Fuck Monday Fest goes beyond metal
The local, one-day fest keeps things extreme
Eight bands, one night, one venue—one has to ask, is it a festival or just a long show?
The answer depends on the variables. If you’re at Cafe Colonial or Casa de Chaos and we’re talking any genre that ends in -core, that’s called “Friday night.” But eight bands that play sets longer that 10 minutes, punctuated by ambient noise interludes, with doors opening at 4 p.m. and music playing until who knows when? Is that enough to call it a fest, or do you need to spread it across three stages and offer $1,000 VIP tickets as well?
Chris Lemos, the booker over at Starlite Lounge, has decided that his upcoming, second iteration of Fuck Monday Fest is indeed a fest, but he understands why the blurring of that line might seem troubling.
“It’s a pretty deep question,” Lemos said.
Outside of pseudo-philosophical semantics, the details make it fairly clear why his eight-band bill on a Sunday night is unlike any other metal show he organizes at Starlite.
First, it’s not all metal: Headliner Dälek is experimental hip-hop that draws from industrial and shoegaze.
Second, the metal that is there is underground-festival quality, with the sludgy doom of Trapped Within Burning Machinery, the dark hardcore of Columbian Necktie, the insane Japanese death grind of World End Man and the stoner riffs of Attalla making $15 at the door and $12 in advance sound like theft.
Third, Lemos might hang some fancy lights or get some drink specials together. Or not. Who knows.
In addition, three heavy-as-hell local bands open up: Worship of Keres, Battle Hag and xTom Hanx. (It’s worth noting that xTom Hanx claimed to have played its last show months ago, proving that confusing your fans with meaningless breakups is a Sacramento thing, not a Death Grips thing.)
Color of Closure, a one-man ambient-noise act, will fill the betweens with short sets.
“I probably should charge $20,” Lemos said while rattling off details about the lineup. “But $15 looks better than $20.”
The fest as a whole gestures at trends in both Lemos’ shows and the desires of the greater extreme-music audience to expand beyond genre segregation.
“Metalheads definitely branch out into other extreme forms of underground music, and it’s kinda crazy to see. … I had a drum and bass night at Starlite recently, and there was—I shouldn’t say a shit ton because it wasn’t a shit ton—but probably 10 metal heads showed up that I knew and I was like, ’What the fuck are you doing here?’”
As such, it totally makes sense that Lemos would stick an out-there hip-hop act as the cherry on top of a predominantly low-and-slow mix of heaviness, along with the snippets of ethereal, emo-esque soundscapes of Color of Closure.
The diversity of the bill also helps to keep people from burning out on the fest halfway through.
“It’s just gonna be a bunch of slower bands and then a grind band, and then a bunch more slower bands and then a hip-hop band,” he said.
All variables considered, it’s probably fair to call Fuck Monday Fest a real fest. After all, what’s more festive than destroying your chances of a decent Monday with hours upon hours of hard alcohol and extreme music?