Tuesday, November 9, 2010

FunFunFun 2010 Recap (all words no pics)

With FunFunFun 2010 in our collective rear-view mirrors Austin's musical festival season has officially drawn to a close for another year. I'm sure there are lots of other festivals before the end of the year but none that matter, so don't even bother mentioning them in the comments section. This was my third year attending the FFF and my second year with the coveted media credentials and may I say that FunFunFun is not just a clever and/or hipster-ironic title. I had so much fun this year that reading this wordy write-up couldn't even come close to conveying the sort of orgiastic experience that was FFF 2010. Firstly the line-up this year, while it saw many people bitching, I found it to be stellar. I spent most of my time at the Blue stage, which is where you could find most of the dance, hip-hop and local artists and I was completely satisfied with most every performance. Of course there were some acts that I wasn't thrilled about but even those artists were at least interesting to watch even if their music was boring as shit.

I do regret not taking a bunch of video at the fest but I'm always nervous about losing my media credentials for shooting "illegal" performance video and if I wander around backstage shooting Flipcam footage no one will want to talk to me. So, I'm hoping you were at the festival so you can watch the video in your mind and if you weren't I'm guessing there are a billion shitty-quality videos on YouTube peppered with some high-quality ones as well. You can find my highlights after the jump.

The artist I had the most fun watching was definitely Big Freedia. Hailing from New Orleans Freedia brought the "Sissy Bounce" to Austin in a big, big way. If you're not familiar the "Sissy Bounce" is basically shaking your ass like it's your job and for at least 8 people on stage it WAS there job. Freedia rolled in with a posse of dancers who's dancing could only be described as pornographic and I was loving every minute of it. People were invited on stage to join in on the chaos and it was like an ass-induced frenzy. Even Austin's-own dinosaur music journalist Andy Langer was spotted in the wings shooting asses with his personal digital camera. He must have a hip, young intern who told him to show up to see Big Freedia.

Speaking of people I didn't expect to spot near the Blue stage. I spied the producer for Austin City Limits Television Terry Gross Lickona watching all of Pharoahe Monch mind-blowing, high-energy set from the wings. Slick Rick could have taken a few notes from Pharoahe about how to bring energy to a performance. Just because you're a hip-hop legend doesn't make it acceptable to stand center-stage with a hand in your pocket while you mumble the lyrics to your songs. They could have hung a bunch of ridiculously gawdy jewelry on a coat-wrack with an iPod playing his tunes and it would have been equally entertaining.

I was quite pleased with the reaction that Delorean received on the Blue stage as well, they had a large crowd jumping and pulsating to their house-beats throughout their 45 minute set. They were one of my favorite acts of SXSW this year so it was nice to see them reaching a larger audience. On the other hand I really wish more people had caught Dominique Young Unique who was so sassy, so funny and small enough to fit in your pocket. As an example of here sass, Matt Shiv from Austinist Music asked her as she was exiting the stage, "When can we expect an album?" Her response was simply, "I don't know, when can we?" [insert awww snap]

Since I had seen both Man Man and Deerhunter in the past I opted not to catch their performances at the Orange stage, which I now regret. Seems like they both put on amazing performances from the spoog-in-pants tweets I read later. I'm not too worried though, chances are both artists will be in Austin clubs within 3-6 months.

I'm not going to get into low-lights too much I will just note that it was very dusty at the fest this year, which is better than rain + mud like last year. The other thing that bothered me was some intense sound-bleeding from the Black stage to the Orange stage early in the day on Sunday. I was trying to enjoy Magic Kids but the noise from Peelander Z made that difficult. In defense of the Black stage, Magic Kids cringe-inducing harmonies ALSO made it difficult to enjoy them. I look forward to catching their next performance in an Austin club though because I really do love their music and I feel like their performances will only get better.

So, my conclusions regarding Fun Fun Fun Fest 2010:
I loved the Misprint magazine guide to the fest.

I want to marry Kebabalicious and feel like next year they should have 5 trailers scattered around both backstage and in the crowd.

I want to be besties with Graham, Moody, and the rest of the Transmission Entertainment monkeys who made the fest a reality.

I want to have clearance to shoot video of whomever, wherever I want.

I want an All-Access pass next year so I can wander on stage at will.

Sorry for such a wordy post, congratulations if you've made it this far, you're more literate that 68% of blog readers and 92% of the general American populace. If you want to see lots of bad-ass pictures from the festival check out Ulovei and/or the aforementioned "Power-blogger", BrooklynVegan.