You can think of this weekend's Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin as the indie, metal, and hip-hop little brother of the more staid Austin City Limits Music Festival. The fourth edition of the two-day event held in Waterloo Park in Austin starts tomorrow afternoon. Per our stated life path, Rocks Off will be there covering all the bands, fans and assorted debauchery that all that comes with.
This year's line-up is rife with musical pioneers, unsung heroes, along with the usual "It" bands that you will forget in six months and the one or two bands that will soon be smirking that they were once small enough to play a side stage. In fact, indie duo MGMT played one of those stages back in 2007 and by the next fall were commanding a strong following at ACL. It's amazing what a little label push and a catchy-as-shit song can do within the span of 12 months.
Death becomes them, even after all this time.
As for this year's schedule, Rocks Off pretty much has his deck stacked to the hilt. On the noisy side of things we are looking forward to No Age, Crystal Antlers and Fucked Up. The latter's lead singer, Damian Pink Eyes Abraham was a guest on Fox News' late-night Red Eye program for some entertaining reason as a special feature. For our chipped hardcore and metal sweet tooth we can look forward to Coalesce, Coliseum and Russian Circles. Thrash is more than represented with Flipper and the Houston-bred D.R.I. making appearances.
Old-school grunge and punk is a big drawl this year, and it seems everyone venturing westward this weekend is most excited about proto-punkers Death. The Detroit band was only active from 1971 to 1976 but their sound pretty much made things like Bad Brains and classic hardcore possible. We discovered their lost studio album ...For All The World To See back in the spring and have feening for months to see them live. Rapper Mos Def is in the process of filming a documentary about the band, and may very well be in Austin for a few days.
The garage funk of King Khan & the Shrines should not be missed, and seeing that we got to see them a grand total of five times at SXSW this year, you can trust us. Canadian glitch band Crystal Castles loads up Sunday night for one of their patented beer-drenched sets. The band is fronted by the diminutive Alice Glass who makes Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs look like Celine Dion.
Austin's own The Jesus Lizard close out Saturday night with "hits" from their six stellar albums of muddy metallic grunge. If you don't own 1991's Goat, you are kind of a loser. Boston's Mission Of Burma will be on hand Sunday afternoon. We have never seen them live before but we have always heard decent things.
Later on Sunday night, we will give Danzig one more chance to somehow redeem himself after last year's horrific haughty display at the House of Blues. We really want to give Evil Elvis the benefit of the doubt, but damn if the guy doesn't just keep wagging his horror-paunch in the face of our teenage dreams.
Speaking of teenage dreams, Sunday afternoon we finally get to see Metallagher, the noted Metallica-slash-Gallagher tribute band. From what we can tell from their videos, it's awesome and incredibly genius. A whole concert is available for viewing on YouTube. Just watching it is making us want to resurrect our old Spinal Tap-slash-Carrot Top tribute act Spinal Top. It's been too long.
Tickets for the two-day show are nearing almost non-existent, but Craigslist has a few wristbands floating around, along with a ton of AC/DC tickets for tonight's gig at the Frank Erwin Center.