Part of Nov 2011 by

The Must-Sees at Fun Fun Fun Fest

If you are looking to have a lot of fun this weekend, there is really no need to look any further than Fun Fun Fun Fest. I mean, any event with the sheer audacity to repeat “fun” three times in its name must be a lot of fun, right?

Now in its sixth year, FFF Fest is an independent genre based festival that is custom booked for the most passionate underground and progressive musicians, comedians and fans around the world. Due to construction at Waterloo Park, this will be FFF Fest’s first ever year at Auditorium Shores; and it seems as though the larger venue has delivered several larger than life bands (Danzig Legacy, Slayer and Public Enemy) into this year’s line-up.

Please note that Fun Fun Fun Fest is really putting an emphasis on alternative transportation this year. They are encouraging everyone to bus, bike, shuttle, hike, walk, pedicab, or yellow cab to Auditorium Shores.

And now for my three must see suggestions for Saturday and Sunday:


T Bird and the Breaks — The core of T Bird and the Breaks consists of Tim Crane on vocals and piano and the rhythm section of Sammy Patlove (drums) and Cody Furr (bass); but let us not forget guitarist Johnny “Too Bad” Allison and Sasha Ortiz on vocals. Together they mix a bit of old school hip hop with a whole lotta soul. But if you want to know their real story, check out These Are The Breaks, Episode 1”.

The Joy Formidable — There are two shows at FFF Fest that I am most excited about, and The Joy Formidable is one of them. Conceived by longtime friends Ritzy Bryan and Rhydian Dafydd when they were both students in Wales, The Joy Formidable became a reality when the duo brought drummer Matt Thomas into their fold. Oh, and just because they are from Wales does not mean that they sound anything like Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci or Super Furry Animals. Check out Whirling and judge for yourself.

Lykke Li — I am an unabashed lover of all things Lykke Li. I have never seen her perform live; so, yes, she would be my number one must see show at FFF Fest. Prior to the release of her debut LP Youth Novels (2008), Swedish vocalist Lykke Li was best known as the female voice on Peter Bjorn and John’s hit single  Young Folks. With Youth Novels, Lykke quickly became an instant indie pop dance sensation with super-twee tracks like Dance Dance Dance and Little Bit. But, it was the significantly more mature Wounded Rhymes — released earlier this year —  that really hit me where it hurts. To think that a song like Jerome came from the same person who sang “Dance Dance Dance” is inconceivable to me. Also, check out I Follow Rivers.


Asob Seksu — I am a real sucker for totally blissed out, shoe-gaze pop music. For that reason alone, I am really glad that Asobi Seksu is still releasing records; and, to be perfectly honest, I think their latest release — Flourescence (2011) — is by far their best. You know when a band releases an album that is a culmination of everything they have done before? Well, that is exactly what Flourescence is. Check out Perfectly Crystal.

Grimes — Grimes is really fascinating to me. Born in 1988, the story goes that she had very little exposure to music until she was 18-years old. Her naivete gives her approach to music a childlike playfulness. She does not seem to understand that Mariah Carey, Salem, Cocteau Twins, Gang Gang Dance, The Smiths, and Prince do not really go together; but then again, traditional genres do not seem to mean anything to Grimes. Anything goes: R&B, dance, Industrial, goth, hip hop, whatever… The end result is uniquely beautiful, a little bit scary but melancholic and catchy as all hell. Check out Vanessa.

Blonde Redhead — The one member of the proverbial “old guard” that I am picking for FFF Fest is a favorite of mine from the 1990s. Blonde Redhead belongs somewhere in the same part of my brain that really loves Fugazi and Sonic Youth; maybe throw in a little Suicide and Swell Maps too, for good measure. In 2000, with the release of Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons, their sound turned towards subtler and more delicate environs; once they moved to 4AD (for the release of 2004’s Misery Is a Butterfly), there was no turning back. I have not seen Blonde Redhead perform live since their tour for In an Expression of the Inexpressible (1998) and I suspect that their FFF Fest set will be drastically different than Blonde Redhead circa 1998. Check out Top Ranking.

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