With eight short days left on the calendar until Fun Fun Fun Fest (FFF Fest) takes over Auditorium Shores in Austin we’re overdue to share our top five picks from the excellent lineup this year. Since most of us are familiar with the headliners: Chvrches, Wu-Tang Clan, NOFX, Odesza and Lauryn Hill we’re sticking to buzz acts in our list. After all, Fun Fun Fun Fest curates a lineup that is made for discovering bands.
Speaking of Hill, her addition to the lineup in place of D’Angelo and the Vanguard who first cancelled his ACL TV appearance last week then cancelled his FFF Fest set due to an undisclosed illness is a good move. While we’re disappointed we will not have the opportunity to cross D’Angelo off our bucket list, Hill is a more relevant performer from the roughly the same musical era. Due to D’Angelo’s sparse catalog and extended sabbaticals, the talented performer is not as prominent on our cultural radar. Fingers crossed for FFF Fest that Hill (who has an equally flakey rep as D’Angelo) shows up for her set and performs well.
Naturally there are more than five acts we plan on seeing at FFF Fest. We included a few Austin bands in our list so get out there early and check out why Austin claims to be the “Live Music Capital of the World.” View the full list of recommended acts below:
Friday, Nov. 6
• Cheap Trick
• King Khan & BBQ Show
• Skinny Puppy
• The Dwarves
• Viet Cong
Saturday, Nov. 7
• A Giant Dog (Austin)
• East Cameron Folkcore (Austin)
• Gogol Bordello
• Jane’s Addiction
• Speedy Ortiz
• The Charlatans UK
• Wu-Tang Clan
Sunday, Nov. 8
• Afrika Bambaataa (DJ set)
• Lauryn Hill
• Future Islands
• Golden Dawn Arkestra (Austin)
• Ringo Deathstarr (Austin)
• together PANGEA
Viet Cong – Friday – Orange Stage – 3:55 p.m.
A Canadian act in our preview might seem a bit odd (particularly after you realize we included two more bands from the Great White North in our short list) but Viet Cong are not out of place here by any means. The group is currently under fire for their moniker, which has rankled the feathers of some Vietnamese communities who find the name offensive. To the band’s credit, they agreed to find a new name though they meant no harm in selecting their name and their material is largely apolitical.
“We never intended for our name to be provocative or hurtful,” said the band in an official statement.
Controversy aside, the psych-rockers have been enjoying of play on our office turntable after we picked up their self-titled debut several months ago. Some have labeled the group post-punk as opposed to psych rock. Whatever you call it, their first record is a great listen. Since we missed their SXSW performances last year, they’re high on our FFF Fest priorities this year.
Peaches – Friday – Blue Stage – 5:10 p.m.
Electronic artist, Peaches might be the most photogenic performer on the entire FFF Fest schedule. That’s saying a lot, but the performer is known for an outlandish, wild stage show, so make this set a priority if a visual element is important in a live musical performance.
Watch the video for her song, D*ck in the Air and you’ll see what’s in store for Peaches fans.
Antemasque – Friday – Orange Stage – 5:55 p.m.
Antemasque is the latest project from members of The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Their second public live performance last year sold-out Austin’s Mohawk. The show was such a good time we’ve been counting the days until the band returned to Austin.
You will detect an element of metal hair band amid the guitar stylings of Rodriguez-Lopez and vocalist Bixler-Zalvala’s sun burst afro and stage antics. In essence, they are simply a rock band from El Paso who know how to put on a damn good show.
This set overlaps Peaches performance meaning some hard decisions will have to be made. Granted they are wildly different performances which is the point of FFF Fest. Do you want to be mildly shocked by electronic performance art or rock out with some legendary Texas musicians?
Jane’s Addiction – Saturday – Orange Stage – 8:30 p.m.
We know headliner Jane’s Addiction is hardly a buzz act but nostalgia compelled us to break our own rule and include Perry Farrell and company in our list. For younger fans, this set could turn out to be a moment of music discovery. In a way Jane’s could be construed a buzz act.
With everything from 90s appearing to repeat itself today, selecting seminal 90’s alternative act Jane’s Addiction to appear at Fun Fun Fun Fest was a no-brainer. Having them play Ritual de lo Habitual in it’s entirety? Genius.
BADBADNOTGOOD – Sunday – Jash Yellow Stage – 7:40 p.m.
BADBADNOTGOOD (BBNG) may just be the hottest instrumental band in North America right now. The group that inspired a new genre label, jazz-hop are college buddies from Toronto. We caught the group for the first time at Flood Magazine’s Lollapalooza after party. The trio were mesmerizing. Since then their latest release, III has been on repeat on our playlist.
BBNG have gained a large audience by collaborating with hip-hop artist, Ghostface Killah (Wu-Tang Clan) which means there just might be a cameo by the band during Wu-Tang’s set. They’ve also worked with Odd Future, Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt.