Three days of chaos? Oh, yeah

Sean Carlson was surprised last year when the residents of Silver Lake and Echo Park made him take down the fliers for the rock festival he curates. But given the festival's shouldn't-be-said-in-polite-company name — we'll just call it "F-Yeah" — even word-of-mouth publicity might have earned him a lecture on profanity.

"I got so many complaints for those fliers," he says. "There was a poster on every light pole on the eastside. Parents don't want their kids to see that."

But over the last two years, a growing number of bedraggled hipsters of all ages have convened for F-Yeah's arty punk rock and gallery exhibitions. Carlson expected around 500 attendees at the debut in 2004, and the 2,500 who showed up at the door left him a bit flustered. The ensuing mix of school's-out high jinks and event-planning panic attracted former Black Flag and Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris, who helped this year's edition.

"I was very impressed by the chaos," Morris says. "It was the closest thing to punk I'd seen in 15 years."

This year's event spans three days and three venues to accommodate more than 50 bands, including local heroes Giant Drag and Silversun Pickups, punk stalwarts the Circle Jerks and the Bronx, Japanese atmospheric thrashers Envy, and a precocious preteen act (the Jack Bambis) that epitomizes the festival's mix of snow cones and speed metal. The big addition this year is a wall where concertgoers can swipe photographs from strangers' summer vacations as souvenirs. A ticket price hike ($20 for an all-day pass to all three venues) drew grumbles, but the rock-to-dollar ratio remains a bargain, especially for the under-21 set. "We want kids to mix with older people and not feel awkward," Carlson says. "It's an opportunity to see bands they've never heard of, rather than what's shoved down their faces."

-- August Brown

F-Yeah Fest, at the Echo (1822 Sunset Blvd.), Sea Level Records (1716 W. Sunset Blvd.) and Jensen Recreation Center (1161 Lemoyne Ave.). 6 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $20 per day. (213) 413-8200.

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