FYF Fest, the little music festival that could, celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend with its most impressive lineup yet. Nearly 60 bands and 14 comedians are scheduled to perform at L.A. State Historic Park during the two-day shindig on stages named after Sex and the City characters.
While this year’s roster features fewer artists than in the past (perhaps to combat logistical snafus), the quality of the lineup makes it harder to decide which acts to see. Here are our picks for Day 1 of FYF 2013:
Saturday, August 24
Mikal Cronin (4-4:30 p.m.; Carrie Stage): After graduating from CalArts in 2011, Laguna Beach native Cronin moved to San Francisco, where he has spent the last two years jamming with pals like Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees (both of whom are also playing FYF) while polishing up his poppy, garage rock sound.
The Underachievers (4:25-5 p.m.; Miranda Stage): Brooklyn rappers Issa Dash and Ak spit sharp, quick verses over swaying, mind-massaging beats—meaning they're right at home on Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label, which they joined last year.
Roky Erickson (4:30-5:15 p.m.; Samantha’s Tent): The psychedelic rocker’s long struggle with schizophrenia kept him from touring for decades. With the help of his family, Erickson started playing gigs again a few years ago, showcasing a weathered voice that’s still suited for songs like “Night of the Vampire.”
Ty Segall (5-5:45 p.m.; Charlotte Stage): Segall, who’s been a major player in S.F.’s recent garage rock revival, just put out his eighth solo album Sleeper, which shows off a softer acoustic side of the frenetic performer.
Charles Bradley (5:10-6 p.m.; Carrie Stage): It’d be easy to mistake Charles Bradley for a veteran performer. His raspy, emotive crooning is a welcome callback to 1960s funk and soul, but the Florida singer’s career didn’t start until 2002, when he was 62 years old.
TV on the Radio (9:15-10:10 p.m.; Carrie Stage): Brooklyn indie rockers TV on the Radio have long been a critical favorite, but the band hasn’t done much touring following the death of bassist Gerard Smith in 2011. Last month they released their first new song in two years, “Mercy,” which features a more straightforward rock sound.
FLAG (9:55-10:40 p.m.; Miranda Stage): Getting sued by ex-bandmate Greg Ginn isn’t enough to stop former Black Flag members Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, Dez Cadena, and Bill Stevenson (along with former Descendants guitarist Stephen Egerton) from thrashing their way through the punk band’s discography.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs (10:45 p.m. – midnight; Carrie Stage): More than four years after their last album, art rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs released Mosquito in April. Even those who aren’t fans of the new material should expect to be stunned into submission by frontwoman Karen O’s electrifying stage presence.