Monday, November 7, 2011
Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011: Day 1 (Part 1)
There is a secret that everyone in Austin knows: Fun Fun Fun Fest is a better music festival then Austin City Limits. And if any year was going to confirm that fact, it would be this year's. The biggest year yet, at new location Auditorium Shores, it might have been their best year as well. Having been able to see everything from Okkervil River to Spoon to Black Lips within the same weekend is almost too much for one mind to comprehend. To a degree that's actually true because I am still coming down from it. I will break it down day by day, hopefully successfully communicating what a whirlwind of a three days it was.
It's nice starting Fun Fun Fun Fest with a local band. It's a nice connection to the Fest's past; despite how big it will get, Fun Fun Fun Fest will always support the local scene. Mind Spiders are from Denton, emerging from the ashes of The Marked Men, and sounding nothing like them. Expanded into a six-piece (with two drummers), the band has a sci-fi element to them that doesn't make them New Wave, but doesn't keep them solid punk either. Like Devo covered by a pop-punk band, or a less intense Exposies, they were solidly catchy, and while not the most memorable show on Friday, a solid set none the less.
I think people were aware that Cloud Nothings were going to try out new material at during their set. And hey, I'm all for hearing new sounds and styles from band's I love. But the shift from Cloud Nothings old sound to what they played here was way too big a gap. Every song was a marathon jam session of long, sprawling post-punk/grunge infused songs. Cloud Nothings played everything as passionately as they played their (former?) power-pop songs, but the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd sort of proved that passion is not the same as quality.
Altercation Punk Comedy Tour
The Yellow stage is where all the randomness and comedy of Fun Fun Fun Fest. While it is often ignored in favor of its musical oriented brothers, it has its own share of gems as well. Case in point with with the Altercation Punk Comedy Tour set. Three local comedians led by JT Habersaat, who performed anger filled, volatile comedy. Everything from homogenization because of the internet to finding out a blind date sells heroin on the side, the harshest of topics were bent to comedic intelligence. Habersaat closed out the set by just reading from a trashy romance novel from Walmart themed around pregnancy that was one of fall-out funniest things I have ever heard.
Whoa, what a set. One wouldn't think that Ty Segall and his bandmates would be able to translate all of their intensity at a fest type show, but boy would you be wrong. Segall just raged though his songs in a a super sloppy manner that resulted in his guitar strap coming off within the first song (among other similar instances). But he just kept banging and raging away so much that no one even noticed, all of them too busy going crazy and kicking up a dust storm. Even that wasn't enough to detour most people, as Segall soundtracked the chaos and crowd surfing to "Girlfriend" and "You Make The Sun Fry". It was a chaotic and manic set, but a knockout set none the less.