Free Press Summer Fest 2012 Preview

<div> <a href="features/features/free_press_summer_fest_2012_preview/"><img src="" alt="Free Press Summer Fest 2012 Preview" /></a> </div> <p> Houston is the fourth-largest city in the U.S., but rarely gets the respect that it is...
Free Press Summer Fest 2012 Preview

2012 looks to be the strongest year yet, with a diverse line-up of country, hip-hop (finally a festival with the redheaded stranger & the D-O-double-G…), indie, electronica, rock, dance, and more:



Stage 1

Afrojack, 9:00 PM

Another electronic artist hailing from The Netherlands, Afrojack is one of the hottest new DJs in the world.



Snoop Dogg, 7:10 PM

Do you really need to be introduced to Snoop Dogg (QRO photos at a festival)?  Unless you’ve been living on that island from Lost with The Others for the past twenty-plus years, you’ve seen Snoop (QRO photos) from his part in Death Row Records’ West Coast rap ascendance (QRO photos on the West Coast) with "Gin and Juice" through his legal troubles and ‘less-than-amicable’ split from Death Row to today’s chart-topping success in hip-hop and mainstream, most recently with this year’s Doggumentary.  His high profile and relatively laid-back, but charming, persona these days have also made him ubiquitous on screen, whether cameoing as himself in everything from Showtime’s Weeds to T-Mobile Sidekick ads, or guest-spotting as a rapper from Showtime’s L Word to ABC daytime soap One Life to Live (not to mention having his own reality show, Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood, and filling the quintessential pimp role as Huggy Bear in the big screen remake of Starsky & Hutch).  But Snoop will be returning to rhyming when he’s on stage, as the latest hip-hop star to try to woo the indie-crowd (QRO photos outdoors at a festival).

Snoop Dogg


Major Lazer, 5:20 PM

The collaboration between DJ/producers Diplo (see below) and Switch (QRO photos) made a serious breakthrough in 2009 as Major Lazer (QRO photos at a festival), with Guns Don’t Kill People…  Lazers Do, and followed it up in 2010 with tour EP Lazers Never Die – and word is they’ve got a new release coming up this year.

Major Lazer


Z-Ro, 4:20 PM

Houston’s own Z-Ro – called one of America’s most underrated rappers by none other than the New York Times – comes to his hometown stage.



Morris Day & The Time, 3:00 PM

"Don’t you ever say an unkind word about The Time!"  Jay & Silent Bob might be the biggest fans of The Time – including having them play the finale of Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back – but they’re still most associated with Prince, who recruited the group and singer Morris Day in 1981 to explore his early pop-funk side.  However, there was tension between the two successful camps during tours, and after the group was featured in Purple Rain, the group went through more line-up changes and break-ups, as well as name changes, but are still consistent, exciting performers today.

Morris Day & The Time


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, 1:40 PM

The ever-inventive Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (QRO live review) are back (QRO photos).  Back in 2007 the group (QRO photos at a festival) were one of the first to reject the mainstream not just in sound but also in business with their self-release of their sophomore record, Some Loud Thunder (QRO review).  But after that critical and commercial acclaim, singer/songwriter Alec Ounsworth (QRO solo photos) went solo with Mo Beauty (QRO review).  However, he’s since returned to the CYHSY (QRO photos at a festival) fold with last year’s Hysterical (QRO review) & single "Maniac" (QRO review), and this band (QRO photos at a festival) is best known for their electric live shows (QRO live review), with their loyal fans (QRO live review) bringing the house down every time (QRO photos).



Sideshow Tramps, 12:20 PM

G.Wizz, 11:30 AM

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah


Stage 2: Budweiser

The Flaming Lips, 8:00 PM

There’s a good reason The Flaming Lips (QRO photos at a festival) have been so popular for so long on the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival), including FPSF 2010, as there is no live show out there like a Flaming Lips live show (QRO live review).  Confetti cannons, costumes, video screens, balloons from the sky, puppets, singer/guitarist Wayne Coyne surfing the crowd in a giant plastic bubble – The Lips have it all (QRO photos), and expect them to take it even higher (QRO photos at a festival).  Oh, and they’ve got some great music, too, from early nineties hit "She Don’t Use Jelly" to seminal The Soft Bulletin (QRO photos from top-to-bottom performance, at a festival), as well as 2006’s Grammy Award-winning At War With the Mystics (even put out a movie, Christmas On MarsQRO review), and 2009’s Embryonic (QRO review).

Recently, The Flaming Lips (QRO photos outdoors) have been doing special album performances at festivals, such as their Soft Bulletin – and at Free Press they’re performing Pink Floyd’s seminal Dark Side of the Moon!

The Flaming Lips


Erykah Badu & The Cannabinoids, 6:15 PM

No festival is complete without an acclaimed diva, and FPSF got a good one in Erykah Badu.  The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter (and Texan) blazed the neo-soul trail, earning comparisons to the likes of Billie Holiday & Nina Simone.  More recently she stirred up controversy with her video for "Window Seat" by stripping down completely – and illegally, in Dealey Plaza (inspired by the video for "Lessons Learned" by Matt & Kim – QRO photos of Matt & Kim with Badu at a festival).

Erykah Badu


Two Door Cinema Club, 4:55 PM

Hailing from Northern Ireland, but debuting on French label Kitsuné (QRO photos at a festival in France), Two Door Cinema Club (QRO photos) have made a splash in America with songs like "Kids" (QRO video) and "I Can Talk" (QRO video), as well with breakthrough debut Tourist History out now in a deluxe edition (QRO review) for all you late-comers to da Club (QRO photos at a festival).

Two Door Cinema Club


Phantogram, 3:40 PM

Barsuk brings Saratoga Springs’ dancetronica act Phantogram (QRO photos at a festival), who have been getting notice less for their debut full-length Eyelid Movies (QRO review) than their enchanting live show (QRO photos at a festival) – but will it work outdoors in the afternoon (QRO photos outdoors at a festival)?




Once and sometimes still known as ‘Starfucker’ (QRO photos) – and also as PYRAMID – having ‘fuck’ in your name isn’t the career handicap it used to be, as the Portland-based electronic band (QRO photos) have been making dance music that’s also great to listen to.



Best Coast, 1:00 PM

Los Angeles’ Best Coast (QRO live review) is a practical veteran at the still-new garage-scene, but a goodie (QRO photos at a festival), combining surf, garage, indie, and pop for a sound (QRO photos) that’s sure to be sweet coming from frontwoman Bethany Cosentino (QRO live review) outdoors (QRO photos outdoors).  They come to Free Press behind The Only Place, out right before FPSF (QRO photos at a festival in Texas).



The Wheel Workers, 12:00 PM

Best Coast


Stage 3

R3HAB/Bobby Burns, 5:30 PM

Stage 1 (see above) has the Netherlands’ Afrojack spinning to close out the stage, while Stage 3 has fellow Hollander R3HAB.



Quintron & Ms. Pussycat, 4:20 PM

One-man band/nightclub runner/musical instrument inventor Robert Bolson, a.k.a. Quintron, teams up with his wife/musician Panacea Theriac, a.k.a. Miss Pussycat (and we’re not to sure that "Panacea Theriac" is a real name, either – QRO photos).

Quintron & Miss Pussycat


Diplo, 2:50 PM

Born in Mississippi of all places, Thomas Wesley Pentz – Diplo (QRO photos) – has become a true ‘citizen of the world’, discovering & spreading everyone from Americans Amanda Blank (QRO photos) and Santigold (QRO photos) to Sri Lanka’s M.I.A. (QRO photos) and Brazil’s ‘baile funk’.  He’s also hitting up Free Press as one-half of Major Lazer (see above), but he’s also on his own.



Turquoise Jeep, 1:40 PM

MC Buda Love, 1:00 PM

Ceeplus Bad Knives, 12:00 PM



Stage 4: 29-95

Fatal Flying Guilloteens, 7:00 PM

Watch out for Fatal Flying Guilloteens!

Fatal Flying Guilloteens


Valient Thorr, 6:00 PM

Screw Avenger Chris Hemsworth – the real god of thunder is Valient Thorr (QRO photos), who have been bringing the thunder ever since the dawn of the new millennium (QRO photos).



Venomous Maximus, 5:00 PM

Los Skarnales, 4:00 PM

Bombon, 3:00 PM

Brains For Dinner, 2:00 PM

thelastplaceyoulook, 1:00 PM

Ashes of Babylon, 12:00 PM

Valient Thorr


Stage 5: Chipotle

DJ Bizz, 7:30 PM


JEFF The Brotherhood, 6:40 PM

While they’re brothers from Nashville, Jake & Jamin Orrall fit in perfectly with the hard rockin’ psych-garage that’s coming out of Brooklyn these days.

JEFF The Brotherhood


Maps and Atlases, 5:30 PM 

Chicago’s Maps and Atlases (QRO photos at a festival in Chicago) have moved from their math-rock early days to a more country-pop style today (QRO photos).  Beware and Be Grateful, their follow-up to 2010’s debut full-length Perch Patchwork (QRO review), just came out in April, so look for new songs at Free Press Summer Fest.


Sister Crayon, 4:30 PM

Maps & Atlases


Chelsea Wolfe, 3:30 PM


Quiet Corral, 2:30 PM

From Lawrence, Kansas, Quiet Corral mix folk and pop – and class.

Quiet Corral

The Big Sleep, 1:30 PM

When The Big Sleep (QRO photos) first appeared earlier this century/millennium, their shoegaze seemed like something from a decade ago amidst the garage-rock and indietronica of their native Brooklyn (QRO photos in Brooklyn).  So the group (QRO photos) disappeared, but shoegaze is back, and so are The Big Sleep (QRO photos at a festival).



Zlam Dunk, 12:30 PM

The Big Sleep


Stage 6

Bad Veins, 7:00 PM

Queen City duo Bad Veins (QRO photos) are a favorite of bloggers, and have just released their sophomore full-length, The Mess We’ve Made.



Sundress, 6:00 PM

Tyagaraja, 5:00 PM

Love Horse, 4:00 PM

Zorch, 3:00 PM

Espantapajaros, 2:00 PM

East Cameron Folkcore, 1:00 PM

The Journey Agents, 12:00 PM

Bad Veins


Stage 7

Caddywhompus, 7:00 PM

Riff Tiffs, 6:00 PM

Bang Bangz, 5:30 PM

Glasnost, 4:30 PM

Eyes Burn Electric, 3:30 PM

Pale, 2:30 PM

The Eastern Sea, 1:00 PM

Kirby Brown, 12:30 PM

Caddy Whompus


SHFL Stage

David Liebe Hart, 6:00 PM

Rusted Shoot, 5:30 PM

Future Blondes, 5:00 PM

Black Leather Jesus, 4:30 PM

Poopy Longstuffing, 4:00 PM

Gorealah Soul, 3:30 PM

Lazer Cun°ZZ, 2:45 PM

Escatones, 2:00 PM

The Annoysters, 1:30 PM

Clockpeople, 12:45 PM

Papaya, 12:00 PM

David Liebe Hart




Stage 1

Pretty Lights, 9:00 PM 

Colorado-based producer Derek Vincent Smith (QRO photos at a festival) puts some energy behind his electronic work as Pretty Lights (QRO photos at a festival), with 2009’s Filling Up the City Skies free to download.

Pretty Lights


The Avett Brothers, 7:00 PM

One of the bigger – and better – hits of today’s new Americana, The Avett Brothers (QRO photos) won a wide audience with 2009’s fine country of I and Love and You (QRO review), including playing on The Grammys with Bob Dylan.

The Avett Brothers


Willie Nelson, 4:50 PM

There are few musicians as beloved across the spectrum as Willie Nelson (QRO photos in Texas).  The practical inventor of the seventies’ ‘outlaw country’ genre, he’s beloved even in the reddest of states, including his native Texas (Hank Hill of King of the Hill even cites him as his favorite musician…).  But his musical appeal spans the political divide (Bobby Hill called him "alternative" – boy ain’t right…), aided by his high-profile advocacy of environmental causes – including his own bio-diesel bus – and marijuana.

Willie Nelson


Young the Giant, 3:00 PM

These Irvine natives toiled for years as The Jakes, but when they changed their name to Young the Giant (QRO photos at a festival), things finally took off (QRO photos at a festival), with their self-(new) titled album & TV performances, including at MTV’s Video Music Awards.  They’ve since been gracing bigger (QRO photos) and bigger (QRO photos) stages.



Robert Ellis, 1:40 PM

Grandfather Child, 12:20 PM

DJ Fredster, 12:30 AM

Young the Giant


Stage 2, Budweiser

Primus, 8:00 PM 

Mixing alternative and funk in a Frizzle Fry sauce is Les Claypool’s (QRO interview) Primus (QRO spotlight on).  Fronted by one of the most acclaimed bassists out there today, Primus first came to widespread notice in the early nineties thanks to Sailing the Seas of Cheese (QRO live review) and Pork Soda, with songs like "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver", "Tommy the Cat", "My Name Is Mud", and "Mr. Krinkle", delivering a weird funk-driven rock sound akin to an accessible Residents (QRO live review).  Primus went on hiatus at the start of this century/millennium (after composing the theme to South Park), with Claypool working solo (QRO photos at a festival – and composed the theme to Robot Chicken), before reforming, first as nostalgia, but then with last year’s new Green Naugahyde (QRO review), and have kept on going strong (QRO photos).



Descendents, 6:00 PM

Amid the plethora of indie reunions in the twenty-first century, one of the most welcome was that of Los Angeles’ own Descendents (QRO photos at a festival).  One of the seminal punk bands of the eighties, singer/research biochemist Milo Aukerman left the group in 1987, with which the rest of the Descendents (QRO photos at a festival) recruited a new singer and became All, but Aukerman returned in 1995.  The group went on hiatus again in 2004, but 2010 saw them return, again – so go see where today’s punk is Descended from (QRO photos).



Portugal. The Man, 3:55 PM

This West Coast draws from far up its shore with Alaska’s Portugal. The Man (QRO photos at a festival).  The rambling grunge outfit (QRO photos at a festival) garnered new fans with 2007 sophomore release Church Mouth (QRO review), and its unhinged alt-rock (QRO live review), though slipped somewhat since then, even while finally playing Europe (QRO photos at a European festival).  Their latest, major label debut The Mountain In the Cloud (QRO review), is more psych-lite, but they still bring it live (QRO live review).

Portugal. The Man


Fitz & The Tantrums, 2:10 PM

While acts like FPSF 2011’s Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (QRO album review) revive the soul sound, Los Angeles’ Fitz & The Tantrums (QRO photos) are reinventing it with an indie-pop twist. 

Fitz & The Tantrums


Wild Moccasins, 1:00 PM

QRO’s favorite local Houston outfit Wild Moccasins (QRO live review) return again to FPSF – they’ve played it every year.  The collective of kids (who are older than they look, but are they at drinking age yet?…) came out with their debut full-length, Skin Collusion Past (QRO review), with songs like "Calendar" (QRO video) to go with Microscopic Metronomes EP pieces such as "Fruit Tea" (QRO video).



DJ Sun & Resolution, 12:20 PM

Wild Moccasins


Stage 3

Shabazz Palaces, 6:50 PM

Hip-hop collective Shabazz Palaces (QRO photos at a festival in the Pacific Northwest) hail from Seattle – that’s why their latest, Black Up (QRO review), was released by indie label Sub Pop, better known for starting the grunge sound from up there twenty years ago.

Shabazz Palaces

Danny Brown, 5:40 PM

Detroit rapper Danny Brown earned serious critical acclaim last year with XXX, SPIN‘s hip-hop album of the year – so who knows what 2012 will bring for the man described by MTV as "one of rap’s most unique figures in recent memory."

Danny Brown


Big Freedia, 4:50 PM

Just as the post-Katrina rebuilding of New Orleans has been taking a while, so has the post-Katrina (re)discovery of New Orleans music – but one of the biggest & best to come out of the Big Easy is bounce music, mixing hip-hop with local dance and Mardi Gras call-and-response, and one of the biggest & best in bounce is Big Freedia (QRO photos at a festival), with the big asses (QRO photos). 

Big Freedia

Wallpaper., 3:50 PM

From the Bay Area comes Wallpaper, who’ve been covering the local scene and have since taken their dance party on the road.



Lim, 2:50 PM

Fat Tony, 2:00 PM

Bart Black, 1:00 PM

Suraj K, 11:40 AM



Stage 4, 29-95

David Garza, 7:00 PM

Austin’s David Garza infuses his rock and pop with a Latin feel.

David Garza


Infantree, 6:00 PM

Infantree is a symbol for growth.  Whether it is intellectual, spiritual, physical, or emotional; growth is growth.  If left unchecked, exponential growth could devour prosperity as we know it.  Only when it’s applied within a means does growth reach it’s true potential of ceaseless sustainability.  Infantree (QRO photos at a festival) applies this method by way of harmony, like-mindedness, and an articulation of each individual’s role/capacity as a musician/human-being.  At the same time the use of childlike reckless abandon seems key to wading through the water-mark left by the mainstream mindset.  This dynamic has helped the members of Infantree to spread their roots as friends while simultaneously growing as a band.




Vanaprasta, 5:00 PM

Last Year’s Men, 4:00 PM 

Ponderosa, 3:00 PMQRO photos at a festival

Second Lovers, 2:00 PM

Papermoon, 1:00 PM

Harts of Oak, 12:00 PM



Stage 5, Chipotle

Electric Touch, 7:30 PM

Texas’ own Electric Touch (QRO photos at a festival in Texas) do have a British singer, Shane Lawlor, but since when is being a Brit a bad thing in rock ‘n’ roll?

Electric Touch


What Made Milwaukee Famous, 6:30 PM

From Texas, not Wisconsin, What Made Milwaukee Famous (QRO photos) return to FPSF after playing its inaugural year.

What Made Milwaukee Famous


Orgone, 5:30 PM

Los Angeles’ Orgone draw from the funk & soul of the sixties & seventies.



A Sea Es, 4:30 PM

The Manichean, 3:30 PM

Featherface, 2:30 PM

Quiet Company, 1:30 PM

Suite 709, 12:30 PM



Stage 6

Girl In a Coma, 7:00 PM

From the other side of Texas, but this side of the border (QRO photos outdoors), San Antonio’s Girl In a Coma (QRO photos at a festival in Texas) bring the rock (QRO photos).

Girl In a Coma


Ume, 6:00 PM 

Hard hitting Austin trio Ume (pronounced oooo-may – QRO photos at a festival), has drawn comparisons with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (QRO album review), Metric (QRO live review), and Sonic Youth (QRO live review).



Touche Amore, 5:00 PM

Ancient Wisdom, 4:00 PM

Square and Compass, 3:00 PM

New Bruises, 1:30 PM

The Freakouts, 1:00 PM

Jon Black, 12:00 PM



Stage 6

The Tontons, 7:30 PM

The Watermarks, 6:30 PM

The Sour Notes, 5:30 PM

New York City Queens, 4:30 PM

The Small Sounds, 3:30 PM

The Electric Primadonnas, 2:30 PM

tba, 1:30 PM

Black Coffee, 12:30 PM

Giant Battle Monster


SHFL Stage

Giant Battle Monster, 6:00 PM

Darwin’s Finches, 5:00 PM

Jody Seabody & The Whirls, 4:00 PM

The Grass Skirts, 3:00 PM

Demonic Hen, 2:30 PM

Muzak John, 2:15 PM

Black Magic Marker, 2:00 PM

The Anarchitex, 1:00 PM

Immigrant Punk, 12:00 PM

The Tontons


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