Free Press Summer Fest 2012 – a test of strength

Photo c/o the Horn’s Grant Schaefer

“It’s a novelty festival,” my friend and fellow journalist Caitlin DeWeese said to me as we were standing in the middle of the pavement near Eleanor Tinsley Park. “The novelty being, it’s hot as hell.”

I’m not sure who decided to host Free Press Summer Fest in June, in the unforgiving heat of Houston, Texas. But every single band I saw perform mentioned the sweltering warmth, and every fan could certainly feel it. It makes Free Press Summer Fest a bit of a trial — are you fan enough to space out your water drinking and your sunscreen-applying to stick it out and rock out front row at your favorite show? You have to pace yourself, but if you can figure out how to do it, Free Press will reward you. At two days, it’s the perfect length for the adventure that it is. This year, I was sometimes triumphant, sometimes defeated by the heat, but I still managed to catch some unforgettable performances.


Free Press Summer Fest: Who to see!

Houston’s Free Press Summer Fest is this weekend, and as usual, they have gathered an impressive and eclectic lineup to perform in the Texas heat at Eleanor Tinsley Park. There is so much packed into two days, it can be overwhelming. Never fear! We are here to give your our recommendations for who to see this weekend. So read on to get a short blurb about the artists we think are worth your time, as well as a song that will give you an idea of the artist’s sound.


SXSW 2012 – Bands to See

It always creeps up on me. One minute, my friends and I are lamenting the fact that South by Southwest is over, and we have to wait a whole year before we do it all again. The very next, it”s time for a constant barrage of music, libations, and general merriment. And so, here we are again, poised on the edge of greatness (or a great catastrophe, depending on how organized you are). What”s that, you say? You don”t even know who is playing this year? Worry not, o yon procrastinator! That”s what I”m here for. I”ve scoured the SXSW lineup this year and have come up with the below suggestions of bands you really can”t miss. Per our usual format, you”ll find below the name of an incredible band, a brief description of what they”re like, a video of a song that encapsulates what they”re about, and the venues & showtimes where you can actually find them. Some are new to me, some are old favorites. Either way — buckle up. It”s going to be a bumpy ride.


Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 – Day 1

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 was a weekend of rollercoaster emotions and perceptions. That sounds like the introduction to some terrible cliche teen drama, but it is what I lived through this weekend. Blame it on cloudy perception from a lingering cold (which I’m still not over — damn you, festival dirt!) and imminent exhaustion coupled with various Nyquils and Sudafeds, or blame it on being 24 and trying to navigate my adoration of music, my desire to make it myself, and my sense of responsibility to my day job. Whatever it is, my brain was all over the place, taking in the new setting of the Auditorium Shores skyline, comparing and contrasting new Fun Fun Fun with old, trying to experience new music while staying true to my favorites, and realizing I’m starting to enjoy being with my friends more than being alone at a set only I want to see. It’s all a balancing act, and it all gave me a lot to digest after a weekend of awesome music, dusty nostrils and strange music fan realizations.


Photo by Melissa Montes


Fun Fun Fun 2011

Fun Fun Fun Fest crept up on me so quickly this year that I haven’t had time to scour the lineup the way I normally do. Thus, I have decided to highlight my favorites below that I already know and love – and apparently, they’re all mostly playing the Orange Stage. But my absolute favorite aspect of Fun Fun Fun Fest is the fact that I discover so much new music to love. It’s like being a college DJ all over again. I intend to hit up my top picks, but I also plan on wandering wherever my ears take me. So ultimately, that is my suggestion. Be brave, go to a stage you didn’t think you’d visit, keep an open mind, get dirty and have a blast.

For another excellent preview, check out Zack’s at Festival Crashers.

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