5. Social Distortion
Social Distortion – a premier skate-punk craze band, that emerged in in Orange County, CA in the late 1970’s and continued its reign of rockabilly-punk craze for decades. They have influenced bands like The Darlings, Alkaline Trio, and the Old ‘97s. I am especially excited to see Social D play at Shaky Knees for so many reasons, particularly because of the influence they have had on the music in my hometown of Costa Mesa, CA. Although the band has gone through an array of members, Social Distortion’s charismatic frontman, Mike Ness, has kept the band alive and continues to tour. People can expect to see classic-punk aggression, along with a modern new-age energy to be blasted at them from Social Distortion.
Fidlar is one of the hardest hitting, crowd pumping, energizing bands currently escaping from the new revival of surf-skate punk in Southern California. Influenced by groups such as The Adolescents and The Black Lips, Fidlar’s songs are often short, aggressive, with songs about surfing, skating, and drugs. One thing I’m excited about Fidlar being at Shaky Knees is that they are considered a pretty big name in their local scene, but out on the East Coast, they are still a rather small name. They have headlined local festivals such as Burgerama in Costa Mesa, CA, but they are a smaller name on the bill at Shaky Knees. Everyone should give Fidlar a chance because they bring a fresh look to the festivals and are unlike anyone else who is performing this year.
3. Best Coast
Best Coast is another local So-Cal band that has taken off with the local surf-rock revival. With influences like the Beach Boys, Wavves, and Fleetwood Mac, Best Coast combines singer/guitarist Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno to create light-hearted indie pop/rock that will lift you out of any funk you might be in. Their songs are often about the glory of Southern-California break-ups and relationships, but not like the emo, pop-punk bands from middle-school. Best Coast has helped launch many female-led bands such as the Dum Dum Girls, and Shannon and the Clams into a more popular market. You should definitely charge the stage for Best Coast over Frank Turner, who is playing at the same time, because of Best Coast’s ability to please the crowd and create a joyous experience for all who attend.
2. Dr. Dog
Dr. Dog has cracked the mold of “indie rock.” So many bands have saturated the market space of the Indie genre, but Dr. Dog has found something that keeps itself from being associated with all of the other cookie-cutter indie bands. I think it is because of their ability to combine multiple genres of music—indie-rock, 60’s rock, blues and a bit of alternative country— to create their own sound. I’m excited to see Dr. Dog’s light-hearted approaches to touchy subjects performed live.
1. Neutral Milk Hotel
NMH is the reason I heard about Shaky Knees. Ever since being exposed to Neutral Milk Hotel’s second album, In an Aeroplane Over the Sea, a few years back, I was obsessed. Jeff Mangum has created an album that is a complete masterpiece that flows seamlessly. I’m excited to see how they perform the album live. Neutral Milk Hotel is comprised of a countless amount of odd-ball instruments meshed together to create a misfit orchestra of beauty. With only two studio albums recorded, Hotel’s set-lists are rumored to often consist of NMH songs accompanied by Mangum’s solo music as well as Julian Koster’s, NHM’s multi-instrumentalist, solo songs. I have waited years to see Neutral Milk Hotel play live, and that day is just a few short weeks away.
A list by Holden Curran, CisternYard Radio Promotions Team Member and former Host of Best Coast, West Coast.