Category: Redd Kross

FYF Fest 2012: Refused, Wild Flag, M83, Yeasayer booked

Carrie Brownstein of Wild Flag
Now in its ninth year, the independent-focused FYF Fest is returning to the Los Angeles State Historic Park and for the first time since moving downtown will expand from one to two days. The lineup for the Labor Day weekend fest is an adventurous mix of acts young and old, leaning heavily on punk and veterans of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Top-billed artists this year include the reunited Swedish punk band Refused, reunited local rock band Redd Kross, the trippy M83, indie-punk supergroup Wild Flag and electro-soul artist James Blake. 

Once again the FYF Fest is working in conjunction with Coachella promoter Goldenvoice. This marks the fourth straight year that FYF has been stationed at the Chinatown-adjacent State Historic Park, also the site of this summer's dance-focused Hard Summer. While FYF has long specialized in promoting punk and noise shows in and around Echo Park, this year's lineup was first unveiled on Santa Monica's non-profit KCRW-FM, a sign of FYF's growing influence on the local scene.

Other acts booked for the festival, which will take place Sept. 1 and 2, include the reunited Desaparecidos, the politically inclined scrappy punk outfit led by Bright Eyes architect Conor Oberst, and the global influenced music of Yeasayer. All told, more than 50 acts were revealed Monday morning. Among the highlights: hard-core act Quicksand, noise-pop aficionados Sleigh Bells, '80s revivalists Twin Shadow, electronic act Purity Ring, the patiently ambient rock of Warpaint and in-the-news punk band Against Me!

Weekend passes will start at $77 and will go on sale Friday via Ticketfly. FYF Fest is all-ages and will run from noon until midnight each day. Tickets will also be available at independent record stores in the L.A. area and select Chilli Beans locations. Visit the FYF Fest site for a complete run-down of outlets. 

Complete lineup and poster is after the jump:

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Redd Kross survives the 'awkward' stage, readies new album

Redd Kross
The first new album in 15 years from Redd Kross was five years in the making. It may have taken even longer had Steven McDonald not signed on for a desk job. In the summer of 2010 the Redd Kross co-founder and current member of OFF! went to work as an A&R executive for Warner Bros. 

"It smoked me out of my hive," McDonald told Pop & Hiss Monday afternoon. While McDonald relished the opportunity to champion young artists, he ultimately found life behind the scenes "a little awkward."

"I had to figure out whether I wanted to go on tour and be an artist again, or if I just wanted to be chasing down other artists and trying to get 15% of their touring or merch money," he said. "Not to be too crass, but it was an eye-opening experience. When you have 10 bosses, you can believe what you’re saying, but it’s hard to pull it off when there’s so many voices that actually have more say than you do."

Having reunited in 2006, Redd Kross had been tinkering with new material long before McDonald took a day job, but plans to release a new album accelerated soon after he left the gig. The band, which had its beginnings in punk rock when an 11-year-old McDonald began playing music with his teenage brother Jeff more than 30 years ago, has now signed with celebrated North Carolina indie label Merge Records. A new 10-track album, "Researching the Blues," is due Aug. 7.

The band's last album, 1997's "Show World," was a crisp power-pop collection, one long removed from the band's far more scrappy start on 1982's "Born Innocent." The new album was largely written by Jeff and produced by his younger brother, and Steven hesitates to speculate on where it would fit in the Redd Kross canon, declaring it a "straightforward, simple collection of tunes."

"It’s certainly not as trashy and snotty as the ‘Born Innocent’ era," he said. "I don’t know how to eloquently put it. Styles have changed. With each of our records there was always at least a three-year gap and an evolution happening. When we were young it was happening much quicker. We were literally just going through puberty on record."

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