Staff Picks: Don't miss CultureMap's FFFFest picks and chance to win tickets
As the Fun Fun Fun staff revealed the fest's roster earlier this week, the lineup got plenty of "Awesome" ratings from fans in their at-capacity turntable.fm room. We're sure you and your friends have been comparing top picks, and so have we—here are the acts we're looking forward to over at the CultureMap offices.
Caitlin M. Ryan
On the Orange Stage, I'm stoked about Childish Gambino—I think his lyrics are a pretty charming (and not disgusting, i.e., Odd Future) representation of turning from TV nerd to hip hop hopeful. I missed his show during SXSW and couldn't get tickets when he came back through on tour a month later, so I'll be damned if I miss him again. The buzz that lasted for weeks after both of his appearances drove me crazy.
Over at the Black Stage, I shan't miss Davila 666. I love some Spanish and I love some 60s inspired lo-fi rock. These Puerto Rican guys will be an odd fit—but nice reprieve—for the metal-laced Black Stage. I promise you'll like it, even if you don't understand what they are saying. And that's pretty remarkable. Here's one line to know, "Soy basura total," which translates to, "I'm total trash." See? Let's party.
Major Lazer, over on the Blue Stage, because I loved "Pon de Floor" long before Beyonce ripped it off for her cheap shot at a top 40 hit under "Girls (Run the World)" and made it uncouth to like Major Lazer. But what am I saying, she looked damn fine doing it.
I probably won't spend much time at the Yellow Stage, but I'd be willing to check out Henry Rollins because... what a crazy trip he's had.
I'm staying away from the Black Stage altogether. Blue, Orange and Yellow all the way.
The Yellow Stage gets most of my attention because of the comedy and weirdness. Reggie Wattsis whom I'm most excited about in the whole festival. Can't wait to see Brian Posehn, Chris Trew and Matt Bearden up on that stage. Never seen a UCB show, so that will be a must.
I’ll admit that I’m usually hard to please when it comes to festival lineups (give me a packed back room over a big stage any day, please), but this year’s FFF lineup is pretty stellar.
My top three picks are all playing the Black Stage: Nobunny, Thee Oh Sees and World/Inferno Friendship Society. Bringing fuzzy garage jams, out-of-control rock and punk-klezmer fusion, respectively, these guys are all welcome additions to the otherwise pretty hardcore stage. Also, because I’m from Boston, I’m pretty psyched to see Western Mass-based Bane.
Every year, FFF’s Yellow Stage comedy offerings get stronger (though it’s possible nothing can top two years ago, when Tim and Eric’s nude suits left the entire first row covered in faux ball fuzz). Definitely don’t miss the Upright Citizen’s Brigade set; while our fingers are crossed that this is the original Poehler/Besser/Walsh/Roberts lineup, it’s likely the current tourco (whose August set at NYC’s Del Close Marathon features SNL cast member Bobby Moynihan, improv genius Shannon O’Neill and more).
I'll be spending most of my time during FFF at the Orange Stage; I'm really excited about Blonde Redhead, Lykke Li and Okkervil River. I will definitely venture out to see Odd Future—I missed all the commotion they caused during SXSW, so I'm glad I'll finally get to check them out.
Del hasn't done anything I've loved in a while, but i'm still pumped he's going to be there; hopefully he'll get his act together and have a good set. And I'm embarrassingly excited about Slayer (mostly just because I love Slayer fans).
Director of Marketing & Community Outreach
If you're a true music fan, I would move on to the next staff pick—I can guarantee I won't tell you anything you don't already know. On the other hand, if you are often the last person to hear about a hot new artist or song because you have TB disorder (too busy!), then allow me to enlighten you with my top picks for this year's Fun Fun Fun Fest.
First, you have to see Passion Pit. Why? Because all of your friends already have and it's sad you haven't. They've only been around a few years, but have made their rounds in Austin and everyone seems to like their dance-able electropop sounds. My second pick is Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, because they are homegrown and fun to watch—if your toe isn't tapping during their, set you don't have a pulse. Finally, you'll find me at the Slayer set (well, maybe way in the back). It's not because I love heavy metal, but because I can't wait to see the insanity that ensues with this crowd.
Associate Director of Digital & Social Media Marketing
Thank you, FFF Fest, for giving me one weekend a year to see solid local talent and delve into some obscure shit (like the Death reunion show in 2009). My local allegiance this year goes to the orange stage for Heartless Bastards and Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears.
Slayer is a weird choice for me considering how my taste in music has evolved through college, but in high school I was a huge metal fan and Slayer was one of the first thrash bands that appealed to me—there's no way I can resist heading over to the Black Stage and releasing my inner headbanger. These legends of rock are sure to rock the shit out of Auditorium Shores.
How can anyone with even a passing interest in hip hop not get excited about seeing perhaps the most influential hip hop group ever live in concert, Public Enemy? Like Slayer, these icons might be a little long in the tooth, but they still got plenty to teach today’s young musicians about kicking ass. Hell, I already feel like watching Do the Right Thing just to get pumped up.
On the Yellow Stage, I get to see one of the best young rising comedy stars from one of my favorite current TV shows, Donald Glover. On the Blue Stage, I get to see his rapping alter ego, Childish Gambino (which I'm still jealous that all my friends got to see earlier this year). Fingers crossed that I’ll get my chance to make up for missing it.
Can’t decide between a music or comedy act? No decision necessary with Reggie Watts, who combines his improvisational a cappella skills with his loop pedal to create stream of consciousness stand up/musical compositions. A regular guest of Conan O’Brien, Watts is certainly one of the most unique performers you can catch at this festival.
Considering the last article I wrote proclaiming my newfound love of wrestling thanks to Anarchy Championship Wrestling, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this is the show that I am most excited for. Last year, the local promotion featured several events highlighted by a “Barefoot Thumbtacks” match. It’s hard to see them topping that, but then again that’s what I always say after every ACW show—and they always find a way to blow my mind.
YouTube videos of Merrill Garbus blasting out bookstores with her brassy man-voice renew my faith that man (or woman) can sing pitch-perfectly without autotune. Her arrangements are sticky and smart, and her limited live arrangement creates an incredible sound for such a small package: perfect for a show like FFF.
Win a pass to Fun Fun Fun! Show us your best photo from a past FFF Fest: Post your photo on Facebook and tag us to enter. We'll pick two winners this Friday, August 5th.