FYF Fest cancels 2018 edition in stunning move

FYF Fest 2018

FYF Fest //
Exposition Park – Los Angeles
July 21st-22nd, 2018 //

In some stunning news on a Sunday, Goldenvoice has announced that the 2018 edition of FYF Fest has been canceled.

Just five weeks after revealing a female-focused lineup that saw Florence + The Machine and Janet Jackson booked as headliners, the renowned Southern California concert promoter has shockingly pulled the plug on the longtime LA music festival, explaining via its social media channels that organizers were “unable to present an experience on par with the expectations of our loyal fans and the Los Angeles music community this year.”

After expanding to three days last year, FYF was scaling back to two for its 15th installment this July, but as Billboard first reported, low ticket sales forced “the difficult decision” to be made with more than two months to go.

However, former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus, who was set to perform at FYF this year with his band The Jicks, put the blame squarely on himself and other artists, citing the need for better songwriting.

Whether you agree with Malkmus or not (or you’re just bummed to hear about the shutdown like us), uncertainty surrounded FYF’s 2018 return after the festival quickly became mired in controversy when sexual misconduct allegations involving its original founder Sean Carlson surfaced in November. And even though Goldenvoice had already bought out Carlson’s stake to acquire sole ownership of the event and had veteran booking agent Jennifer Yacoubian in charge of securing talent, it wasn’t enough in the end to entice fans to shell out $249 for a GA weekend pass (or a whopping $549 for VIP). If you did buy one, fear not — ticket holders will receive full refunds over the next few days, so you’ll get your money back soon.

The news, however, raises bigger questions about the future of music festivals in the U.S. as the marketplace becomes more competitive and oversaturated. Because now that FYF’s own future is looking rather bleak, there’s really no telling where the industry goes from here.

FYF Fest - 2018 lineup

FYF Fest moves back to two days with Florence + The Machine, Janet Jackson headlining in 2018

FYF Fest - 2018 lineup

FYF Fest //
Exposition Park – Los Angeles
July 21st-22nd, 2018 //

After expanding to three days for the first time last summer and facing a widely publicized sexual misconduct scandal involving its original founder Sean Carlson just several months ago, FYF Fest has made its 2018 return official with another buzzworthy lineup.

But FYF’s announcement for its 15th edition doesn’t come without some noteworthy changes. The LA festival, for one, is moving back to two days this July, and with longtime Goldenvoice booking agent Jennifer Yacoubian now in charge of securing talent, it’s going in a somewhat different direction with this year’s roster.

In fact, Goldenvoice, which teamed up with Carlson as FYF co-promoters in 2011 and are currently the event’s sole owners, has taken some heat in recent years for its festival bills lacking female artists, and it appears Paul Tollett and company have gotten the message pretty loud and clear by billing Florence + the Machine and Janet Jackson as headliners.

Although last year’s installment of FYF had a good amount of female representation between Missy Elliott, Björk, Erykah Badu, Solange, Angel Olsen, Kehlani and some others, it seems as if Goldenvoice has made even more of a point to continue that trend in 2018, marking the first performance at the festival for either headliner and Jackson’s only scheduled show in LA as of right now.

Meanwhile, FYF has some other major gets to hang its hat on, including My Bloody Valentine, who will be playing their only West Coast date of the year, as well as the debuts of Future, The xx, St. Vincent, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kali Uchis. Of course, many fans of the festival will also be excited to see another crowd favorite listed on the lineup in The Breeders, while other names that are worth noting include Amber Mark, Car Seat Headrest, Daniel Caesar, Daphni, Destroyer, Glassjaw, Mount Kimbie, Nils Frahm, Protomartyr, Rhye, serpentwithfeet, Skepta, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Sudan Archives, The Internet, U.S. Girls and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Check out the poster above for the rest of the lineup.

FYF will be back at Exposition Park for a fifth straight year despite our hopes that it would return to LA State Historic Park following a three-year, $20-million renovation project that saw it reopen last April and host KCRW’s inaugural Skyline festival (read our review here). Alas, that unfortunately won’t be the case as festivalgoers will have to endure Expo Park’s unforgiving landscape of mostly asphalt and concrete (we just wish there was more green grass to roam — that’s all).

Weekend passes to FYF will be sold for $249, with single-day passes also available for $149 and weekend VIP passes available for $549. Tickets can be purchased starting next Friday, April 6th at 12 p.m. here. American Express Card Members will be able to purchase passes before the general public has a chance to, beginning Tuesday, April 3rd at 10 a.m. through Thursday, April 5th at 10 p.m. PT.

Ready for the “best weekend of summer” to return? Check out our past FYF coverage here.

FYF Fest 2018

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2017

Coldplay at Levi's Stadium


Coldplay at Levi’s Stadium // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by Steve Carlson

Let’s be frank: 2017 had its ups and downs. And when it came to the political sector in this country, it was mostly the latter during Year 1 of the Trump administration. But as art often does in times of turmoil, music flourished in new and exciting ways. From stripper-turned-rapper Cardi B topping the charts to veteran alt-psych rockers Portugal. The Man filling the airwaves for Top 40 radio stations all over America, there were plenty of unexpected twists and turns this year. Amid all of them, we still managed to consume a healthy diet of music, both live and recorded, and once again it’s time for us to ante up our annual “Best of” lists, much like we have done each of the past few years (see our 2016 picks here).

So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2017.

See our favorite performances from 2017 here.

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2017:


Nine Inch Nails at FYF Fest 2017


Nine Inch Nails at FYF Fest 2017 // Photo by Josh Herwitt

Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2017
1. Tool at The Gorge Amphitheatre – George, WA – June 17th
What could be a better bachelor party than getting to watch your favorite band at the most scenic outdoor music venue in the U.S.? Seeing any concert at The Gorge would likely be a surreal experience, but my first trip to Washington’s holy grail was that much more special with Tool returning to the amphitheater for the first time since 2006. And even though their gap between albums has stretched to more than 10 years, Maynard and company still know how to elevate the live show to new heights both sonically and visually. Talk about a dream come true for this die-hard fan.

2. Nine Inch Nails at FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA – July 23rd
3. LCD Soundsystem at Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles, CA – November 18th
4. Gorillaz at The Forum – Inglewood, CA – October 5th
5. Radiohead at Coachella, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 14th

Top 5 Albums of 2017
1. The War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding
Adam Granduciel had to know that it would take a monumental effort to match, let alone top, 2014’s Lost in the Dream (one of our favorite albums that year), but The War on Drugs’ primary songwriter and band leader delivered another masterpiece in late August with the release of A Deeper Understanding. It’s an album that will touch your heart and soothe your soul as the LP moves seamlessly from one track to the next, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a much better soundtrack for the road over the last 10-15 years. A Deeper Understanding doesn’t need to win a Grammy in 2018 to validate its legitimacy as an Album of the Year candidate, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt either.

2. Slowdive – Slowdive
3. The xx – I See You
4. The National – Sleep Well Beast
5. Grizzly BearPainted Ruins

Top 5 Songs of 2017
1. The War on Drugs – “Holding On”
There’s something about Adam Granduciel’s guitar playing that will make you want to play air guitar, and maybe no better example of that is the second single from The War on Drugs’ fourth studio album A Deeper Understanding. For nearly six minutes, Granduciel takes his listeners on a ride through peaks and valleys, as the song finishes with him doing what he does best: shredding. But what makes “Holding On” even more powerful is its music video starring actor Frankie Faison, who plays a middle-aged man coping with his wife’s passing. It’s a sad, yet touching story written by Granduciel’s girlfriend, Krysten Ritter, that offers an important reminder about love and just how precious it is.

2. Kendrick Lamar – “DNA.”
3. Washed Out – “Hard to Say Goodbye”
4. The National – “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness”
5. Nine Inch Nails – “Less Than”


Sigur Rós at Greek Theatre Berkeley


Sigur Rós at Greek Theatre Berkeley // Photo by James Nagel

Brett Ruffenach // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2017
1. Solange at FORM Arcosanti – Arcosanti, AZ – May 12th
Taking the stage in the amphitheater of Arcosanti, a scenic artist compound that’s built into the canyons sitting north of Phoenix, Solange and her nine-piece crew brought her critically acclaimed LP A Seat at the Table to life right before our eyes. As an album entrenched in the modern experience of the black woman, Solange’s live production turned these themes into one visually stunning, intricately choreographed and sonically vibrant experience, coupled with a subtle balance of strength and vulnerability. Deep bass, soaring harmonies and tight rhythms made each song a joy to watch, including older hits like “T.O.N.Y.” After a year that was as emotionally taxing as 2017 was, it was a breath of fresh air to watch Solange present her own truth, her own experience with such bravado and mastery.

2. Gorillaz at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival – San Francisco, CA – August 11th
3. Sigur Rós at Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA – April 8th
4. Mitski at FORM Arcosanti – Arcosanti, AZ – May 13th
5. Kevin Morby at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – September 23rd

Top 5 Albums of 2017
1. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
Pure Comedy captures a different perspective in this politically drenched culture we’re in now — one that chooses to embrace the insanity of it all and laugh, as privileged and unhelpful as that might be. “She’s like, ‘Oh great, that’s just what we all need / Another white guy in 2017 / Who takes himself so goddamn seriously'” croons Josh Tillman. His lyrics in “Leaving LA” are just one of several scores of quotable lines that fill this nihilist-yet-comforting, saddening-yet-hilarious album. Being a privileged white man who lives in a liberal bubble, this album marks the definition of a guilty pleasure for me. Pleasure, because it is sharp, honest and bold. Guilt, because I am capable of even laughing in the first place.

2. Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder
3. Sylvan Esso – What Now
4. Lorde – Melodrama
5. Brockhampton – SATURATION II

Top 5 Songs of 2017
1. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – “Over Everything”
Its jangly guitars and wonky rhythm, combined with the chemistry of Courtney Barnett’s and Kurt Vile’s singing and occasional harmonizations, make “Over Everything” my favorite song of 2017. It’s an instant earworm — the cadence of Barnett’s and Vile’s lyricism gives the duo a distinct identity but still allows them to come together at the right moments to make the song feel whole. And after watching them make their live debut at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass earlier this year, they continue to raise my spirits and remind me to wear earplugs.

2. Real Estate – “Darling”
3. Selena Gomez – “Bad Liar”
4. Kendrick Lamar – “DNA.”
5. Bonobo – “Bambro Koyo Ganda”


J.I.D at Day N Night Fest 2017


J.I.D at Day N Night Fest 2017 // Photo by Rochelle Shipman

Rochelle Shipman // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2017
1. J.I.D at Day N Night Fest – Anaheim, CA – September 9th
The J. Cole-signed rapper proved to be much more than just another name from Atlanta with a nonstop, energetic set that established him as a young goat. Keep tabs on this one.

2. Sonder at The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever – Los Angeles, CA – April 19th
3. Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals at FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA – July 21st
4. Gorillaz at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival – San Francisco, CA – August 11th
5. Erykah Badu at FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA – July 22nd

Top 5 Albums of 2017
1. Smino – blkswn
This album brings nothing but warm vibes and impressive wordplay from the fast-rising St. Louis emcee. Since it dropped in March, not a week goes by that I don’t bump this debut for me and all my neighbors.

2. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
3. Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors
4. Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger in the Alps
5. Tyler, the Creator – Flower Boy

Top 5 Songs of 2017
1. Smino – “Anita”
The dude rhymes “ice cream” with “chocolate” and gets away with it. Enough said.

2. Cardi B – “Bodak Yellow”
3. Dirty Projectors – “Up in Hudson”
4. Vince Staples – “Love Can Be…”
5. Phoebe Bridgers – “Funeral”


Slowdive - Slowdive

Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2017
1. Slowdive at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – October 28th
This was my first time seeing Slowdive, and they completely took my breath away. It was one of those perfect shows in which the sound was on point, the band brought its A game and the visual elements complimented the music just right. They played cuts from their entire catalog, and by the end of the night, the audience was completely happy.

2. Quicksand at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – September 8th
3. LCD Soundsystem at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – November 15th
4. Band Together Bay Area: Metallica, G-Eazy, Rancid, Dave Matthews, Dead & Company and Raphael Saadiq at AT&T Park – San Francisco, CA – November 9th
5. Roger Waters at Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA – June 10th

Top 5 Albums of 2017
1. Slowdive – Slowdive
A totally perfect album from start to finish. There have been a lot of bands that have emulated Slowdive’s dream-pop/shoegaze sound over the past few years, but this album, their first in 22 years, proves why the UK group is one of the genre’s true originals. Lush soundscapes, paired with gorgeous vocals, made for what was easily my most-listened-to album of the year.

2. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
3. Quicksand – Interiors
4. Versing – Nirvana
5. Hobosexual – Monolith

Top 5 Songs of 2017
1. Quicksand – “Illuminant”
I had been waiting so patiently for the new Quicksand album to drop, and when they released this single, it was one of those completely satisfying musical moments. From that opening riff to the breakdown, “Illuminant” showcases the post-hardcore band’s evolution since the early 90’s while remaining true to its roots. Interiors is a fantastic album front to back, but this song is the one that stands out the most.

2. Slowdive – “Star Roving”
3. Elbow – “Magnificent (She Says)”
4. LCD Soundsystem – “Call the Police”
5. Versing – “Body Chamber”

Showbams_Sticker_Rectangle2

Outside Lands 2017: Lineup locks, likely acts & long shots

Outside Lands 2016

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 11th-13th, 2017 //

Now that Ranger Dave has dusted off his uniform and is once again prepping for duty, we can speculate who will be performing at Golden Gate Park this August for a very special 10th year of Outside Lands. As festival season draws near with Coachella less than two weeks away, it’s time for us to make some predictions regarding this year’s OSL lineup. So while you work on that summer tan, we’ve got all the deets on who you can expect to see in SF in a few months.

If you have a lead or opinion, drop us a comment below.


Outside Lands 2016

Lock It In

Metallica – Ranger Dave basically confirmed the news via Twitter with his “nothing else matters” tweet, which has since been deleted. No worries, we have a screenshot of it here.

Empire of the Sun – Ranger Dave made it fairly obvious with this tweet.

Maggie Rogers – Another Ranger Dave tweet provides the clue for this 22-year-old singer-songwriter, whose “Color Song” is buzzy AF.

Francis and the Lights – See Ranger Dave’s tweet, and their hit single “Friends” features close collaborator Bon Iver, too.

The Temper Trap and/or Shovels & Rope – See Ranger Dave’s tweet, which sounds like a reference to The Temper Trap song “Miracle” but could also be referring to Shovels & Rope’s 2016 LP Little Seeds (the South Carolina duo also have a big gap in its tour schedule between July and August).

Sofi Tukker – See Ranger Dave’s tweet. The New York duo’s 2016 EP Soft Animals is its first and only release so far.

Action Bronson – See Ranger Dave’s tweet. We’re calling it his “Fuck, That’s Delicious: Outside Lands Edition.”

Rag’n’Bone Man – See Ranger Dave’s tweet. The English singer-songwriter included “Lay My Body Down” as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of his debut studio album Human, which he released in February on Columbia Records.

Future Islands – See Ranger Dave’s tweet. “A Dream of You And Me” is the second single off the Baltimore band’s 2014 LP Singles.

Ice-T – See Ranger Dave’s tweet referencing his 1991 album O.G. Original Gangster. But could this instead signal the return of Body Count (Ice-T’s longstanding metal band)?


Outside Lands 2016 - Big Freedia

Seems Likely

Arcade Fire – Awake yee gentle Canadian giants! 2011 marks the last time we saw AF top the lineup, and with new material to showcase this year, we expect — but can’t guarantee — OSL to be their banner West Coast festival slot now that we know they’re not playing Coachella or FYF Fest in LA.

The Weeknd – Abel’s tour gap in August, coupled with headlining appearances at Bonnaroo (which often shares a headliner with OSL) and then Lollapalooza, seem to lead to the obvious for his debut at Another Planet Entertainment’s premier event.

alt-J – With no Bay Area dates scheduled and a show in LA at the Shrine Auditorium on August 9th, a return to OSL seems all the more likely for these gentlemen from Leeds.

Lorde – The 20-year-old New Zealand pop star is hitting a ton of festivals this year in support of her forthcoming album Melodrama, including Coachella, JazzFest, Governor’s Ball, FPSF, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, Rock Werchter, OpenAir St. Gallen, Fuji Rock, Lollapalooza and last but not least, Osheaga (for now). OSL would definitely be the cherry on top for an impressive festival run in 2017, though.

Fleet Foxes – The Seattle indie-folk giant fronted by Robin Pecknold is back with its first LP in six years this June, and with some down time in August and no Bay Area show on the tour schedule yet, OSL looks like a strong possibility.

Justice – The French electro masters are hitting the festival circuit rather hard, and the recent debut of their live show has the buzz-o-meter reaching critical mass. Having them close things out on the Twin Peaks stage Saturday would be ideal for launching fans into the wild night.

Wiz Khalifa – The Pittsburgh emcee has a new album coming out in 2017 and no Bay Area date scheduled. He’s also playing Lollapalooza the weekend before, making OSL a definite possibility for his NorCal tour stop.

The Avett Brothers – The Avetts are in California the week of OSL to play San Diego on August 10th and LA on August 11th, and the only next stop that makes sense would be SF. There’s this, too.

Cage the Elephant – They’re conveniently skipping SF yet hitting Sacramento this month as the only Northern California stop on their current U.S. tour that includes slots at Lollapalooza and Osheaga already lined up. OSL seems like a logical choice considering the 2017 Grammy winners last played the fest in 2009.

Young the Giant – These guys haven’t played OSL since 2013 and have a week off before heading north to play Seattle on August 11th. Plus, there’s this.

Grouplove – The colorful LA outfit is making the festival rounds this summer and playing Lollapalooza the weekend before OSL. With roughly a three-week gap in their tour schedule, there’s a solid chance they’ll be performing in Golden Gate Park — and this tweet only helps matters honestly.

Vance Joy – The Australian singer-songwriter doesn’t have a lot of 2017 tour dates booked right now, but there is this.

Warpaint – The all-female rockers recently announced more tour dates concluding at Lollapalooza. With no Bay Area appearance scheduled, even around Coachella’s two weekends, there’s a strong likelihood for their inclusion on the bill. There’s also this.

Spoon – Britt Daniel and company are touring the U.S. this summer in support of their newest full length Hot Thoughts and have a 10-day gap in their schedule, with the weekend of August 11th-13th conveniently open and preceding shows in LA as well as Colorado. Plus, with no Bay Area date scheduled yet, it only makes sense that the Austin group would return to OSL after its last appearance in 2014.

Little Dragon – The Swedish electronic band is playing shows up and down California this month to go along with its performances at Coachella, but none are in SF shockingly enough. They also don’t have any tour dates scheduled in August yet. And there’s this.

Electric Guest – The LA-based band led by one-time Berkeley native Asa Taccone was a big highlight at Noise Pop this year, but according to one Reddit user, they’ll be back in SF this August and their schedule is wide open after early May.


Outside Lands 2016

Looking Plausible

Gorillaz – Could OSL really be Gorillaz’s first U.S. date in almost seven years? The Damon Albarn-led group recently announced that they’ll be performing at Festival d’été de Québec (Quebec City Summer Festival) in Quebec City on July 15th.

The Who – Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend still put on a killer show, and their residency in Las Vegas around OSL time has led to this rumor circulating as they’d truly hit the classic rock billing perfectly. Plus, we think this move would fit all too well.

Queens of the Stone Age – Josh Homme and his sidekicks are making their live return this summer, and it seems incredibly possible that they’ll be back in the Bay in August as one of the festival’s sub-headliners. After all, their set would lead into Metallica quite nicely, right?


Outside Lands 2016

Long Shot (but could happen)

Eric Clapton – While he likely has an exclusive contract with MSG for his bi-coastal shows (his LA dates at The Forum have been postponed until September due to illness), could he end his tour in Golden Gate Park?

Daft Punk – And, of course, your obligatory Daft Punk inclusion, especially after this year’s April Fools’ joke.

Outside Lands 2016

  • 10 Reasons to say ‘Fuck Yeah’ at FYF Fest 2013

    FYF-Fest-2013_postPhotos by Mike Frash // Written by Mike Frash & Kevin Quandt //

    FYF Fest //
    LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
    August 24th-25th, 2013 //

    FYF Fest has earned a rare new title in the Southern California region as the “new Coachella.” Even though many attendees may balk at this tag, it is an endearing way of stating this is fresh, new territory for independent music.

    In its 10th year of existence, the event has grown out of the former Echo Park venues to a multi-day romp across thrilling genres of alternative music held at Los Angeles Historic Park. This convenient, downtown-esque locale offers great skyline views and a manageable, if not slightly dusty, venue that allows attendees the opportunity to experience more acts than your average 10,000-plus event.

    With a vast array of attractive, buzzed-about artists gracing the FYF’s four stages, here are 10 acts to focus your valuable concert time on for the fest’s 2013 edition.


    My Bloody Valentine
    Sunday • 10:45 • Carrie Stage

    If there is one show where earplugs may be a good idea, it’s Kevin Shields and MBV. Spinal Tap “volume at 11” jokes aside, this will be a triumphant return to the stage and a region for the Irish alt-noise kings and queens. Even more thrilling than their live return to the US is the fact that they will be playing a ton of new music to longtime and new fans alike off this year’s magnificent release m b v. Expect some gems off of Loveless and Isn’t Anything mixed in for good measure. What a perfectly blistering manner to bring the festival to a close on Sunday, even if you hear ringing in your ears on Monday. -KQ



    Death Grips
    Saturday • 11:05 • Miranda Stage

    After a head-scratching ‘performance’ surrounding Lollapalooza in past weeks, the only thing to expect is the unexpected from the Sacramento doom-hop act Death Grips. This line-blurring act featuring Zach Hill and Stefan “MC Ride” have been making waves for a couple of years, and have cemented themselves as a ground-breaking live act committed to off kilter beats and aggressive hip-hop vocals growled over the top. With some new music trickling out this week, it’s sure to create a ton of buzz among festival goers. Well, that is if they show. -KQ



    TV on the Radio
    Saturday • 9:15 • Carrie Stage

    TV on the Radio have released one new song, “Mercy”, in late July, but there are no confirmed plans for a fifth studio album at the moment. In fact, it’s the first music TVOTR has created and shared since bassist Gerard Smith passed away in 2011, and it’s confirmed this excellent new cut and a second unreleased track titled “Million Miles” will be issued by David Sitek’s label Federal Prism. Sitek has grown to be one of the best producers in music over the past 10 years, helping to churn out gems from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, Foals, Santigold, Beady Eye and of course, TV on the Radio. Might the group produce their next record under Federal Prism? Let’s hope these new songs and this FYF set inspire the creative juices. FYF and its patrons are getting a one-off treat since this is the only performance on the group’s calendar, and it’s only their second performance since touring in support of Nine Types of Light. -MF



    Flume  
    Sunday • 7:25 • Samantha’s Tent

    Harley Streten is an Australian electronic musician that is just about the fastest rising DJ on the planet. Performing under the moniker Flume, Streten’s meteoric rise began when his self titled LP dropped in late 2012, jumping to the top of the Australian charts. At 21 years old, Flume exudes cross-genre originality in his music, mashing together elements of dance, R&B and hip-hop. And on his forthcoming swing through the U.S. starting this weekend, Flume will introduce Americans to the “Prism Tour”. Streten calls it a “bigger, grander show”, and by the looks of it, the stage production is now fitting of his music. He DJs from atop a large prism that looks like it will blow minds live, while live visuals and stage lighting layer visuals appropriately. Flume fully controls the ‘power’ of the complete audio-visual performance, as the visuals are tied into each change he makes behind the deck. Looks (and sounds) pretty awesome. -MF



    Holy Ghost!
    Sunday • 11 • Charlotte Stage

    Holy Ghost! seem to be on the cusp of getting much bigger — and for good reason. The Brooklyn duo has James Murphy’s DFA label on their back, their second LP Dynamics will be unleashed September 10th, and singles “Dumb Disco Ideas” and “Okay” indicate said album will provide fire. Sophomore slump be damned. FYF will provide the premiere performance of the “Dynamics Tour 2013” — but unfortunately this raging electro-pop disco dance party is pitted directly against My Bloody Valentine to end the weekend. Those that can’t stop moving their feet come Sunday’s finale should head to the Charlotte Stage. -MF



    No Age  
    Sunday • 6:05 • Charlotte Stage

    Randy and Dean return to FYF after a glaring absence last year, this from an act that has been a constant over the past decade in the Los Angeles underground music scene. After a quiet 2012, the experimental art-punk duo are amped and ready to hit the road hard to close out this year, touring behind An Object, their latest Sub Pop release. Though some may be bummed that Foxygen had to cancel in order to gain No Age, this duo is sure to kick up a dust storm by the throngs of young kids who have gravitated to these guys over the years, likely through their involvement with LA all-ages, and alcohol/drug free venue called The Smell. Don’t expect your average rock show by two guys who thrive on doing things a bit differently. — KEVIN QUANDT



    Dan Deacon
    Saturday • 8:45 • Charlotte Stage

    A Dan Deacon show isn’t simply a live electronic music performance — it’s an interactive experience that forces all those present to be a part of it. He remixes all sorts of pop-culture like a sword-wielding ninja, almost exclusively curating upbeat energy. Deacon’s live production consistently thrives off tension and release, but so very differently than other EDM artists. There aren’t big drops, but a hodgepodge of hyperactive sounds that draw from the musical stratosphere, then shift after four or eight measures. It’s a mad, glorious, engaging dance party that deserves, at minimum, a 20 minute stop by. -MF



    Mac DeMarco
    Sunday • 3:35 • Miranda Stage

    Need a little break from the craziness of hardcore and garage rock? Might we suggest you spend a little time with Canadian jangle-slacker Mac DeMarco and band. His infectious surf-rock influenced pop songs are sublime slices of the stony life-lessons and nuggets of young wisdom, all crooned over guitars oozing a stylized chorus effect. Mac’s stage presence alone is worth a trip to the Miranda Stage at 3:55 on Sunday. Fun fact: Mac will be following Johnathan Richman, a stated influence on the young Canadian and his quirky music. -KQ



    Washed Out  
    Sunday • 8:30 • Charlotte Stage

    The evolution of Ernest Greene will be on full, blooming display as Washed Out begin touring in support of Paracosm this weekend. Washed Out began as Greene’s computer-based bedroom project, but to make touring a reality in support of his first LP Within and Without, he turned the touring group into a foursome with the aim of performing the material live through a mix of MIDI pads and live instrumentation.

    As Greene continues down the chill-wave path he helped start, he’s clearly gravitating toward creating sounds live as opposed to playing a software plugin — a recording method that will only make his live shows better with time. -MF



    Baroness
    Sunday • 7:05 • Miranda Stage 

    It’s been a long and dangerous road for Baroness the past few years after their tour bus careened off the road in England, injuring many of the members. Though there was some personnel changes before the band got things up and running again, they have sludged on, bringing their white-hot brand of progressive metal to the throngs. The heavy metal sound that Baroness brews up is a quintessential part of the variety that FYF curates, so take a chance and see something that will shake you to the core. -KQ

    FYF

    Best sets from FYF Fest 2012

    By Mike Frash //

    FYF Fest //
    LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
    September 1st-2nd, 2012 //

    The location for FYF Fest reinforces some of LA’s ugliest stereotypes. LA State Historic Park has a feeling somewhere between industrial and suburban LA, with billboards, freeways and metro trains ever present. You know you are in Los Angeles.

    But the stages are close to each other so it’s easy to get back and forth, and there was plenty of variety to keep full blown 80’s nostalgia from taking over. Here are the five shows that left the strongest impression with me.

    MUST-SEE SHOWS

    Atlas Sound ~ Sunday 6:10 Hill St. Stage

    Bradford Cox is a remarkable solo artist. The frontman from Deerhunter builds songs by looping & layering live sounds from his guitar and mouth with a variety of foot petals. The complexity and layered depth of his songs cannot be overstated – and it’s easy to drift off with Bradford as he extends every song to sonic peaks and back again. This show mirrored the format of the Atlas Sound & Deerhunter albums, variating between songs that feature a psychedelic wall-of-sound with a morose sense of sadness & death with seemingly upbeat low-fi pop that contrasts with clean acoustic guitar. ‘Mona Lisa’ was a stand-out song live, delivering an emotional buildup that peaked with ambient loops that eventually led back into the peaceful refrain. In stark contrast to the overall sad-yet-freeing tone of the music is Bradford himself – he took five minutes before the encore to apologize to his friend for spitting on him for saying something misogynist, declaring that he will always spit on misogynists, added ‘Fuck ya I’m gay’ and led the enthusiastic crowd in a “Thank You Mark” chant, for his friend Mark that picked up his gear from across town. Bradford could talk about the weather and it would be captivating.

    Chromatics ~ Saturday 6:35 Spring Street Stage

    The Saturday sunset show on the Spring St. stage showcased the first upbeat & authentic dance music (sorry John Maus). The sound of the group lead by Ruth Radelet translates well in a live setting, heavily leaning to the crisp and infectiously danceable side of the coin. Radelet has a stage presence that is as hypnotic as her voice, which blends nicely with grooves that invoke LCD Soundsystem or Hot Chip no matter how hard you try to resist making the comparison. One of the set’s many highlights was ‘Kill for Love,’ which had most in attendance moving in some way, which is quite an accomplishment at FYF Fest. Radelet nonchalantly followed the song by saying “that song was about love’ in a tone that would make April from ‘Parks & Recreation’ proud. Chromatics finished the set with Neil Young’s “Into The Black”, which suits them nicely. It felt like it was just taking off when it ended, and maybe they were up against the (tick of the) clock. They are an act that deserves a full set if possible.

    Nicolas Jaar ~ Sunday 8:15 The Tent

    Nicolas Jaar has a unique thing going on. Part of it is that he sets his own rules, keeping most of his beats under 100 beats per minute. It’s a weird show in a very good way. The first 8 minutes built ambient sounds coming from the guitarist and saxophonist in his band that ever so slowly built into a beat. Another part is he adds a healthy dose of real emotion that comes from his live vocals. This stands in stark contrast to the button pushing emotion coming from most hooks in today’s mainstream EDM sound. Jaar is mixing, adding vocal effects, matching beats and tweaking pitches all in real time. The improvisational aspects to the building of sounds helps make the moment feel special, like anything can happen. Jaar consistently innovates and surprises with the sounds he coordinates, dropping bass back in off tempo at non standard times. It all adds up to a mind-expanding experience that feels new and exciting.

    Tanlines ~ Saturday 7:35 The Tent

    Tanlines has quickly shown the professional ability to adapt to their audience and live music situations. Percussionist Jesse Johen & guitarist/vocalist Eric Emm abandoned a typical song-based format and proceeded to put on an upbeat dance show. They would begin a song with a new beat, break it down and back into one of their catchy songs from their debut LP ‘Brothers,’ essentially remixing their own songs. They’ve been touring since the beginning of the year, and as a touring act they clearly aren’t lazy. They’ve evolved their show while playing to their time slot and setting perfectly in this case. “We heard there was a comedy slash DJ tent, so we told them to put us there.” That classification actually fit them perfectly for this festival performance, as Jesse’s banter can be a constant source of chuckles.

    The Faint ~ Sunday 10:55 Spring Street Stage

    This was the dance show of the weekend and a great time. The light show, the bass turned to 11, & a synth-heavy setlist combined to keep asses shaking and hands up. This was my first time seeing them live, and I hope it won’t be the last because I did not get enough. The Faint proved to be an ideal way to finish FYF 2012.

    SETS OF NOTE: SATURDAY

    John Maus – The Tent: 2:40

    This guy has a stage presence that reminds me of Charles Manson. I like his music to a certain degree, but his live show is weird in a bizarre sense. He started his show by hitting himself over the head in a fit of rage. He looked angry and possessed, a persona that surely works better in a dark setting with plenty of supportive lighting.

    Cloud Nothings – Spring St. Stage: 4:15

    Founder & lead singer songwriter Dylan Baldi and the rest of the group that comprises Cloud Nothings deliver a live sound that is true to their albums and they do it well. It seems like you shouldn’t expect many surprises at their shows, but the sound was cleaner than I expected.

    Chairlift – Main Stage: 4:35

    Chairlift put on a great show until the last song of their set, when their best song “I Belong in Your Arms” turned into a bit of a train wreck. Caroline Polachek stopped the band after a minute, saying they wanted to do it right for us. After a long pause, the song started again, but someone clearly missed their mark again as a long, seemingly unintended instrumental interluded happened between verses. You could almost tell Caroline wanted to stop it again but she couldn’t as this is a festival. She left the stage quickly before the last notes without saying a thing, then her creative partner Patrick Wimberly awkwardly said goodbye.

    James Blake – Spring St. Stage 7:50

    James Blake’s post-dubstep subtleties were overshadowed by Tanlines’ driving bass next door in the tent, but Mr. Blake is a legitimate artist that deserves serious attention. Right at a quiet moment during the minimalist auto-tune dominated “Lindisfarne I,” one concert goer loudly inquired “T-Pane???” to many people’s amusement.

    Purity Ring – Hill St. Stage: 8:25

    The take-away from a live Purity Ring show is that the music is pretty unique in it’s form and glitchy live vocals, and that they have a fitting, custom made light show that is controlled by beat & A/V genius Corin Roddick’s live percussion elements. Megan James’ presence blends into cocoon-light show aesthetic, and her confident, angelic voice is liberally sampled by Roddick’s MIDI pad. See this show before Purity Ring is playing bigger venues.

    M83 – Main Stage: 9:25

    Anthony Gonzalez played composer for most the night, allowing Morgan Kibby and his younger brother Yann Gonzalez to get most of the spotlight. The M83 show has clearly evolved since it started touring to support “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” in 2011. Gonzalez did not rely heavily on the new album, extending ‘We Own the Sky,’ ‘Coleurs’ & many other early tracks. While the volume level was lacking toward the back of the audience, the setlist was great and it’s obvious they are experimenting with transitions and song extensions to a positive effect.

    SETS OF NOTE: SUNDAY

    Wild Nothing – Hill St. Stage: 2:45
    They sounded real nice from the other side of the fence, where I was waiting patiently in the security line. The VIP option suddenly seemed worth while. Probably was a very nice show.

    Givers – Main Stage: 3:05

    These kids are so full of positive energy you feel like they’re Aussies or something. This was a fun way to get Sunday kicked off.

    Father John Misty – Hill St. Stage: 2:45

    This man was destined to be a frontman. It’s hard to believe he was the drummer for Fleet Foxes’s first two album. Joshua Tillman knows how to let his freak flag fly, showing off moves that would impress the lizard king himself.

    Tiger & Woods – The Tent: 4:20

    The duo’s disco grooves got the Tent popin’ early. The dj duo, who won’t reveal their identities to the general public, wear matching outfits onstage and smoke cigarettes at the same time. How cute. The bottom line is they craft super catchy beats that could host an array of samples and overlays, but they keep it simple with house and techno elements.

    Glass Candy – The Tent: 7PM

    This no wave threesome fronted by Ida No put on a fun, upbeat set. I’d like to see them again.

    Yeasayer – Main Stage: 9:10

    The new stage set-up was visually pleasing, and many of the songs from the new album worked well live. The problem with the new prisms, lasers and light show is it now seems too digitized when they play song from their first album that is more rooted in folk inspired world music. That said, I appreciated the risk they took when they completely rebooted their hit ‘O.N.E.’ and made it sound like a slowed down karaoke version of itself. I get the feeling they are changing so drastically from album to album that they don’t exactly know where they stand now for live shows. When in doubt, make a great light show. Works for me.

    Twin Shadow – Spring St. Stage: 9:35

    George Lewis Jr.’s band exhibit a looser sound live than in their albums, where the songs seem directly taken from 1987. Live they sound more like a rock show than an 80s nostalgia new wave outfit. I got to this show after Yeasayer and basically wished I’d spent more time at Twin Shadow.

    FYF Fest 2012: 10 not to miss

    Written by Mike Frash //

    FYF Fest //
    LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
    September 1st-2nd, 2012 //

    Nestled between downtown Los Angeles and Dodger Stadium at LA State Historic Park, FYF Fest opens its gates Saturday with a blend of punk, indie, garage, micro house, comedy, future pop and and reunions that should satisfy music fans. Fuck yeah!

    FIVE FOR SATURDAY: One word: stacked. Get crazy with Fucked up, Sleigh Bells and The Men, mellow out with Chairlift and Tycho and don’t sleep on Chromatics, Future Islands or Tanlines. Bottom line: Saturday is conflict-laden. Here are five I’m focusing on:

    Simian Mobile Disco

    Get your dance on and the rage out.

    Quicksand

    You never know … I could go to M83.

    Purity Ring

    Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. (I’ve heard they’re great live, too.)

    Cloud Nothings

    They put out a great album from earlier this year.

    King Tuff

    Alone and stoned. Oh the irony at a festival …

    CONFLICT BONUS: James Blake

    Really it’s the most gut-wrenching conflict Saturday. Purity Ring vs. James Blake. Maybe a split set will do?

    FIVE FOR SUNDAY: Sunday offers another day of great variety. The power of Ceremony vs. the crooning of Father John Misty. Tiger & Woods’ 70’s disco grooves vs. Aesop Rock’s flow. The Eastern brass of Beirut vs. Gold Panda’s hypnotic beats.

    Yeasayer

    New set design and at least three good songs from their new album.

    Nicolas Jaar

    All sources indicate this set can be classified as “must-see live.”

    Liars

    No. 1 against the rush. Gotta love Day 2 at a festival.

    Atlas Sound

    Bradford Cox destroys as the frontman of Deerhunter and is an epic looper. Anything can happen.

    Wild Nothing

    They released a new album this week. It’s pretty fucking good. I found this video that’s not official, and I think it works perfectly with the music.

    CONFLICT BONUS: The Field

    More micro-house! Dance while you can, but I must see Bradford Cox’s solo project.

    Conflict Double Bonus: Father John Misty

    Honestly, I could see Ceremony, Father John Misty or Givers. They are all great bands — and all great live bands. I’m thinking of deferring to a mellow Sunday morning, but we’ll see.