Celebrating its 10th anniversary, FYF Fest brought together an impressive group of bands once again, always managing to make it seem like it's a family reunion with its mix of veterans (My Bloody Valentine, Charles Bradley, Roky Erickson, and Flag), newcomers (Lemuria, Fear Of Men, and Poolside) and even that one eccentric, but awesome uncle (Jonathan Richman). No matter your taste, it is not hard to find something that you like, or discover something that you never knew you would like. August 24th and 25th @ Los Angeles Historic State Historic Park in Los Angeles PHOTOS BY KOURY ANGELO

Charles Bradley

You wouldn't normally expect to see a funk/soul singer like Charles Bradley at a mostly indie rock/garage rock/electronic festival, but after catching his set, you're thankful that FYF Fest had the insight to have Bradley on the lineup. Clocking in at 64 years old, Bradley had some of the best energy and moves of the entire weekend. Songs like "Confusion" and "Crying in the Chapel" were raw and hit you at the core of your soul. Accompanied by a great band, which included a horn section, Bradley transcended hipster boundaries and showed the gritty and honest passion that all music should carry.

 

Toro y Moi

For any artist whose music is heavy on the electronic side, it can be easy to hide between a laptop or a pyramid of synths. But in the case of Toro y Moi, it was nothing like that. While the sun was still out at 6:00pm, it was refreshing to witness Toro y Moi's set, which was full of amiability and charm. Whether or not you were familiar with Chaz Bundick, the brains behind Toro y Moi, he and his band welcomed you with open arms. Bundick stood in the center between two keyboards while his hands moved back and forth effortlessly; he kept a cool and calm demeanor, and it was evident that he was very comfortable in his environment. While the majority of the set was dedicated to songs from Toro y Moi's latest album, Anything in Return, some old favorites like "New Beat" were also thrown into the mix. What made the set special is that you could easily and freely dance to the infectious beats and cascading synth notes, but at the same time, also feel your brain be stimulated with the intricate layers.
Attending Culture Collide is the easiest and cheapest way to feel like you have been around the world in just four days. When you watch two US bands open a show where groups from Singapore, Argentina and the Netherlands are also on the bill, you start to feel like the most worldly person on the planet. And night after night, numerous different countries were represented under one roof, giving people the opportunity to discover bands that maybe otherwise they would have not come across. Culture Collide deserves praise for making diversity the rule and not the exception. But if I had one suggestion for this young festival, it is to go beyond the comforts of the indie rock and electronic genres a bit. With bands flying in from countries like Peru and Estonia, it'd be nice to take the cultural schooling up a notch and invite bands who are giving new life to traditional sounds from their native countries. It didn't take long for American rock n' roll to start influencing music in other countries, but hopefully a festival like this will help more international sounds infiltrate the US. SEE FULL FESTIVAL RECAP
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jasmine Safaeian, FILTER

 

Poolside

When Brazil's Bonde do Rolê had to cancel because of visa issues, Los Angeles' Poolside stepped in to provide some tropical tunes and funky beats. While not as wild as Bonde do Rolê, Poolside were a pleasant addition to the outdoor portion of the festival. With the sun shining, the duo was accompanied by a drummer and second keyboardist, and provided a nice warm up for a full night of dancing. The main stage would later see Niki & The Dove and of Montreal. Instead of taking an aggressive approach to dance music, Poolside provided a relaxed atmosphere with mid-tempo melodies and calming synth lines. Still, you couldn't help but feel like you were whisked away to some exotic island.

 

At first look, anything that is described as minimal, whether it be architecture, music, art, or even a way of living, is often also characterized as simple. However, a deeper examination can actually reveal a more complicated and challenging story, which proves that minimal does not always have a direct relation to simplicity, and that minimal can mean different things to different people. Such is the case for Austin duo Deep Time, who on their Facebook page describes themselves as "minimal weirdo pop."
When the two members of the band, Adam Jones and Jennifer Moore, talk about being "minimal," they refer more to the literal meaning of using limited resources, as opposed to the more known term of "minimalist music," which is defined by the use of repetition, ambiance, and often, electronics. Unlike the latter, Deep Time's music is considered minimal because they play the game of figuring out how to give life to their complex ideas knowing that they are limited to what they can do between two members.

 

 

In its third year, Culture Collide Festival will be welcoming 63 artists from 25 countries to Los Angeles in the span of four days. Other than SXSW, there are very few festivals that consciously provide such an international scope of the indie music scene. And considering how common it is for international bands to come across visa issues, Culture Collide takes on an admirable task in the name of global harmony. The nice thing about the festival is that most artists schedule more than one show during those four days. So while you may stick to the big names for one night, you'll have plenty of opportunities to take a chance on a few unknowns that hail from a country across the globe. SEE ALL 14 FESTIVAL PICKS

of Montreal (USA)

Saturday, October 6 - 12:00am @ The Echoplex Sunday, October 7th - 8:00pm @ The Main Stage It's pretty impossible to not have fun at an of Montreal show. This group is kooky with a whirlwind of pop, psychedelia, electro, and glam. And with six members, it's always a party on stage. There will probably be some costumes too, so just embrace it, don't ask questions. of Montreal have recently have recently released Daughter of Cloud, a compilation of 17 of Montreal recordings from the time of their Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? era to the present. The track "Hindlopp Stat" from the album is below, along with the tripped-out music video for "Spiteful Intervention", from Paralytic Stalks.

 

Bonde do Rolê (Brazil)

Sunday, October 7 - 5:30pm @ The Main Stage Even if you don't understand Portuguese, Bonde do Rolê are so worth your time. Heavily hyped by Diplo, the trio is always out to start a sweaty dance party and is known for singing about having a crazy good time. The group features a female and male MC who roll quick lyrics over club beats that you'd hear in the US and a type of Brazilian dance music called funk carioca. Just remember, it gets pretty sweltering on the other side of the equator. SEE ALSO: Bonde Do Role + DIPLO + BRAZILIAN ARTISTS & MUSICIANS

 

Throughout the year FYF produces some of the best shows all around the LA area, but when it comes to Labor Day weekend, the FYF Fest is their indie rock prom. And since this year, they made it a two-day affair, you can consider it their homecoming dance too. Everyone dresses up in their best summer attire and afterward spends days talking about about it all. The festival's lineup is always impressive, but this year was really something to write home about, from beginning to end. So if you were fashionably late, you missed out on some great openers. And if you called it an early night, you can consider your weekend a failure for not watching some epic sets. While it seemed a bit subliminal to see two big screens on the ends of the main stage flashing text that said "best weekend of the summer," looking back, it actually was the best weekend of the summer.

 

WORDS BY KARLA HERNANDEZ; PHOTOS BY KOURY ANGELO THE CROWD AT REFUSED

 

Los Angeles' FYF Fest is a growing festival. No more are the days when it would let you tuck it in at night and read it a bed time story. No, you can no longer guide and keep under your protection. After many successful years, the creators of FYF Fest have decided that one day is no longer enough. The festival will now be taking up both Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend so we hope that you have Monday off from work because you'll surely need it to recover. - KARLA HERNÁNDEZ
 

Refused

Saturday, September 1, 10:55pm @ Main St. Stage What can we say about Refused that hasn't already been said? Refused is one of those bands that no matter what genre of music you're into, you just know that these hardcore punk rockers deserve some respect. For me Refused was the band that almost made me want to go to Coachella this year. But I held out because I knew FYF Fest would work their magic and present them in a more bearable setting. If you dare to go into the pit, stay safe and play nice.   See all Previews & Picks For SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

Beirut

Sunday, September 2, 10:55pm @ Main St. Stage Do you know that part in the "Little Mermaid" where Ursula takes Ariel's voice and carries it in a shell around her neck? That is exactly what I want to do with Zach Condon's voice. Of course I won't deprive the world of such beauty, but Beirut's music is nothing short of awe-inspiring with a mix of instrumentation that includes a ukulele, a horn section, strings and much more. Beirut's style is smart, romantic and worldly, what more could you ask for?   See all Previews & Picks For SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
Finding an artist like Seth Haley, the man behind the electronic project Com Truise, is quite refreshing. Rather than trying to downplay the ‘80s artists and aesthetics that have inspired him -- for fear of being constantly compared to those references -- Haley venerably turns his influences into transfixing and educational works. "I love to expose my sources; my favorite thing is the source," Haley says. "It's really what drives me or anyone to do any certain thing, whatever that source may be."

 

When it comes to the very basic language and musical form of Junior Boys' fourth full-length release, It's All True, there is very little obscurity. Clearly, it is an album that only contains words from the English language. Clearly, the music is fairly customary for indie electronic musicians of the Western world. However, a deeper look at the album actually reveals that the songs speak in many different tongues. Whether it is the striking contrast of upbeat electronic music and dark lyrics, which each tell conflicting stories, or the worldly expeditions that were necessary to complete the songs, It's All True turns out to be somewhat of an affirmation of a universal language. Not only did the making of the album cross cultural barriers, but it also explores themes such as, honesty, deceit and authenticity, which have been questioned repeatedly by people over time and around the world in varying ways.

"Selling art doesn't bother me. Making insipid, vacuous art bothers me. The cult of personality bothers me especially because I feel as though I have very little to offer. I'm a bad self-promoter, and I'm constantly reminded of how bad a trait that is for an artist to have. I think that it is sad and frustrating." -- Jeremy Greenspan, of Junior Boys

Conflicting Stories

Though songwriter and vocalist Jeremy Greenspan technically started Junior Boys in 1999 with now former band member Johnny Dark, most people know Junior Boys as Greenspan and engineer Matt Didemus, who entered the picture in 2002. For almost 10 years, Greenspan and Didemus have shown the world that they can make fun tunes with punchy electronics that make listeners want to dance. It's All True is no different. The first – and most immediate – story the album paints is light and upbeat, typical of a dance record. Like opening track "Itchy Fingers," the songs are sultry, enticing, and full of bright keys and wiggling tones. [caption align="alignright" width="215" caption="BUY: F FOR FAKE + IT'S ALL TRUE"]
Artistic Influence:
Orson Welles

F For Fake is loosely a documentary which focuses on Elmyr de Hory's recounting of his career as a professional art forger.

It's All True features three stories about Latin America. 'Bonito the Bull', retitled 'My Friend Bonito', was about a Mexican boy's friendship with a bull; 'The Story of Samba' was centered around Brazil's 1942 Carnaval; 'Four Men On A Raft' was a reenactment of a Time Magazine article about four impoverished Brazilian fisherman who traveled 61 days and 1,650 miles in harsh weather and without navigation instruments.[/caption]

Between the well-dressed band members of The Walkmen and the heavenly harmonies and musings of Fleet Foxes, the show last Wednesday at the Greek Theater in Los Angles was like going on a date with perfect gentleman. With Griffith Park serving as a beautiful backdrop, the delicate and heartfelt sounds...

Compared to other festivals around the world, FYF Fest in Los Angeles is still in its infancy as it celebrated its eighth year this past weekend. However, with 37 bands and 18 comedians spread out on five stages, it is quite the extraordinary kid on the block. Last year the festival received a lot of beef for long lines, water shortages, and overall poor planning. A year can make a big difference and the festival organizers seemed to have learned their lesson as all previous issues were remedied. That left a great line-up of reunited punks, college rock veterans, mid-heavyweight electronic music-makers, and a new graduating class of garage rock to reign over the LA State Historic Park. Although bands like Guided By Voices and The Descendents did a good job at fulfilling nostalgic dreams, it was the bands with an eager spark that really stood out. And extra cool points to FYF for naming the stages after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

September 7th, 2011 - Los Angeles Historic State Park, Los Angeles, CA Photography by Koury Angelo

 

Future Islands

Although its band members have a history in performance art, list Kraftwerk as an influence, and are praised by indie critics, Future Islands are one of those bands that most people might not understand when listening to their record. However, in the live setting, everything becomes clear. It is like an epiphany which reveals to all that Future Islands is a phenomenal band that makes gorgeous music. At 3:35 p.m. it was a really hot part of the day and the tent where Future Islands performed (AKA Splinter's Den) was packed. But it was not just full of people simply trying to escape the heat. On the contrary, the crowd loved Future Islands and were dancing and clapping to the synthy beats and genuine vocals of this Baltimore band. Vocalist Samuel T. Herring bounced around on stage the entire time with an enthralling energy. After playing "Walking Through That Door" and "Tin Man" both off last year's In Evening Air, the crowd could not resist joining the band on stage. Future Islands wins for the most pleasant surprise at FYF Fest.