Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Austin, TX -- A press conference with Fun Fun Fun Fest founder Graham Williams and executive team members James Moody (Transmission Entertainment, Mohawk) and Johnny Sarkis took place at Wyndham Garden Hotel today. Conducted in sharp business attire, “Fun-Sultan” and local comedic genius Matt Bearden led the rare sit-down opportunity and welcomed attendees before giving the floor to Sarkis and Moody. The directors of “Research and Design for Fun” and “Marketing and Research for Fun” led an engaging Power Point display which gave more insight into FX3 Fest’s beliefs and primary objectives.
After a slide show of empowering feel good images, Sarkas went over a brief list of bullet points denoting FX3 Fest’s notable recognitions including an “annual increase in beards while maintaining a strict ‘no jam band’ policy.” Moody continued the presentation with a break-down of fun people were having in the categories of Stage Diving, Air Drumming, and Partying/Good Times.” We’re predicating an exponential growth of awesome this year and we’d like for you guys to prepare for that too. We found that these festivals are becoming at least 22.3% more fun, year after and year and this year is no different,” said Moody. “Stage diving is forecasted to increase at least 100% in 2010… this data is directly related to the Black Stage. We do think increases in air drumming will happen at the Yellow Stage.”
With Fun Fun Fun Fest in its fifth year, a concern for fun levels had initially risen amongst the team but Moody has voiced a vow to protect the essence of fun. “We’re concerned about fun in our future. And we’re in for supporting a bail-out for fun, we want to invest in a stimulus package so our grandkids kids can experience fun. Amen.” Apart from stand up comedy, activities including Live Action Wrestling, a Veggie Hot Dog Eating Contest and an Air Sex Contest have been added to the bill.
After a round of applause, Moody handed the microphone to Bearden who announced a handful of acts before full lineup sheets were passed around the room. Concluding a Q&A session was a moment of silence for the late Ronnie James Dio. Attendees were invited to nosh on chicken wings, jelly donuts and cold tap water located in the back of the room.
Fun Fun Fun Fest will be held November 5-7, 2010 at Waterloo Park. The 3 day fest kicks off on Friday at 6 p.m. with legendary Weird Al Yankovic headling. Other distinguished acts include DEVO, MGMT, Bad Religion, Mastadon, GWAR, Slick Rick, Cold Cave, and Dirty Projectors. Limited Early Bird tickets go on sale TODAY.
FUN FUN FUN FEST 2010 COMPLETE SCHEDULE:
Devo, MGMT, Weird Al Yankovic, Dirty Projectors, Hold Steady, Deerhunter, Man Man, Cap'n Jazz, WAVVES, Polvo, OS Mutantes, Ariel Pink, Kaki King, Dum Dum Girls, Appleseed Cast, Margot and Nuclear So and Sos, Best Coast, Crocodiles, Toro Y Moi, Magic Kids, Junius, Woven Bones, Royal Forest, Indian Jewelry, Mother Falcon
Mastodon, Bad Religion, GWAR, Suicidal Tendencies, The Vandals, Dwarves, High on Fire, The Gories, Snapcase, Floor, Municipal Waste, Strike Anywhere, The Bronx, Ringworm, Valient Thorr, Jeff The Brotherhood, Kylesa, OFF!, The Briggs, Power Trip, Eagle Claw, Peelander Z , Hatred Surge, Black Congress
RJD2, Slick Rick (performing "great adventures of"), A-trak, Yelle, Deakin (of Animal Collective), Delorean, Big Freedia, Designer Drugs, Dam- Funk, Dominique Young Unique, Devin The Dude, Invincible, Butcher Bear and Charlie, League of Extraordinary Gz, DJ Nick Nack, Pharoahe Monch, POS,Jean Grae, Black Nasty, DJ Bird Peterson, Crew 54
Cold Cave, Monotonix, Mariachi El Bronx, Live Action Wrestling, Punk Rock Story Time with Joe Sib (spoken word), New Movement (live sketch comedy), Air Sex Contest (presented by Alamo Drafthouse), Live Stunt Show, Veggie Hot Dog Eating Contest, Visual Assault Video Shows, Stand Up Comedy with: Matt Bearden, Altercation Punk Rock Comedy tour and many more.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The Big Pink first caught my attention with their single "Velvet," a dreamy collage of industrial beats amidst a droning guitar shred. I played it over and over and over until I got my hands on the debut album A Brief History of Love, which became an automatic favorite. While being more reminiscent of Jesus and the Mary Chain, the band took its name from country soul rockers The Band’s debut album Music from Big Pink. The duo consists of multi-instrumentalists Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell.
The first track "Crystal Visions," brings out the shoe gazer in everyone. The memorizing track explodes into a psychedelic explosion of phase-shifting, echoed guitars and a repetitive bass riff which initially reminded of a Black Angels show I attended a few years back. A pervading warped, chilly, haunted ambiance lingers throughout the track’s hook-heavy reverb.
Third track and first single of the album, “Dominos” commences with rhythmic propulsion of drumming followed by the elated, yet heartless chorus “these girls fall like dominos, dominos… these girls fall like dominos, dominos.” The lyrics allude to the fact and unfortunate pleasure of breaking hearts. Despite this, every song on the album has a different take and angle of love, from starlit romance to destructive desire.
The last track, “Count Backwards from Ten,” begins with someone’s heavy foot on the distortion pedal but quickly unfolds into a cascading melody of sadness. Oddly this track is unlike all the others in that it sounds less industrial machine made and more like something Oasis would put out. Regardless, this album proves to be a modern masterpiece and an honest ode to the greatest feeling in the world, love.
The Big Pink will be playing here in our backyard at the Parish, Thursday, April 8 with a Place to Bury Strangers. Buy yo’ tickets here.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
In less than a week from now, Fun Fun Fun Fest or the “Greatest. Festival. Ever,” as dubbed by credible music blog the Brooklyn Vegan will take over Waterloo Park. The ultra cool hipster’s wet dream features acts such as Crystal Castles, Of Montreal, Ratatat, Cool Kids, HEALTH, Atlas Sound and Les Savy Fav to name a few. This year’s highlights include Danzig, formerly of the Misfits, recently reunited 1970’s Detroit punk rock band DEATH and alternative rockers The Jesus Lizard, who originally formed in Austin back in the 80’s.
The fourth annual music fest which encompasses the notable genres of indie rock, punk, and hip hop has hosted performers Murder City Devils, Bad Brains, Dan Deacon, Cadence Weapon, MGMT and Atmosphere in the past. The brainchild of former Emo’s talent booker Graham Williams was actually conceived by accident. “I was booking for the club one weekend and a bunch of tours that were hitting Austin at the same time. We couldn’t accommodate them and neither could any other club in town it seemed, so I teamed up with my friends at Alamo Drafthouse, whom I'd done a few events at Waterloo Park with, and we rented the park to have a show...more bands were added and it ended up being a fest by default,” said Williams.
Since its beginning in 2006, the fest has added comedy, a fourth stage and tripled in artist count, bringing the amount close to 90. Also involved in the project are James Moody, owner of the Mohawk and Michael Terrazas of Club DeVille who are also partners in Transmission Entertainment, local music booking and promotions company. The trio met while Williams was trying to find a venue for a band that wouldn’t play Emo’s. He called around to a few places, including the Mohawk and the dialogue with Moody and Terrazas (who is also an investor in Mohawk) just grew from there.
“The partners of Fun Fun Fun Fest are me, Graham and Michael, but we involve everyone, from our stage managers and our bookers Joe, Rosa and Brendan, our sponsor guy---we all vote and talk about bands that would be good. Graham is sort of the final say so because he started it. He’s the founder, but we all work together,” said Moody. Transmission Entertainment was formed almost out of necessity, because the progressive underground music market wasn’t being serviced. “We started it as a market need for local bands and up-in-coming bands,” said Moody. “We wanted to service that market of really talented struggling musicians and no one was really doing it and that’s how we started.”
Before making his home Austin eight years ago, Moody resided in 15 cities. “My dad was in the Air Force and he kind of dragged me all over the world... Germany, Nebraska, South Dakota, California ( a couple times), four different places in Louisiana, lived in Seattle,” he said. Like Williams, Moody also began his music career route by booking gigs for a club in Ruston, Louisiana. “The owner kinda said, “what are the kids listening too?” so I booked some what they called at the time “alternative,” but we don’t use that term anymore.”
We had the chance to ask both Williams and Moody a couple of questions about the festival and here’s what they had to say.
CC: What is your future vision for FFFFEST?
GW: I don't know… the concept has to stay the same from the style of music we book and the mix of genres--the whole scene within a scene concept. I could see it growing a bit, but I know it'll never be TOO big...and I don't want it to be.
JM: To be great at the middle, like to be a solid-medium sized fest. We don’t ever want to be a sort of big, huge fest, because it’s already been done and it’s being done well. We want to try to hold on, as closely as we can to that intimate experience of seeing a really big and talented band in a relatively small environment.
CC: What are some of the highlights this year, which acts are you looking forward to the most?
GW: Man, that's tough. I don't mean to pat myself on the back to hard, but this year is pretty fucking awesome. I mean there are so many bands I want to watch and so many playing at the same time...off the top of my head: The Jesus Lizard, Gorilla Biscuits, Destroyer, Crystal Castles, Pharcyde, GZA, DEATH, Mika Miko, Torche, Les Savy Fav, Buraka Som Sistema, etc, etc.... I'd say 75% of the acts I want to watch this year.
JM: Oh Danzig for me, just because I grew up with Misfits. Jesus Lizard getting back together is huge because David Yow is crazy and always puts on an insane show. Les Savy Fav, Pharcyde and one of the biggest stories, DEATH.
CC: How do you remain energetic throughout the weekend?
GW: I eat healthy; I try and get some sleep. I don't drink, so that helps. It's tough, because aside from all the set up and running the show, we also have all these big after parties at night during the festival, so we're out super late every night too and then back down there crack of dawn.
JM: I use a lot of tools, things like booze, Red Bull, gum, friends, popcorn, candy, coffee… Amongst all those things I tend to make it through plus we work all year for this, so the adrenalin alone gets me through the weekend, but I always crash real hard by the time Monday rolls around.
CC: Any advice for people who aspire to work in the music scene?
GW: You have to do it because you love it or want to do it, never because you think you'll make a ton of money. It's like playing music, being an artist, etc… if you do it right and because you want to do it and it's something you believe in, it usually works out. I think too many people go into it thinking it's going to be like any other job, but it’s not.
JM: You gotta fight for it; it’s a labor of love. You may never make money in it, but that’s not what it’s about. Those that make money in it are very few; but if you can make just enough money in it to make a decent living and pay your rent, then your blessed and lucky and that’s what you should fight for being able to do what you love and live in a place like Austin… those are my goals. Stay committed to it and it’ll happen, but also, make sure your goals are more around the music than around the business… then you’ll probably do well.
CC: What's currently rotating in your CD player? (What are you listening to?)
GW: I've been listening to DEATH a lot and that new Phoenix is the jam too. Been playing Negative Approach on my iPod a lot since they're playing a FFF afterparty and it's got me in the mood. And for some reason I've noticed me playing "Tim" by the Replacements a bunch these past few weeks. Not sure why, but it's been on regular rotation and all that. The Burn 7" I've played a good amt lately for some reason as well. The new YYY’s is underrated… Oh yeah, that Mayer Hawthorne record is really good too.
JM: I’ve been listening to Fugazi, School of Seven Bells….The new Dinosaur Jr. is amazing. I’ve been listening to the Junior Boys, Murder City Devils and rotating some more Danzig into my system just to get ready for November.
Tickets for the two-day festival are still available and you can purchase them HERE.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Disco Doom, a relatively unknown band from Zurich, Switzerland was the opening band for Saturday’s 90’s indie explosion at Stubb's. The Swiss rockers were a perfect addition to the full lineup with their mixture of instrumental distortion, exploding atmospheric rhythm, mesmerizing guitar vibrato and down-tempo vocals. Second on the list were Dinosaur Jr.’s bassist Lou Barlow & The Missing Men, which were sort of a back-up band for Barlow’s solo stuff. Serving double duty, Barlow mostly played songs off his new record Goodnight Unknown which was released earlier in the month. Despite stopping and restarting the opening track twice, the rest of the set ran smoothly.
Following were notoriously loud alt-rockers Dinosaur Jr. Fans unequipped with ear plugs found themselves covering their ears more often than not as guitarist J Mascis’ distorted sonic waves boomed loudly over the three Marshall quad cabinets behind him. Almost from the beginning, a rowdy mosh pit consisting of mostly younger men slamming and shoving into each other occupied the front of the stage. “Murph is sick, he has the flu” announced Barlow over the microphone which loud applause from the slew of varied demographic of younger-aged and “back in the day” fans. The crowd went wild when the trio played “Feel The Pain,” off their 1996 release Without a Sound, the band’s most commercially successful album. “I Don’t Wanna Go There,” off the new album Farm concluded the deafening performance.
Before Built to Spill, the evening’s headliners, came on stage, Chicago based poet Thax Douglas recited a few lines inspired by the band. Douglas is a notorious “rock poet” who has read poetry before other notable acts including Andrew Bird, the Arctic Monkeys, Guided by Voices, The Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, Wilco, The White Stripes and Modest Mouse to name a few. He has since moved to Austin and has been spotted around town reading poetry for acts such as Sunny Day Real Estate.
Several minutes later, Built to Spill emerged from the darkness and commenced with “Three Years Ago Today,” a track from their latest release There is No Enemy. They followed with crowd pleaser “Distopian Dream Girl,” which solicited dancing and singing from fans. Front man Doug Martsch uttered “thank you” almost after every song. Mid-set, guitarist Brett Netson went into a political rant stating that “tonight is the 80th Anniversary of the American Stock Market crash, we’re in the second” while he pointed at the apartment complexes around the venue. He then said, “the next two songs are for the Texas Liberals.” The first of the two was “Wherever you Go,” a very jam and spacey melodic track off their 2006 release You in Reverse followed by “Planting Seeds” off of recent album There is No Enemy.
“We’re going to have to skip a song,” announced Martsch before going into “Big Dipper.” After finishing and thanking the audience, the band walked off stage only minutes to return to a crowding chanting “one more song, one more song.” “Stop the Show” from the band’s third album Perfect from Now On was the encore. The distorted chord progressions, swirly-psych riffling and upbeat drumming were a wonderful exit piece for a night of mind-blowing and eardrum busting music.
All photos by Ed Lehmann. Go to AustinExposure.net to see more.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Why There Are Mountains is the independently released debut for indie rockers Cymbals Eat Guitars. Heavily reminiscent of Built to Spill, Pavement, and early Modest Mouse, Cymbals Eat Guitars encompass that familiar indie 90’s era with their slow disheveled strummed verses and loud boisterous choruses. Forming in 2005, the quartet hails from Stanton Island, New York and consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Joseph D'Agostino, drummer Matthew Miller, bassist/vocalist Neil Berenholz and keyboardist/vocalist Brian Hamilton.
The first track entitled “And the Hazy Sea,” erupts into an explosion of noise rock and screaming, but quickly defuses into a more passive melodic harmony only to skyrocket back into an outburst of guitar-saturated bombast. The song moves into a pattern of quiet, hushed moments followed by clamorous intervals. The back and forth bipolar rollercoaster ride concludes with an intensely layered concoction of distorted guitars, almost inaudible vocals and gentle cymbal tapping. This track is also the album’s debut single.
“Indiana,” features a Polyphonic Spree melody gracefully accompanied by D’Agostino’s nasally adenoidal vocals. This track is probably the most upbeat and “happiest” of the album with its poppy composition of soft piano and bubbly guitar.
Despite being engaging and convincing, transitions between songs of the album are seemingly non-existent. While many of the tracks sound like they’ll lead flawlessly into the next song, they usually don’t and are often followed by a track which is completely different from the preceding.
The album’s concluding track “Like Blood Does” starts off tranquil and slow-paced, but like most of the other songs mutates into an orchestration of loud vocal resonance, guitar distortion and prolonged reverberation. The crazy instrumentation lasts 40 seconds which is long enough to take someone for a ride mentally.
The band, which is currently on tour with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart played the Mohawk a few weeks ago. While we were unable to attend, we heard that they absolutely killed it!
Why There Are Mountains drops next Wednesday, October 14th.
Monday, September 28, 2009
XX is the debut album for The xx, a South West London quartet who aren’t even old enough to drink in United States. The four 20-year olds met at Elliott School in London, whose notable alumni include Hot Chip, Four Tet and dubstep producer Burial. The band consists Romy Madley Croft on vocals and guitarist, Oliver Sim on vocals and bass, Baria Quershi on guitar and Jamie Smith on sampler.
The album's opening number is a 2 minute instrumental prelude into this dreamy pop album. The song is reminiscent of something you’d hear on a Pure Moods CD commercial with its new age guitar riff, tribal drum beat and chanting. “VCR” begins with a toy xylophone melody which is quickly joined by a down tempo guitar rift. The album’s second single “Crystallized,” is undeniably the album’s stand out track; commencing with a gradually increasingly high pitch “oooh” sound which becomes almost uncomfortable until interrupted by an arpeggio of guitar chords. “Islands,” is the most upbeat track of the entire track which offers some sort of hope for love.
“Fantasy” is a sensual, yet disconnected reverb heavy track that seems to serve no real purpose other than an introductory to the sultry “Shelter.” The only thing perpetual about “Infinity” is Sim’s persistence in pleading Oliver to “give it up.”Oliver repeatedly refutes with a soft, almost desensitized “I can’t give it up.” The last track entitled “Stars” begins with a heavy bass line which seems like it’s going to go in the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.” After a few strums, the beat is abruptly consumed by a sequence of three piano notes which play over and over throughout the song.
This overtly sensual and slow-strummed album encompasses a theme relating to relationships, feelings, and love, and has become a personal favorite. I look forward seeing The xx when they open up for Friendly Fires at the Mohawk on Thursday, November 19. You can buy your tickets at the door.