FYF 2011 – Preview FYF 2011 – Preview

Fool’s Gold 12:35-1:10

If you listen to Madeleine Brand on NPR station KPCC, you’ve already heard the introduction to one of Fool’s Gold’s songs, the gorgeous if saxophone heavy “Nadine”. Usually labeled as afro-pop, Fool’s Gold insists that they didn’t jump on the bandwagon of this now popular trend (see: Vampire Weekend, tUnE-yArDs, etc.); they already loved African music and are following their hearts in what they write and play. Singer Luke Top often speaks Hebrew in his lyrics, another touch that sounds natural and not like affectation when they do it. I’ve seen some of these guys in their incarnation as Foreign Born, but not as Fool’s Gold, and I’m really looking forward to starting my day this way.

(video: Nadine)

Tijuana Panthers 1:20-1:50

Tijuana Panthers are a favorite of our fearless leader, Ben. Their surf punk stylings take me back to the 60s, when getting wicked tans lying on the beach was fun rather than oh so carcinogenic. The Panthers play ridiculously infectious tunes with a touch of kitsch but more get up and go.
(video: Creature)

Cass McCombs 2:25-3:00

Something about Cass McCombs’ newest album, “Wit’s End”, makes my stomach clench just like it does in those first horrible stages of a breakup. Deeply sad, lonely, lost, grieving–these are all feelings that McCombs’ music evokes. But it’s so beautiful that it’s hard to stop listening. Do you know what I mean? Random, but some quality in his voice reminds me of John Denver; I mean that as a compliment. I have to see how McCombs presents his haunting material in person. Several sources state that John Peel called Cass “unobtrusively brilliant”, and who can possibly argue with Peel?
(video: County Line)

Ty Segall 2:50-3:25

Garage rock with killer hooks–Ty Segall will provide a great upbeat palate cleanser after McCombs. With several albums under his belt, Segall is getting better and better at honing his sound and propelling himself higher and higher into indie rock greatness. Also–check out the lady drummer in this video for “Girlfriend”–hooray for chicks with sticks.
(video: Girlfriend)

Off! 3:35-4:05

Off!’s album “First Four EPs” clocks in at 17.5 minutes for 16 songs. The band is clearly not wasting any time pussyfooting around before driving home their hardcore punk messages. And yes, punk rock fans, this is the real deal; punk is not dead–not here. Off! includes members from the Circle Jerks/Black Flag and Rocket from the Crypt/Hot Snakes, if that gives you an indication of what the boys are bringing as references when they pound their instruments into submission. “I Don’t Belong” brings home the classic outsider message that punk often embodies: “Your high social cares/Privileged friends/Lure me in/But I can’t be your friend…I’m standing in the shadows/And I’m pissing in the punchbowl/I don’t belong.” Get the drift?
(video: I Don’t Belong)

Japandroids 4:15-4:55

Japandroids was on Pinpoint Music’s list of the 25 Best Albums of 2009 for their release “Post Nothing”. Our critic Lemon explained why so well: “For all its idyllic carefree romanticism of youth, Post-Nothing is a deceptively moreish record. Whilst you might expect an album of high energy garage rock to be a fairly expendable number, it easily sucks you in. The warm hazy epic of Crazy/Forever truly is like aural quicksand, whereas album apex I Quit Girls captures the sound of Smashing Pumpkins’ 1979, and My Bloody Valentine around the time of that album. Thirty five minutes really will fly in, as Japandroids have offered us a lush and expansive soundscape of naivety and hopefulness.” We’re waiting to see what will come next from Japandroids, and hopefully, the FYF performance will feature new material from the band.
(video:”Art Czars”)

Cults 4:40-5:20

There’s no way I’m missing Cults. Festival schedules have bands overlapping all the time, and Japandroids are great, but I’m hitting this one hard. Cults’ self-titled record has provided earworm after earworm for me this year. Besides, their lead singer is impossibly cute. Actually she–Madeline Follin–looks remarkably like my half-sister. (Hi Samm!) Anyway, Cults’ brand of indie-pop is highly contagious, adorable, and not to be missed. If you’re seeing Japandroids instead, I get it; but make time to listen to Cults’ album, then. Do it.
(video: Abducted)

The Strange Boys 5:05-5:45

Being from Austin, The Strange Boys have that uncanny Texas ability to blend country into garage rock & punk and turn it into a divine amalgamation of the three–totally natural and lovely. Throw in a little rockabilly and Brit-Invasion-era rock and you have yourself The Strange Boys, in a nutshell. If you like kitties, make extra sure you check out this video for single “Be Brave”.
(video: Be Brave)

No Age 6:00-6:40

The No Age practice space is right by my apartment; as such, I’ve been a regular audience to their performing for a while now. No, fans, I’m not telling you where I live; if you want to hear the kickass sounds of this band, you’ll have to hoof it to the festival stage. No Age is part of the DTLA noise pop scene. They are also advocates of all ages shows and getting youth to engage in the arts. Cool!

(video: “Losing Feeling”)

Broken Social Scene 7:05-7:55

I avoided Broken Social Scene’s music for years; their name sounds so nu-emo and whiny. Much to my surprise, when I finally listened to them I realized that they were much poppier and more fun than I had imagined. Comprised of a boatload (up to about 20! at various times) of Toronto musicians known for many other projects–see: Feist, Metric, Stars, etc., Broken Social Scene has won multiple Juno awards for a reason. They bring it!
(video: 7/4 Shoreline)

Girls 7:45-8:30

Dark. The lyrics on Girls’ initial release, “Album”, are pretty dang dark. Considering that lead singer Christopher Owens grew up with the horror of being a Children of God cult member, this is not surprising. What is quite amazing is that though Owens was allowed to listen to only the cult’s music as a child, “Album” exhibits considerable talent and finesse. While Owens could probably get a lot of mileage from his back story, his musical prowess ensures that he doesn’t need it.

(video: “Lust for Life”)

Guided by Voices 8:20-9:15

Before GBV’s lead singer and main songwriter Bob Pollard became a reluctant rock star, he was a teacher. He captured his feeling on the profession in his song “Teenage FBI”, just one of many GBV’s lo-fi, post-punk hits throughout the years. Several years ago, the band decided to throw in the towel, and they did a farewell tour. When I saw them, Pollard got so wasted that he repeatedly fell and lay down on the stage. Fail. GBV reunited in 2010 and have been touring on their old hits since then. Let’s hope he’s more pulled together when I see him this time.
(video: Teenage FBI)

Descendents 9:40-10:40

FYF is bringing the old school masters this year, including legendary punk band The Descendents. Just like soap opera couples, the Descendents have formed and broken up, re-formed with new cast members and broken up again several times. Totally unlike ditzy soap opera characters, though, lead singer Milo Aukerman has a doctorate in biochem. (Remind anyone of Bad Religion’s singer Dr. Greg Graffin? Anyone? Smart punk rock singers = totally hot.) If that hotness is not enough for you, know this: the blistering, spastic, hella fun songs the Descendents bring to the table will re-energize you when you start flagging this late in the festival day.
(video: Suburban Home)

The Dead Milkmen 11:00-11:50

The other absolutely classic band who will be at FYF this year is The Dead Milkmen. Punk rock with a sense of humor–that’s they in a nutshell. Whether you want to see their antics as brilliant satire or more idiot savant, songs like “Bitchin’ Camaro” and “Punk Rock Girl” gave the Milkmen an important counterpoint to the often super politically-charged world of 1980s hardcore punk.

(video: “Punk Rock Girl”)

One Response about “FYF 2011 – Preview”

  • rowe says:

    Descendents, Kid Dynamite, Dead Milkmen??? is punk rock becoming cool again?