Sunday, November 8, 2009

FunFunFun From Memory

So, yesterday was day one of FunFunFun Fest. I had been to the festival in '07 and had a great time and yesterday was no exception. It seems like every year the festival organizers add a few more thoughtful perks and areas in which to make the festival a uniquely enjoyable experience. This was the first year I have been granted the elusive media access as well so I'm going to talk to y'all about how that was. Oh, but I do want to apologize in advance for not having a camera with me yesterday, what the eff was I thinking right?

So I walked through the gates around 1:30 and was immediately pulled towards the Blue stage where Austin's own L.A.X. was pumping out the disco jams. The crowd wasn't very large at any of the stages at that point but the folks who were there for L.A.X. were definitely shaking their groove thangs. Toward the end of their set I decided to check out the whole media access thing so I walked toward a get to the right of the stage and walked behind the magic green fencing. As I walked through the gates L.A.X. was walking off stage and I got to give a high five and a little praise and this is when I knew it was SO on.

One of the most clever things about FunFunFun Fest is the whole P.I.P. ticket/wristband/badge scenario. Sure, I have a media pass so I can go backstage but folks with P.I.P. passes can actually get on the side stage and watch from the wings, which I can not. Isn't this a great idea for h-core music fans? They can hang backstage and mingle with their favorite artists just like us jaded media types. Today I plan to ask some of the artists how they feel about letting the masses in their private area. I'm guessing they don't mind because most of the artists I saw yesterday could be spotted on both sides of the fence. This is not your typical snob-fest these are salt of the Earth crusty punks types.

I feel like I still haven't found all the free schwag available to me as a member of the press but I will list you some of the things the P.I.P.'s and I have been secretly enjoying. For me the biggest perk is just that it's SOOOO much easier to move between stages from the backstage area so I spent all day hopping from stage to stage, also backstage porta-johns...THANK YOU! As far as free shhh, let's see, I'll just make a list: Sweet Leaf Tea, buttons, neckerchiefs and lip balm, free breakfast tacos, Red Bull, Bottled Water (Somewhat illusive), drink tickets, power outlets, energy bars, I feel like there is more but I'm blanking.

Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms video via YouTube

As far as mingling, I sat next to Alan Palomo of Neon Indian, Vega fame. He was making two lists of the equipment he was going to need for each of his two bands that were performing. I told him how the song Psychic Chasms from the Neon Indian LP of the same name, reminds me of the movie Flight of the Navigator. He seemed pleased with the comment but didn't necessarily understand the reference I think. I asked him when we can expect a Vega LP, he said probably next summer but the EP will see a re-release. Palomo also told me he'll be holed-up in the studio in January working on the Vega records with a very well known producer. I'm going to keep that on the low though, I don't want to jinx anything.

Flight of the Navigator - Music From the Film video via YouTube

I also chatted with members of Foot Patrol after their, killer, set on the Blue Stage. They had 7 +/- 3 members, all in various costumes that may or may not have been related. Apparently their band name is some reference to foot fetishism or insists or some shhh like that. All I know is I was watching the crowd as much as the band and they were drawing people in and those people were dancing. Sadly, our chat was somewhat insignificant it went something like this:

Me: "Hey I really enjoyed your set."
Them: "Thanks we had a lot of fun."
Me: "I could tell, you really drew a lot of people in."
Them: "Yeah."
Me: "Late"

I had a similarly awkward conversation with a Vivian Girl. I was behind the Orange stage watching Crystal Antlers and I look to my left and I saw the Red-Headed Vivian Girl with some tall, dark rocker dude, probably from Brooklyn, probably a band we know and <3 and I have this inspired moment.

Me: "Hey, aren't you a Vivian Girl?"
Her: "Yeah."
Me: "Oh."
***Both look back toward Crystal Antlers***

See people, this is why I'm a blogger and not a journalist haha. Speaking as a blogger I also would like to say that I'm surprised, given all of the little details that Transmission Entertainment thought of, that there isn't free Wi-Fi. To me that is the only, legal, thing that would make FunFunFun Fest a little better next year.

This post is getting out of control long, and I know your attention span is getting increasingly shorter (if you've even read this far) so here's a list of bands who I watched for at least 3 songs. I'll rate them with *.

* = That set was aight
** = That set was cool
***= That set was crazy good

L.A.X. **
Crystal Antlers **
Sugar and Gold **
Foot Patrol **
Times New Viking *
The Night Marchers **
Shonen Knife **
Vega ***
The Sword ***
MC Chris **
No Age **
Melt Banana ***
Death **
7 Seconds **
Neon Indian **
Yeasayer **
Les Savy Fav **
Face to Face ***
Ratatat *
The Jesus Lizard **