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Festival Preview, Music

10 Must-See Bands at Shaky Knees 2015

By: Daniel Gerichter (@ZenDonut) –

Skaky Knees 2015

 

Nothing signals winter’s death rattle like the beginning of festival season. Summer 2015 may feature more music festivals than comic book movies, and now comes the trouble of choosing which one to go to.  Take a tip from us and give Atlanta’s Shaky Knees a shot. This year’s headliners include The Strokes, Pixies, Wilco, Ryan Adams, Tame Impala, Mastodon and Netural Milk Hotel. Not sold yet? Shaky Knees is no slouch in its supporting cast either. In fact, this year’s lineup is so colossal; it spills out into some of Atlanta’s many downtown venues. Tickets for those cost extra, but there are some can’t-miss bands in there, with very reasonable ticket prices. So take a break from the festival stage, get some Southern BBQ and grab a ticket.

Just like with any festival, you have to make the awful choice to commit to one band while saying “maybe next time” to about a dozen others.  So here are 10 acts playing Shaky Knees 2015 that you should not, under any circumstances, miss.

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Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave
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Troy Andrews (AKA Trombone Shorty) has performed with musicians ranging from Eric Clapton to Kid Rock, for audiences at Coachella to the Obamas. Andrews has earned his notoriety through his explosive, genre-bending performances that blend funk, ragtime jazz, punk and metal. Here he is performing the funkiest version of Green Day’s “Brain Stew” in recorded history.

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Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls
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By now you may or may not know Frank Turner for his 2013 smash hit “Recovery”. Imagine your surprise when you find out the man has a fiery back catalogue packed with songs just as (if not more) memorable and catchy. Turner’s own folk/punk torch songs make you want to wrap an arm around the person next to you and scream his lyrics out – even if you don’t know a word of them.

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The Both
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Taking a break from her sweet gig cleaning homes in Portland, longtime troubadour Aimee Mann hooked up with indie hero Ted Leo to form The Both – a project that has managed to elevate two already-brilliant musicians to all new heights. With The Both, you’ll see two accomplished; storied musicians bring the absolute best out in each other, so see them while you can.

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James Blake
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Mercury Prize and Grammy nominee James Blake is something of an enigma in the music industry. Try pinning one genre on him. Go on, we dare you. Of course you can’t, but Blake’s seamless mashup of soul, R&B, ambient and trip-hop sounds makes for one of today’s most emotional, atmospheric live sets. Here is he totally blowing Letterman’s mind with his song “Retrograde”.

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Hey Rosetta!
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One of many Canadian showings at Shaky Knees, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Hey Rosetta! know damn well how to elevate a crowd. That’s because their energetic, feedback-tinged sound also includes some amazing piano, cello and violins.

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Haerts
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Brooklyn’s Haerts had what Elle Magazine described as ‘the song of the summer’ with 2013’s “Wings” (produced by St. Lucia). They pushed that momentum way forward with their late-2014, self-titled debut album. See them now before they become the next CHVRCHES or La Roux.

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Mac DeMarco
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It’s adorable to watch Americans try to square up Mac Demarco. He’s a rock star whose disdain and love for rock stardom are forever at war. He’s flush with musical talent, but forever out of fucks to give. His music makes you want to find a patch of grass somewhere, lay back and get obliterated for the rest of the day. Demarco’s live shows are the stuff of legend (not always for the best reasons) and we’re pretty sure he’s going to end up mayor of Toronto some day.

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The Devil Makes Three
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In the last five years, folksy, banjo-laden bands have exploded on the scene, whether it’s Mumford and Sons, Alabama Shakes or The Lumineers. California’s The Devil Makes Three are the next big thing in folk.

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The Dead Milkmen (Late Night Show)
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Once upon a time, snarky pricks who were too smart for their own good in high school could create a successful punk band. Take Philadelphia’s legendary The Dead Milkmen for example. With ridiculous songs like “Bitchin Camaro”, “Punk Rock Girl” and a few other songs with titles that are NOT OK to laugh at anymore, this was a band that made their bones shitting on everything they saw around them. Their songs also sound like they were recorded in the bathroom of a condemned Texaco. Catch them at one of Shaky Knees late night shows at Masquerade.

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Portugal, The Man (Late Night Show)
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Wasilla, Alaska has brought us both former American VP candidate Sarah Palin and Portugal the Man. One of them is responsible for nearly a decade of unbelievable performances, while it’s unbelievable the other has been doing something other than performance art for nearly a decade. In all seriousness, go and listen to Portugal, the Man’s 2013 brilliant album Evil Friends right now if you haven’t. Then, head out to Masquerade on Friday May 8th because you’ll probably get a sneak preview of their soon-to-be-released album produced by the Beastie Boys’ Mike D (!!!).

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