By Ashley Zimmerman
By Dana Krangel
By John Hood
By Ashley Zimmerman
By David Von Bader
By Sayre Berman
By Steve Brennan
By Ashley Zimmerman
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh may not be known as a hotbed of hip, but native Gregg Gillis, a DJ turned artist in his own right, serves up white-hot mashups that perfectly reflect the current genre-bending preferences of downtown types. As with similar DJs/remix artists like Flosstradamus or the Rub, a Girl Talk set traverses hip-hop, crunk, hyphy, Baltimore club, electro, and new-wavy rock, sometimes on one track. Gillis remixes and cuts with fierce concentration, creating rapid-fire, stuttering versions of dance jams just before stage-diving shirtless into the sweaty crowd.
Tags for the Interweb kids: DJ, Drunken, Electronic
My Morning Jacket
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Kentucky-based country-rockers My Morning Jacket is one of those rare groups that sounds just above average in the studio yet somehow transforms into an unrivaled stage band on the road. Marrying human dynamo Jim James' vocals and ever-beautiful lyrics to pristinely orchestrated compositions, their performances have more in common with the balls-out jams of the '70s than the torpid, shoe-gazing indie rock of the past 15 years. In other words, MMJ will help you understand why your parents like to say concerts were so much better when they were kids.
Tags: Rockin', Loud, Country
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia
The music of the New Pornographers will make you smile and feel like the rest of your life isn't so bad. That's the power of this supergroup, made up of names only diehard music fans will recognize. If anything, they're masters of crafting perfect pop songs built around high-energy hooks, sugary harmonies, and unexpected lyrics. Now, if only they could get every member of the crew particularly Neko Case to consistently show up for gigs, they'd be fine. Their onstage lineup is as erratic as they come.
Tags: Drunken, Rockin', Heartthrob
Hometown: Springfield, Massachusetts
This isn't the type of blues music that follows traditional standards. Taj has been playing his own distinctive brand of music variously described as Afro-Caribbean blues, folk-world-blues, hula blues, folk-funk, and a host of other hyphenations for more than 40 years. He's possibly the most well-traveled blues musician in history, and audiences can expect Caribbean, Hawaiian, African, Latin, and Cuban sounds mixed with folk, jazz, zydeco, gospel, rock, pop, soul, and R&B, all layered on top of a solid country-blues foundation. Taj doesn't just dabble in these genres; he knows them deep in his soul.
Tags: Living Legend, Funk/Soul, Blues, Mellow
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Considering how socially conscious and spiritual that reggae and hip-hop are today (wink), it's hard to understand why Hasidic Jews chose to stay out of the game for so long. Thankfully, yarmulke-capped Matisyahu stepped forward to be the Children of Israel's emissary to rastas everywhere. OK, it's pretty unlikely that Rastafarians are listening. At all. Still, the rest of the world is, and once you get past the initial snickering and realize he's serious, it's hard not to find something glorious in Matisyahu's mix of faith, reggae, and rap.
Tags: Stoner Friendly
New Orleans Social Club
Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana
You don't have to be a fan of the Big Easy's musical lineage to appreciate this supergroup that formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. You've got two founding members of the Meters: Leo Nocentelli (guitar) and George Porter Jr. (bass), plus Ivan Neville (organ), Henry Butler (piano), and Raymond Weber (drums) making a powerful statement when it comes to blues, jazz, and gritty New Orleans funk. They were all standouts before the hurricane, and now that they've united on stage, audiences can expect a mini Mardi Gras to break out in the crowd.
Tags: Rockin', Funk/Soul, Living Legends
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
They say felines have nine lives. We're not keeping count, but Chan Marshall, the chanteuse who goes by Cat Power, has definitely had a rebirth of sorts. Forget all those old stories about a lone girl with a guitar, breaking down from nervousness in front of huge audiences. She seems happier now after a move to Miami last year and the acquisition of her new backing musicians, the Dirty Delta Blues Band. Cat Power's new live sound is amped up, with a blues-rock vibration. Also, this kitty may be cute, but onstage, she's got claws.