SnowBall Music Festival 2013 tipsheet: The eight must-see acts you should catch Sunday
Ah, yes, Sunday morning coming down. I believe that's how Kris Kristofferson once described the tail end of an epic bender, what, with no way to hold his head in a way that didn't ache and what have you. Hopefully you didn't go too hard the past two days; there's still one day of great music to look forward to. Nothing like a little hair of the dog to get you going. While you've been nursing your hangover and trying to get your wits about you, we've pulled together another list of must-see acts for today. Keep reading to see what made the list. Oh and if you stayed behind in the city, worry not: There's still some great shows to check out tonight.
SURFER BLOOD - MAIN STAGE, 03:45 - 04:45 References to sun and surf are integral/inevitable parts of the Surfer Blood's tropical soundscape, but it's the young dudes' sense of humor that may contribute most to the band's longevity (see the video for "Swim," featuring a Mickey and Minnie Mouse beating the crap out of a guy with a walker). Surfer Blood makes music that could have happened fifteen years ago, but it sits nicely between contemporaries like Wavves and Vampire Weekend while paying obvious homage to the Beach Boys' early time in the sand.
AEROPLANE - GROOVE TENT, 02:30 - 03:45 Yes, disco follows a formula. But Belgian-Italian producer Aeroplane (AKA Vito De Luca) isn't thinking small when it comes to the genre. He's not even concerned with floor fillers. In fact, he's aiming for nothing short of cosmic disco rapture, taking his cues from the '70s prog rock giants like Pink Floyd just as much as Italo-disco masters like Giorgio Moroder. The epic musicality of De Luca's productions is apparent in 2010 debut long player We Can't Fly, which garnered rave reviews from both the mainstream music press and underground EDM critics. In other words, he's found that rare balance between pop accessibility and underground cred. But fluff aside, Aeroplane's product is still disco, which means he's here to make you boogie.
MICHAL MENERT - GROOVE TENT, 02:30 - 03:45 Laying low in Colorado and working on new tunes in the studio, Pretty Lights Music artist Michal Menert returns to SnowBall once again. With solo and collaborative sets last year (Menert works with PLM artist Paul Basic in the super-combo Half Color), Menert obviously struck a chord with both the promotors and fans, as he's slated for a prime closing day slot. Sure to bring the fire, Menert is always full of new music and remixes and playing during the day, as strange as it seems to party while the suns still up, is one of the best parts of being at SnowBall. Tune your ears to the groove tent, and you'll hear Menert wailing away on the MPC with unstoppable passion that sends you into a post-lunch frenzy.
ROBERT RANDOLPH - MAIN STAGE, 05:15 - 06:30 Robert Randolph may be the most original artist to erupt from contemporary music since Jimi Hendrix shouldered a white Stratocaster and played left-handed electric rock-and-roll lightning. Randolph's instrument and style of choice are decidedly different from Hendrix's; he plays the pedal steel, a guitar long associated with the mournful weep of country music, and he uses it in the service of sacred steel, a gospel style that evolved in the earliest part of the 20th century, in the House of God arm of the Pentecostal Church. At the age of seventeen, Randolph learned the pedal steel from an uncle; over the course of a summer, the teen-ager evolved from a pupil with no apparent talent for music into a master of jaw-dropping proportions.
TENNIS - BALLROOM, 06:30 - 07:30 Shortly after forming, Tennis released two 7-inches that generated a flurry of widespread acclaim that led to the Denver band being picked up by Fat Possum Records, who issued 2011's Cape Dory and 2012's Young & Old. For last year's follow-up, the band enlisted Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney to produce. While it would have been easy for the group to rely on the formula that worked for its debut, the members challenged themselves to take the music in a different direction, and crafted material that carries more heft than its predecessor without losing the breezy insouciance that made the early songs so immediately captivating. The lyrics this time out didn't come from Riley and Moore's personal experiences, as they had on Cape Dory. Instead, paradoxically, Moore's words aim for universal expressions of subjective truths.
FLYING LOTUS - GROOVE TENT, 07:45 - 08:45 Flying Lotus is one of the most innovative electronic producers out right now. Born Steven Ellison but better known these days by his stage handle, the L.A.-based artist began making beats at the age of fourteen, and with his omnivorous taste in music, he's gone on to create lush, detailed music with a soothing flow and depth that could never be classified purely as hip-hop, or ambient, or EDM, or anything in particular, really. Rather, Flying Lotus makes the kind of music you have to take on its own terms with the ensuing reward of merely enjoying the work of an artist with a truly developed imagination and honed creativity.
GRIZMATIK - MAIN STAGE, 07:00 - 08:00 Worlds collided in the best way possible when GRiZ (aka Grant Kwiecinski) and Gramatik (aka Denis Jaravesic), joined forces for to create the jazzy, funkadelic and all around heavy-hitting super collaboration of Grizmatik. With the first release appropriately titled "Digital Liberation is Mad Freedom" (a play on their respective solo albums), the demand for more creations was instant. Combining the hip-hop heavy background of the pair's own saxophone and jazz upbringing, Grizmatik has made cameo appearances at festivals all over the country. As a veteran of SnowBall, Gramatik is no stranger to the elements, but teaming up with GRiZ on the bill as Grizmatik will give listeners a whole new appreciation for both artist's creations.
STS9 - MAIN STAGE, 08:30 - 10:00 Colorado is a favorite spot for many artists, but few are welcomed with such open arms on a regular basis as the Athens, Georgia-based psychedelic jam rockers Sound Tribe Sector 9. After a successful New Year's Eve three-night run, the quintet returned for some shows in Telluride before making their SnowBall headlining debut. With the lighting design done by none other than the master of spectral layering, Saxton Waller, STS9's set will surely be the best way for a snow filled weekend to close out. Based on some set lists we've seen from the past few shows, it's a safe bet that their closeout set will take a monumental turn after what might be one of the most spiritual build-ups that Winter Park resort will ever see.
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