What Not to Miss at the 2014 Northside Festival

06/04/2014 4:00 AM |

Music Recommendations

June 13

Ava Luna
A willfully undefinable Brooklyn art-band who blend R&B, punk, and disco, then top it with a dollop of who the fuck knows. (Union Pool)

Dutch E. Germ
Tim DeWit, formerly of Gang Gang Dance, has moved past that band’s underlying rock influences. Now he makes stomach-rumbling bass music with a psychedelic edge. (Glasslands)

Harvey Sid Fisher
A Bronx-born, septuagenarian lounge singer who’s earned a cult following for decades of funny, bizarre songs about stuff like astrological signs and golf. (Muchmore’s)

Hop Along
A severely underrated Philly-based rock band with odd and oddly effecting lyrics, sung in an emphatic warble by front-lady Frances Quinlan. (St. Vitus)

Marnie Stern
She’s many things: motivational shouter, ribald wit, tiny-dog enthusiast. But primarily she’s a goddamn guitar hero. (Rough Trade NYC)

Nite Jewel
Ramona Gonzalez’s last record was a huge step up from her soft-focus early work: crisp and dark and not just a little sinister. (Cameo)

Operators
Early reports describe the mysterious new project from Dan Boeckner as a welding of Wolf Parade grit and Handsome Furs synths into concise Divine Fits hooks. (Baby’s All Right)

Pleasure Leftists
Cleveland’s as bleak and blighted as any crater in the North of England, so it makes sense that it should be a breeding ground for this sort of desperate post-punk. (St. Vitus)

Tweens
A bruising Cincinnati youth trio that finds the middle ground between bratty pop-punk and slyly sexy Breeders-grade alt-rock that we didn’t even know we needed. (Rough Trade NYC)

Woods 
While they’ll likely never shun the bucolic vibe that’s made them modern masters of the mid-fi chillax, their new material sounds sharper than ever. (50 Kent)


Spotlight


Frankie Cosmos

We’re in the midst of full-fledged twee revival, and why not? The distance between bedroom sadness and public broadcast is now shorter than ever. But small-scale and cute as they may be, Greta Kline’s songs are serious business, full of real joy and hurt delivered with ruthlessly catchy efficiency. See them performed at a metal bar for the first, and perhaps only, time. (St. Vitus)

Ka

He’s less flashy in comparison to other up$tart New York rappers of the moment, but Ka exudes a sort of hushed intensity that doesn’t need much flare to get noticed. The Night’s Gambit, released last year, recalls the captivating street narratives of tough, heady 90s hip-hop. It announced him as an heir to a legacy forged by legends like Wu Tang and Biggie. (Europa)

Omar Souleyman

The king of North Syria’s wedding circuit for a couple decades—and something of an accidental cassette-culture icon to boot. Souleyman plays “dabke,” a form of folk music that dovetails nicely into DIY dance music from the West, built around its fast, hypnotically repetitive rhythms. Wenu Wenu, recorded in Brooklyn with Four Tet’s Kieran Hebken, is not some slick departure from tradition; it’s the brightest available document of a master at work. (Glasslands)

Perfect Pussy

It only took a little over a half hour of recorded music for Meredith Graves to become the new face of hardcore, though there’s nothing quite like basement shows in Syracuse to build rage for your upcoming close-up. Say Yes to Love, the band’s debut for Captured Tracks, is slightly clearer than the in-a-wind-tunnel sound of their demo, but it still finds the best ways to fall apart. (St. Vitus, The
Knitting Factory)

The War on Drugs

Though founding member Kurt Vile’s solo career made him a star first, Adam Granduciel’s band has now caught up. Lost in the Dream, their fourth full-length record in six years, has been hailed as the Philadelphia boys’ masterwork. It’s a strange yet reassuring mix of hip and unhip reference points, classic rock subtly warped by, and then reconciled with, its supposed alternative. (50 Kent)


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