Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: IDentity Festival + New York City Queens + excuseMesir + Perseph One + More

We’re onto Saturday, August 11th, now, and while it’s a little bit quieter than it’s been recently, there’s still some good stuff going on. Here we go:

IDentity Festival, featuring Eric Prydz, Wolfgang Gartner, Nero, Hardwell, Showtek, Doctor P, Arty, Le Castle Vania, & Audrey Napoleon @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Okay, so my knowledge of electronic music (what the kids these days are calling “EDM,” aparrently) is just about a decade old, I’m afraid. I’m a fan of folks like The Crystal Method, Underworld, and Bentley Rhythm Ace, but the current reigning kings and queens of the scene are just about a complete mystery to me. My knowledge of any type of modern EDM is pretty much limited to, “holy crap, Skrillex‘s “First of the Year” is the most headbanging-est song I’ve heard outside of a Red Fang album.” Most of the lineup at this year’s IDentity Festival made me shrug and scratch my head (although the long-dormant gamer kid in me does like the name “Le Castle Vania,” at least). So there you go.

With that in mind, I’ve got to rely on folks more knowledgeable than myself when it comes to this stuff, people like SCR‘s own Karen Hebert, who wrote about the IDentity Fest last year, and with luck, she’ll be covering it again today, up in the wooded-yet-sweltering Woodlands.

I will say that I have heard good things about Nero — who’ll be opening for Madonna in October — and I’m told Wolfgang Gartner is very cool, too. Fans of electronic music, yeah, this is probably where you need to be today, heat or no…

New York City Queens @ Cactus Music (3PM)
This one’s a very nice little preview-type deal for rising stars the New York City Queens, where they’ll be showcasing some of the new stuff from their forthcoming full-length, Burn Out Like Roman Candles for free-free-free up at Cactus this afternoon. (As in, er, right damn now.)

I’ve been listening to the album quite a bit this week — expect a full review soon — and I’m fairly blown away, even more than I was by Something Different, Somewhere New. I’ll admit it: I was skeptical when I first heard about these kids, but I’ve now gotten to see/hear them quite a bit of ’em lately, and I’m impressed as hell. They play pop music, to be sure, but it’s smart and fiery right where it needs to be, without ever falling into the too-common trap of sounding like every other indie-pop band out there.

As an added bonus for today’s show, I’m told the album, which isn’t officially released ’til next weekend, 8/17, will be on sale after today exclusively at Cactus. So if you want to grab a copy before your friends & neighbors, here’s your chance.

excuseMesir (EP release)/Perseph One/Purple/Kelsey Lee Bland @ Warehouse Live (Green Room)
Okay, so I’m really glad I took a minute to finally, finally check out local scene newcomers excuseMesir — I’d been meaning to for a while now, since the band started sending me very nice emails, and with their sow tonight at Warehouse Live, it seemed like an opportune time. And while I do need to hear more, I’m liking ’em quite a bit so far; the music they play is busy but low-key, like a prog-tinged kind of indie-pop, with female vocals that are soulful and husky but still down-to-earth. It’s good stuff. I’m hoping to pick up the new EP sometime soon…

Plus, they’re playing with cool, cool, smack-your-ass-down rapper Perseph One, who I’ve liked for years now and finally got to see in person at this year’s Summerfest; she’s a welcome antidote to the current crop of female vocalists and “rappers” (term used loosely) on the radio these days, all sharp rhymes and bitter venom. Simply put, she’s awesome.

Runners-Up:
Orents Stirner and The Spirit Noise Academy/Cathy + Ron @ Rudyard’s
Barkerpalooza 5, featuring Floorbound, Nothingmore, Good Job Underground, Blondes Make Better Victims, & The Boulevard Nights @ Fitzgerald’s
Market Junction/Shady Grady & The Nobodys/Old North State/Days N Daze @ The Mink ($5)
The Trimms/Shotgun Funeral @ Phul Court (free!)


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