Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013: The 25 Most Important Things We Learned
It's nice when a festival eschews mega-huge beer money and goes with something more respectable, like Fun Fun Fun did with Shiner, the only beer available onsite (although in many varieties). No Budweiser Tent/Stage/Building here, and the festival's all the better for it. Hell, the lack of any blindingly obvious sponsorship at all being forced down your throat is a breath of fresh air for music festivals. Gavin Cleaver
Seeing Kathleen Hanna shout, "Yeah!" is one of live music's great pleasures. She was wild and goofy, wearing a leotard partly to mock her pant-less pop star peers. And the former Bikini Kill frontwoman has lost none of her magnetic presence. Her Julie Ruin songs are simple and subtle ("Girls like us carry our passports, just in case, you know, we have to go," she sings in mock Valley Girl) and their set was among the best anyone put on all weekend. But there is no topping that, "Yeah!" -- a primal thing that seems to start out in her feet and rush, bubbling, up to her lips.Kiernan Maletsky
Sometimes, as in the case of The Locust, technical difficulties can heighten excitement rather than dampen a crowd. After an agonizing wait (and some frantic scrambling backstage), the four-piece tore a hole in the Black Stage large enough to fit whatever goddamn genre it is they play inside. If a locust could play a song, it would probably sound like this. GC
Things to do before next year: Learn how to skateboard, because then there's a chance I'll be able to do it on a ramp with FLAG or Descendants or The Men playing in the background. I cannot imagine a cooler way to hear those bands. KM
Don't stand in the front row of a Bridget Everett show. Or do, maybe, to get the full experience of one of the most commanding entertainers I have ever seen. But just know you might get wet. She stormed on stage to hair metal, ripped off her sequined gown and gleeked some chardonnay she had in a brown bag into the crowd. She looked down at her targets. "It's going to get a lot worse," she said flatly. And it would. KM
The Zen of Killer Mike. Scheduled to play atop the skate ramp, one of the most commanding presences in hip-hop also proved one of the most patient as it became clearer and clearer that there was no plan. DJ Trackstar set up his table against the railing, but there wasn't enough space for the monitors, so even when the mic was working it was feeding back terribly. There were a few false starts and ultimately they just packed up, with Mike having started two songs and shouted a couple others a capella, the crowd rapping along.
But rather than do either of the two things that could have turned the situation ugly, which were to walk off silently and leave the staff to fend for themselves or actively get pissed off up there, Killer Mike stayed in good spirits, voicing his approval at the idea, at least, and promising a show that night. And he delivered with a set at Red 7. KM
Austin seems to have some kind of static food truck district near the festival, where refugees from FFFF could go to escape. We happened on it while lost. Why does a thing that can't move need wheels? Is that a stupid question? Probably, yes. GC
Writing a musical about wooing Ingmar Bergman is an odd career move, but according to Sparks the film will be out next year. Also Sparks were incredible. The excerpts from the musical, which as far as I could make out involved kidnapping Ingmar Bergman's husband and sailing out to sea, give an interesting insight into the wooing techniques of the Mael brothers. GC
MIA will test whatever limit you give her. As it was, you probably could have set a piece of paper on the ground in front of the subwoofers and watched the sound waves float it into the air a few inches off the ground. It strained the system, her sirens crackling over top, and gave the whole thing the feel of a monolithic bootleg tape. Perfect. KM
MGMT live are like Pink Floyd, only shitty. GC
|Keith Morris, as it turns out, is not too old for this shit.|
Free Nites concerts are great, but three consecutive 14-hour days might be pushing it at my age. All those youngsters probably loved it, though. They're probably all running laps right now. GC
The Fun Fun Fun Fest pocket guide comes with #PROTIPS. Among the highlights:
If you see something you like, look over the top of your shades at it.
We think Tenacious D should change their name to Tenacious Dio. Join us. It's just two letters.
Don't mention that both Ice-T and his wife Coco are also names of drinks. They know that shit.
The fleeing from speakers by the stage when the true extent of the volume of Slayer's double-pedalling became apparent was something to behold. Also, Slayer drew the smallest crowd of a main stage headliner all weekend. GC
The closest hotel to the Festival was the Hyatt Regency. If you wanted to see Snoop Dogg on an elevator or members of your favorite band getting a drink at the bar, that was the place to be. But the Hyatt was also host to F1 in schools world final this weekend. 40 teams from 38 countries built tiny F1 models, raced them at a local, regional and national level and all wound up in Austin. You could meet a couple teenagers from Bahrain and talk to some engineering students from Pennsylvania. I did, and they were far, far smarter than I am. They'd noticed the festival, obviously, but were surprised to learn that it was housing much of the lineup. Their friend who told them he saw Snoop wasn't messing with them, though he was when he followed that up with an alleged Bob Dylan sighting. KM