So, Fun Fun Fun Fest organizer James Moody, it's one week before your fourth festival. Are you freaking out yet?

"A little bit yesterday," Moody says Friday. It's about 10:30 a.m. I'm surprised the Mohawk owner and Transmission Entertainment principal is awake. "Well, I get up at dawn, but it's still too early to freak out yet."

The first Fun Fun Fun was a one-day affair in Waterloo Park. Since then it's grown by leaps and bounds: bigger bands, more fans.

"I'm not sure if we necessarily had more clout this time around but we did we have a lot more content from the past we were able to show people," Moody says. "A large portion of our bands are flying in, they're not on tour, so if you want them and they don't know the festival, you have to be able to show them you are for real."

For example, the set from punk veterans Gorilla Biscuits is their only gig this year, and this is the only festival appearance for Death, the reissue sensation of 2009. (Check out my fest picks for more information.)

The band they didn't think they would get? Danzig.

"It started as a joke in the office: 'Wouldn't it be cool if we got Danzig?' " Moody says. "It seemed so impossible, but we e-mailed him and man, that dude is playing here."

Oddly, Moody says, the indie stage (orange stage) was the toughest to book. "That market has gotten so popular and nobody is selling records, everyone is touring, so there's a lot of competition for everyone's time."

And Waterloo Park? "Right now it looks like (expletive) Augusta," Moody says. "So I think we'll avoid the dust bowl thing." Nobody yet knows if they will avoid the rain, but the forecast looks promising.

So get ready for Danzig belting out "Mother," for the GZA performing his classic album "Liquid Swords" in its entirety, for the Jesus Lizard to mug us with "Boilermaker" and "Then Comes Dudley," for Austin bands such as Shearwater and the Laughing to show everyone what makes River City Rock great.

Welcome to Fun Fun Fun.


Critics Picks - don't miss these bands!

The Jesus Lizard

8:35 p.m. Saturday, Black Stage

(Expletive) Up

6:55 p.m. Saturday, Black Stage

Progressive punk rock blending My Bloody Valentine's wall of noise with Poison Idea's wall of noise. Also, there will be a very large man singing, possibly without a shirt. What's not to love?


4:50 p.m. Sunday, Black Stage

The metalcore pride of Kansas City, Mo., this crew released 'Ox,' its first album in 10 years, in June. Singer Sean Ingram isn't just screaming all the time and the complicated riffs still hit like Mike Tyson. I think that's called 'maturity.'


6:15 p.m. Sunday, Black Stage

At its heart, this Miami band is about giant, almost sing-along hooks worthy of classic pop-punk. They just play them with bone-crushing heft and swing. Their last album, 'Meanderthal,' was a highlight of 2008.


6 p.m. Saturday, Orange Stage

A fascinating story: Death was originally three African American brothers from Detroit (Bobby, David and Dannis Hackney) who went hard-rock after seeing an Alice Cooper show. The band resulted in one mega-obscure single of blistering proto-punk, released in 1976. Death fizzled, they moved to Vermont to play gospel and reggae; guitarist David Hackney died in 2000. Twenty-three years after that first single, all seven tracks from that single session are released as ' ... For the Whole World to See.' Critics and punk nerds go bonkers. The two surviving brothers tour played three shows with their reggae band's guitarist in September.

This is the fourth. Witness history here.

— Joe Gross

Crystal Castles

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Orange Stage

About the only thing more bizarre than this duo's 8-bit video game-influenced electronic music is their famously extreme stage show.

Shonen Knife

3:30 p.m. Saturday, Orange Stage

All-girl Japanese pop-punk trio Shonen Knife are comfortably into their third decade as a band — not that you'd know it from listening to their Beach Boys and Ramones-influenced music, which retains the same youthful exuberance it had in 1981.

Buraka Som Sistema

7:05 p.m. Sunday, Blue Stage

Portugal's Buraka Som Sistema are pioneers of the electronic music genre known as 'kuduro,' an upbeat techno that all but guarantees one of the festival's most danceable sets.


8:45 p.m. Saturday, Yellow Stage

Destroyer, the solo project of insanely prolific New Pornographer Dan Bejar, has an inconsistent live reputation, but there's no denying his eccentric genius and quirky, intriguing songwriting.


5:40 p.m. Sunday, Orange Stage

Lucero hail from Memphis, and they sound like it, with guitar-driven Southern rock that conjures up images of hard living and hard drinking.

— Patrick Caldwell

Vega/Neon Indian

3:35 p.m. Saturday, Blue Stage/6:35 p.m. Saturday, Blue Stage

Austin-based Alan Palomo, who filled in at the last minute when the Raveonettes couldn't make it to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, has released two well-received albums this year, both dripping with danceable synth lines.


6:45 p.m. Saturday, Orange Stage

This Brooklyn-based psych-pop outfit just announced a new album; hopefully the new material will capitalize on what they do best—catchy songs layered with dystopic vocals and abstract keyboard effects.


8:45 p.m. Saturday, Yellow Stage

Sometimes New Pornographer Dan Bejar is on tour in support of his experimental EP 'Bay of Pigs'; a nearly 14-minute journey into the depths of indie-disco.


4 p.m. Sunday, Yellow Stage

Noisy Austin-based garage rockers are set to break out next year with a new album on Matador.

— Peter Mongillo


FFF Fest After-shows (or in the case of Friday, pre-shows)


Local Music is Sexy with Minor Mishap Marching Band, Manikin, Silent Land Time Machine and more at the Mohawk (8 p.m., free) Local Music is Sexy with Beautiful at Club de Ville (8 p.m., free)Fu Manchu, ASG, It's Casual at Red 7 (10 p.m., $10)(Expletive) Up DJ Set at Red 7 (inside, 10 p.m., free)Kevin Seconds (of 7 Seconds), December Boys, Failures Union, Cheap Girls at Beerland (10 p.m., free)


Jack Oblivian, John Paul Keith and the 145s, Lovvers (U.K.), Fleshlights at Beerland (10 p.m., $10)Negative Approach, Christ on Parade, Trash Talk, Naw Dude, You People at Red 7 (10 p.m., $13) Voxtrot, The Octopus Project, Twin Tigers, the Coathangers, Jazzus Lizard (Jesus Lizard jazz tribute band), Walter Schriefeld Band at the Mohawk (9:30 p.m., $13)DJ Mel, The Cool Kids DJ set at the Beauty Bar (10 p.m. $5 before midnight, $10 after)Soul Clap dance party with DJs Johnathan Toubin & Ian Svenonius, live set by Brownout! at Club de Ville (10 p.m., $10)Youth Brigade hosts 'Let Them Know: The Story Behind Youth Brigade and BYO Records' screening at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz (10:15 p.m., $10) MC Chris hosts a midnight screening of 'Gremlins' at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz (11:59 p.m., $11)

SundayEasy Action, Black Tusk, Eagle Claw, special guest at Beerland (10 p.m., $8)And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Dark Meat, An Albatross, AU, Free Moral Agents (with Ikey Owens of the Mars Volta), Zech Marquise (with Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez of the Mars Volta) at the Mohawk (9:30 p.m., $13) Toys That Kill, the Forgetters (Black Schwarzenbach of Jawbreaker/Jets to Brazil, Kevin of Against Me, Caroline of Bitchin'), Ghost Knife, Smalltown (Sweden) at Red 7 (10 p.m., $10)DJ Mixhell at the Beauty Bar (free)Mission of Burma hosts `Not A Photograph' screening at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz (10:15 p.m., $10)


Austin bands at Fun Fun Fun Fest

Beta Player

Moonlight Towers

Rat King

The Laughing


Low Line Caller

Altercation Comedy

Foot Patrol


The Sword

Neon Indian


The Roller

Peligrosa All-Stars

New Movement Comedy Group

Pack of Wolves

Bankrupt and the Borrowers

Black and White Years

This Will Destroy You (San Marcos)

Car Stereo (Wars)


Strange Boys

The Riverboat Gamblers