Ahoy, maties, it’s Forecastle Festival time once again on the good ship Waterfront Park and … man, it’s hard to talk like a pirate for too long. How did Johnny Depp do it? Something else that’s hard to do: keep up with all the music being presented over three relatively quick days.
With a couple handfuls of major headliners, it’s easy to know what to do at night — but what’s the best way to plan your days if you don’t know all about each of the 55 acts? If this was a final exam, could you pull off an A or a B? Or would you fail and miss what could have been your favorite moments?
Though we at LEO were, overall, surprisingly non-awesome students in a structured environment, we’re here now to help you make the grade. These are just a few suggestions; if you’ve never heard of the Flaming Lips before, you might want to check them out, too.
On the first day, what some might even call a “work day,” the gods of music are only offering 15 acts (with 20 to come on each weekend day).
The Pimps of Joytime (5:15-6 p.m.): Get off the clock and on the good foot with these New Orleans-via-Brooklyn high steppin’ funk fanatics. Whether you’re old school or just like dancing, this is guaranteed fun.
inc. (6:15-7 p.m.): Part of the recent wave of alternative soul that’s more subtle and textured than the “New Jack” era, this duo of actual brothers will have to prove they can recreate their sounds in a busy outdoor environment.
Night Beds (7-7:45 p.m.): Singer-songwriter Winston Yellen leads an evocative group who channel songs he’s written over the past half-decade (starting at 18). Now signed by the folks who brought Bon Iver and The Tallest Man on Earth to wider audiences, catch Night Beds tonight and brag later.
Alasdair Roberts & Friends (2:15-2:45 p.m.): This Scottish folk singer is the real deal as far as roots music goes. In fact, his appearance at this festival is downright punk rock, as he stands alone in genre here. Roberts and Will Oldham collaborated on a CSN-type project with the late Jason Molina once, when we were all younger.
Foxygen (3:45-4:45 p.m.): This indie-glam rock band has been playing buzzed-about shows all year, though they’ve canceled some recent dates, having pushed themselves too hard. Stop by and show your support.
Nosaj Thing (7-8 p.m.): Electro soundscaper Jason Chung came up in the L.A. hip-hop underground but has expanded his sound, and a crossover appearance by Toro y Moi is likely at his set.
Bombino (2-3 p.m.): Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach produced the second album by this North African blues-trance guitarist. Rock and world music fans alike will be air guitaring together — we are the world!
Tennis (2:45-3:45 p.m.): Breezy pop that sounds about right for an exhausted Sunday afternoon.
El-P & Killer Mike (4:30-5:30 p.m.): The “Run the Jewels” pair is made up of two of the fiercest rappers around and has been on a roll over the past couple of years together.