Saturday, November 14, 2009

Japanther Red 7 Tomorrow or Japandroids?

Let's go to Red 7 Sunday night and check out Japanther y'all! I've been hearing their songs on Sirius XMU for a while now and I seem to remember being amused by their name during a few episodes of SXSW. Now, the buzz for their upcoming LP has been building and I want to hear the songs live first. The LP is tentatively titled Rock N' Roll Ice Cream, which would help to explain this creepy promotional photo...

As of this moment, I can't find any ticketing info on the official Red 7 ticketing site but I'm thinking if you hit Waterloo Records or End of an Ear in person, they may have the hook-up. If not, expect $10ish at the door Sunday night.

Japanther - Bumpin'Rap Tapes video via YouTube

Whilst, writing this post about Japanther one of my Tweeps mentioned the band Japandroids and I got all confused and had to re check all my info. Turns out I like Japandroids too! Like Japanther, Japandroids are a 2-piece band but their music is closer to pop than punk. Which, isn't to say it's pop but there's a spectrum y'all just go with it.

Japandroids - Young Hearts, Spark Fire video via YouTube

There aren't any local Japandroids shows listed as of today, but I'm guessing we'll have a chance to gaze upon them in March when SXSW steamrolls us again. In the meantime, let's focus on the Japanamed band that we do have in town.

Japanther - Challenge video via YouTube


Check out Japanther's Mp3 page, it's quite clever. ----> Clever

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thao + La Snacks at Mohawk Tomorrow

I don't know if y'all caught any of the buzz about Thao & the Get Down Stay Down during SXSW this year but you should hop on board the buzz train Thursday night. Thao is based in D.C. and comes highly recommended by our homies over at the D.C. Rock Club. So, if you want to have a good time AND probably meet @JumboSlice in the process get your tickets for Thao now.

Free Mp3 courtesy of Kill Rock Stars, thanks.

Free Mp3 ---> Thao & the Get Down Stay Down w/The Portland Cello Project - Tallymarks

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down - Cool Yourself video via YouTube

Thao will be headlining the outside stage at the Mohawk so expect their set to start around 10pm or so. Make sure you stick around afterwards to see my friends in La Snacks headline the inside stage. This will be La Snacks' first show with their new line-up, which seems to have shifted 3 or 4 times now. Let's hope this combination of members is the one that sticks.

La Snacks - Roman Yell video via YouTube

I don't know what the story is with the Portland Cello Project but I did find this old-timey video to be both intriguing and entertaining. They'll be hitting the outside stage before Thao gets down and stays down. From what I can tell they might be on stage WITH Thao as well since they recently collaborated. But only time will tell if they get their own set as well or what the deal will be.

the Portland Cello Project - the Big Tour video via YouTube

Here's one more from Thao & the Get Down Stay Down for good measure.

Thao & the Get Down Stay Down - When We Swam video via YouTube

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

FunFunFun Day 2 Pix/Review

Alright, so I needed Monday to decompress/de-mudify from FunFunFun Fest day 2. The weather gods were not kind to day 2 of the festivities, I blame Danzig and their worship of the occult. Why can't they be nice like those Christian Hardcore kids? Anyway, it was pretty miserable being rain soaked, and mud caked. I actually fell down backstage, which was certainly a highlight for those who got to see it. For me, it was watching a cup full of Whiskey fly into the air, slow-motion stylee as I planted my ass in the mud. All in all, rain and mud is something one should expect when attending a festival so I tried to suck it up. I didn't end up staying for the headlining acts though. Sorry Danzig, Kid Sister and Of Montreal but I just really needed to full dry and surrounded by fluffy cottony things in that moment.

Unlike day 1 when the weather was beautiful and I had forgotten to bring my camera, day 2 was marked by shite weather and the presence of my shite digital camera. You'll find some photos and wrap-up after the break. But, I want to highlight a local band I caught on day 2 here above the break.

Strange Boys - Who Needs Who More video via YouTube

I feel like I saw a lot less music on day 2 of FunFunFun Fest compared to day 1 but that's probably just cause I was a wuss about the weather and hunkered down in the covered areas more. I felt bad for the stage hands who had to plug and unplug electrical stuff that was sitting in or near puddles of water on the stage. King Khan & BBQ Show couldn't even perform on the Yellow stage because there was too much water. They ended up doing a free show at Red 7 Sunday night.

Going through my photos, I didn't take as many as I should have but here are some highlights.


Astronautalis killed it on the Blue stage. He even did a freestyle, letting the crowd choose the subjects. I think it ended up about Squirrels, Syphilis, and Losing your Sack Lunch.

I wasn't super-impressed with Atlas Sound's set. I'm still a fan of their music but they played right after I fell down so it was hard to like much of anything. I must say though, that the Karen O and the Kids record that Bradford Cox, of Atlas Sound, produced is a totally stellar album.

Mika Miko put on a really fun, high-energy set. It had a Vivian Girl or two singing along side-stage, which is always nice. If you've never seen or heard Mika Miko picture a shitty version of the The Go Go's and I mean that in the lovingest way possible. By "shitty" I really mean, looser, less pop-oriented version of the Go Go's.

Mika Miko are part of L.A.'s noise-rock, "smell scene" home to No Age and Health, both of whom also played the festival this weekend. I didn't get any photos of Health but they are one of my favorite live acts touring right now. I can't really listen to their albums because it's just so damn noisy. But in person their is something transcendent about seeing them create that noise on stage. There sound is just so ahead of its time that it's hard to hear the beauty in it at first but I swear it's the music your kids will listen to just to make you mad twenty years from now.

Health - Crimewave video via YouTube

Why? is one of those bands whose music is so diverse you might only like bits and pieces of their set but they brought it to a wet crowd. I saw lots of people shaking and bobbing along to their hypnotic beats.

Broadcast is a band that you either love them to death or you'd never really listened to them before. I was in the group of those who were aware of the band but hadn't really listened to them. All the folks in the know told me I had to see them perform. As far as performance goes, they don't jump around stage or throw confetti but their music was haunting and beautiful. I may not rush out to buy tickets to see them play again but I will pick up their albums and give them a thorough listening.

I ran over to the Blue stage 'cause my friend kept texting me saying, "Nu-Mark is killing it over here! Hurry!" Turns out he was right.

I had to include this picture of me with Astronautilis even though y'all know I like to stay relatively anonymous. But seriously, how cool is this?!?! Yeah, I chatted a bit backstage with Andy aka Astronautilis he's about to hit Europe opening up for Tegan and MF Sara y'all! How bad-ass is that?

So, my FunFunFun Fest '09 final thoughts are, I had fun but next year it would be nice to have free Wi-Fi in the park. Also, if you are thinking you might want to attend next year, you should absolutely shell out the extra bucks to get the P.I.P. pass. There are different levels, and you should spring for the top-tier. That way you get all the perks the media and artists get PLUS you can stand on the stage and watch your favorite performers. I've also realized I'm not really a festival person in general since I much prefer an intimate show where I can more easily heckle the bands. But that's your call.

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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 **

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