Monday, September 2, 2013

FYF Fest 2013

I thought it'd be fun to try to sum up my FYF experiences with categories.  Let's see how this goes.  

First FYF:  
Yep, even though this was the festival's 10th anniversary, it was my first time.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  It was kind of like a mini Coachella, with the comforts of home at the end of a long day, the benefits of great local eats, and the convenience of public transit (one of the worst things about Coachella is the mile hike to the entrance and the traffic you get stuck in trying to enter the parking lot).

Best Vegan Food: 
The now closed Pure Luck Restaurant made an appearance at FYF in the form of a popup.  It was nice to eat something at a festival and still feel somewhat healthy.  Highly enjoyed their Jackfruit Burrito (jackfruit carnitas, beans, avocado, rice, salsa in a flour tortilla).

Biggest Merch Disappointment:
All the Ts were unisex.  Even though the shirts weren't super expensive, I'm a girl, so it would've been nice to see some girly Ts or a tank top.

Best Bands to Add to a Summer Playlist: 
  • Toro y Moi - smooth voice and silky jams.  Loving some of the R&B tendencies on his new album Anything in Return.
  • Devendra Banhart - I like to add a slow song as an intermission in my mix tapes.  Banhart would be it.  Simple and soothing. 
  • STRFKR - synthpop that made me want to dance from my blanket in the back even after a long tiring day. 
  • Poolside - pleasurable pool pop you can bounce to.  At the end of the show, Filip Nikolic was nice enough to jump down and sign some autographs and take pictures.  Unfortunately, I was up front, but not close enough to the middle to get in on that action. :( 
  • !!! - I've loved this band since college, so I was super excited to finally see them live...and they exceeded expectations.  It was hard not to dance to their disco dance punk, it was so unbelievably catchy.  And I loved the female singer (anyone know her name??) who dueted with him on a few songs.  She was a white woman with the soulful voice of a black woman.  Also, !!! was the perfect sunset band.  By day, the stage was a funky pool party, by night, a discotheque. 
  • Washed Out - I was afraid he would sound washed out and he did on certain songs.  The set list was a strange mix of his usual bedroom rock and then some good, sped up, danceable versions of his songs.  My favorite live song was Get Up.  I mean, look at him, he was probably at his most excited during that song. 
     
    I wish he would put out a live album because he definitely sounds better with a full band.  And surprise, his song Feel it All Around is the Portlandia theme song.  The full length song is actually pretty good.  
  • Holy Ghost! - I had heard one song before FYF and I liked it.  I just thought I might check them out and then swing over to My Bloody Valentine.  However, I found myself pretty close to the front before the booming bass and caught their electro pop infection that prevented me from standing still.  It was an amazing way to end the last day of FYF.  

Best Dancer:
Nic Offer of !!! somehow pulled off short shorts and had the moves to go with them.  He got the fans riled up by bouncing all over the stage (I like when singers do more than just stand in one place) and jumping into the crowd.  Despite the fact that he was dancing nonstop during his entire set (even hanging the mic around his neck to free his hands for some gyrating...and voguing), he never sounded out of breath. And how can anyone not get their groove on when he's dancing his ass off right in front of you?  If you don't get motion sickness, check out some of his great moves here

Best Line: 
When photographers started leaving the !!! stage, Nic Offer yelled out, "Where you going?  I'm only gonna get cuter!"

Favorite Stage: 
I spent most of my weekend at the Charlotte Stage (the stages were named after Sex and the City characters.  Have they done Ninja Turtles yet?).  What?  There was a ton of great music there.  Sunday, I was there for almost 8 hours straight, taking a short break near the end of the night for a soda, then coming back for more! That day, it was hard to leave the stage because we had such a good spot right at the front!

Most Unexpected Things I Saw:
  • I used to listen to Les Savy Fav in college and decided to swing by the Miranda stage to check out a few songs.  The songs were good, but the stage show got crazier and crazier.  While vocalist Tim Harrington performed, he wore a fluorescent kaftan, removed it, did a belly roll, wet willied his own belly button, put on tube socks as gloves, ripped holes into those tube socks for his fingers, removed them, and then removed his pants.  After he put on a silver gimp suit, including the mask (and managed to zip up most of the suit), and finished a song, I figured it was time for me to go.   
  • Two girls dancing with a giant blowup penis wearing a cape during the break between !!! and Washed Out.  Later at the Holy Ghost! show, the penis made an appearance on the big screen. 

Most Out of Place Band at Charlotte Stage:
The punk rock No Age was oddly sandwiched between !!! and Poolside.  They sounded like they should've been at the Miranda Stage instead, but maybe they were at Charlotte because of their surprisingly large fan base.  I was at the front, but relieved I didn't get too close to the center where all the high school moshers were crowd surfing towards the front of the stage.  Some good songs.  I preferred the ones with Dean Spunt on drums. 

Band I Regret Not Being in the Crowd for:
STRFKR made me want to dance from all the way in the back.  And the next day I saw confetti on the floor that MUST have come from their crazy colorful show. 

Shyest Singer:
It was amusing to see Solange grinding and sexy dancing on stage, and then shyly go to the mic and thank everyone for coming to see her instead of MGMT. 

Best Food Outside FYF:
We decided to have a big lunch at Chego to last us the day at FYF.  I mean, come on, look at that burger.  It was so delicious! 

Most Relaxing:
I got to enjoy Devendra Banhart's performance from a distance on a blanket. 

Only Band I saw at Carrie Stage:
TV on the Radio played faster versions of their songs live.  It didn't really sound like their albums, but it was still good. 

Bands I Regret Missing:
Sadly, I couldn't make it to Beach House because I had such a good place up front for Washed Out.  I'm glad I got to see Washed Out, but this is the second time I've missed Beach House :( 

Best Bands of Saturday:
  • Toro y Moi
  • TV on the Radio

Best Bands of Sunday:
  • !!!
  • Holy Ghost!

Best Backdrop at a Festival: 
Downtown LA's skyline



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