By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
By Liz Tracy
By Matt Preira
By Jesse Scheckner
By Michael E. Miller
Running for more than a decade and a half now, the Boise, Idaho,-based Built to Spill is truly the baby of the very serious and often-bearded Doug Martsch. Surviving the early- and mid-'90s Northwest rock scene, the band still retained much of that era's messy-on-purpose, chugging guitars. But it still has always possessed a little more musical finesse. That and much more of a tendency to wander in the middle of a song, spacing out for minutes at a time before crashing back into the original chorus in a way that seems to neatly make sense after all.Performs at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Chickee Hut.
With a trademark stage show that begins with little skulls on sticks glowing from a dark abyss, Dan Deacon's trip at first seems like death-metal cheese. But then comes the music — bugged-out, psychedelic electro effects with a weird, crunching undertow. Deacon, you see, is all about flipping scripts, performing everywhere from hipster squats to the Whitney Museum in New York. With a balls-to-the-wall energy but still a head-in-the-clouds, out-there vibe, Deacon has the shamanic ability to make even a large show feel like the sweaty inside of the underground Baltimore art collectives from which he sprang.Performs at 12:30 a.m. Sunday at the Chickee Hut.
Call them a jam band, or consider them eclectic; the Heavy Pets' propulsive blend of rock, reggae, blues, and grooves is perfectly attuned to South Florida's diverse musical mix. These New York transplants have become a popular draw on the local circuit by melding sprightly melodies with instrumental dexterity. That diverse template is evident on Whale, their sprawling two-disc debut, but its their live performance that finds the Pets in their prime. "We do jam, but most of the material we play has no real 'jamming' in it, although it may sound like it does," guitarist Jeffrey Lloyd told New Times last year. "We're just being ourselves."Perform at 4:30 p.m. Friday on the Greening Stage.
This South Florida-based trio had everyone at Rolling Stone, Spin, Pitchfork, et al., freaking out — and for good reason. Its debut self-titled album, released on indie label Unfiltered, is a collection of whip-smart, wistful, British-influenced indie pop, sounding staggeringly miles away from South Florida. Thank God the sun didn't destroy their twee little souls, because we wouldn't have gotten the sweet, reedy, female-sung goodness of tracks like "Goodbye."Performs at noon Saturday at the Chickee Hut.
The Spam Allstars
Miami's Spam Allstars seem tailor-made to put on a concert in the middle of the Everglades. Their music is a blend of swamp-funk and nocturnal grooves that could just as easily get them a write-up in Fader magazine as it could in National Geographic. Existing as a tight nine-piece unit full of Caribbean, Latin, and electronic flavor, the Spam Allstars are the type of band you'll want to see if you're ready to dance and sweat. And if you know how to salsa, this is the place to show off.Perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday on the Greening Stage.
Most people consider pedal steel guitar synonymous with country music and down-home twang. Robert Randolph makes it the focus of his blues brews, but it took the Lee Boys to give it back to God. They first blended those dulcet tones with gospel tradition as youngsters living in Perrine, Florida, and they still play in their respective church bands to this day. Since turning pro, they've jumped to the forefront of the sacred steel movement, enticing fans and admirers like Bob Weir, the Allman Brothers, and the North Mississippi Allstars with their exhilarating concert performances. That blend of funk, frenzy, blues, and Good News provides a thrill with steel.Perform at 12:30 a.m. Sunday at the Swamp Stage.