and convinced me double wise to check out their new album.
This is where things turn weird. I had a couple of tacos from Damn Good Tacos and after walking back to the hotel and heading out, I realized that they were doing a damn good number on my intestines. Montezuma’s revenge hit and hit hard. But not after I checked out Unicorn Kid at the Phoenix. The small Scottish boy plays what I call video game techno music. I could see myself saving a princess in some red and pink level while listening to Unicorn Kid’s crunchy music. Or maybe I was hallucinating.
That was it for the night for me. I ducked into a karaoke bar of all places to clean myself out before deciding that I needed to head to the hotel and call it a night. I missed a couple of more acts but more importantly I didn’t die. That said, the line up for Day 02 was respectable and I’m glad I got to rock out to The Strokes.