The last day of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012 was another dusty affair. I can feel about a pound of crud in my lungs, and my ears are ringing like a mother-fluffer, which means I had a great Sabbath at Auditorium Shores.
SLIDESHOWS: The Girls of Fun Fun Fun Fest
Hey, I even got to watch the Texans game out here. Apologies to the bands playing early, but I simply had to eat wings and drink beer and go through six kinds of emotions at a sports bar three blocks away from your Black, Orange, Blue and Yellow stages.
The twin wallop of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Explosions In the Sky on the Orange stage made me think I was back at ACL, what with the couples smoking pot and being white and blond. I do wish I could have seen EITS, but they were up against Fucked Up. CRAIG HLAVATY
I had been waiting for this one for a long time, and was very excited to see how the band's new lead singer, Tony "Duke Of Nothing" Sylvester, would fair as the new Turbo captain. He exceeded all expectations and more, adding his own naughty shimmy to the band's material. The set was heavy on songs from this year's new Sexual Harassment record, which made some fickle fans check out early.
There was of course "Death Time," "The Age of Pamparius" and "Get It On," but they focused mostly on Harassment. I wanted some Scandinavian Leather jams, but maybe that will happen next time through Texas.
Over the weekend, various Turbojugend patches from places like Houston, Atlanta, Assland were seen around Auditorium Shores, some from various places overseas even.
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I spent a few minutes with Sylvester and bassist Thomas "Happy-Tom" Seltzer in our hotel lobby talking about the new direction of the group, their denim-clad fanbase, and the Sylvester's induction in the Turbo clan. Happy-Tom happens to love Houston's own Geto Boys, and has family that used to work partially out of Port Arthur. What a small, sexy world. CRAIG HLAVATY
DOUG BENSON Craig and I got a preview of Doug Benson in the hotel lobby Saturday night, as he and his comedy brethren David Cross and Eugene Mirman chilled at the bar. Benson walked in, perhaps stoned, flashed us a creeper smile, walked in a circle, then rode the elevator up to his room. During his set on the Yellow stage Sunday afternoon, a large crowd of appreciative and perhaps quite stoned fans gathered to laugh at and with him.
He joked about running over dogs, telling jokes and riddles, and, of course, legalizing marijuana. He refrained from drinking during his personal "Sober September" just to prove that he isn't an alcoholic. Comedy at a music festival works. Sometimes you just need a break from the noise. MARCO TORRES
OMAR RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ GROUP
The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In guitarist's new four-piece allows him to wiggle weirdness out of the instrument for all it's worth. I hope he does this stuff in Houston tonight at Fitz too. Rodriguez-Lopez had had to cancel his Saturday set due to car trouble, but Rakim's cancellation opened up a Sunday slot for him. It made for a great complement to the Black Angels playing a few yards away as well. I'm still confused as to why ATID didn't get on the FFFF bill this year, but ya know, nobody gets too much heaven no more. It's much harder to come by. CRAIG HLAVATY
TITUS ANDRONICUS I am glad I stopped by TA's Yellow stage set, because I hadn't been able to see these New Jersey rockers do their thing live. I didn't realize how layered and varied they were, thinking them just another flimsy, pencil-necked indie band. I was pleasantly surprised. CRAIG HLAVATY
A TALE OF TWO DJS
It was a bit late in the day once I arrived at Auditorium Shores, and with the end of Daylight Savings Time, it got dark quickly. Which was just fine by Abraham Orellana, better known as AraabMuzik. The MPC master started hard and never let up, hitting buttons and making beats at a rapid pace that made it impossible for anyone to differentiate track transitions. It was less a concert and more a "look at me play with my new equipment while never smiling" performance. It translated into a cool groove at first, but quickly turned boring.
Two hours later, the OG EDM DJ (triple acronym score!) Étienne de Crécy from France made me forget where I was, hypnotizing me with his dancy, flirty house beats, completely different from anything else offered at the festival. His simple yet glorious light show created an ambience that had the crowd dancing and pulling out their glowsticks and lighted hula hoops. He's another artist I will be starring on Spotify soon. MARCO TORRES
THE PROMISE RING
Man, they sorta sounded sloppy, but I am glad I got to mark them off my mental list of bands I need to see to make people jealous. What do I know, though, since my favorite TPR song is "Emergency! Emergency!" anyways. CRAIG HLAVATY
FUCKED UP This band's hopeful, hearty hardcore is quickly becoming a festival staple. You simply cannot have a Texas rock fest without the screamy stylings of Damian Abraham and company attached. They are like the punk-rock Flaming Lips, without all the gimmickry and kids-show fluffiness. CRAIG HLAVATY
I admit that I was not very excited to see these hip-hop pioneers after a disappointing outing at SXSW two years ago. Unlike Run DMC, De La is better on tape than on stage IMHO. But I was willing to give them another shot. Everyone has a bad night once in a while. Well, this group did it again. They started 20 minutes late, and even then they had their DJ play ten minutes of Tribe Called Quest as an intro.
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By the time they finally hit the stage, it was time for me to go shoot Turbonegro. So I shot about five photos and bounced. I found out later that De La antagonized my colleagues in the photo pit, asking for "respect" and refusing to continue until everyone stopped shooting, calling us unprofessional. I'm done with these guys. MARCO TORRES