Plenty of people tend to associate FYF Fest with bands that will soon be filling their iPods with fresh sound for the fall. This year, its lineup of subterranean, local and national acts boasts over 75 bands and plenty of young hell raisers on the bill. But one thing that makes this lineup particularly inspiring is its respect for the OGs in the indie rock game--bands who were touring and creating havoc while some their festival cohorts were still shitting in their diapers. While there's a good-sized handful of legendary FYF bands that are recently reunited, we chose five that we're particularly psyched to see getting back in the saddle. Here are five of them that we really want to see this weekend.
Described as both crude and primal, Hot Snakes is a remarkably connected and influential band. Hailing from San Diego and formed in 1999, the group counts among its ranks guitarists John Reis and Rick Froberg of Drive Like Jehu fame. Fans of Jehu will remember drummer-turned-producer Mark Trombino who worked with some of the '90s most prominent pop punk acts including Jimmy Eat World and Blink-182. Hot Snakes however share little in common with this distant lineage. Their debut album Automatic Midnight released on Reis's label, Swami Records, is an 11-track collection of songs featuring not-melodic jams played at full throttle with unmodulated, screechy vocals. But it's not a refined sound the fans are after, it's purity. It remains to be seen if that sort of thing will be a hit with FYF hipsters this year.
Desaparecidos had the same goat voice of Conor Oberst we came to know and love/hate but took the bitch out of Bright Eyes. The music was still angst-y but it rocked with loud, fast guitar instead of the quieter, sit-in-the-corner-of-my-room-and-cry-with-the-lights-out quality Oberst rose to fame with. They only released one full-length album, Read Music/Speak Spanish, but have still earned a spot on the top shelf of indie rock circa the early 2000's. The songs dealt with growing into adult responsibilities in an attempt to get the girl and the façade of American society. While Oberst's solo work is introspective, their work looks outward to the changing world around. The band was together from 2001-2002, briefly reunited in 2010 and again this year making the indie kids of the aughts release a collective, "Yessss!"
|Quicksand at the Glass House|
It has been almost fifteen years since Walter Schreifels, Tom Capone, Sergio Vega and Alan Cage collectively formed the brash, New York quartet. Our jaws dropped this past June when the post-hardcore band sauntered on as a surprise guest at Revelation Records' 25th anniversary show at the Glass House, which resulted in a summer resurgence for Quicksand, whose 1993 debut record Slip is counted among one of the most iconic hardcore albums ever recorded. Aside from their own inventive take on pit-swirling brutality, it's good to see Schreifels, a former member of seminal hardcore acts Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today, back on the scene. Though they reunited briefly in 1998, it's been over a decade since the band reemerged on stage in L.A. to remind us that the earth has not yet swallowed them hole.
The last time I saw Dinosaur Jr. was at the Irwindale Dam in 1993. I was emerging from a drug-induced psychosis after taking too many hits of acid and singer J. Mascis's was crooning with his trademark scratchy warble the opening verse to the Cure's "Just Like Heaven." His overdriven guitar rumbled, buzzed and whined a psychedelic tremolo. Years ahead of their time, Dinosaur Jr.'s 1993 masterpiece Where You Been features songs with a format so simple it's perplexing. Yet it's a sound only they have mastered: Sweet, heartfelt melodies sung delicately against a backdrop of blown out distorted guitars and face-melting solos. This band was a breath of fresh air for a generation burned out on mumbly, self-important grunge artists churned out by alternative radio at the time. Currently recording new material, Dinosaur Jr. counts original bassist Lou Barlow on its team. Known for his band Sebadoh, he's an icon in his own right. Look for me front and center--hopefully without a headful of acid.
Southern California was fortunate enough to host the first Refused
show in 14 years in April at Coachella
2012, thousands of miles away from the land that birthed them: Sweden
. The announcement of their reunion at one of the biggest music festivals in the nation set the world a-twitter before, during, and after Coachella. They went on to play several other major music festivals and are back to shake Southern California with their iconic, caustic hardcore sound once again.
So what's the big deal? For starters, their album The Shape of Punk to Come is often recognized as an iconic album in the realm of punk rock. A decade and a half is a long time to be broken up, and they received countless requests to get back together to perform at this show or that. Most of these requests were responded an enthusiastic "no" and and a fair share of mockery. A reunion seemed like a lost cause to all parties. Then their lives fell in to a place where playing together--even just as friends--was a real possibility.
Just as they began jamming again, Goldenvoice, the great reuniter, offered them a top-billed slot at both weekends of Coachella. They responded with initial skepticism then a "Let's do it, one last time." We're glad "one last time" includes a night at FYF, too.