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FYF Fest includes up-and-coming acts

John Maus, Fidlar, the Growlers, the Allah-Lahs and White Fence are worth seeing.

August 27, 2012|By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
  • FIDLAR performs at the 2012 CBGB Festival at Webster Hall in New York City on July 5, 2012.
FIDLAR performs at the 2012 CBGB Festival at Webster Hall in New York City… (Theo Wargo, Getty Images…)

The ninth annual FYF Fest this weekend brings together some of the world's most innovative young punk, rock, electronic beat music, hip-hop and experimental groups onto the pitch of the Los Angeles State Historic Park in downtown L.A.

Headliners include British beat maker M83 and Swedish hard-core punk band Refused, but the FYF features plenty of L.A.'s young innovators too. Among more established Angeleno bands such as Warpaint, Redd Kross and Health is an undercard heavy with potential. Below are five acts worth seeing:


FOR THE RECORD:
FYF Fest: In the Aug. 28 Calendar section, an article previewing notable artists at the FYF Fest this weekend described the electronic music band M83 as British. The group is French. —

John Maus comes from the same CalArts-centered scene that supported underground art-dance-pop musicians Ariel Pink, Nite Jewel's Ramona Gonzalez and singer Julia Holter. Using lo-fidelity keyboard sounds and treble-heavy vocals, Maus makes synth-pop for philosophers.

Fidlar is an O.C.-born band whose most recent record EP, "Don't Try," is a four-song punk rock firecracker. Featuring compact two-minute bursts of song, the band is thrilling live too, especially when performing its anthem to the easy life, "Wake, Bake, Skate." Fans of early '80s L.A. punkers the Descendents will be thrilled.

Long simmering in the city's underground, the Growlers recently gained a devoted fan base that extends beyond the rock club circuit. Though they're not pushing at the edges of the genre as much as exploring its echoed depth, the band is killer live, suggesting a combination of surf-rock, psycho-billy and barroom rock.

Fans of the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds circa 1966-67 will find much to love in the Allah-Las, the buzzing four-piece guitar band who create maximum R&B. Coupled with that love of Fender guitars is a confident if a little staid live show. Their forthcoming record on L.A. label Innovative Leisure arrives in the fall.

Tim Presley is best known for his work with Darker My Love, but his White Fence moniker has been perking ears for a couple of years. Under this guise, Presley spits out jangly guitar pop that hints at the mid-'60s psychedelia of the Beatles. This year has been busy: White Fence has released a two-volume series called "Family Perfume" as well as a collaboration with San Francisco garage rocker Ty Segall.

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randall.roberts@latimes.com

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