Fuck Yeah Fest (Day 1) – [Live]

Friday, 31 August 2007

Man vs. Fuck Yeah Fest. For a split second there I thought I had a great opportunity to catch the majority of musicians, stand-up comedians and spoken-word artists performing at the festival, all of which was curated by Sean Carlson and former Black Flag now Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris. The gameplan was set in stone: catch one or maybe even two songs/jokes/phrases by said artist and run to the next available venue. The close proximity of all the venues to one another helped ease some lingering doubt. Plus the mass consumption of carne asada tacos from any nearby taco truck could only increase stamina. Sadly it was not to be as it was all about the music and why not, what with the eclectic mix of artists from L.A. to those across our wonderful continental United States. It’s now the working week and I already miss the fest. Without further ado, real-time coverage (24 style!) of day 1 of the whole shebang!

[Writer’s note: I will do my best to refrain from using the word “fuck” or the word “hipster”]

Saturday, August 25

6:10 – 7:00 p.m. @ The Echoplex – I’m off and running as Saturday’s green and white wristband was put on comfortably by one of the many security guards. I’m happy to note that the wristband won’t have to be used for Sunday’s affairs and that a new one will be available. I dare not have a piece of paper wrapped around me while I sleep. There’s a schedule near the front entrance detailing the times for all musicians and an easy-to-navigate map pinpointing all the venues. The sunglasses icon telling you that you are now at the Jensens Rec Center made me laugh the most. I navigate my way to the back of the venue and enjoy the comfortableness of the black leather couches all the while the bleeding guitar lines of Nation Blue destroy my eardrums. It’s only just begun.

7:21 p.m. @ Jensens Rec Center – San Francisco noise poppers Thee More Shallows perform. The long drawn out jams are matched somewhat with the Asian film that’s being projected behind them. I’m now anxious to see what will be behind Deerhunter on Sunday.

7:35 p.m. @ The Echo smoke patio – There’s people drinking and people smoking. Same old stuff really. People eating hamburgers…whaaaaa????

7:43 p.m. @ The Echo – There’s a woman right next to me taking a few sips out of her cup which bares the Superbad logo on it. Superbad (a.k.a. super good a.k.a. really really good, for realsies) could best describe the noise rock/blues jam/punk party of Columbus Ohio’s own Times New Viking. I’m impressed by the guitar work of Jared Phillips as his big country riffs could destroy venues. The dueling vocals of keyboardist Beth Murphy and drummer Adam Elliot make for an exacting pair but it’s Phillips that shines as he continued to thrash away with confetti flying above him he still had the time to toy with the crowd, playing exaggerated riffs right before the next TNV barrage. Newly signed on Matador, it’s safe to say that you’ll be hearing from the band very soon. You heard it here first!

8:33 p.m. @ The Echo – The confetti from Times New Viking still remains and unfortunately for L.A. soul man/laptop guru Bobby Birdman, he’s now all but covered in it courtesy of a few diehard fans up in front. A simple wag of the finger and a bit of the ole tisk tisk right back at them is applied but it’s all but forgotten as he leads them and us to an impromptu acapella jam that invigorates the crowd in need of some artist to fan participation. The Birdman all but isolated on the empty stage is a marvel as he works the crowd with relative ease with just a few dance steps and a couple twists of the microphone. It seems to do the trick as a couple right in front of me just so happens to be making out. It may have to do with the fact that Birdman urged everyone to get down, singing “Let’s get started.” Yep that was it. By set’s end we get our first “holler” and a bit of a cover song as Birdman works in the chorus of The Grateful Dead’s only hit “Touch of Gray.” Supremely sung, “I will get by…I will survive,” is fitting for the night and should be the mantra for many of the festival attendees.

9:23 p.m. @ The Echo – Yeah, that mantra earlier stressed really needed to be put in great use for The Mae Shi, a beast of a band, blistering rock overtures are collided violently with seedy underbelly tones of make-you-sweat music. There was too much perspiration in fact that a wardrobe change was in order. Going from black shirts to a lovely white, the band fully embodied the chaotic spirit that is firmly knitted with the festival. It all became too much however as the wave of music was equal to the many that were pushing against one another. Because of that I became a hapless victim, slowly being swept toward stage left, and the lasting sounds of The Mae Shi still rattling within my conscience.

9:47 p.m. @ The Echoplex – I really enjoyed those black leather couches. The PBR helped too.

10:10 p.m. @ The Echo – Give the boys of Brother Reade credit, they make some rather fly t-shirts. A play off the classic Run DMC design, the t-shirts were sported by many in the crowd none more important than the L.A. rap team themselves. Lyricist Jimmy Jamz sported a certain prestige as he flowed with lyrical exactitude over a myriad of beats from the Caribbean cool, to the crunk hustler, and most importantly the old school, as Beastie Boys samples were devoured by Jamz’ heat-seeking flow. And who was supplying the trademarked beats…well it was Jamz’ DJ/ producer/partner in crime Bobby Evans who sported a look of Sean Lennon meets Graham Coxon (Coffee & TV era). Tremendous.

10:29 @ The Echoplex – I’m told by my friend Andrea that The Fuse haven’t played a show in over three years. Judging from the reaction from their fans and the manic performance by the explosive punk trio, it’s safe to say that they never really left. A lot of events have happened in the past few years, (you know, the war in Iraq and President Bush stuff) thus with much ferocious vigor, guitarist/vocalist Mars had a bit to say about several of those heavy handed subjects. Sure they were laced with expletives galore but the man has a lot on his mind, it has been three years. Nevertheless the band played on and as a result the night’s biggest mosh pit was born. Sick guitar solos, a little bit of thrash and a whole lot of smash prevailed. It was a winning performance. Don’t take it from me however but that of Mars who proclaimed loudly “This is how we do business.” I agree.

Fuck Yeah, information!

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