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The TMN Summer Fest

With South by Southwest already a fading memory and the glory of spring officially upon us, fans of live music across the country are turning their attention to the gigantic summer festivals looming in the distance. Artists are being added to lists every day for juggernauts like Bonnaroo, the Pitchfork Music Festival, Lollapalooza, and Coachella. From the top of the summer (All Points West) to the bottom (Austin City Limits), and even across the pond (Glastonbury), fans of all generations and genres are prepping for what should be a long, hot, loud season of music, and The Morning News has decided to get into the act.

Yes, this summer we’re proud to present The TMN Summer Festival, coming to a town near you, perhaps, though unlikely. The following is small sample of the thousands of bands scheduled to play, with more being added every day.

Alphabeat, “The Hours” (download)

The opening set for all stops along the way belongs to Danish group Alphabeat, whose defiantly principled pop is just recently getting attention in the States. Their self-titled album has yet to be released here, but with tracks as plucky and ingratiating as “The Hours,” it’s only a matter of time before America catches on. Sure to whistle their way into your heart, the band members (three of which are named Anders, interestingly enough) are contractually obligated to give piggyback rides to anyone who shows up after their set wearing face paint, which should be a lot of people considering we’re putting the face-painting tent right next to their stage. In case you were wondering, Alphabeat’s favorite face painting is a unicorn eating butterflies.

Dino 5, “Yeah Me Too” (download)

After your young ones (or college buddies) get their faces all smudgy from the piggyback rides (and the heat. My god, the heat.), it might be time to take them over to the Kid’s Korner Stage for a performance by Dino 5, the completely unexpected hip-hop-for-kids supergroup helmed by Prince Paul (as DJ Stegosaurus; formerly a producer of De La Soul, Gravediggaz, and Handsome Boy Modeling School) and featuring members of the Roots, Jurassic 5, and Digable Planets. Basically you can dump your kids (or buddies) with Dino 5, who will keep a close eye on and entertain them, while you go pay 10 bucks for a light beer and load up on the hemp jewelry.

The Who, “I Can’t Reach You” (download)

A big draw for fans of classic rock at this year’s Fest will be the completely reformed Who (including a reincarnated rhythm section). Just for this tour, Keith Moon and John Entwistle will join living legends Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey on the Center Stage for a daring instrumental re-envisioning of Petra Haden’s seminal a cappella album Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out in its entirety. Of course, in the hands of these seasoned professionals, songs like “I Can’t Reach You” and “I Can See for Miles” will sound like second nature, rock and roll trailblazers that they are. A word of caution: Due to the ill-conceived reanimation of human tissue, a zombie bloodbath may ensue.

Meshuggah, “obZen” (download)

Speaking of, who better to set the tone for a bloodbath than Swedish polymetric thrash pioneers Meshuggah? Playing several tracks off their recently released obZen, including the title track above, this five-piece hailing from the land of ice and snow will undoubtedly bring a dreadfully hoary chill to the hearts of everyone in earshot. And after you’ve had your face melted by their blistering hot riffs—such is their antipodal nature—come see the band as they manage the Book Bus (of course our festival has a Book Bus) and discuss this summer’s selection, E.M. Forster’s Room With a View. Be prepared to have your preconceived notions of Edwardian society thoroughly deconstructed, but not to worry. Meshuggah doesn’t want Lucy to marry Cecil any more than you do.

Britta Persson, “Cliffhanger” (download)

A fellow Swede like Meshuggah, but distant in terms of absolutely everything else, Britta Persson will be performing plenty of adorable indie pop—reminiscent of the halcyon days of Belly and Liz Phair—from her recent album Kill Hollywood Me, in that order. Thrill seekers and challenge junkies will be happy to learn that after a few hits like “Cliffhanger,” she’ll be hosting the world’s first kissing/pie-eating booth, which combines her love of the two sports. The rule is, if you can down a pie before Britta does, you get to kiss her. Also, no one’s ever gotten to kiss her.

Glenn Gould, “Chromatic Fantasy in D Minor” (download)

Another dead musician touring with our whole sick crew this summer will be famed classical pianist Glenn Gould. Reprising several famous interpretations of J.S. Bach’s oeuvre from his Goldberg Variations, as well as supplementary numbers like the “Chromatic Fantasy,” Gould is sure to impress with his technical mastery and dexterity. Also, unlike the lazy sound engineering in the studio recordings, at our festival Mr. Gould’s voice will be properly miked so his tonal mutterings can be fully appreciated. While not performing, Mr. Gould can be found working in the face-painting tent or bare-knuckle boxing the members of Alphabeat.

Finally, every show ends with this kid:


TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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