Fun Fun Fun Fest Saturday Picks

Blurbing Fun Fun Fun Fest one act at a time

Richard Henry

12:30pm, Stage 4

You've never heard "A Whiter Shade of Pale" so funked up. Platypus Promotions team captain Richard Henry brings his diverse musical upbringing – he's trained in the French horn and piano – to the DJ booth, mixing funk, classic rock, dub, and Miami bass into one twisted get-down. – Chase Hoffberger

Mammoth Grinder

1:20pm, Stage 3

One of the heaviest and best new bands to emerge locally, Mammoth Grinder does for metal what ECW did for sports entertainment: It bloodies it up a bit. The trio's aptly titled debut, Rage and Ruin, is a study in extremes, thrashing like a fish out of water between doom-heavy sludge and hardcore punk. Keep an eye peeled for the band's equally exciting new 7-inch, No Results EP. – Austin Powell

Terp 2 It

1:30pm, Stage 4

With sophomore LP My Wiener Touches the Ceiling dropping at the fest, Austin's Chris Trew has turned heads with raps that run the gamut from MySpace to backpacks. He's also a funny dude, having co-founded improv institution ColdTowne Theater. He brings both sides of his brain together as Terp 2 It, making MCing one twisted laughing matter. – Chase Hoffberger

Frank Smith

1:35pm, Stage 2

Though originally hailing from Boston, Frank Smith's laid back folk-pop is a natural fit to Austin, and since transplant-ing here last year, the quartet has quickly acclimated. 2007's Heavy Handed Peace and Love loped atop banjo and steel guitar as Aaron Sinclair's scratchy vocals bit with an ironic and bitter bent, while the band's latest material unloads bluesier ballads accented by Jess Rice's female harmonies and rubboard rhythms. – Doug Freeman

Krum Bums

2:30pm, Stage 3

Fisticuffs, hemorrhoids, and self-immolation? All in a day's work for the Krum Bums, who embody the ethos of thrash-fueled punk rock. You can hear it on their superlative 2007 salvo, As the Tide Turns (TKO), but you can feel it like a blast wave when the local quintet performs. In a genre that sometimes suffers from lockstep rigidity, the Krum Bums outflank the rank-and-file with thoughtful abandon. – Greg Beets


2:45pm, Stage 1

Centro-matic's uncommon blend of and lo-fi pop marks the band's latest, the two-disc Dual Hawks (Misra). It's a split effort with fellow Dentonites South San Gabriel, allowing frontman Will Johnson ample room to express his shifting moods. A sprawling, stately listen, Centro-matic's side characterizes brash indie rock, while South San Gabriel shows a smoother side. – Jim Caligiuri

Bishop Allen

3:20pm, Stage 1

Bishop Allen's an offbeat pop fourpiece from Brooklyn, and its 2007 disc, The Broken String (Dead Oceans), featured the track "Middle Management," which ended up in the recent Michael Cera film Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. A new disc is almost complete, with an early 2009 release date. – Jim Caligiuri

Swingin' Utters

3:40pm, Stage 3

Twenty-year veterans Swingin' Utters epitomize the good parts of the Fat Wreck Chords brand of punk: scruffy regular guys playing uncomplicated punk rock that balances angst with humor. They're a perfect anytime power-chord band; at their best, they're also capable of urban folk songs like "The Next in Line," from 1996's A Juvenile Product of the Working Class. – Daniel Mee

The Octopus Project

4pm, Stage 4

They brought the Austin High Band onstage for the Austin City Limits Music Festival, they tend toward piñatas and party favors, and there's theremin. Austin fourpiece the Octopus Project has no equal, spinning a frenzy and letting it all roll down. 2007 highlight Hello, Avalanche found confidence in playfulness, and Yvonne and Josh Lambert, Toto Miranda, and Ryan Figg embody River City exuberance. – Darcie Stevens

The Black Heart Procession

4pm, Stage 1

Over the past decade, the Black Heart Procession has continually danced a dark and haunting waltz, melding the mellow drive of Pall Jenkins and Tobias Nathaniel's former Three Mile Pilot with a more brooding edge. Behind Nathaniel's plodding piano and Jenkins' ominous vocals, the San Diego quintet's fifth LP, 2006's The Spell (Touch and Go), delivered a melancholic and apocalyptic vision. – Doug Freeman


4:30pm, Stage 3

Espousing the glorious drudge of the proletariat, this onetime Madison, Wis., now L.A.-based wrecking-ball trio vivifies FFFF with its baleful, sludgy, blues folkcore. Plucking from a 25-year discography assaulting your senses – and character – Killdozer will slap you around with a sociopolitical subwoofer rumble like only maligned dirt-rock pioneers can. – Francesca Camillo

Golden Arm Trio

4:35pm, Stage 2

Part of the allure of a Golden Arm Trio performance is not knowing where ravenous composer/pianist/drummer Graham Reynolds and his rotating cast of backing musicians will take you. 2006's would-be film noir score, The Tick-Tock Club (Shamrock), connected the dots between Dmitri Shostakovich and Carl Stalling. Whether he's navigating the nexus of jazz and classical music or indulging his love of Duke Ellington, Reynolds delivers the goods. – Greg Beets


5pm, Stage 4

Jona Bechtolt has become a ubiquitous force in the Northwest, splicing his electronic beats across a number of bands, most famously with Khaela Maricich of the Blow. Bechtolt's primary project, Yacht, follows the Blow's quirky pop glitches, as evidenced by 2007's I Believe in You. Your Magic Is Real (Marriage), while this year's Summer Song EP pounded out DFA dance rock. – Doug Freeman

Municipal Waste

5:20pm, Stage 3

These bacchanalian thrashers recall the heady energy of the mid-1980s, in particular native Houstonians D.R.I., though they don't seem to favor the genre's political statements judging from 2007 release The Art of Partying. Nonetheless, the Waste has convincing chops, especially with champion grindcore drummer Dave Witte behind the kit. – Daniel Mee


6pm, Stage 4

Brownout has yet to garner the ink of Grupo Fantasma, the mother ship from which this funky side project was launched, but that could change if a forthcoming sophomore album matches 2007's brilliant debut, Homenaje (Freestyle). An amalgamation of dusty funk and Afrobeat with hard salsa and Santana-esque psychedelic guitars, the ace band has mastered the art of hip shaking. – Thomas Fawcett


6:10pm, Stage 3

While they're not exactly kids anymore, these pioneers of the SoCal punk scene sound as bratty as ever. Their current set list combines Rodney on the ROQ faves "Amoeba," "Kids of the Black Hole," and "Wrecking Crew" with equally caustic outbursts from 2005's snarly OC Confidential. Grow up? Fuck that noise. This is one adolescence that lasts a lifetime. – Marc Savlov

Dan Deacon

7pm, Stage 4

Dan Deacon doesn't know the rules. He doesn't look cool or act nonchalant. He doesn't separate fan from performer. He doesn't play conventional instruments. He's a YouTube phenom, an Adult Swim bump, Girl Talk without samples. He's Spiderman of the Rings, a force of nature straight from Baltimore, and the kids are loving it. – Darcie Stevens

Neil Hamburger

8:45pm, Stage 2

This graveyard-hacking anti-comic has evolved his obtusely paced banter from sheepish resignation to borderline bellicosity in recent years. The highlight of his new musical foray, Neil Hamburger Sings Country Winners (Drag City), is a profanity-laced tirade against careless recycling. Just when you think Ham-burger's schtick is played out, he turns a corner that lets you know there's more at work than a guy pretending to be a bad comedian. – Greg Beets

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