Friday, August 25, 2006

All The Hipsters Yell FUCK YEAH! Darker My Love, The Thermals, and Giant Drag at Day 2 of the Fuck Yeah Fest, Saturday August 19, 2006

For twenty bucks you sure get a day full of entertainment. The 3rd annual Fuck Yeah Fest, located in lovely Echo Park, packs enough music, comedy, art and booze to make your head pop. They've expanded the fest into three days this year, but seeing as I only had enough money for one day, I chose day two (although bummed to have missed out on the Circle Jerks Friday night).

Due to some poor planning on my part I only was able to catch three of the bands performing at the Echo, and the comedy show down and around the corner at the Down Beat Cafe. Thankfully all were worth it.

Since this page is only about live music, I'll just say that the comedy show made me laugh so hard I was in fear of my face paralyzing. Seriously funny guys. They're all part of the "alternative" comedy scene. Which means they'll actually tell some decent jokes, or sing. Damn you singing boys, damn you. If you're at all interested, they, like everyone else in the world nowadays, have myspace pages. Check them out: Anthony, Matt, Jarrett, Jonah Ray, other Matt and some other guys who I've forgotten (not that they weren't funny, I'm just crap with names).

The first band I caught was Darker My Love, who at first glance made me question the music I had previously heard from them- I mean, really! a Giant COWBOY hat??? But my anxieties were all but forgotten after a few seconds of listening to their sounds. Echoing voices, droning guitars layered over pounding drums: a shoegazer dream. I could even go so far as to say I could pick up hints of Spaceman 3 in there. Too bad the crowd was so lackluster about the performance, but then again, it was still early evening at this point.

Next band I caught, albeit hours later, was The Thermals. This band was super-duper hyped by a friend of mine. "Holy Fuck!! You HAVE to see them!!" she proclaimed. Okay. Gave their music a listen on myspace, not bad. But to see them live was so, so much more worth it. To see a band really love to perform, to just go ape shit while they're playing cause you know they're enjoying playing it as much as you're enjoying listening to it, that just makes me appreciate them all the more. Lead singer Hutch Harris, who bears a slight resemblance to Stephen Malkmus, has this nasally screeching quality to his voice that fits in perfectly with the wild, post punk beats they throw out at you. The excitement shared between Harris and bassist Kathy Foster was in turn shared with the crowd as everyone started to jump and head bob with the music. They'll be back later this year, I'd definitely recommend that they be seen live.

Closing day 2 of the Fuck Yeah Fest was Giant Drag, a favorite on the local radio station Indie 103.1. I'll admit that I'd only heard that one song, This Isn't It, but I liked it enough to venture back into the club to watch them close the show. It's surprising how such a tremendous sound can be made with a minimal arrangement. And coming out from there is this childlike yet devilish voice. The double vision of the lead singer projected in swirling colors behind the singer was a bit much after a day of beers, but it did fit well with the crashing melodies. Oh, and they did play This Isn't It.

As a side note, the funniest moment of the night was right after Last Call was announced and I tried to make my way to the exit through the crowd of kids "dancing". The scene reminded me this show on Tribal Dance I watched on the Discovery Channel. The kids were all just flopping, but flopping to New Order.

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