Kevin Warwick, Reader staff writer, is obsessed with . . .
Fun Fun Fun Fest Not to be overshadowed by SXSW, Austin's well-oiled Fun Fun Fun Fest is brilliantly curated but manageable, catering to what festivalgoers—old farts and young bucks alike—want to hear, not to some hip agenda that tries to dictate what they should hear. In the two years I've gone, I've caught Slayer, Araabmuzik, the Damned, Hot Snakes, David Cross, Public Enemy, Napalm Death, Sharon Van Etten, Turbonegro, Big Freedia, the Heartless Bastards, and Kid Dynamite. Bored with bands? Check out the hokey amateur wrestling or the shredding on the festival's gnarly skate and BMX ramps. And I haven't even touched on Austin's fried avocado tacos. . . .
Das Oath's 11-inch self-titled LP You'd be surprised what a pain in the ass it is to drop a needle on (or pick up) a piece of vinyl whose edge sits just inside the lip of a turntable. Powerviolence/thrashcore aficionado Mark McCoy (Charles Bronson, Holy Molar) has been in the scene long enough to see his share of nonsensically shaped vinyl—and release some via his Youth Attack! label—so it makes perfect sense that Das Oath, the best of the roughly 800 bands he sang in, would've put out an 11-inch in 2006. Nothing like watching this sucker spin up to 45 RPM and jamming out for its ten minutes of blastbeats.
Overhearing iPods on the el If there's one advantage to being forced onto a cramped train by increasingly frigid weather, it's eavesdropping on whatever's blaring out of commuters' earbuds. Crisply suited businessmen inconspicuously headbanging to heavy metal, hip-hop kids rapping over Odd Future, SAIC students listening to whatever's goth and dark and en vogue—plus riff-raff like me leaning back and taking pleasure in the microcosmic music fest.