UtopiaFest Preview: Cornmeal

3:43 pm by

I’ve had the opportunity to catch Cornmeal numerous times over the past few years at a host of festivals including Wakarusa, Harvest Festival and more. At the front of the group is fiddle player Allie Krall, who not only slays her strings, but is also one of the nicest people in the bluegrass and jamband community. The rest of the band are no slouches either, each bringing skill to their instruments that culminates into a fun, dancey newgrass sound. I’d expect their set to be quite rambunctious, and a perfect way to open up the main stage of Utopia on Friday evening. Check out their tune “Hillbilly Ride” below.

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UtopiaFest Preview: The Black And White Years

3:30 pm by

Artsy indie-rockers with a debut produced by Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads. Sign me up. Austin-based The Black And White Years will be entertaining the early dinner crowd on the main stage at this years Utopia with their unique take on your standard indie rock basis. You can definitely hear the Talking Heads influence on a bunch of their music, especially on the track I’ve included below, “Zeroes and Ones.” I’m looking forward to catching their set before heading back to camp to grill up some meat. I have a feeling they might leave one of the best tastes in my mouth of any band playing the festival (other than Dawes and Keller, of course).

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Backseat Jukebox: Deer Tick

9:09 pm by

My good friend Mark Austin has recently revamped his web series, Back Seat Jukebox, and has posted a plethora of videos from the past few months featuring mostly Houston-based artists to go along with the new website. At Houston’s BestFest a few weekends ago, Austin talked the boys of Rhode Island group Deer Tick into taking a ride with him through downtown adorned in as much Monster Energy Drink gear as they could throw on while playing through one of their latest tracks, “The Bump,” from their most recent LP, Divine Providence. Despite cramped quarters, Deer Tick had no problem killing the acoustic version which sounds more like a comedic, bluesy B-side from Exile-era Rolling Stones rather than the norm from the indie-folksters.

Head on over to the Back Seat Jukebox website to see more videos from the likes of Robert Ellis, Buxton, Fat Tony, Young Girls, B L A C K I E, Mason Lankford, Come See My Dead Person and a whole bunch more. There’s so much good stuff over there, you’d be missing out if you didn’t stop by at least for a minute.

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UtopiaFest Preview: Digital Antique

8:38 pm by

Digital Antique are an indie-rock instrumental trio in the same vein as their Austin older brothers Explosions In The Sky, only they twist it up by adding a quartet of classically trained string players for a unique take on experimental and, at some times, dance music. Opening the second day with what promises to be a very relaxing set for the lunchtime crowd, the group should provide some interesting compositions for the start of the musical day that eventually ends about 14 hours later with Art vs. Science who”s previewed just below.

Check out this video from one of their Austin Performances at the now defunct Emo”s Indoor. It”s definitely some intriguing music, and should be the perfect way to get the day moving.

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UtopiaFest Preview: Art Vs. Science

5:04 pm by

Utopia’s diverse lineup comes to its completion on Saturday at midnight with this Aussie dance band closing out the festival. Whatever energy we have left will be spent dancing to their brand of intense electro-funk. Check out some of their official videos (such as the one above) for a few laughs, and then watch their live videos to prepare for how much fun Saturday will be.

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