Monday, September 1, 2008

F Yeah Fest 5 - 8.30.08. Echo Park.

Due to financial crises, the fifth F Yeah Fest nearly didn't occur, and thus this year's lineup was scaled down to a single day, a scavenger hunt acting as substitute for the Sunday Concert That Could Have Been. But Saturday's music fest was jam packed with nearly ten hours of music and more bursts of “fuck yeah!” than one ought to hear in a single space, or four, as were the case.

The relatively large Echoplex saw the fest off to a rowdy start, what with Chicago garage rockers Mannequin Men picking up energy from Graham Forest's opening set; the Men were practically spitting Libertines camaraderie, sharing a mic, sharing love, sharing sweat. The rain pouring from frontman Kevin Richard could be felt a fair eight feet away, in fact.

Drumming hip-hop duo Brother Reade offered some mutterings about “artichoke titties” while Seattle's Past Lives, the initial Blood Brothers lineup minus Johnny Whitney, tore it up like – well – the Blood Brothers minus Johnny Whitney. In giving us a sneak of their upcoming Strange Symmetry EP they lacked the obvious flamboyance that Whitney brought to the stage, but offered winners like “Skull Lender,” which was a bit much for a 5:00 crowd that'd spent its energy on the Mae Shi.

The first local act to provide a much-needed burst of energy, the Mae Shi pulled out a rainbow parachute – a bit suffocating in that stifling summer air – and made a madhouse out of the Echoplex. Their usual antics intact, a combination of quadruple shouts and audience loyalty meant “Run to Your Grave” and “I Get (Almost) Everything I Want” were group efforts, leaving vocalist Jonathan Gray a few free seconds to grimace.

Mika Miko guitarist Michelle Suarez gave a big, goofy grin and confessed that she'd been afraid no one would see the band play – unfounded, however, as Mika Miko were another of the day's local favorites. Jenna Thornill hobbled a hobble when she wasn't playing sax, and bassist Jessie Clavin smiled above her Germs shirt (rather fitting, as Mika Miko aren't unlike a female Germs, sans destructive tendencies). Like the two-piece to follow, Brooklyn's Japanther, Mika Miko frontlady Jennifer Clavin shrieked through a bright, shiny phone, though unlike Japanther's Matt Reilly, Clavin didn't anger the crowd by killing time with chatter during a technical difficulty. And unlike Japanther, Mika Miko's crowd didn't start surfing and nearly suck Sean Carlson into its pit of people during a makeshift security attempt.

The masses had come for No Age, but the masses are a bit much to take, so trotting up to the Echo for the night's conclusion meant a good, hard punch from Crystal Antlers, whose percussionist Sexual Chocolate dropped some fabric and made beautiful love to his mic stand. Said masses also missed out on Monotonix, a Tel Aviv cock-rock trio with Jew-fros and lip bushes who dumped trash on the people, tossed beer on the people, and in true headlining form, allowed themselves to be raised high so that – full drum kit here, kids – they could keep playing over the hands of the people. Fuck yeah!

The Mae Shi

Mannequin Men

Past Lives

Mika Miko


Crystal Antlers

A small piece of Monotonix


Travis said...

ugh, no hate, but i feel like these are the bands that populate nyc on a nightly basis. and a reason i dont go to the vast majority of shows (i hear they are called "parties" here) around these parts.

except for the mae shi. they fucking rule all.

China said...

I'm not going to lie, this year's lineup didn't impress me nearly as much as last year's, particularly on paper. Last year had Pissed Jeans, Langhorne Slim, a Fuse reunion, the last west coast show by the Explosion. This year...I saw the lineup and thought, "gah, big hipster fest." But when it actually happened I wound up mostly loving the bands. Not a life-changing time, but actually lots of fun when balled together in a ten hour day.

theneedledrop said...


China said...

Why, I think I've just spotted a potential mascot for F Yeah Fest VI.