Countdown to the Urban Art Forms Festival!

Okay, I am just a little excited about the Urban Art Forms Festival, which is taking place from 16-18 June! A tiny image of the line up is here (or just go to the website, if you’re into that sort of thing):

This magical event is taking place in Wiener Neustadt, which is really easy to get to from Vienna – it’s only about 10 minutes away from where Mink, Mathis and I work, actually. And, this most epic festival of our times is only 19 days away. It’s counting down by the second on the website, apparently, and I find this type of build-up to be entirely appropriate. The three of us are thinking we might get a campsite there, since our local shifty (/shitty) grocery store, the Penny Markt, sells tents for 25EU. It’s clearly a sign that we should camp, right? Either that, or we just go home at 6 a.m. every day, sleep it off, and go back to Wiener Neustadt in the late afternoons for more.

The festival line up is incredibly solid, and there are many artists whom I’ve never heard of and I’m sure will blow my mind. There is no way that we’ll be able to get to as many shows as we want to, but we’re going to make a valiant effort. Here are the sets I am most excited to see, in countdown form for your personal (or, okay, my personal) anticipation and enjoyment!

6. Vitalic

I don’t know this guy very well, but Mathis says he is legit and I will take his word for it (and a quick trip to Vitalic’s myspace page proved it). He’s the big act for Thursday night, which means he’s slated to start his set around midnight. Here’s a kinda trippy video for a song called “Poison Lips,” which I’m hoping is an accurate representation of Vitalic’s work:

I think he’s French. Vive la France!

5. Fatboy Slim

Yeah, that guy. I don’t know his discography and I haven’t listened to him in years, but he’s definitely going to be hilarious. I mean, just look at him:

It was really hard to decide on the best video to link to, since Mink and I just watched “Praise You” recently and it’s amazing in ways I’m not sure are even legal… but my all-time favourite Fatboy Slim video is definitely “Weapon of Choice,” in which Christopher Walken defies both gravity and my notions of how real adults are supposed to act (at least when they’re famous, at any rate).

Not really sure what to expect from good ole’ Fatboy Slim, but I’m sure he’s developed as a musical artist since the 90s… I just haven’t been keeping up.

4. Digitalism

To understand why this is going to be awesome, reading part of the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry for Digitalism will suffice: “a German dance punk duo founded in 2004.” Great year. They remix tracks from awesome bands and make them even more awesome. There’s going to be a lot of bass in ma head.

Here’s “Idealism,” if that description tickles your fancy:

They’re pretty intense, but I feel like this type of sound is indicative of what the entire weekend is going to be like.

3. Simian Mobile Disco

This is another remix-oriented type duo. I admit I know little about these guys, minus one song really well, but it’s catchy in the sense of “I think my pants are on fire; at this point, I’m not sure if they got that way from the friction of my frantic dancing, or I am dancing frantically in an attempt to extinguish said flames.” Yeah, I’m the type of person who will employ a semi-colon in my thought process in the centre of a mad dance party if it seems like the right thing to do at the time.

Here’s a video of “We are Your Friends” (Justice vs. Simian, in this case. I will someday see Justice. And then die happy.):

I heard this song in a hideously touristy cafe in Strasbourg recently, and it made me smile.

3. Deadmau5

Dude wears a mouse head with light-up eyes. And he’s Canadian. ‘Nuff said.

This is a well-known one, “Ghosts N Stuff”:

My brother Dave saw Deadmau5 at Coachella last year, and apparently he is quite an experience. Yeah, Canada! Represent.

2. Deichkind

So there was this one German song that my sister Laur knew all of the words to when it came on in the bar, and it’s weirdly catchy. Mink and I had no clue who sang it until recently, but it’s definitely a winner if you like that one-tone, rather efficient version of a catchy-as-hell pop song. Beware though, it gets into your brain and latches on like a rather tenacious and destructive parasite:

I still don’t know any other songs by Deichkind, but I am stoked to see this show. They’re headliners for a reason, knowwhatimean? (Hint: watch that video.)

1. 1. 1. 1! 1! 1! Crystal Castles

Canada is representing hard in this group of headliners! I missed Crystal Castles when they played at Osheaga in Montreal in summer 2009. I was crushed that I missed them in November when they played a sold out show in Vienna. Now I have a third chance to see them… it’s as if the heavens have opened up and, instead of getting on with that rapture business, the music gods decided to simply rain awesomeness down upon us. I have listened to the Crystal Castles II album pretty solidly for almost a year now, and it never fails to put me in a good mood – even when I am being stared at by lecherous Austrian men on the bus or the u-bahn.

It’s difficult to pick just one song that is adequately representative of the contant eargasm that is Crystal Castles, but “Year of Silence” is a collaborative project with Jónsi of Sigur Rós, another phenomenal group, so it’s understandably awesome.

I think that Alice Glass may be one of the sexiest ladies in existence:

So, in conclusion: if I don’t die in a mosh pit, I’m guaranteed to come home exhausted but ecstatic.

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