As DJ Jester The Filipino Fist, UTSA alum G. Michael Pendon has rocked Alamo City crowds with the famed Underdog Turntablists and Supa Brother Scientists, and global audiences on tours with renowned acts such as Kid Koala and Grand Buffet. For the last four years, Jester has served as the designated closer at SXSW and done more gigging than ever before. He’ll soon hit the road again with Kid Koala on a trek from California to Florida. Before launching that coast-to-coast tour, Pendon will treat San Antonio to a round of shows, and for one night at the Limelight he’s bringing a few special friends along.
“He’s got a great sense of humor and as far as the music he delves into, it’s really a hell of a lot more creative than a lot of people out there,” says DJ Fukysuk, aka Jason Reece, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. “I would say he’s probably one of the better DJs, even in America right now. He ranks up there with some of the best and you guys `in San Antonio` are lucky to have him.”
Reece met Jester years ago through San Antonio DJ prodigy Prince Klassen, and their friendship was cemented at a Thursday-night Emo’s gig in front of a sparse crowd. “There were like six people there, so the whole night we were just hanging out with each other,” Jester recalls. “What was cool about Jason was that he was playing a lot of down-south stuff at the time before it blew up. He was playing a lot of hip-hop and I thought, ’Damn, this dude’s from Trail of the Dead and he knows his shit.’ He was doing it.”
The persona DJ FukySuk came to Reece in 2001, via a conversation with his wife on the finer points of 2 Live Crew’s “Me So Horny.” A fan of ’90s hip-hop, including groups such as Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest, Reece created an alias that allowed him to deeply explore his interest in DJ culture. Fans of Trail of the Dead can look forward to a new album in September — which Reece likens to 2002’s Source Tags and Codes — with a Universal imprint also on the horizon.
“FukySuk is more like a dirty old man and Trail of Dead is like a refined gentleman who’s very well-read and sophisticated,” jokes Reece. “FukySuk is Jack and Coke, strippers, bad drugs, waking up in the gutter the next morning. That’s FukySuk.”
Joining FukySuk and Jester on the bill are the Noise Revival Orchestra Experience, a 13-piece experimental chamber band that uses vibrant sound collages to spread their “gospel of the noise.” Drawing inspiration from John Corgliano’s Circus Maximus and John Mackey’s Red Line Tango, the ensemble deftly blends traditional garage-rock instruments with orchestral horns and percussion for a dense, organic sound. The Austin-based group started in 2006 with nine members, and recently released their first EP, the haunting TNROE, on a USB thumb drive encased in a plastic test tube.
“They’re kind of like Arcade Fire, if I had to make a comparison, but really cool and very influenced by classical music,” says Jester, who remixed the track “Scarlet” for the group. “I would label it sophisticated, and I’m raising my right eyebrow while I’m saying it, like I’m hanging out with Remington Steele in a hot tub with some girls.”
“The way we approach music is from an artistic orchestral viewpoint,” explains Noise Revival frontman Nathan Felix. “Instead of writing something in a pop structure, we try to approach it without any structure, but different from a jam band. We bring these orchestral elements together and we build a song off a mood. Then after that mood is brought to life by instrumental music, our horns and our flute and the structure of that instrumental piece, we’ll add in little pop subtleties. I guess it’s just more of an open way of trying to capture what we feel and hear in our minds.”
The Noise Revival Orchestra Experience plan on releasing their as-yet-untitled, full-length debut this summer, and will be dropping a vinyl single prior to that featuring remixes from Jester and San Antonio sound alchemist Ernest Gonzales. Despite the inherent organizational struggles involved with creating and performing with 13 musicians, Felix describes playing with the group as the greatest feeling he’s had with any band.
“I look at us as a band that’s different in our genre, and when I see Mikey as a DJ, I think he’s different in his genre,” says Felix. “I think he’s really unique. We did a few shows together in Austin and I think they went over really well. We’re not a band that you’re just gonna go rock out to. It’s more in-depth music that makes you want to pay attention. Then when we’re done, he takes over and turns it into a party, so I think that mix is good.”
“I think that music is a visceral thing,” Jester says. “I think it’s something that you just experience. I don’t think it really should be about fashion or trends or this is what this magazine says is cool. I encourage different types of groups to come together and play music. I think that’s one of the things that makes Texas music special. There’s so much diversity all over the board.”
“I think what we’re gonna do when I come up next week is probably bring the party on,” adds Reece, in full DJ FukySuk mode. “I’ll probably play some newer stuff that’s around. I like Justice. I like a lot of that headbanger stuff because that’s really heavy. Then I like hip-hop, so I’m gonna try to mix it up and make it eclectic but try to bring more of a party atmosphere and I’m sure Jester will do the same.” •
w. DJ FukySuk and Noise Revival
10pm Sat, Apr 19
2718 N. St. Mary’s