Fuck Yeah Fest (Day 2) – [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: Again, I will do my best to refrain from using the word “fuck” or the word “hipster”]

Sunday, August 26

6:56 p.m. @ The Echo: The beauty of festivals like F Yeah Fest is the opportunity to walk in unexpectedly to some unknown artist and at the instance of first audible listen immediately fall in love with him or her. Next thing you know you’re text messaging your friends about who you heard and once you go home you go on the artist’s MySpace, listen to them non-stop and sign up to be part of the team. Saturday that distinction befell upon Times New Viking. And while only a handful saw Indiana’s Totally Michael on Sunday (he wasn’t even suppose to play the Echo originally!), for those that did, they were able to witness one of the finest unadulterated sets of spazz-stic energy to ever grace their very own eyes. Whether it was dancing to the beats blasting out of his laptop, rocking out with his guitar even if he thought it was out of tune, or even initiating a full circle around him as he frantically danced around, Totally Michael totally deserved multiple gold stars. It’s fitting as most of the man’s tunes talk a lot of adolescence, either it being about some girl’s diary (“In Her Diary”) or schoolyard drama (“Cheerleaders vs. Drill Team”). And while Totally Michael’s plan to get full audience participation on “Cheerleaders vs. Drill Team” didn’t so much work (the many different steps and chants needed to be done are too much to list on this review alone!) he should be totally commended for sticking it through and still making many unaware bodies shake. It’s amazing really as his trip from Indiana to Los Angeles was his first time ever on a plane. We were lucky to see him.

7:26 p.m. @ Rodeo Mexican Grill: The carne asada tacos were superb.

8:24 p.m. @ The Echoplex: You know it’s a bad sign when a band tells the audience or the dude working on the sound that they’re just going to play right now and just see what happens. Great Northern really had a lot to prove. They’re one of the marquee acts on the bill. There are from Los Angeles. And dear lord the hype! Minor sound issues aside, the group performed admirably, churning out choice cuts off their debut record Trading Twilight for Daylight to a love-hungry crowd. And really I can understand why the admiration is there. Songs like “Telling Lies,” and “Home” have sweeping choruses complete with idyllic vocals that can make you feel profound if you want to very well feel that way. But come on now, as I stood in the back watching (comfy black leather walls, hot damn!) I realized that with the spotlights shining below them that Great Northern are a bunch of good looking people. Nice haircuts. Perfectly kept facial hair for the dudes. Dressed extremely well. They’re catalogue material. Page one in fact! And when I kept thinking about it even more, still enjoying the comfort mind you, I realized how in sync the music would be suited for some independent romantic comedy staring two young fresh faces were even though I hated the film because everyone else loved it and couldn’t stop yapping about it, I began to fully appreciate it once I saw it again and appreciated it for all its nuances and such. Yeah…that’s it.

10:00 p.m. @ The Echoplex: I stood right beside Deerhunter singer Bradford Cox as Dean Spunt and Randy Randall of No Age received a hero’s welcome from their hometown fans. The Atlanta, Georgia native has been quoted as saying that the L.A. duo was his favorite new band. Sentiment like that seems to have spread as the Echoplex was filled to the brim. Last time I saw No Age (excluding convo over a few Vegan deserts) was upstairs, months ago at The Echo as the two opened for Matt & Kim. It was roomy back then but now after critical acclaim, a few choice endorsements and some of that good ol’ blog hype proudly stating that the duo were “your new favorite band of 2007,” many eyes are and were glued Sunday night for the up-and-coming indie-rock heavyweights. They truly deserve it though. Their tracks rip. Sunday night was no exception as a chunk of their new record Weirdo Rippers was showcased wiping out the crowd. The terseness of “Boy Void” was balanced by the ambient garage rockiness of “Neck Escaper.” If that wasn’t enough, new songs that were put out there showed an even more aggressive side to the group, which only rekindled a few memories of their hardcore days when the two were part of the much heralded hardcore trio, Wives. Lastly, it should be noted that Randall shredded all his guitar notes with relative ease with a big smile on his face and a Disneyland hat on his head. God bless him.

10:52 p.m. @ The Echoplex: Bradford Cox didn’t have to wear a dress; his New York Times white tee was perfectly fine. He didn’t even have to go on a bizarre 20-minute long rant though his quips that Keith Morris should turn up his vocals or that the band were just like the Emperors New Clothes, (just naked. effects pedals, culture and hype behind them) were hilarious. To put it quite simply, Deerhunter f***ed up the fest. The primal music accentuated to the utmost by their many effects pedals (most of which were Cox’s vocals being looped to tremendous effect) created an almost frightening noise that still felt beautiful and sonically rich as many of the timeless Brian Eno records. It should be noted that Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O. described a Deerhunter live show as being a “religious experience.” Speaking of which…

11:01 p.m. @ The Echoplex: Karen O. from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs touched me on my shoulder. In an instant she was gone, presumably swallowed by the sea of hundreds.

11:02 p.m. @ The Echoplex: Anyways, back to what was at hand: Ms. O may very well be right. Mesmerized by Cryptograms, I was swept by the utterly sublime “Spring Hall Convert.” It was only till the very end was I able to see some semblance of light when the gorgeous “Heatherwood” blared. Near the very end of the set, Cox again quipped that the group were like Bill and Ted, the most excellent of adventurers. Totally bogus? Fuck no.

Fuck Yeah, information!


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