Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012

In 2011, Austin’s sixth annual Fun Fun Fun Fest moved from the city’s small, tucked away Waterloo Park to Auditorium Shores, a sprawling greenspace along Lady Bird Lake downtown. Well – theoretically green—the ground cover had worn such that the dirt underneath was turned up, and thousands of feet created massive clouds of dust that hung thick around boots and heads. But instead of complaining or leaving or demanding refunds, most fans in attendance used the conditions to develop a fashion movement of every variety of face bandana, such that the whole place looked like a convention of creative train bandits. This year, the grass was newly planted, but many people were continuing the trend as of opening afternoon on Friday, wandering through relatively clear air with faces covered in solidarity.
By Saturday, though, the bandanas were a little more utilitarian, as Friday night had drawn more feet to the fest than in any previous year’s first night. Fun Fun Fun 2012’s second day didn’t have the glitz of a raving, hair-cutting Val Kilmer – although director Terrence Malick’s crew was spotted toting gear in what looked like a baby carriage – but did have plenty of the music that everyone came for.

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012
Fun Fun Fun Fest.

From marriage proposals to discovering new amazing music, day two of Fun Fun Fun Fest held its own to day one’s shenanigans. Keep braving that dust and work out that hangover, as day three descends to bring even more rock.
Partially responsible for bringing stand-up comedy out of the doldrums that was the late 90s, David Cross headlined the Yellow Stage on Saturday with his one of a kind observations and astounding storytelling abilities. From making fun of New York yuppies’ reaction to Hurricane Sandy – complete with a very believable scene of a couple freaking out over their store’s selection of scented candles and steel cut oats – to professing his hate for millennial hippies and making fun of his hometown of Atlanta, Cross’s talents were on full display throughout his 35 minute set. It was not hard to tell from the fact that he was flipping through papers that Cross was using his set to test out some new material. However, with a hysterical five minute bit about him and his wife getting a colon cleansing and plenty of jabs at hipsters and their “Etsy Preciousness,” he was as spot-on as ever. It was great to see one of the titans of the genre continuing to push himself while getting plenty of bouts of laughter from the audience along the way.

Saturday’s FFFF was a dusty affair, with merch tables making money off bandannas and other face coverings hand over fist. Where did that phrase come from, by the way? What do hands and fists have to do with making money, aside from petty crime?
Anyhow, the big draws on the second day of this FFFF were Girl Talk, the Refused bringing their reunion set to Texas, and the double-barreled swag-rap attack of Danny Brown and A$AP Rocky.
CRAIG HLAVATY: “I was excited to see Public Image Ltd. and Paul Banks, but disappointed by both sets. PiL – who played Houston’s Scout Bar on Friday – were more Public Karaoke than anything else, though I enjoyed the vigor of John Lydon’s band. As for erstwhile Interpol singer Paul Banks, I was bored to tears with his solo work, though his voice is still endearing. Come back Interpol, you are missed. ”
CRAIG HLAVATY: “I have seen a lot of bands trying to do what the Swedish punks in Refused, who broke up in 1998, accomplished in their relatively short first time around. Saturday night the reunited band took all those pretenders to task, in the politest way possible. Lead singer Dennis Lyxzen told all the old stories and looked back on the band’s anarchistic past with a smirk, mentioning a Houston stop in 1996 with Snapcase. The band goes back into hibernation in 2013.”

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