From Angolan kuduro and gauzy psychedelia to local garage punk and silent disco: It'll be a packed weekend of Treasure Island Music Festival's chords and beats
BLACK INTELLIGENSIA We know it's not Treasure Island's fault that the "dance day" usually contains all the performers of color (although the continued attempt to segregate rock and electronic music grows more hilariously threadbare each year). This time, however, the difference is pretty stark, with an amazing Saturday lineup of black talent. Dizzee Rascal and Buraka Som Sistema will dominate the "hands in the air" market (see above). Meanwhile, pushing us deeper into musical consciousness: chart success Aloe Blacc (12:45-1:25 p.m., Tunnel Stage) uncannily revives live soul revue and Motown sounds a la Sharon Jones; Seattle's excellent Shabazz Palaces (1:30-2:15 p.m., Bridge Stage) expand impressionistic electronic hip-hop into Afro-Surrealist territory; and ultimate head-tripper Flying Lotus (7:05-7:50 p.m.), the ever-smiling, cloud-exhaling prophet of future bass, will bring it all back around, fusing hyper-intelligent beats with nonstop erotic dancing.
BREAKFAST CLUB Locals, the always excellent/frantic-yet-danceable garage-punk act Thee Oh Sees (noon–12:40 p.m., Bridge Stage), featuring SF legend John Dwyer (Pink and Brown, Coachwhips, bicycling down the Wiggle), and everyone's favorite gothic Jesus and Mary Chainers, Weekend (12:40-1:20 p.m., Tunnel Stage) — are playing pretty early in the day, like, barely after noon, so you'll have to grab a hangover-curing Little Bird tofu breakfast sandwich to scarf down in the shuttles line just to catch the locals in time. And you should, both acts bring it. Have you heard Weekend's 2010 output, Sports, and brand new EP, Red? Both genius. Luckily, the Bay Area bands play back-to-back, so you'll be able to take a sleepy Ferris wheel spin immediately following the one-two sets.
ANIMAL ATTRACTION Wild Beasts (3:45-4:15 p.m., Tunnel Stage) seems on the verge of a major break-through, or perhaps, a blow up, possibly thanks to a recent Lady Gaga remix ("You and I"). The band, which makes a thrilling, uncompromising sound dubbed "erotic downbeat," released third album Smother (Domino) earlier this year to critical acclaim, some lauding the band's ability to include sexual moans into digi-art pop — Beasts indeed. On the less raw sex-oozing tip, there's the sophisticated introspection of the other creature-related Treasure Island act this year, the Antlers (1:25-2:05 p.m., Bridge Stage), the shimmering Brooklyn act led by singer Peter Silberman's warbly-intimate vocal crooning. So vast is the forest of sound.
NAME DROPPED Effervescent, gauzy-psychedlia layered Warpaint (2:05-2:45 p.m., Tunnel Stage) will surely bring out the preening masses. The former buzz band, with four — alright we'll say it — stunning females, adorned typically in '70s gypsy Stevie Nicks garb, and sounds that conjure both Bjork and Toro Y Moi, is bound to generate interest. Apparently so much so that Up All Night, a new Will Arnett sitcom about aged hipsters coyly slipped in the band's name in episode two. What, if any, effect will this have on the Los Angeles quartet? Time will tell. But for now, expect the PYTs at Treasure Island front and center.