November 30, 2009

Festival Review: Fun Fun Fun Festival

Minor Mishap Marching Band
Photo by Tara Lacey

Waterloo Park // Austin, TX // Nov. 7-8, 2009

My Fun Fun Fun festivities may have been cut short due to a bout with streptococcus, but the fine folks over at The Austinist had plenty of pre-festival events to compensate. Friday night pre-parties dotted downtown Austin, many of them free to the public and VIP to festival attendees. Most notably was the official kickoff held in neighboring venues Mohawk and Club DeVille, called Local Music is Sexy 8. Together, the venues offered up a solid set of talent. How could a music weekend be marred by illness when it is gets started with the boisterous sounds of a bumble bee clad Minor Mishap Marching Band or chills to the tune of Austin’s own Black Before Red?

Photo by Heather Appleman

Nevermind the fact that Mika Miko and the Fuck Buttons played some of their final appearances together before hitting the road to hiatusville – the folks at Transmission Entertainment presented a solid lineup of newbies and indie heavy hitters to ease the pain of fans through music discovery. Discovery is the theme uniting festival patronage at Fun Fun Fun. This festival is all about underground acts and is thus an overtly hipster festival with few children to be found. One young man even took it on himself to capitalize on the gathering by “vending hipster” as he carried around a tray of wayfarer shades, fedora hats and other miscellaneous hipster wares for sale.

Les Savy Fav
Photo by Tevin Hudgins

As far as bands that stood out, I can only attest to Saturday’s talent (per the mentioned bout with strep throat), but let’s just say that Transmission Entertainment knows what they’re doing and once again Cherrypeel stepped up to the plate to offer festival-goers a blend of some of the most palatable indie acts. Festival heavy hitters Yeasayer rocked into the darkness with their psychedelic, synthy pop sounds, leading the way into a crazy night. Following Yeasayer’s happy art-pop, Les Savy Fav took the orange stage for a different turn with their face melting rock and over-the-top stage antics. Frontman Tim Harrington mounted a ladder and surfed it across the crowd perpendicular to the ground, then parallel, then with an unwelcome spectator aboard – all the while growling out lyrics to “The Sweat Descends” as he fought said spectator for his microphone and the spotlight.

Photo by Heather Appleman

Performer Magazine cover vets Ratatat pleased the crowd with their art riffs and heavy electro synth, but only after some serious technical difficulties from Saturday’s patchy rain. Ratatat’s tech issues left me curious as to what I was hearing from the blue stage and I headed over there to hear California alt-hop group the Pharcyde heating things up and their crowd was pumping. There were booties shaking and bodies grinding as they spit rhymes into the humid Austin night. Ratatat worked out the sound issues in time to close out Saturday strong, leaving festival-goers and strepto-infecto me ready for more.

-Tara Lacey

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