Austin’s annual Fun Fun Fun Festival takes place this weekend and if you’re not going, too bad, because it’s going to be pretty massive. From Neutral Milk Hotel and Death From Above 1979 to Fat White Family and Flying Lotus, the list of amazing bands taking to Texas this weekend is long as any festival bill we’ve seen this year. Whittling down our must-see sets to just five bands was no easy task but we managed it, just about. Here’s who to see if you’re heading down to this weekend, from Run the Jewels’ dystopian rollercoaster rap to the all-conquering eclectic indie of Alt-J…
Run The Jewels – 4.15pm, Friday, Blue Stage
Run The Jewels just delivered the year’s biggest and best hip-hop record (so far) in ‘RTJ2’ – a bruising snapshot of paranoid post-Ferguson America, full of dirty synth bass and warp-speed rhymes. Now, Killer Mike and El-P hit Texas, one of their first shows with this new arsenal of songs. Unless you have a particular aversion to thrilling futurist hip-hop spat by two emcees at the top of their game. Don’t miss.
Blood Brothers – 5.00pm, Friday, Black Stage
Maybe the biggest testament to Dischord-y snarlers the Blood Brothers’ twisted brand of noise-punk is that, in the seven years since they split, no band have been able to truly replace them. There have been plenty of pretenders, but when it comes to freight train-paced spiky guitars and breathless energy, few bands have since matched the Washington band. Playing only their fifth show since getting back together, there’s no telling how long this reunion will last so take this opportunity to witness their inimitable anarchy – you might not get another.
Alt-J – 8.30pm, Friday, Orange Stage
With a blockbuster headline show at New York’s Madison Square Garden on the horizon, Alt-J’s star is well on the rise in the US. No wonder, given the eclectic, wide-eyed sounds of ‘This Is All Yours’, their second album, released last month – a record we can quite safely predict will be 2014’s only to features both Miley Cyrus and mystical Gregorian folk chants. Their Orange Stage slot should be another decent milestone on their journey to US domination so expect them to come out all guns blazing.
Glassjaw – 2pm, Saturday, Black Stage
Daryl Palumbo’s early ’00s post-hardcore sophisticates are still going and arguably better than ever. It’s been 12 years since their last album, the brutal, raw ‘Worship and Tribute’, but their EPs in the interim have been smart, sumptuous evolutions on their previous pummelling sound. Glassjaw live shows are few and far between and they have no other dates currently booked so you just know this will be explosive.
Modest Mouse – 8.30pm, Saturday, Blue Stage
It’s been five years since Isaac Brock’s throaty Washington crew last released new material, and even longer since their last album, 2007’s Johnny Marr-assisted ‘We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank’. Their Coachella set this summer saw the group debut one new track, ‘Be Brave’, so it’s not totally unreasonable to suggest further snippets of new music may be aired. Fingers crossed, eh?