Summer Fest Round Table: 9 Locals To Watch This Weekend

Rocks Off polled our writers to see which local or regional artist they most wanted to see at Free Press Summer Fest this weekend.

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Photo by Marc Brubaker
Robert Ellis, not in Houston or Austin, but Nashville
Alexa Crenshaw: Robert Ellis recently rebooted his mid-week honky-tonk events, fittingly dubbed Whiskey Wednesday with Robert Ellis. The problem now, though, is that these weekly treats are happening in Austin. Solution? Robert Ellis is coming to Summer Fest! His timeless classic country gets anyone toe-tappin' to his tunes, even if country music isn't their cup of tea (or whiskey) entranced by his solo acoustic work. American Songwriter Magazine named his Photographs as a top album of 2011. Jeep Power Amp Stage (stage 1), 1:40 p.m. Sunday


Cory Dieterman: By far, the biggest local act to play Summer Fest this year (for me) is going to be Fatal Flying Guilloteens. The guys haven't been around for ages, so this is a pretty special reunion show. For my personal bias on them, they wave the post-hardcore flag in a way that few bands in Houston or the world at large still do. 29-95 Stage (stage 4), 7 p.m. Saturday)


Cory Garcia: If you want to see the future of Texas rock, look no further than Schmillion. That's not me going in to hyperbolic Jon Landau/Springstreen territory, either. This group of 16- and 17-year-olds have shared bills with everyone from the Bangles to Explosions in the Sky to Arcade Fire, and their age isn't a novelty: This group is a real-deal, honest-to-god, have-the-chops-to-back-it-up rock band. If they're this good now, it'll be nuts to see where they are with a few more years of experience.


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Suite 709 on Facebook
Chris Gray: There I was, getting ready to write another pick for one of my favorite local bands I've already written about a bunch of times like Sideshow Tramps, Small Sounds or Rusted Shut (whom I'm glad to see someone else picked), and wishing I had already seen some of the locals I'm now looking forward to seeing at Summer Fest at the first time (New York City Queens, Featherface), I got an email about some neighbors to the west, Suite 709. Once in Austin, 709 was a sacred number in Uranium Savages lore, now it's a poppy soul group reminiscent of Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson and prime '60s Motown. 709 plans to debut material from their as-yet-unreleased full-length Night & Day at Summer Fest; you'll wanna be starting something.


John Seaborn Gray: The Watermarks have been on my radar for quite some time, but their new pair of singles put them at the top of my "to-watch" list. It's so cool to see a band with serious potential finally rise to meet it. They're a big, wonderful, thick wall of shoegazy, dream-poppy noise. Can't wait to hear more new stuff from them. Stage 7, 6:30 p.m. Sunday



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