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Wolf Eyes, Sonic Youth Side Projects Dominate No Fun Festival

Catherine Lewis reports:
Droners and improv noisemakers will converge on Brooklyn, NY, next month for the inaugural weekend-long No Fun Fest. The festival will take place at North Six in uber-hip Williamsburg, from March 19th through 21st.

Appearing at the festival are noise-rock superstars like Wolf Eyes, Sightings, and Double Leopards; bands who have risen from the ashes, such as To Live and Shave in L.A.; and absurdly-named bands you've probably never heard of, like Japanese Karaoke Afterlife Experiment. In addition, almost every member of Sonic Youth is playing with his or her side project: Lee Ranaldo with Mission of Burma's Roger Miller and drummer William Hooker; Kim Gordon and Jim O'Rourke with Ikue Mori and DJ Olive; Thurston Moore and O'Rourke with frantic percussionist Chris Corsano and veteran saxophonist Paul Flaherty.

The festival is curated primarily by Carlos Giffoni (whose band, Monotract, is performing), with assistance by Russ Waterhouse (of the legendary tape label White Tapes), Matt Redman, and Breathmint label head Bud Newton. Giffoni cited events like the Sonic Youth-curated All Tomorrow's Parties in Los Angeles and last year's Destijl festival as his inspiration for No Fun. Bands will play on both of North Six's stages, with the upstairs and downstairs acts staggered. The downstairs events were Giffoni's "way of balancing out things by having an outside point of view in the curation, and also to give a chance to bands that otherwise would never get a chance to play this kind of event."

The No Fun name was inspired by an off-handed comment made by Thurston Moore, and gives a nod to the "No" prefix that is so common in New York (e.g., No Wave, the No New York compilation) as well as an admission that this music really is "no fun" for most people. As Giffoni said, "for about 90 percent or more of the world population, this will be considered terrible music to listen to. And you have to be completely insane to try to organize this kind of event by yourself and the good-willed help of a few friends." If all goes well with the festival this year, Giffoni hopes to coordinate a similar event in the future, possibly even in South America. Lineup:

Friday, March 19th:
Thurston Moore + Chris Corsano + Jim O'Rourke + Paul Flaherty Dream Aktion Unit
Carlos Giffoni + Dylan Nyoukis duo
Arthur Doyle Electro-Acoustic Ensemble
Burning Star Core
Magick Markers
Life Partners
Three Legged Race

Saturday, March 20th:
Kim Gordon and the Sweet Ride (featuring Ikue Mori, DJ Olive, and Jim O'Rourke)
To Live and Shave in L.A.
Gert-Jans Prins
Hair Police
Alan Licht
Nmperign - Due Process collaboration
Laundry Room Squelchers
Aaron Dilloway
Dead Machines
Air Conditioning
Go To Sleep
Humectant Interruption

Sunday, March 21st:
Wolf Eyes
Lee Ranaldo + Roger Miller + William Hooker Trio
Nautical Almanac
Double Leopards
Tan As Fuck + Newton
Knifestorm + Unicorn Hard On
Japanese Karaoke Afterlife Experiment

.: No Fun Fest:
.: Originally published: 20 February 2004
.: Items mentioned above on Dead Hills (Wolf Eyes, 2002); Slicer (Wolf Eyes, 2002).