The 10 Best Wild Cards at Free Press Summer Fest
The beauty of a hometown festival is the power it has to bring new or unheralded artists to music fans' doorsteps. This year, for me, tUnE-yArDs is that special delivery. Doing a little homework to prep for the fest, I became enthralled by their odd videos and riveting sounds; every song is a cacophony of tribal rhythms and what'd-she-say lyrics.
"She" is Merrill Garbus, who teamed with guitarist Nate Brenner to form Tune-Yards in 2006. Since 2009, they've been particularly prolific. This year's effort, Nikki Nack, features two of my favorite songs of the year, "Wait for a Minute" and "Water Fountain." JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
If you told me that 15 years from now George Lewis Jr. would be this generation's Morrissey, I wouldn't have that hard a time believing you. Talented, charismatic, self-depreciating yet rock-star cool, the man who is Twin Shadow is all those things we talk about when we talk about rock stars. Give "5 Seconds" a spin and then get ready to sweat yourself silly during his set. CORY GARCIA
My experience with Wildcat! Wildcat! is relatively limited, but enough to make me more than curious how this act will perform live. In the past couple of years, they've popped up on my servers thanks to algorithms based on bands like Phoenix, Cut Copy and even Bon Iver. I'm incredibly intrigued to see how their decidedly low-key vibe blending synth-pop and white-boy soul will translate to a festival stage. SELENA DIERINGER
Last year, the Mavericks played to a half-empty field in the middle of the afternoon, a rare shot of vintage country music at FPSF that wound up being one of the highlights of the whole weekend. Dwight Yoakam has a better time slot, so that field probably wont' be quite as empty, but he still looks like one of this year's surprise winners. And I say surprise only because I'm sure a lot of younger people going, weaned on puny indie-rock and hyperinflated hip-hop, have no idea just how hard Yoakam and his band can rock live. He does it with an Elvis-like gleam in his eye, too, and is even still making great country albums like 2012's 3 Pears. CHRIS GRAY
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