After all the talk before about how amazing this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest lineup is, we still haven’t touched on Nites. The Nites, while not sharing the same amount of name recognition as the most notable acts on the orange, blue, or black stages, has talent running deep throughout its lineup. While those stages will certainly attract the attention of more casual festival goers, those deeply invested in live music, the punk scene, or the Austin music scene, will likely gravitate to this. If any major insanity breaks out, it’ll likely be here. This is part 1 of a 2 part series covering what I believe to be the top 10 acts to watch on Nites. In part 1, we cover Meat Puppets, OBN III’s, Purling Hiss, the Golden Boys, and AJ Davila.
Probably the band with the most recognizable name playing Nites, Meat Puppets have been around for decades and have influenced countless artists, perhaps most notably Kurt Cobain. While Cobain has said that Nirvana’s biggest hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was an attempt to rip off Pixies, most of Nirvana’s material borrowed far more heavily from Meat Puppets, with Nirvana frequently covering their material. Meat Puppets II and Up on the Sun are both held to be classic albums, and Meat Puppets continue to release new material more than three decades into their careers. An incredibly loose and fun act with countless classic songs spanning multiple genres in their back catalog, Meat Puppets are surely a band you’ll want to catch.
Austin is jam packed with excellent bands, and OBN III’s is likely the best of them all. Named for frontman Orville Bateman Neeley III, this group puts on an incredible ruckus of a show, with Mr. OBN III himself being one of the best frontmen in rock today, oozing charisma, playfully belittling his audience between songs, and channeling Iggy Pop and Elvis Presley with both his vocals and physical performance. They’re playing in support of their most recent album, the great Third Time to Harm, and they’re sure to cause quite the disturbance (in the best way) at FFF Fest.
Originally just Mike Polizze, over the course of the past 6 years, Purling Hiss has changed dramatically, from size to sound and everything in between. These guys are never satisfied to stay in one mind frame for too long, which has lead them to an already extensive and varied body of work due to their incredible work ethic. I literally have almost no idea what this show will be like, other than at least a couple songs from their latest effort, Weirdon. Beyond that, expect the unexpected. 15 minute noise jams, quick psych numbers, anything is fair game and that makes for an exciting show.
The Golden Boys
Probably OBN III’s main rivals for the title of “best band in Austin”, the Golden Boys represent the poppier, yet more experimental side of garage rock. The Golden Boys themselves haven’t released new material since 2012 (which is weird for a band like this), but guitarist John Wesley Coleman just released his 7th LP, The Love That You Own, and the Golden Boys will probably back him up on a few of the tunes from that albums. Beyond that, 2012’s spectacular Dirty Fingernails, will surely be heavily represented, and maybe we’ll hear some new stuff? I don’t have anything to base my suspicions off of, I have a feeling these guys have something in the works. They’re about due.
Puerto Rican garage rocker AJ Davila has more of a reputation as the frontman of Davila 666, but this year, he released his debut solo album, Terror Amor, to positive reviews. While his new material is far more pop oriented than his material with his band, it’ll be interesting to see if he’ll mix in material from his band’s catalog, which has stood as the face of Puerto Rican garage punk for sometime now. Whatever the case, this is a guy who’s starting to receive more and more attention around the world, and his newly apparent versatility is likely the reason. Maybe not the most obvious choice to check out, but he has a history of great live performances and he’s an up-and-comer with something prove to new fans. He could explode with a surprise highlight performance of the festival.
Coog Radio will be organizing ticket giveaways during the weeks leading up to the festival, so stay engaged! And stay tuned for more Meet the Artists posts covering the outstanding lineup!
By Travis Shosa