Taking the stage in sweatpants, cutoff flannel shirts, and sunglasses on Saturday afternoon, Wavves had a slow start to their 3:30 spot. While the band worked on getting a replacement pedal and tweaking the tuning of a Telecaster Thinline, a restless crowd eagerly waited for the surf-inspired noise punk band to deliver. When they did, it was a sound different than one would expect from the highly lo-fi release that put them on hipster radar. Their live show was a youthful punk approach to the beachy indie pop dominating music lately.
Best Coast took the same stage the following evening. Frontwoman Bethany Cosentino, throwing sunglasses into the crowd as the sun set on Austin, took the stage as a confident woman in charge and filled the air with strong vocals that could give Emily Haines a run for her money. But instead of delivering the biting songs one might expect from a west-coast, mostly female band, Best Coast brought to the table stripped down songs about longing and boys, reminding us that we’re not so removed from those rudimentary emotions and core experiences. In a state that celebrates rich, early pop roots that run through Lubbock, these themes are dear to our hearts. Before wishing the front woman of Cults, who played dreamy throwback pop directly before Best Coast, a happy birthday, Cosentino told the crowd that their bass player was eager to see the bands on the metal-heavy Black Stage later that night and continued, “Poor guy has to play in a girlie band.” Also celebrating a birthday at Fun Fun Fun Fest was Chazwick Bundick of southeastern act Toro Y Moi, whose chillwave sounds were an excellent complement to the previous night’s headliner MGMT.
Highlights of the Black Stage included Mastodon, Suicidal Tendencies, Bad Religion, GWAR, and Floor. Japanese band and local favorites Peelander-Z were a huge draw, entertaining with a stage show that extended into the crowd and included props, costumes, and audience participation. Rock fans were forced to choose between gruff Municipal Waste, whose anthems “The Thrashin’ of Christ,” “Bangover,” and “Beer Pressure” always warrant pause for respect, and Israel’s Monotonix, who have set the performance bar high by continuing to perform after their frontman broke his leg earlier this year. Both bands played at the same time on neighboring stages.
Jon Kjarsgaard (that’s pronounced cares-guard) of Jonk Music acts as a daily curator/aggregator for songs and writing clips from around the internet – he sorts through it all so you don’t have to. Jon was kind enough to volunteer to make us a mix while chatting over drinks a couple weeks ago, and compiled this lovely ode to sand, summer, and being in love. Whether you’re in a cubicle or oceanside, this mix is the sonic equivalent of salt-spray on summer skin.
SUMMER JAMS ’10
01| Dom – Living in America
02| The Pass – Cross Walk Stereo
03| Best Coast – Boyfriend
04| Wavves – King of the Beach
05| Beat Connection – In the Water
06| Beach Fossils – Daydream
07| Superhumanoids – Hey Big Bang
08| Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks
09| Evan Voytas – I Took A Trip on a Plane
10| Rai Knight – New New
11| The Naked and Famous – Young Blood
12| Lemonade – Lifted
13| Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill
14| Tennis – Marathon
15| Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Vocal Chords
16| Cults – Go Outside
17| Twin Sister – All Around and Away We Go
18| Wild Nothing – Summer Holiday
19| The Suzan – Home
20| Minks – Funeral Song