We are in the humid midst of festival season, and our southern neighbors have a strong contender with Forecastle, hosted from Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville is a really cool town, kind of in the same vein as Bloomington– but a little larger and with a lot more booze. Forecastle is celebrating its 13th anniversary this weekend. This fest provides a similar feel to larger establishments like Pitchfork and Coachella but is characterized by that Southern hospitality and great food and drink that keeps people coming back to Louisville. And if you’re trying to justify spending the cash for another music festival this summer, Forecastle originally started as a fundraising effort to rehabilitate hotspots across the globe, so you can feel like an environmental hero while simultaneously getting the kind of hammered that only Maker’s Mark can provide. Here are some of the most exciting sets this weekend at Forecastle:
When: Friday, 8 p.m.
Where: WFPK Port Stage
Sometimes reminiscent of Angel Olsen or Waxahatchee songs on songs like “No Below,” Speedy Ortiz excels in more noisy tracks. Their first release, 2013’s Major Arcana, earned the group accolades like Best New Music from Pitchfork. The success of this group may lay in singer and brainchild Sadie Dupuis’ painful lyrical honesty, at times simultaneously conjuring the worst memories of childhood torment and the sweet moments of friendship. The group’s sound combines the best of rock queens like Liz Phair and PJ Harvey with the upbeat college-alt sound of Archers of Loaf. And hopefully, Speedy Ortiz’s show might alleviate that ever-present pain of 90s nostalgia.
Speedy Ortiz performing “Raising the Skate” off their newest album, Foil Deer
My Morning Jacket
When: Saturday, 9:15 p.m.
Where: Mast Stage
Louisville legend My Morning Jacket are headlining Forecastle on Saturday. You may know of the group from the American Dad episode where Stan becomes a groupie for My Morning Jacket, irrefutably the best episode of the show (or maybe I’m just hipster trash). The group has been nominated for two Grammys and combine the best of the psychedelic rock sounds your inner dad loves with the unique genre-bending that’s kept them relevant for over a decade. I saw them at Millennium Park in Chicago in 2012, and I’m still unsure how singer Jim James produces such a cherubic sound. If you’re feeling spiritually depleted, you can’t miss their set on Saturday.
Here’s a video of the group performing “Big Decisions” from their recent release The Waterfall on The Ellen Show of all places
When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m.
Where: Ocean Stage
Houston rapper Fat Tony is probably one of the sets I’m most excited for. With a misnomer that pays homage to The Simpsons, Fat Tony is a noteworthy newcomer. He’s been featured on tracks with Das Racist, A$AP Rocky, and Asher Roth. His brand of rap is formed by cited seeking inspiration from such a different array of artists, from Bikini Kill and Bad Brains to Lil B and E-40. He’s the best of quirky stoner rap, influenced by the relaxed beats and snappy one-liners of Southern rap.
If you’re a fan of the after parties of festivals, you can catch Fat Tony opening for legendary Talib Kweli. This duo will perform midnight on Friday.
The video for “Hood Party” by Fat Tony
When: Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
Where: Ocean Stage
Garzón-Montano has recently come into a larger spotlight when fan favorite Drake sampled “6 8” on 2015’s “Jungle”, a solid track in its own right. Garzón-Montano released his first EP “Bishouné: Alma del Huila” last year, a consistently solid effort that oscillates between mournful downbeat tracks and funky jams. He sounds sometimes like James Blake and sometimes like D’Angelo, but what’s always consistent is the intricacies in his music. And after opening up for Lenny Kravitz’s European tour last year, he’s sure to put on a solid show.
Garzón-Montano performing “6 8” in late 2014
When: Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
Where: WFPK Port Stage
The chaotic six-piece punk group Diarrhea Planet should provide a midday revitalization. Fortunately for the weak-stomached, the group’s poppy, abrasive sound is less repulsive than their name. The Nashville natives have a similar pop-punk-meets-garage-rock sound to fellow Nashvillers JEFF the Brotherhood, who perform at Forecastle on Friday. The set’s atmosphere promises a familiar, high-energy atmosphere to that of the punk house shows here in Bloomington.
Diarrhea Planet performing “Yeah Buddy” in 2014
If Sam Smith, pulled pork sandwiches, and a two-hour drive from Bloomington sounds like a winning combination, Forecastle may be the fest for you. Fortunately it’s not too late to attend. Weekend, day, and late night show tickets are still available.