Contrary to what bitter ex-girlfriends and a nervous society at large have warned me about, I am capable of reproducing life and will indeed become a father any week now. I used to think that seeing my obscenity-wielding girlfriend bearing down and producing our son covered in blood 'n' vernix was an activity that I could wait a little while longer to encounter. But when the lil' tax write-off takes one look at us with his cerulean eyes and starts screaming, spitting, and crying, it’s going to be the most beautiful thing in the world. I’m going to fucking lose it, I’m never going to be the same... and I can't wait for it to happen.
I certainly won't be the first pristine parent to get thrown into cloud-cuckoo-land on the "big day," and I definitely won't be the last. Nor is witnessing childbirth the only way to bombard your senses and awaken another layer of experience; musicians have been wrenching these emotions out of audiences for ages. Some like-minded (but dissimilar-sounding) ones have been getting together and getting off on it in Brooklyn since 2004, where and when Carlos Giffoni birthed the first annual No Fun Fest. For all the buzz about NFF being an "anti-festival," it really embodies what is good and great about live explorations into unrestricted areas of sound and performance. And despite the gathering's "No Fun" tag, it is anything but -- simply take a look at Load Records' Fun From None: Live From the No Fun Fest 2004 & 2005 DVD compendium, or ask EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has had the pleasure of attending in the past. Before they make your ears bleed with plaudits about the Fest, you'll clue in that something very special is going to go down May 17-20 at The Hook in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
No Fun vets will notice a few returnees this year, but rest assured not many sets will seem empty or played-out, even to the most jaded lovers of the subversive, extreme, or left-of-convention. Although there probably won’t be a stray placenta appearance, given the festival's inclination for delivering surprise, you can't count it out. More artists will be announced in due time, but the lineup will include these CONFIRMED acts: American Band + Air Conditioning, Ash Pool, Burning Star Core (pictured) + Zaimph, Crumbling (Pedestrian Deposit + Oscillating Innards), Deathroes (Gerritt + Sixes), Demons, Enema Syringe, Evil Moisture, Gastric Female Reflex, Carlos Giffoni, Hair Police, Hive Mind, Incapacitants, Leslie Keffer + Rodger Stella, Mouthus + Axolotl, Pain Jerk, Princess Dragonmom, Raionbashi, Tom Recchion, Ju Suk Reet Meate and Oblivia, Religious Knives, Sickness, Sissy Spacek, Slogun, and The Rita.
Festival passes go on sale February 15, single day tickets on March 15.
Photo: Phillip Berryhill