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Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012
Fun Fun Fun 2012

Fun Fun Fun Fest announces 2012 lineup: Killer reunions, hype bands and heavy hitters

Austin Photo Set: News_FFF_Photos_Day 1_Nov 2011_passion pit
Fun Fun Fun crowd, 2011 Photo by John Pesina
Austin Photo Set: News_Sam_FFF recap_Nov 2011_hum
Fun Fun Fun 2011 Photo by John Pesina
Austin Photo Set: News_Dan Solomon_FFF_Slayer_Nov 2011_slayer blue
Fun Fun Fun 2011 Photo by Bill Sallans

The Fun Fun Fun Fest lineup was announced late Wednesday night by calling out the bands on the bill at a local bingo hall, because this is how we do things here these days.

After leaks that made national news and tweets promising a pants-pooping level of excitement, it’s time to fold our arms and stand in judgment, because that’s also how we do things here these days. So does the actual bill live up to the hype?

The short answer is yes. The Fun Fun Fun Fest lineup this year is one of the most balanced festival lineups in the country: It’s got a smattering of reunion and nostalgia bands, up-and-coming hype acts that bloggers can’t stop gushing about, heavy hitters in the mid-card, impressive early day bands most people won’t have heard of and a few genuine stars to round things out.

Here are five things you ought to know.

1. The history of hip hop plays out on the Blue Stage.

It’s like that “history of rap” bit with Justin Timberlake and The Roots on Jimmy Fallon, but with the actual artists here. The old-school is well-represented: Run-DMC and Rakim, two straight-up icons of 80s hip hop, make appearances, with De La Soul and Bun B representing the 90s.

Then we’ve got A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q and AraabMuzik representing the freshman list. Basically, if you wore a Kangol anytime between 1984 and 2012, you are probably pretty psyched right now. We can only assume that they couldn’t find Afrika Bambaataa’s number, and that Kitty Pryde’s parents wouldn’t let her play during the school year.

 Every stage has at least one high profile reunion act: Run-DMC on the Blue Stage, Public Image Ltd. and the Promise Ring on the Orange Stage and Braid and Refused on the Black Stage. 

2. Reunions are in full effect.

Nostalgia is a powerful force in pop culture right now — especially in music — so the fact that there are nearly a half dozen band reunions taking place at Fun Fun Fun Fest isn’t really a surprise. Every stage has at least one high profile reunion act: Run-DMC on the Blue Stage, Public Image Ltd. (who’ll be on their second U.S. tour since 1992) and the Promise Ring on the Orange Stage and Braid and Refused on the Black Stage.

Run-DMC grabbed early national headlines this week when they announced they’d be playing their first show together since the 2002 death of Jam-Master Jay, but the appearance by the groundbreaking late-90s Swedish punks in Refused is no less of a big deal — this will be the group’s first U.S. show outside of a smattering of New York and California dates since 1998.

Given the reunion fever, it’s genuinely a shock that the festival couldn’t get At The Drive-In to commit to an appearance (fans can console themselves with an Orange Stage appearance by the group’s Omar Rodriguez Lopez, instead).

3. There are more than a couple of left-field surprises here, too.

Exciting as they are, appearances by bands like Converge, The Head and the Heart, Against Me!, Girl Talk, and other bands who are actively touring this fall and very much in the Fun Fun Fun Fest wheelhouse don’t really come as a shock.

But raise your hand if you predicted that Kevin Seconds would be doing spoken word on the Yellow Stage, or that CultureMap faves The Midgetmen would be bringing their “Weird Al” Yankovic tribute act to the festival?

For that matter, who expected to see one of the Orange Stage headlining slots go to the hippie-friendly indie folkies in Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, fresh off their opening slot for the Dave Matthews Band? All of these are cool choices (we tear up a little every time we watch the video of that little girl and her dad covering “Home” by the Magnetic Zeros), so if this is a sign that Fun Fun Fun Fest is branching out, we are all in favor of it.

4. Comedy is a pretty huge deal in this town, huh?

 That is a killer list of names, y’all. They should call it Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun Fest.

 

The Yellow Stage bill expands even more into variety show territory this year. Besides the comics, there’s spoken word from Saul Williams and Kevin Seconds, segments from the “Mortified” reading series, and more, but the comedy bill is more impressive than ever.

It’s also packed with comics who are making their second appearance at an Austin festival in 2012: Hannibal Buress, Wyatt Cenac, Doug Benson, Eugene Mirman, Jon Benjamin and W. Kamau Bell all played either SXSW or Moontower Comedy. (The bill is still a dude-heavy affair, with Tig Notaro once again finding herself the only female comic announced on the lineup of an Austin festival.)

Austin is a fun city, and we apparently treat comics well enough that they keep coming back to say funny things at us. Good job, everyone!

5. Even looking aside the marquee names for a second, holy cow is this a great bill.

The most initial attention will always go to artists who couldn’t have played last year’s festival, either because they hadn’t yet reunited or because they didn’t really have careers yet, but looking beyond the reunion spots and blogger favorites yields a list of stellar talent who shouldn’t be taken for granted.

It’s the prodigal son dilemma: Had Explosions In The Sky broken up seven years ago, they’d be the most exciting act on the bill, bar-none, so let’s not ignore the fact that they’re playing just because they’ve kept putting out great records.

For that matter, let’s take a moment to celebrate this frankly outstanding list of names who will all be playing at Auditorium Shores in a single weekend in November. Santigold, Baroness, Against Me!, X, Explosions In The Sky, Sharon Van Etten, Bun B, Titus Andronicus, Liturgy, Girl Talk, Why?, Superchunk...

That is a killer list of names, y’all. They should call it Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Take a look at the full lineup:

Blue Stage
RUN-D.M.C., A$AP Rocky, Girl Talk, De La Soul, Etienne De Crecy (Cube), Bun B, Starfucker, araabMUZIK, Dillon Francis, Rakim, Danny Brown, The Octopus Project, Trust, Tanlines, DMC, Kreayshawn, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Astronautalis, Schoolboy Q, Charlie XCX, Penguin Prison, El Ten Eleven, Class Actress, Anamanaguchi, Diamond Rings, Nite Jewel, Nick Waterhouse, Nicky DA B, AD.D+, Mustard Pimp, Daughn Gibson, Gold Fields, Icona Pop, 10 Yr, Orthy, Feathers, Love Inks, Baauer, American Royalty, Vockah Redu

Orange Stage
Santigold, Public Image Ltd., Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Head & The Heart, Explosions in the Sky, Superchunk, Real Estate, The Black Angels, Lucero, Minus The Bear, The Promise Ring, Surfer Blood, Deerhoof, Paul Banks (Interpol), Bob Mould (Performing Copper Blue), WHY?, Atlas Sound, Sharon Van Etten, BlackMoth Super Rainbow, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Cursive, And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Givers, Helio Sequence, Twin Sister, Nouvelle Vague, Diamond Rugs (Black Lips/Deertick/Los Lobos), Dum Dum Girls, Titus Andronicus, Beach Fossils, Brendan Benson (Raconteurs), Doldrums, Disappears, Giant Sand, Yellow Ostrich, The Jezabels, A Place To Bury Strangers, Fang Island, Foxy Shazam, Deathfix, Cult of Youth, Balmorhea, The Golden Boys, Ume, Not in the Face, Hundred Visions

Black Stage
Refused, Turbonegro, X (Performing Los Angeles), Fucked Up, Against Me!, Tomahawk, WAVVES, Seaweed, The Sword, Converge, Youth of Today, Lagwagon, Between The Buried & Me, Napalm Death, Nomeansno, OFF!, The Briefs, The Spits, Baroness, Braid, Municipal Waste, Japandroids, Valient Thorr, Torche, Dwarves, Liturgy, Earth, Riverboat Gamblers, La Dispute, Peelander-Z, Red Fang, Devin, Cheap Girls, Deafheaven, Kvelertak, Burning Love, Pallbearer, Joyce Manor, Power Trip, The Young, Tia Carrera, Flesh Lights, Residual Kid

Yellow Stage
David Cross, Hannibal Buress, Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show), Doug Benson, Saul Williams (Spoken Word), Eugene Mirman, Jon Benjamin, Tig Notaro, W. Kamau Bell, Duncan Carson, Mortified Sessions, FFF Dating Game, Battle Rap Royal, Air Sex Champions, Ramin Nazer, Doug Mellard, Chris Cubas, New Movement Sketch, Altercation Punk Rock Comedy Hr, Kevin Seconds (Spoken Word), Joe Sib and more

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Fun Fun Fun Fest will take place at Auditorium Shores November 2-4. 3-day passes and PIP passes are on sale now.

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