What bands should I check out at the Electric Picnic?
August 25, 2009 9:58 AM   Subscribe

What bands should I check out at the Electric Picnic?

I'm going to the Electric Picnic soon. I don't know many of the bands that are playing, and although I've been checking them out via emusic, MySpace and YouTube, there's a long list and I'm hoping the hive mind can help shorten the process.

I tend to like music with a bit of an edge or quirkiness, but have very wide-ranging tastes: lots of punk/metal/indie/industrial, but also folk and country, some dance and a little bit of hiphop/rap. I tend not to like much mainstream pop and much prefer something with amplified electric guitars. Are there any bands, particularly less well-known ones, at the EP that might fit into that very vague description?

If it helps, the bands that I will be going to see are: Explosions in the Sky, Dinosaur Jr, Flaming Lips, Magnolia Electric Co, Seasick Steve and Rodrigo y Gabriela.

posted by Grinder to Media & Arts (11 answers total)

I know you're not an electro kid and have vastly different tastes than I, but literally everyone I know who has seen Dan Deacon has said he's not to be missed. It's this insane interactive experience and I cannot wait until he comes the Chicago the day before Halloween. Here's an interview that discusses his live shows, and here's what he sounds like. He's more of a composer&conductor than a DJ.

If I was going, I'd also see Fourtet, Diplo (actually, his beats live are semi-generic), Lamb, Nightmares on Wax, and Royksopp. If you hate anything in the electronic-realm, I guess you can use that as your "bands to avoid" list, but still, SEE DAN DEACON.
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:18 AM on August 25, 2009

Agreed on Dan Deacon for a unique live electronic experience.

If you like amplified guitars Dinosaur Jr. is a very influential 90s indie band which has just reformed and should be a priority. The Walkmen, Klaxons, Fleet foxes and Blitzen Trapper would all be worth seeing on the rock end, although the line up seems more dancey and pretty light on amplified guitars...

For DJs I would reckon Erol Alkan, Diplo and 2 Many DJs would all be great for a festival vibe, as they tend to spin across a number of styles.

Have fun!
posted by the foreground at 10:50 AM on August 25, 2009


Must sees for me would be:

Bell X1
Bat For Lashes (MUST)
Bell Orchestre
Blitzen Trapper
Fleet Foxes
Four Tet (I would kill to see Four Tet)
Lykke Li (Phenomenal performer)
MGMT (Seriously? Don't miss this, or you'll regret it)
Neko Case
Okkervil River (!)
Passion Pit (Sooo much fun)
Wave Machines
The Walkmen
Whitest Boy Alive (Again, another band I'd kill to see)
Zero 7

I've seen about half of these before and can't recommend them enough. My tastes are pretty similar to yours and I love these artists, FWIW.
posted by sprocket87 at 10:57 AM on August 25, 2009

The Flaming Lips are pretty much guaranteed to put on a good show, if you like dancing animals, strobes, giant balloons and blood.

Fleet Foxes are pretty fantastic, and I love Okkervil River.
Richmond Fontaine are good if you like very literate Americana.

And Tunng. Whatever you do, don't miss Tunng.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:00 AM on August 25, 2009

And since you mention country, I'll second Neko Case. Wonderful voice.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:01 AM on August 25, 2009

Of all of these the one act I'd make damn sure I wouldn't miss is Amadou & Mariam. Amazing afropop group. They've worked with Manu Chao.
posted by Kattullus at 11:20 AM on August 25, 2009

Madness. Go see Madness. They don't entirely fit your bill, but man, what a show.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:30 AM on August 25, 2009

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'll check them out, although some seem too melodic for my tastes. I like noisy music. Who might be good for feedback and power chords?
posted by Grinder at 11:32 AM on August 25, 2009

Give Echo and the Bunnymen a try. They're a lot better than their '80s footprint suggests.

And, add Basement Jaxx to Juliet Banana's list of electronic acts, for better or worse.
posted by Citrus at 11:48 AM on August 25, 2009

What an odd line-up—the "rock" is mostly mewling mopers but the electronic and dance is pretty nice.

Folks that you will want to one day say, yeah, I saw them: Chic, Magazine, Kid Creole, ESG. Kid Creole's videos up online made him look a bit hit and miss, as I know he's been touring on a cabaret version of his greatest hits for a couple years, but if it's anything like his famous live shows back in the late '70s and early '80s, it'll be mind-blowing, this syncretic island New York funk goof vacation. Magazine is Howard Devoto, formerly of the Buzzcocks, and I didn't realize that he still played out. If you like post-punk, it was pretty much Magazine and Wire that everybody bit. Chic will be a funk disco hot awesome mess. ESG is the Menudo of post-punk, a funky group of sisters who rotated through. I don't know what their current line-up looks like, but once you hear them, you'll think of twelve songs that sampled 'em.

I'd also give a look toward the Special Disco of the DFA guys and I'd check out Major Lazer, which is just retarded fun from Switch and Diplo. Optimo is a great DJ set, and Roots Manuva is a fun MC (though if he's up against anyone else I mentioned, go see them first).

As far as noisy rock, man, you're pretty much out of luck. Dinosaur Jr.'s gonna pretty much be it. I've seen Magnolia Electric turn into a feedback fest, but that was years ago and every time I've seen them since, they've been mannered post-folk. That Lamb is not the black metal band (I found out once I checked), and Bat For Lashes sound like they're gonna rock from the name, but really don't.

So go to dance to dance music, but don't expect much rockin'. I mean, when one of the strongest "rock" acts is the Fleet Foxes and their dribbly wank, you're much better off dancing.
posted by klangklangston at 3:44 PM on August 25, 2009

I didn't realize there's more than one Lamb. Don't bother with them, dude.

I didn't realize Major Lazer was playing! Dude, watch this video and then tell me you're not going to go see that. Unless you're at work. In which case, do not watch this video.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:33 AM on August 26, 2009

« Older Can I outsmart the cache.   |   So what if I'm 5 years late for a rite of passage? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.