Archive for November, 2008

My Fun Fun Fest

This past weekend was Fun Fun Fun Fest, which is a local music event put together by an old friend, Graham Williams of Transmission Entertainment.  My experience was fun fun.  Not quite fun fun fun, but at least it wasn’t just fun.  That is in no way because of the event itself, just the sub par performances of a few bands that perhaps I had my hopes a bit too high for.  My lil brother and his friend came down for the even which made it more than fun.  This is Austin’s best event that supports local acts and businesses as well as providing stellar national acts.
Saturday Pris and I arrived to catch about half a set of Mammoth Grinder, which I had never hear.  It was the good classic metal hardcore that I like.  Later we saw Municipal Waste which reminded me of a more punk and thrash version of Metalocolypse, due to the guitarist’s rediculous guitar design, obviously custom made.  Next I was able to see the last feedback session from Trail of the Dead, followed by Rival Schools, which I never got into their very few releases back in the day, but the singer guitarist was in Quicksand, which I have always been a big fan of.  It was very cool to hear his voice live again after 13 or 14 years.  My highlight of the whole event was next.  INTEGRITY.  The band that every song starts in drop D.  I got to do a little shuffling on the back edge of the pit with my fractured leg.  I felt like was back in 1994 again as a 19 year old and angry at the world.  After that I caught some stand up by one my local bartendars, Ruby Collins.  She’s dirty, raunchy, and hillarious.  Next was ALL.  Reminents of one of my all time favorite bands, Descendents.  This encarnation of ALL was with singer, Scott Reynolds, who I guess lives in Austin now, as he repeatedly told the crowd.  This performance was kind of dissappointing to me.  For one the sound was bad.  The sound guy put way too much reverb and delay on his voice and the vocal level overall was just too loud and overpowered the rest of the band.  The setlist did include some classes ALL and Descendents songs, but was dominated by their more awkward and quirky songs that they released in the early 90s that not too many people cared for.  Right after ALL was The Dead Milkmen and they played an excellent set.  Full of energy, I could tell that they had a great time.  As they were leaving the stage Rodney told the crowd, “I don’t know why we ever stopped doing this.”  It was a great ending to the Saturday.
Sunday was a new day and we got there and sat down and watched The Cynics, whom I didn’t care for.  Then was Trash Talk, a hardcore band from California.  After that I went over to stage2 where the comedy and small acoustic sets were going on.  I caught a bit of Kevin Seconds, then some of The Revival Tour Chuck Ragan of Hot Water Music, Tim Barry of Avail and Ben Nichols of Lucero.  That was fun to watch.  It’s interesting to see our old favorite punk musicians go from punk to country.  In a way it makes a lot of sense and makes today’s radio country look like a bad cartoon.  Next it was over to stage4 for Kool Keith, aka Dr. Octogon, aka Dr. Doom.  I only saw two songs of some of his old school jams, but before that was Franki Chan which was a great performance of dance techno beats and rythms.  Then back over to stage3 for CroMags.  “Hard times coming your way!” was nothing but good times.  I had never seen them, but have listened to them since the early 90s.  Instead of watching the Bouncing Souls next, I went back over to stage2 and caught some comedy from a guy I used to skate with at House Park Skatepark years ago, Chris Fairbanks.  I had never seen his stand up before and it was good.  It was very obvious he was a little nervous which in a way added to his comedy.  Matt Bearden’s mustache was next.  That guy is hillarious.  I’m sorry but his acid story had me laughing so much I was coughing up all the dust I had swallowed over the weekend.  The nights finale was Bad Brains.  Opening with Attitude……with no attitude at all, HR was just not even there.  His quiet vocals seemed to be mocking the band, punk, hardcore, and everything he wasn’t there for, which could be argued as even more punk rock?  But who keeps score anymore.  After the first 4-5 songs done in that manner, I ventured up the hill and sat in my folding chair and just observed the rest of the show from a nice distance.  The music was great and the rest of the band was into it, but HR is just an odd individual.  Look up Bad Brains on Wikipedia and see the irony about them playing this fest.  Oh and my brother got kicked out during Bad Brains during the last song for *almost beating the crap out of some little punk rock kid that got a shot in my brother’s mouth.  A great ending to the night.
It was a fun fun fest and I thank Graham for putting it on and Jared from Red 7 for making all of the greatest shows in Austin happen.  It is a true testiment that it only takes a few individuals to make or break a scene in a city and with some dedication and passion, you can make it happen.  Without people like them, the Austin punk, hardcore, metal scene would not be what it is today.