In California, as in scripture, there’s no rest for the wicked. Assuming, of course, that “wicked” means “fans of the hippest tunes.” As the Bay recovers from the extravaganza that was Outside Lands, LA is closing out summer with an embarrassment of musical riches. After this weekend’s Sunset Junction, the real cool kids will be heading to the redundantly named FYF Fest (or Fuck Yeah Fest… Fest) to enjoy the sounds of the latest Pitchfork-approved indie acts. With a heavy focus on SoCal-centric artists, this year’s FYF lineup is more coherent and compelling than last year’s, when the festival first moved from its birthplace in Echo Park to the large and semi-attractive LA State Historic Park.
Now in its seventh year, FYF 2010 will be stocked with three stages, to better accommodate the 30+ acts booked for the daytime festival. In keeping with its Echo Park roots, FYF will offer vegan food, DIY silk-screening, a record swap meet, local comics and anything else your hipster heart could desire.
It’s really all about the music, however, and FYF is bringing the heat.
Headlining is Panda Bear of Animal Collective, and hearing his lilting voice float over dreamy, eclectic-yet-catchy pop soundscapes should be the perfect capstone to a hazy summer day in downtown. If you’d rather groove than gel, however, then be sure to catch !!!’s set. With a new album (finally) on the way, these eight Sacramento-via-Brooklyn-and-Portland funksters will bring their polyrhythmic, bass-line centric tunes to the masses. With horns, synths, guitars, bongos and anything else they can get their hands on, !!! rocks the fuck out, and is not to be missed. Oh yeah, and The Rapture are also headlining, back from the grave with their signature danceable-rock. Hi-hats, funky bass, and feedbacky guitars, you know the drill.
Where FYF really shines this year is the supporting acts. Leading a strong SoCal contingent is Wavves, aka San Diegan Nathan Williams, who has recruited Jay Reatard’s old backing band and spit out one of the best records of the year so far, full of crunchy punk guitar riffs, impassioned wailing and a spirit of fun that will have you grinning while you mosh. From LA, there’s Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, another group that started as a lo-fi solo project but now is a well-oiled machine. Ariel’s 80′s-styled retro jams sound like an acid trip time machine. Next up you got the stoned, sun-soaked rock of Best Coast. Beth Cosentino’s crunchy, surf-rock inspired guitars and plaintive voice are straightforward but addictive combo. Like Reese’s peanut-butter cups. Or speedballs. Finally, showing their worldliness, FYF booked Barcelona indie-dance-rock darlings Delorean.
But, we all know that there’s nothing worse than a weak finish and FYF doesn’t disappoint. With just three songs on bandcamp, one pitchfork nod and no myspace page, Cults–the enigmatic synth-pop duo–have less real estate in the virtual music arena than your brother’s high school band. Yet, this couple have created enough buzz as of late with their breezy, mesmeric melodies to get them on stages ‘cross the country and on the bill of this downtown-dance fest. FYF has also got the shoegaze goodness of School of Seven Bells whose dream-pop tunes could’ve come straight off the Reality Bites soundtrack.
But if you’re in need of a break from all that electric bass and those droning riffs, Vetiver, a more palatable quintet of the freak-folk scene, promises cheery, coffee-shop acoustics that will pair perfectly with your carefree disposition. Adding on to that happy are the sweet surf-rock stylings of the Magic Kids, whose latest LP delivers twee-filled-indie pop straight from Tennessee. Oh, and did we mention the Local Natives?
We know we’ve got you all hot and bothered with our picks from FYF’s ridiculously good-looking roster and while we could tease you now and then rub it in your face later with a review, we’re not that cruel. We’d rather you come with.
Treeswingers is giving away two pairs of tickets to a few lucky readers in the days leading up to the festival. For your chance to win, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and look out for giveaway contests. We’ll be giving out the first pair this Monday, Aug. 23. Tickets for the festival can also be purchased here.
Panda Bear- Slow Motion
!!!- Steady As the Sidewalk Cracks
The Rapture- House of Jealous Lovers
Wavves- Take on the World
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti- Round and Round
Best Coast- Bratty B
Cults- Go Outside
Vetiver- More of This
Magic Kids- Summer
Download the whole playlist here.
-Dan & Sara