I’ve only been going to the No Fun Fest for 2 years now, but even from one year to the next I noticed the change. All of a sudden there were frat boys in the crowd- no joke. It didn’t necessarily bother me but it was a sign that something that was once on the fringe: noise music and harsh sound, was moving a little more to the center.
A friend of mine who’s been going to No Fun since it began in 2004 told me last year at the Knitting Factory, where the Fest was held, that it was his last No Fun. Not sure if he’ll be there this year. Paging Steve Kobak…..
While the lineup this year looks siiiiiick, (Merzbow what, what. He was scary amazing in ’07 at the Hook, which is now closed), I can’t help but wonder about having the show in Williamsburg. I know it was first held there, but the neighborhood couldn’t be more different today than it was in ’04. Ironically, it was first held at North Six. This year it’s at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. SAME BUILDING. Different name, different owners. Bowery Presents controls the shizzz now.
So, will it be as scary and dark as years past? Or has the corporatization of the underground extended itself so deep that even harsh noise is considered hip?
I don’t see Sickness (Chris Goudreau) on the bill either. And he’s the scariest mo-fo noise maker around. He spits and throws beer at the crowd.
Sonic Youth is playing, also an interesting sign of change because in previous years the members have performed, but in their less pop and mainstream-sounding side projects. Either way, Thurston says it’s going to be “fucking insane.…”
Here’s Carlos Giffoni, mastermind and curator, at last year’s No Fun Fest.