Friday in just-heating-up Austin, and what did I have for breakfast? A big, fat slice of banana-nut bonkers, courtesy of Cinncinati’s possibly certifiable Foxy Shazam. The soul-punk sextet—whose “Unstoppable” recently earned prime Super Bowl airtime—treated their opening slot at Spin’s annual Stubbs party like a headlining victory lap, bringing barely-awake badge holders to rapt attention with their tent-revival brand of Cinn-city rock and roll.
Before I say more, let them sell themselves, below:
Mustachioed frontman Eric Nally, who looks like a filthy, pocket-sized Josh Hartnett and howls like a Pentecostal preacher, is a genuine bona fide kook. Between rambling tales of jail time, moonlight, and talking to God (see song above), he pranced, howled and preened through songs from the band’s 2008 sophomore release Introducing and their upcoming self-titled third album, due in April, as his bandmates—a motley crew of conditioner-averse hairdos and freeform boogie theatrics—tagged along with joyful, chaotic abandon.
By the last song, when Nally announced his intentions—”I’ll crawl up on the roof after this, and then you’re never gonna see me again”—the straggly but rapt before-lunch crowd looked like fully converted and ready to testify to the primal, inordinately tight-pantsed force of Foxy.
Knowing my co-pilot Whitney was on her way to cover next guests Rogue Wave (her critical synopsis: “It was definitely Rogue Wave-y”), I sped over to La Zona Rosa to catch what I thought would be ’90s indie icons Superchunk, but turned out due to my poor time-telling to be Brooklyn’s twee-chime darlings Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Saw and liked them last year, didn’t need more than two songs this year. Onward.
So! Back to Stubbs, to catch the tail-end of Canadian thrash collective and recent Matador signees F—ed Up, again courtesy of Whitney: “Lead dude puts mic in mouth, slams it on forehead. Where he has a bruise! Then rubs it in that spot until it bleeds. Says, ‘By the time this set’s over, none of us will be able to look each other in the eye.’ Ccompares it to masturbating with a buddy.” And now it’s true; no one is looking in anyone’s eyes.
Miike Snow? Not so gnarly. I still adore the synthpop trio as much as I did when we put them on EW’s 2009 Best Albums list, and I liked the way they turned album tracks like “Burial,” “Black and Blue” and Silvia into outer-space studio jams, but something about the sweaty, Red Bull-buzzed crowd didn’t seem to connect with their brand of cerebral dreaminess. They rallied, at least, for closer “Animal,” the record’s most instantly accessible single:
The delightful Sharon Jones, in an acid-yellow shift dress and mile-wide smile, and the always dapper Dap Kings, played an excellent set of horn-blasting soul to follow, but I’ll do like our Wednesday night round up and defer that write-up for a day. And headliners Hole, of course, have already earned their own post. Suffice to say, it was intermittently weird and wonderful and I think maybe I pulled a hamstring during “Violet.”
A jogging run to the Fader House for loopy-lovely British songstress Marina (with her Diamonds) was for naught; muddy sound (what’s with all the random pop-up DJ booths?) and a molasses-moving crowd made me miss all but two songs: “Obsessions” and “Mowgli’s Road.” Two of my favorites, and she looked fantastic (six-inch stilletto platforms avec overalls in a mud field? Marina, I salute you). But I will try again tomorrow for her set at Perez Hilton’s party if I have to, because I need more of this:
So, readers—with rumors of an MGMT surprise show tonight shot down (they’re in Europe, and not teleporting), but Muse a sure thing, we shall see what the festival’s second-to-last-night brings. And when we see it, we will bring it to you here on the Mix. Good night for now!
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