Fun Fun Fun Fest Sunday Picks

Blurbing Fun Fun Fun Fest one act at a time


12:25pm, Stage 1

Lauren Langner Larson's a whirlwind of blond hair and guitar, but that's not what makes Ume explosive. The local threepiece oozes the ramp-up, its slow-and-steady turning into volcanic rupture in three minutes flat. On the eve of releasing an EP with Mike McCarthy behind the boards, Ume is situated to reintroduce rock to roll. – Darcie Stevens

Til We're Blue or Destroy

1pm, Stage 1

The sprawling Austin pop collective expands the guitar-and-synth formula exponentially, surging with multiple keys, guitars, and vocals and layering bursts of horns, electronic samples, and percussion across as many as nine members. Yet the outfit still retains an underlying bed of danceable melodies that is tightly wound into intricate but direct tunes. – Doug Freeman

The Ugly Beats

1:20pm, Stage 3

The shortest local route between 2008 and 1966 is an Ugly Beats gig at Carousel Lounge. Whether they're tearing through go-go boot-scuffing originals like "I'll Make You Happy" or revving up regional mid-1960s curios like the Zachary Thaks' "Bad Girl," the Beats emphasize the kind of relentless, jerk-happy fun you would've had at the enchanted Hollywood version of your senior prom. – Greg Beets

Camp X-Ray

1:35pm, Stage 1 

Local quintet Camp X-Ray prefers the more straight-ahead Chicago punk represented by Naked Raygun and Pegboy as opposed to the Jesus Lizard "pigfuck" school. They perform at Fun Fun Fun in support of two recent 7-inch releases: a four-song EP and a brand-new split with Cleveland's This Moment in Black History. – Daniel Mee

Zeale & Phranchyze

1:35pm, Stage 4

These two locals have built a foundation as tag-teaming battle rappers, accented by flashy lyricism and charisma. Funnyman Phranchyze brings psychiatric flow to homegrown homage "Love Me Back" and shoe-shopping anthem "Customs," while Zeale's been proving his chops as a frontman, heading up Boombox ATX and Latin hip-hoppers Los Bad Apples. Zeale's debut LP, Haterz and Robotz, is expected soon. – Chase Hoffberger


2:10pm, Stage 4

Flashing a new Technic that's outta this world, 2008 ATX DJ Melee crown holder Bigface pops house, hip-hop, and "sounds that shock the mind." The self-proclaimed "Coolest Ape in Space," Starlynx holds intergalactic ties to the Zulu Nation, having spun for buddy Afrika Bambaataa when the ship hit Austin last year. He'll keep those Nike Dunks heel-toein' with the help of DJ Manny and MC Tigre Liu. – Chase Hoffberger

Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears

2:10pm, Stage 1

After a year of incessant buzz and top-tier festival gigs, local soul shouter Black Joe Lewis and his sevenpiece Honey Bears signed to Lost Highway and will release a proper full-length early next year. The 27-year-old Lewis growls like Lightnin' Hopkins, screams like Wilson Pickett, and mashes on guitar with heavy volume. – Thomas Fawcett

Kevin Seconds

2:20pm, Stage 2

As singer for Reno, Nev., hardcore heroes 7 Seconds, Kevin Seconds provided an earnest antidote to rampant, knee-jerk nihilism with sing-along exhortations such as "Trust" and "Walk Together, Rock Together." When he's not running Sacramento, Calif.'s True Love Coffeehouse, Seconds keeps active with solo projects such as Field Recordings, 2005-08, a sprawling online release of suitcase folk captured on the fly. – Greg Beets

The Cynics

2:35pm, Stage 3

Pittsburgh-bred garage rock icons the Cynics rattle off one sneering variation of I-don't-wanna after another with an intensity that belies an encroaching silver anniversary. Their most recent, 2007's Here We Are (Get Hip), led with the surprisingly poignant title track while retaining the one-shot fervor of Nuggets on tracks such as "The Warning" and "Coming Round My Way." – Greg Beets


3:25pm, Stage 4

For the record, Jack Davey's the chick, and Brook D'Leau's the dude. As J*Davey, the L.A. duo hits on Princely futurism that's caught the attention of the Roots' ?uestlove and Snoop Dogg. Their recent double EP, Land of the Lost (Independent Media), follows the electronic groove of 2005's The Beauty in Distortion. – Chase Hoffberger

The Toxic Avenger

4:25pm, Stage 4

Taking his moniker from the 1985 film of the same name, this Parisian DJ keeps his mash-ups as distorted as his namesake's nuclear-waste-stricken face. It's French industrial thrash for the rave crowd, a stomping, spastic mix of samples that proves "Bad Girls Need Love Too." – Chase Hoffberger


5:10pm, Stage 3

Dozens of bands contributed to the birth of hardcore, but along with Black Flag and Minor Threat, D.O.A. defined the way it was done. In addition to allegedly originating the name of the genre with the album Hardcore 81, the Vancouver group was a vociferous champion of the left-wing politics that permeated 1980s punk. Leader Joey "Shithead" Keithley is the only remaining founding member. – Daniel Mee

Franki Chan

5:25pm, Stage 4

As the founder of IHeartComix, an event-production company/record label based out of Los Angeles, Franki Chan keeps his schedule as busy as the mixes he cues on his turntables. He pulls cuts from catalogs as far-ranging as Prince, Daft Punk, and the Beach Boys and has collaborated with Spank Rock, MSTRKRFT, Diplo, and A-Trak. – Chase Hoffberger

The Black Angels

5:40pm, Stage 1

Fresh off a recent tour backing Roky Erickson and already entrusted to record an album of his previously unreleased material, the Black Angels have officially been handed Austin's psych-rock torch. The flame is kept alive in the ominous flicker of sophomore album Directions to See a Ghost (Light in the Attic), which builds upon the drone of 2006's Passover with even heavier hooks. – Doug Freeman


6:15pm, Stage 2

Cambridge, Mass., trio 27 traces across trip-hop contours with a delicate electro-pop sensuality. The group's latest, 2007's Holding On for Brighter Days, seemed an odd fit for the metal-entrenched Relapse Records, yet 27's darkwave foundation is as entrancing as it is unexpected. – Doug Freeman


6:50pm, Stage 3

New York City's Cro-Mags were a brutal presence in the scene, and 1986's legendary The Age of Quarrel LP remains a raging masterpiece. One of the first hardcore bands to fuse metal riffs to a gritty and nihilistic brand of Lower East Side attitude, interband animosities only fueled their reign of terror both on and off the stage. This new "jam" lineup retains singer John Joseph, original drummer Mackie Jayson, plus members of Sick of It All. – Marc Savlov

Grupo Fantasma

7:30pm, Stage 4

It's been a hell of a year for Grupo Fantasma. The collective's horns backed Prince at Coachella and The Tonight Show, while the local Latin big band toured Europe, entertained troops in Iraq, and released a rock-solid third studio album to rave reviews. As good as Sonidos Gold (Aire Sol) is, the band's psychedelic cumbia and 1970s vintage salsa dura truly comes alive onstage. – Thomas Fawcett

Minus the Bear

7:35pm, Stage 1

Folding up last year's third Minus the Bear LP, Planet of Ice, almost nine minutes of "Lotus" breaks this Seattle quintet's gravitational middle ground between Built to Spill and Coheed & Cambria and, for one brief sunburst, pulses Pink Floyd. Spiritualized set the bar sky high at Austin City Limits 2008, so with daylight saving time done, Minus the Bear hopefully sets the controls for the heart of Roger Waters' "Eclipse." – Raoul Hernandez

Bouncing Souls

7:40pm, Stage 3

These Jersey punk stalwarts have been a key ingredient in the East Coast punk sound since 1994's The Good, the Bad, and the Argyle. Their most recent, 2006's The Gold Record (Epitaph), is a methodically melodic masterpiece, chock-full of sing-along-forever choruses, walloping guitars, and, dare we say, some very insightful lyrical observations, especially in relation to pizza and Iraq. – Marc Savlov

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

8:40pm, Stage 1

Brooklyn's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah took the road less traveled on its 2005 self-titled debut and self-released it. The indie rock quintet followed suit on its 2007 follow-up, Some Loud Thunder, which shows CYHSY spreading its wings, thanks in part to production from Flaming Lips' knob-tweaker Dave Fridmann. – Chase Hoffberger

Bad Brains

8:45pm, Stage 3

Over the past 20 years, the legacy of Bad Brains' three megaclassic hardcore albums has been repeatedly infringed upon by vocalist Paul "H.R." Hudson's erratic behavior and homophobia – not to mention his constant efforts to quit rock and the band's refusal to let him, documented on 2007's unworthy Build a Nation. Live, Bad Brains can still bring it when H.R. consents. Cross your fingers. – Daniel Mee

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