Music News

New Times' Guide to the Music at SunFest

Page 2 of 2

Gin Blossoms>

4 p.m. on the Stage

When the Gin Blossoms broke up in 1997, it seemed like a strange decision for a band that had just released two modestly successful albums and earned two Billboard Top 10 singles ("Til I Hear It From You" and "Follow You Down"). But the underlying turmoil of alcohol addiction — along with an industry that was growing less and less accommodating to straightforward rock bands without a novelty hit or Vedderesque lead singer — makes the band's choice to call it quits seem less surprising in hindsight. Still, the Tempe, Arizona, outfit regrouped several years later and even released an album (Major Lodge Victory) in 2006. Much like previous releases, Victory sounds quintessentially Gin Blossoms — which is to say, it connects the dots from the Byrds to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to the Replacements and would have sounded just as relevant had it been released in 1986. The timeless design of a Gin Blossoms song truly makes the band's music stand the test of time — and it's also the reason you've likely been caught at a stoplight with the windows down singing "Hey Jealousy" at the top of your lungs. It's OK. There's no shame.

Also performing: Card Sound Road, 12:15 p.m. on the Stage. The Resolvers, 1 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage. Classic Albums Live, 1 to 4:45 p.m. on the Tire Kingdom Stage. Tonic, 2 p.m. on the Stage. Sly & Robbie, 3 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage. Wait for Green, 5:15 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage. Hep Cat Boo Daddies, 5:30 p.m. on the Tire Kingdom Stage. New Noise Standard, 6:15 p.m. on the Stage. Ever So Klever, 7 p.m. on the Tire Kingdom Stage. Dharmata, 7:15 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage. NeedtoBreathe, 7:30 p.m. on the Stage. UB40, 9 p.m. on the Tire Kingdom Stage. David Cook, 9:30 p.m. on the Stage.

Sunday, May 3

G. Love and Special Sauce

3:45 p.m. on the Stage

Garrett Dutton's Philadelphonic tonic — a potent blend of hip-hop and blues — still plows fresh ground as a mingling of seemingly closely related genres on his latest album, First Avenue. Besides some North Mississippi bands and a few scattered others, G. and his pals pretty much set the standard for mixing rural roots and urban sounds, further complicating things by stirring in such disparate stuff as Philly soul, psychedelia, even rock steady. Hybridization flourishes throughout: O'Jayisms surface on "Crumble," blues-rock referencing Sly drives "What We Need," "Peace, Love and Happiness" crosses the Stones with Neville Brothers' second-line rhythms, and "Georgia Brown" lashes together the Meters, Allmans, and Little Walter, every cut dialing in various doses of hip-hop. The title cut is Delta blues plopped down in the Bronx, with G. ruminating on the sorry state of the world, name-checking Britney Spears, Jesus, Saddam Hussein, and pygmy marmosets. With Elmwood.

Jack's Mannequin

7:30 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage

The arrival of summer is the perfect occasion to break out Jack's Mannequin's two albums, 2005's Everything in Transit and last year's The Glass Passenger. Ebullient piano, sugary pop harmonies, and bright California rock barely conceal each album's melancholic undercurrent, from Transit's odes to heartbreak to Passenger's triumphs over mortality. Optimism wins out on the latter album, due to euphoric moments such as the string-laced "The Resolution" and the Fleetwood Mac-like "American Love."

Bettye Lavette

7:45 p.m. on the Tire Kingdom Stage

Soul singer Bettye LaVette and the Drive-By Truckers recorded her 2007 album, The Scene of the Crime, in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where one of the most significant things in LaVette's 47-year singing career happened. In 1972, she recorded Child of the Seventies for Atlantic Records, but instead of it being the breakthrough record she hoped it would be, the record got shelved, and she was heartbroken. Rhino eventually released the album in 2005, the same year Anti released I've Got My Own Hell to Raise, a phenomenal record that helped a lot more people discover LaVette's potent and gritty vocals. Because critics raved over The Scene of the Crime, she has continued to gain recognition as a classic voice in true R&B.

Also performing: Cerveza, 12:15 p.m. on the Stage. Debbie Orta, 12:15 p.m. on the Tire Kingdom Stage. The Pretty Faces, 12:30 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage. B-Liminal, 2 p.m. on the Stage. Thriving Ivory, 2 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage. Shauna Sweeney & Friends, 3:45 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage. Candlebox, 4:15 p.m. on the Tire Kingdom Stage. Erin McCarley, 5 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage. The Jesse Young Band, 5:45 p.m. on the Stage. The Darrell Raines Band, 6:15 p.m. on the Tire Kingdom Stage. Matt Nathanson, 6:15 p.m. on the Coors Light Stage. The Steve Miller Band, 7:30 p.m. on the Stage.

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