Fun Fun Fun Fest is this weekend. You know about Slayer and M.I.A. You're ready to bump into some strangers to FLAG and stand awestruck before Television and doze off during MGMT.
But one of the delights of this particular festival is the oddity of the undercard. That's where you'll find the stuff you don't see every tour cycle at your local Verizon Theater. And this year's lineup is probably the most interesting yet. Here are a few of the bands you might want to add to your schedule.
Saturday, 3:15 p.m. on the Blue Stage Saturday, 10 p.m. at The Belmont (Nites)
Blunt force repetition had its little moment in hip-hop, but lyrical chops have returned, led by masterful storyteller Kendrick Lamar and an even greener crop of new talent. Rising quickly is NYC's Flatbush Zombies. Come for the DIY ethos (no label, no publicist, just two mixtapes you can download for free), stay for lines like this one, from latest single "Death": "Defying odds...no facade, man, my city like Oz."Craig Robinson & the Nasty Delicious
Saturday, 10:55 p.m. at Mohawk (Nites)
Officially it's just listed as a Craig Robinson set, but there have been some hints that this one's actually his band the Nasty Delicious. OK, so it's sort of a novelty to see a sitcom scene stealer play a full set of songs, presumably involving some combination of stuff from The Office and that panties song from This is The End and that wonderful Black Eyed Peas cover from Hot Tub Time Machine. But there's a reason people keep giving Robinson singing roles in otherwise non-musical enterprises. And that band, based on what little shaky YouTube evidence exists, is a damn good time.
The Men Saturday, 12:45 a.m. at North Door (Nites) Sunday, 2:40 p.m. on the Black Stage
It's taken three years for The Men to go from furious punk to an acoustic EP literally called "Campfire Songs," but the evolution hasn't felt like a band searching for something to be good at. They've been good at everything they've tried (let's just go with rock & roll).Lee Fields
Saturday, 12:30 a.m. at Red 7 (Nites)
We've talked about this already, but tower of power Lee Fields is shooting off the hottest sparks of his career with fresh-faced band The Expressions. Sometimes these old soul dust-offs feel exploitive. Not here, where Fields is so clearly calling the shots.Body Count
Saturday, 6:25 p.m. on the Black Stage
Holy shit it's Ice-T's metal band.The Julie Ruin
Sunday, 3:30 p.m. on the Orange Stage
The Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna put out a solo album as Julie Ruin in the late '90s, but it only turned into a full-fledged band in 2010. Their first single featured vocals from genderqueer performing artist Vaginal Davis, and former Bikini Kill bandmate Kathi Wilcox is involved.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.