Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Fun Fun Fun Fest '10: Day 1
Fun Fun Fun Fest has got to be one of the best festivals on the planet. I have little to compare it to, having only been two other myself, I can't imagine it getting better than this. Perfect weather, shade, (relatively) cheap food, and so many great bands playing, how on earth does it improve from here? This year's Fun Fun Fun Fest was no exception, and thankfully a vast improvement over last year's rain soaked one, not to mention the festival decided to finally try out a third day, with a self imposed wacky theme to it. The entire festival was incredible, and hopefully over the next few days you see that as well. Plus, what other festival can boast having The Descendants, Dirty Projectors, and "Weird Al" Yankovic at the same place with the same amount of pride?
I had never heard of Todd Barry. Never. I have heard (after his set) he's a really funny indie comic that been around for a while, but when I arrived at the fest, I thought he was just going to be slot filler. Then I heard him do his jokes. Well, they seemed more like improved half mumbles/rambles, but they were still really funny. Whether it was mocking the hipster crowd, or bugging the Apples in Stereo for doing a sound check when he was on, something about Barry was just constantly funny. I guess that's his style, but it was a nice contrast the suger-filled WTF humor that tends to be the staple of most indie comics these days. It was stellar mood setter for the whole night, and one of the best surprises of the whole festival.
Apples In Stereo
After years of waiting, I finally got to see the Apples in Stereo live. And they were just as great as You Ain't No Picasso says they are. Coming on stage in matching silver jumpsuits and claiming to be from the future (in order to match the themes from their brand new album), the band played a rushed, but still very cool and perfectly pulled of set. Apples in Stereo just write astonishingly great pop songs, whether they are covered in fuzz or coupled with their new synth tinge. While I would have loved to hear "Tidal Wave" in person, the sunset hit and most of the crowd was singing along at full volume to "Can You Feel It?" was just as cool.
Believe it or not, it is actually a lot hard to review a comedian then it is to review a band. With bands you can talk about how different their style was, how good they pulled off the show, and a mountain of other variables. With comedians, you spill into repetition and it eventually comes down to one thing: whether or not they were funny. And Chris Hardwick was funny. Really funny. Like bust a gut, on the floor rolling funny. For anyone who says that nerd humor can't be funny has not seen Hardwick perform his stand up. Being a geek in the middle of nowhere, masturbating out of anger, joking about having sex with a monkey, while all sounding like the most childish humor around, and maybe actually is a bit childish to be honest, in the hands of Hardwick were some the best jokes around. Hardwick doesn't get to tour a lot due to his day jobs, but boy was everyone had a smile on their face when his set was done.
"Weird Al" Yankovic
For an all too brief two and a half hours, irony, hipsterism , and what constitutes what is quality music faded away. When "Weird Al" Yankovic took the stage, even the most jaded of hipsters laughed and had fun at one of the world's most famously uncool artists ever. And you know what, "Weird Al" puts on a pretty great show. Opening with clips of the surprisingly many times Yankovic has been mentioned in popular culture, Yankovic went on a tirade of what he does best, mocking popular music and making people laugh. Whether it was dressing up for every single one of his songs, his Kurt Cobain for "Smells Like Nirvana" and gangster for "White and Nerdy" being particular high lights, smashing a guitar at the end of an acoustic ballad, or stripping down to his boxers and a tutu, Yankovic managed to be so entertaining through out the night no matter what people's previous expectations of him were. Who else could manage to get to come out on in a Jedi outfit and storm troopers, get the whole crowd to sing along to "Saga Begun" AND "Lola" spoof "Yoda", and end the night with confetti and streamers? For everyone wondering why "Weird Al" was booked for a indie and metal festival, they got their answer.