Yes. Fun Fun Fun Fest is this weekend in Austin, and judging by the eclectic-as-ever line-up, the name continues to become even more appropriate with each passing year. Celebrating its sixth birthday, the bash will take place on Auditorium Shores, which marks a step into more of a big-time, destination festival direction.
As the list of performers is read, it's easy to focus on the bigger names that will headline each of the four stages. With attention-grabbing seminal acts such as Public Enemy, The Damned, Slayer and Henry Rollins closing out their respective stages at night, it would be a shame for people to skip over the worthy names that might be playing earlier in the day.
We'll be there (as well our sister paper Houston Press--check out their picks), and we'll certainly be ready to have Fun to the third degree. Here's a list of the non-headliners were looking forward to the most this weekend.
Given the influx of newish bands that are resurrecting the dream-pop and shoegazing sounds of the 1990s, it's only fitting that one of the bands that helped Americans embrace that sound reunite for a festival such as this. Their hit, "Stars," isn't anywhere near the best tune on their fantastic 1995 album, You'd Prefer An Astronaut, so it should be a pretty sweet set on Sunday night.
Asobi Seksu (Sunday)
Many might say that this band also looks to somewhat replicate the melodic dreaminess of the 1990s alt-universe. Recent tourmates of our own True Widow, this Brooklyn-based act is far more versatile than many seem to suggest, thanks to their latest album, Flouraesence.
The Joy Formidable (Saturday)
Don't wait for Sunday to hear musical reminders of My Bloody Valentine. Perhaps the buzziest band on the entire bill has just opened a string of shows for the Foo Fighters and has been making the late-night television circuit. Their Big Roar LP is one of the year's best and lead singing blond, Ritzy Bryan, is every bit as engaging of a leading lady as some girl named Annie Clark.
The Hey Cupcake Trailer (All Weekend)
If you haven't hit the Hey, Cupcake! Trailer on South Congress before, you should make this your maiden voyage into the land of confectionary nirvana.
Many (rightfully) cite Eric B. and Rakim's classic Paid in Full as perhaps the greatest hip-hop album of all-time, which is reason enough for you to run, not walk, and grab a great spot in front of his stage.
OK, maybe this electronic act is buzzing even louder than The Joy Formidable. We weren't really sure what to make of the new album until we listened to some of the remixes on a companion EP to the Anthony Gonzalez led Midnight City LP. Now, we can't stop listening.
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Thee Oh Sees (Friday)
Sloppy, scrappy garage rock will never die. Want proof? Check out San Fran's Thee Oh Sees and accept the immortality of wall-rattling, skuzzy fun.
The Upright Citizens Brigade (Friday)
Without any doubts, Reggie Watts and Brian Poesehn are the big comedy stars of this year's festival. But there is little doubt that this long-running comedy troupe is as responsible for the rise of so-called "alt-comedy" in recent years as anyone is. This is the type of performer, perhaps more than any other on the entire bill -- comedy or musical -- that makes FFF Fest truly stand out when compared to that other festival that takes place in Austin during the fall.
The Felice Brothers & Gil Landry (Saturday Night)
This bill of former buskers is actually one of the after-parties that will take place in one of the clubs near the festival grounds. While the Felice Brothers are well known for their subversively lively shows, the real gem could be Landry. The first of the Old Crow Medicine Show members to get out on the road extensively since that band's
demise (their management informs us that they are only on a brief hiatus and will return with a new album in 2012), we could be witnessing the birth of a new rootsy star.
What the Hell: Magic Stunt Show (Sunday)
What's there to say, really? Doesn't it sound like something that would be worth your time at a festival such as FFF Fest? Yes. It does. The Anarchy Championship Wrestling on Friday also qualifies under the same logic.