Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quick notes from Fun Fun Fun Fest

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 3:19 PM

By Erica Monzon erica@ledaswan.net

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OK, this is actually from last year's fest, but don't tell anyone. The other photos are from last weekend. (Courtesy FFFF)

M83 Dreamy dance vibes with male vocals sharing harmonies with a sweet female soprano. Their sound was layered with synchronized synths and piano, and I often wondered what the purpose of having live instruments is, if you do not initially hear that marriage of guitars and ambience.  At one point during their set (the second part of which was instrumental), I felt like I was listening to a CD instead of a live band. M83 is good pop band that definitely makes you fall into their world. I’m just not sure what world that is yet. Hum

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(Photo by Jaime Monzon)

When a bands' music becomes ceremonial in a live setting, you know there must be something special about them. Hum is loud and heavy, yet their music drones with a kind of laziness that still makes you want bang or bop your head. It's the perfect marriage of heavy pre-Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream era, with a modern sound that's not dated even after so many years. Their feedbacky, groove-heavy live show sent chills up and down my body. If there was any  magic taking place at FFFF it happened during Hum's live show.  They made me want to rock out on my guitar and be a teenager again.

We Were Promised Jetpacks

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(Photo by Jaime Monzon)

A solid four-piece that kept things brilliantly basic, with no synchronized tracks. The singers even-toned vocals seemed to tell a story and a tight rhythm section with bright chiming guitars make this band likable when the listener focuses. There were some subtle, catchy hooks hidden in their songs that took them to a higher level. They’re a simple-rock outfit that writes exceptional rock ’n’ roll songs. They recorded their latest album in Sigur Ros' Icelandic studio. That should be fun to hear. Asobi Seksu

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(photo by Jaime Monzon)

Upon watching most bands at the fest, it seemed that the trend now more than ever is incorporating synths, and synchronization with traditional drums, guitars and bass.  Asobi Seksu does just, that but with more of the latter. Lead singer/guitarist Yuki Chikudate is a petite songstress that has light, high vocals that soar above the band’s upbeat high-energy rhythms. They’re appealing and accessible, with songs that often end with loud crescendos. Sonically, the band sounds excellent and ended on a nice visual note when Chikudate jumped on the drums to help with the final jam. Blonde Redhead Blonde Redhead is an American rock trio comprising of Kazu Makino and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace.  They took the stage after the Black Lips, and their set consisted of songs off Penny Sparkle and 23, their last two albums. Their music is a mix of atmospheric synths and heavy guitars, yet they still manage to write great pop songs, which is probably what has sustained their career for so many years. At this festival, they delivered a show as powerful as when they play intimate venues. I just hope to get to see them again very soon. Cold Cave

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(Photo by Jaime Monzon)

Cold Cave is an electronic-indie pop/rock band that played Saturday afternoon on the blue stage.  If you were not watching them but only listening, they could pass for dance music on the radio or a DJ spinning records.  However, they do have a band with two singers that share vocals and synths and a live drummer. I found myself dancing to their heavy drum 'n' bass pop beats. As performers, they seem to be excited and into their craft, which also helps make them appear sincere and believable They reminded me of the old school Depeche Mode albums but with more spunk. I would definitely give their music another listen and give it time to grow on me.  

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