First City Festival is taking place this weekend in Monterey with the well-known likes of Modest Mouse, Passion Pit, Neko Case, and MGMT heading an impressive inaugural lineup. Don’t let yourself get completely caught up in the big names though—you might miss something incredible.
1) Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks: Animal Collective member Avey Tare announced this side project (with former Dirty Projectors member Angel Deradoorian and former Ponytail drummer Jeremy Hyman) just this spring. No word on an album yet, but recent show footage confirms Avey Tare brings some of Animal Collective’s trademark mysticism into the mix.
2) Electric Guest: Their debut album Mondo was co-produced by Danger Mouse, but Electric Guest’s sound is brimming with more than jazzy electronic beats. Vacillating vocals and an occasional druggy aside make the LA-based duo a band to watch—and catch.
3) Jeffertitti’s Nile: Helmed by eccentric Father John Misty bassist, Jeffertitti, the band delivers a more psychedelic vibe than Father John Misty allows. Recently, FJM himself (aka Josh Tillman) has returned to his Fleet Foxes roots and hopped onstage to play drums alongside the group, so keep an eye on the drum set this weekend. (And though it goes without saying, Tillman’s enthralling onstage antics as Father John Misty are a must-see.)
4) Tennis: The sultry sounds of this husband-and-wife indie-pop duo are guaranteed to sweeten your day. Their sophomore effort Young and Old was produced by some guy named Patrick Carney, one half of a little band called the Black Keys.
5) Akron/Family: These experimental noise-rockers embody the idiom “everything but the kitchen sink,” hailing from all corners of the country and delivering a show that will leave you with the best feeling of, “What the fuck just happened?” that you’ve experienced in a long time.
First City is just a few days away, and tickets are still on sale. What are you waiting for?