Next weekend marks the 5th year of the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. 2011 marked my first year as a resident of the state of California and I had an incredible time at my first OSL. For this Friday’s Mix Tape, I wanted to focus on my must-see bands that are hitting the stage well before the sun goes down. Certainly you don’t need anyone telling you that you should go see Stevie Wonder, Jack White or that you need to ponder the drastic differences that are the conflicting sets of Metallica and Sigur Ros.
Leading off is the track Tell Me a Tale off Michael Kiwanuka’s 2012 release Home Again, a shoe-in for my Top 5 Albums of the Year list. Kiwanuka sadly only gets 40 minutes on the Panhandle Stage on Saturday but he’ll be returning to San Francisco to play The Independent on October 7th. Despite winning album of the year honors from Hidden Track in 2011, White Denim only drew a Noon time-slot on Friday at the always beautiful Sutro stage – we listen to their track Burnished. If that 45-minute set leaves you wanting more, White Denim plays a night-show later on Friday with Futurebirds at Brick and Mortar Music Hall.
Former Fleet Foxes drummer turned mushroom-taking bad-ass singer songwriter Father John Misty plays the Pandhandle stage Saturday at 2:55 – we listen to his tongue-in-cheek Writing A Novel from his 2012 release Fear Fun. While Fitz & The Tantrums surely thrive better in a sold-out-club atmosphere, they are guaranteed to get any festival crowd moving with tracks like Moneygrabber, even if it is at the main stage (Lands End Polo Field) at 3:10 on Friday. Fun fact about those guys, they have perfected that soul/funk feel without having a guitar player in the band.
Alabama Shakes are having quite a year and they are playing the Sutro Stage at 3:50 on Saturday. You’ve probably already heard their hit Hold On, this tune – I Found You – is another catchy one from their album Boys and Girls. And finally, if you’ve never heard Tame Impala’s 2010 record Innerspeaker, aka what John Lennon would sound like if he was an Indie Band, you should fix that. Their new album isn’t out yet, but the first single Elephant is taking the blogosphere by storm. You can catch them at the mainstage bright and early at 1:50 on Saturday.