10 Years of Forecastle Festival

2012 marks the 10th anniversary of Forecastle Festival, a city-festival in Louisville, Kentucky, that began as a free-public event costing less than $500.00 to produce in its inaugural year. Festival founder JK McKnight was only 21 years old when he put together the community oriented, grassroots event and was inspired by the few hundred people that showed up to try again the following year and progress the event. Ten years later and McKnight and his crew have crafted one of the most well attended city-festivals in the country. The 10th annual Forecastle Festival is scheduled for Friday, July 13th – Sunday, July 15th and will take place at the Louisville Waterfront Park, as well as two satellite venues. One & Three Day Passes are still for sale and are going fast so pull out your wallet and do what’s right! One of those being a steamboat. TheBlueIndina.com will be splitting half our crew up to cover Bubury’s inaugural event up the road in Cincinnati and sending the other half to Louisville to celebrate ten successful years. Here are ten picks (in some sort of order) from the Forecastle lineup who we recommend you spend your weekend with. Enjoy!

#1 – Nerves Junior – 7/13 – Port Stage @ 6:30pm

Of course we’re going to give these guys love! Nerves Junior came to us last year via our friends with Crash Avenue and we shared the album from computer to computer before one of our out-of-state writers latched onto it and wrote up her thoughts on it. If there was a more fitting act to open up Forecastle this year than they didn’t show up on our radar, as we expect great things in the coming year from these hometown heroes. Writer Hannah Cook said of the bands most recent release, “There’s a perpetual buzzing that vibrates the nervous system on As Bright As Your Night Light, bringing about a sense of neuroticism. It gives you the creeps, and yet, fuses with that something ethereal. This ambiance ranges, but always stays within the realm of who Nerves Junior seem to be.” See you there.

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#2 – Atlas Sound – 7/13 – Red Bull Ocean Stage @ 7:15pm

If you’re not aware of the newest moniker of Bradford Cox, then it’s time for a bit of schooling. Bradford, the singer and 1/4 of famed Atlanta group Deerhunter, has referred to the songs he has written on his one from age 10 on as “Atlas Sound”, but he waited until 2008 to release an album under the title. Since the first album, Cox has released an album every single year up until his most recent in 2011, Parallax. I recently caught the last half of his set to a massive and mesmerized crowd at AthFest and felt like I finally started to understand his solo work. These songs wouldn’t really work best as a full band and yet through effects, looping, and a whole lot of string-scratching, one man suddenly becomes an orchestra that is as inviting as it is haunting. It’s going to be something special against the downtown cityscape.

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#3 – Wax Fang – 7/13 – Port Stage @ 9:30pm

Yet another staple in the KY rock-scene, Wax Fang was birthed as guitarist Scott Carney decided to give up the one-man gig in favor of adding a bit more grit to his work. Carney teamed up with Kevin Ratterman and Jacob Huestis in 2006 and have since put out two albums that will leave your stereo beaten, bruised and asking for more. And given that they’re pals with co-curators My Morning Jacket, maybe we can expect a cameo or two during their set. We’ve got our fingers crossed for that one but regardless of who shows up, you need to be there.

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#4 – Wye Oak – 7/14 – Boom Stage @ 3:00pm

As if the fact that they were hand selected to open Explosions in the Sky‘s US tour last year isn’t enough of a reason for you to head down to the festival grounds earlier, then you’re probably going to be pretty tough to convince and you might seek festival information elsewhere. The duo won the crowd over every single night of their tour and it catapulted them onto hard drives and headphones around the world. It’s hard not to be impressed when you see a drummer hold a steady beat with one hand while pounding out a synth-lead with the other. These two fit as comfortably on some tween’s mp3 player as they do in your parents living room and that’s what I would consider staying power.

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#5 – Julia Nunes – 7/14 – Starboard Stage @ 4:15pm

Where to start with Julia Nunes? The crafty blond from Fairport, New York has managed to rack up over 50 million views on her YouTube channel thanks to her unique compositions, lovable covers, and of course, her voice. Thanks to her online success, she’s adored by Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, Molly Ringwald and just about everyone who happens to see her. Her social media buzz has definitely transfered over to real-world success and has put her on stage at Bonnaroo two years in a row and given her multiple sold-out tours in the UK. While Nunes’ covers may have driven her online presence to what it is, it’s her original songs that showcase what a standout musician and composer she is. Chances are that this will be the happiest crowd of the festival.

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#6 – Real Estate – 7/14 – Boom Stage @ 5:45pm

Real Estate may have produced the perfect cure for the blues with their latest album Days, a sunny and matured step from their self-titled debut 2009. You’re probably already well acquainted with these five New Jerseyans but if they’re just now popping up on your radar, go ahead and stick a few of their tracks on the next mix album you make for your loved ones. There will be very little standing around at their set so make sure you have on your comfortable shoes (Crocs), wear sun screen, and make sure you’re well stretched. These kids mean business!

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#7 – Futurebirds – 7/14 – Starboard Stage @ 7:00pm

If you’ve followed our site for some time then you probably know how much we love these guys. Hailing from Athens, Georgia, these six guys have taken their signature downhome sound from the frat houses of Baxter Street to clubs and amphitheaters around the country touring with everyone from Widespread Panic to Grace Potter & The Nocturnals to Gary Clark Jr. 2012 has been a busy year for them with tours around the country and appearances at pretty much every festival you can think of. Their most recent release, a 2011 EP titled Via Flamina was met with positive reviews across the board but we think it’s time these guys put out some new music. We’re just eager for it.

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#8 – Walk The Moon – 7/15 – Mast Stage @ 3:30pm

Cincinnati outfit Walk The Moon follow in the path that bands like The Killers and The Bravery paved years ago but have managed to craft an equally-infectious brand of dance-rock that they can call their own. That being said, they want more than anything to share their gifts with you. Walk The Moon has tremendous radio potential and I would be surprised if you don’t see them on national charts soon. You’re probably familiar with their single “Anna Sun” and didn’t even know it was them.

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#9 – Cloud Nothings – 7/15 – Mast Stage @ 4:45pm

A friend of mine and fellow writer for our site said of Cloud Nothings, “As sorry as it sounds, I felt like I had sort of given up on rock and roll because it had given up on me. All that changed when I heard Cloud Nothings”. A bold statement, sure, but these Clevelanders have one of the hottest irons in the fire right now. Their album Attack on Memory made dozens of publications as an early front-runner for “Best Album of 2012” and rightfully so. It’s obvious why they’ve been on the road with Fucked Up, Real Estate and the like.

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#10 – Cheyenne Marie Mize – 7/15 – Port Stage @ 8:00pm

Closing out our list of the 10 bands we suggest you see at Forecastle 2012 wasn’t an easy choice. We didn’t want to give the bands that you’re all probably familiar with a ton of coverage, but we wanted to make sure we included bands that TheBlueIndian.com crew was familiar with and it only seemed fitting to cap the list with them incredibly talented Cheyenne Marie Mize. Considering this Louisville sweet heart will be closing down the locals stage of the entire festival is a big honor for her. After a relentless touring schedule over the past few years, she’s begun to gain the national attention she deserves. Since signing with Paradigm this year, her career has skyrocketed and is only going to gain more momentum. Though she’s up against Neko Case, Gramatik, and Beats Antique, we’re pretty sure she’ll hold her own just fine.

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