b-side: Forecastle lineup

The first wave is in and while it’s not the heavy-hitting, almost universally-beloved lineup of last year, it’s a smart attack on different generations. There’s a lot to argue about and a lot to like, but here are our five favorite announcements so far.

Modest Mouse
A quality headliner that is the low-hanging fruit that nostalgic bands with a forthcoming album are, Modest Mouse is a group that has kind of straddled two generations of listeners. Their first full-length record since 2007, “Strangers to Ourselves,” will be released in March, which provides a jolt of excitement now, plus, if the album’s well liked, this hype will obviously continue to grow.The first two singles “Lampshades on Fire” and “Coyote” point in a positive direction.

Portugal. The Man
The middle-of-the-lineup bands carry a ton of weight. Knowing that you’re going to get to see some of your favorite bands during the afternoon or early evening in a lighter crowd is a big part of the draw. Not everyone’s gonna agree on the headliners, but getting a solid series of heavily-respected, but slightly unde-the-radar bands like Portugal. The Man is always smart. Hopefully that’s a theme of the second wave of announcements.

Sturgill Simpson
A Kentucky native, with two solid albums, who seems to be always gaining momentum, Sturgill Simpson has a sharp, witty and weird brand of psychedelic honky-tonk. His sound is familiar and strange at the same time — it has flashes of old-school country, but is simultaneously some of the most refreshing stuff that deals in roots music right now.

Jeff The Brotherhood
Slacker-rock with 90s fuzz and ambient twists, the Nashville-based duo Jeff The Brotherhood — comprised of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall — have garage-rock athletics mixed with catchy hooks, hitting the coveted middle ground between sloppy and too polished.

Speedy Ortiz
With a big, sludgy, distorted openness, yet quirky, smart time signatures, Speedy Ortiz walks this intriguing line between the minimalism of grunge and the complexities of math rock.

Tickets are currently on sale for Forecastle, which takes place from July 17-19 at Waterfront Park.