No castaways here

Pub date September 17, 2008
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

We drool over these Treasure Island jewels


Woman, oh, woman. We’re so not tired of these fiery São Paulo popettes’ brand of sexy. CSS rarely disappoint live — Spandex bodysuits, pop hooks courtesy of their latest album, Donkey (Sub Pop), and all. (Kimberly Chun)

8:25 p.m. Sat/20, Tunnel Stage


Dusting the crust off Southern rock grooves and biting into the apple of the tenderest harmonies, these unsung sons of the Liberty Bell, the Band, and ELO might be considered the Yankee brethren to My Morning Jacket. (Chun)

6:40 p.m. Sun/21, Tunnel Stage


Is anyone doing anything quite like what spunky San Francisco indie duo Dodos do? (Chun)

5:15 p.m. Sun/21, Tunnel Stage


Back in the ’90s, we used to be able to tell the indie rock from the rock proper by the singing: untrained, off-key, and adenoidal. This Seattle quintet are leading the charge to make the voice the center of indie rock-dom. On their self-titled debut and its forerunner, the Sun Giant EP (both Sub Pop), the band brings serious pipes and gorgeous multi-part harmonies like they were trying out for spots in CSNY or "Black Water"–era Doobie Brothers. (Brandon Bussolini)

3:50 p.m. Sun/21, Tunnel Stage


The brainy Oxford quintet has been tagged with both the "math rock" and "Afrobeat appropriationist" labels — both true, and gloriously so. Add in a heap o’ (not tired) post-punk reference and some boppy Cure-like atmospherics, and Foals bring dancefloor introspection to new heights. They’ve also gained a rep for missing festivals, so dedicated fans have their horseteeth on edge. (Marke B.)

3:45 p.m. Sat/20 Tunnel Stage


Comforting and disquieting in equal measure, the Bay Area group’s knowing, ambivalent electro-pop will sound even better if the weather is gloomy and if you are in a ’90s mood. Playing music together for more than a decade and only on the cusp of releasing their second album, Loquat selects subject matter that rarely strays from post-collegiate romantic malaise. The combo’s tasteful, restrained playing and vocalist Kylee Swenson’s honeyed tone signals a perfectionism that sometimes gets the best of them: a song’s meticulousness can turn suffocating without warning, then just as suddenly return to a melody that almost justifies the occasional preciousness. (Bussolini)

12:45 p.m. Sat/20, Tunnel Stage


As anyone who has spent a little time in his or her local Guitar Center knows, "fusion" is a deeply tainted word. The bastard genre — typically evoked when a performer sounds like other fusion artists — has untapped potential to refer to music outside the wanky Weather Report–aping scene. If you are not the type to go in for seven-string fretless bass guitars and deeply contrived chords, this Tijuana quartet’s music might help you imagine a future for the term. Synthesizing traditional norteño music with techno might sound like a dicey proposition, but the group’s crisp, tuneful productions make for an easily graspable mellow. (Bussolini)

3:50 p.m. Sat/20 Tunnel Stage


In taking a wisp of personal narrative — songwriter Van Pierzalowski spends his summers helping his dad, a commercial fisherman, on Alaska’s Kodiak Island — as their starting point and main inspiration, this Oakland fivepiece compares with this year’s other rustic isolationist, Bon Iver. Sonically, the outfit’s blood runs a little hotter: they are at their best when confident enough to let their rickety songs — like their gold standard, the loose-limbed "I Woke Up Today" — get away from them. (Bussolini)

1:25 p.m. Sun/21 Tunnel Stage


Steady, as they go. The rock ‘n’ roll tricksters tried to dodge critical bullets — and blossoms — when they released Consolers of the Lonely (Warner Bros.). Whatever for, one wonders? The combo’s increasingly massive sound successfully invokes the Who and Britannia’s other ’60s and ’70s rock powerhouses, with an intentional whiff of the good times long gone. (Chun)

9:05 p.m. Sun/21, Bridge Stage


This guy makes A/V geeks look good. With Reservoir Dogs–like skinny-tie suavitude and fleet fingers on his editing gear, the SF mix-maestro mashes up songs and sights with the smarts of a pop-cultie compulsive. Can we expect more of the same Clown Alley–style burger-‘n’-vino fun with Spectacle, his studio debut on his own Radio Fryer label? (Chun)

6:45 p.m. Sat/20, Tunnel Stage


Beware: Jason Spaceman is more than capable of moving an audience to tears with his live, full-tilt psych-gospel orchestrations. (Chun)

4:30 p.m. Sun/21, Bridge Stage


Twins do it better, if by better you mean attract insatiable hordes of fabulous haircuts with wistful tunes that lodge firmly in your earworm. Plus, they’re Canadian — something we all may wish we were soon. Yet the fabulous Quin sisters aren’t just standard keyboard-and-guitar hum-along-tos. They’ve got some curious curveball chops, as last year’s The Con (Sire) showed. (Marke B.)

7:25 p.m. Sun/21, Bridge Stage