fun fun fun fest: the photos

While covering Fun Fun Fun Fest 2010, Chelsea Sutton was able to snap some photos. Click either picture below to check out the album.



Cap'n Jazz

fun fun fun fest: orange and black


Special to Mixtapes|Heartbreaks, Chelsea Sutton reports on the fest.

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.


fun fun fun fest: reunions


Special to Mixtapes|Heartbreaks, Chelsea Sutton reports on the fest.
Cap'n Jazz


Highly-anticipated reunions dominated the lineup at Austin, Texas’s Fun Fun Fun Fest this year, putting the young festival on the map and lining it up for comparison with Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival or Brooklyn’s Siren Music Festival.

Marking their second stop through the central-Texas city since reuniting, Brazil’s 1960s psychedelic pop group Os Mutantes filled Saturday’s late afternoon with a mixture of new and classic songs.  Before performing one of their oldest and most recognizable hits, vocalist Sergio Diaz, who could easily fit the bill as a Fred Armisen character in an SNL sketch, assured the crowd it was an “oldie but goldlie” and continued to show the young crowd exactly why their influence is so strong in current indie rock.

Immediately following the colorful Os Mutantes on the Orange Stage Saturday was Midwest favorites Cap’n Jazz.  Local poet-celebrity Thax Douglas, formerly a Chicago music scene fixture, pulled a poem from his Sunny Day Real Estate tote bag and recited it for the crowd anxiously awaiting the final show for the reunited Cap’n Jazz.  The legendary Jade Tree band, whose influence stretches wide in the Midwest emo uprising of the late ‘90s, broke up in 1995 and only reunited for a string of shows in 2010.  Vocalist Tim Kinsella noted this was their last show and then debated the validity of that statement, arguing that they aren’t a real band.  Highlights of their final performance included Kinsella climbing out into the crowd, a debate on the overuse of the word “we,” and their high-energy cover of A-Ha’s “Take on Me.” Those needing a further fix of Tim Kinsella were able to catch Joan of Arc playing a set of almost entirely new material at The Mohawk later Saturday night for an official Fun Fun Fun Fest after party.

Satiating the need to scream, crowd surf, and potentially receive a black-eye, Buffalo’s Snapcase took to the Black Stage on Sunday, nestled between LA’s powerhouse The Bronx and  Oakland’s High On Fire.  Disbanded in 2005, Snapcase had been rumored to have avoided Austin in their final years of touring due to the poor promotion of one of their shows.  Their return to the city was unexpected and raucously received.  Matching the excitement of the crowd, frontman Daryl Taberski filled the area with energy and enthusiasm while continuing to be relatable, sympathizing that they themselves had day jobs to return to this week.  They closed out their set with “Caboose” as an ambulance pulled up to attend to casualties of the mosh pit.

The main attraction of this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest was the Sunday night reunion of The Descendents, filling the headliner spot vacated by Devo due to Bob Mothersbaugh’s recent hand injury.  The reunion sparked the widespread tagline “Milo Goes to Austin,” which was even featured on merchandise available for purchase at the festival.  With buildup so big, jokes were frequent – the singer of Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s playfully introduced themselves at their 1:25 time slot as the much-anticipated headliners.  In the moments before The Descendents took the stage, The Hold Steady vocalist Craig Finn entertained the crowd with a personal anecdote, explaining he was present for the 1987 Descendents show at First Avenue in Minneapolis during the “FinALL” tour, which was later released as the record Liveage.  There was a sense of community after a day of anticipation and storytelling.

After all the buildup, The Descendents didn’t disappoint.  Milo Aukerman paced around the stage, leaning into the crowd with familiarity and without missing a beat.  Conversation was kept to a minimum, allowing the maximum coverage from their discography.  The set list hit on punk favorites like “Clean Sheets,” “I’m the One,” “Sour Grapes,” “Pervert,” “Silly Girl,” and “When I Get the Time.”   The crowd was wowed when Aukerman sped through “Coffee Mug” in a rendition that rivaled the original recording.  Things were kept in perspective when the band threw into a version of “When I Get Old,” realizing that the members of The Descendents finally know what their adult future holds and can definitively say that they haven’t burned out or faded away.