A Guide to Nelsonville Music Festival 2012

We’ve been looking forward to Nelsonville for quite some time now. We were made aware of the festival by one of our writers who also works at ACRN, Ohio University’s radio station, and we felt like we had to get up there and see what everything is about so this year we’re making the trek. Set in the beautiful Nelsonville, Ohio, the festival has evolved from a one day arts and crafts fest in 2005 to a full-fledged music, arts and crafts extravaganza. Last year the festival was proud to feature The Flaming Lips, George Jones and Neko Case as their headliners, with over 30+ touring acts from around the country. This year, they’ve outdone themselves as Andrew Bird, Iron & Wine, Guided By Voices and Roky Erikson take the stage alongside a healthy support lineup. I decided I would pick out the 10 bands (obviously not the headlining acts) that I recommend anyone attending should see and why. Hurry and purchase your tickets while they’re still on sale and hope to see you there!

DAWES – I have at least a dozen reasons why you don’t want to miss a set by these gents but we’ll shorten our list so you can get back to meme-ing. 1) After meeting famed Nashvillian Jonny Corndawg and his outfit, they teamed up to create CORNDAWES, an aptly named supergroup (I’ll go ahead and say it) who has churned out some of the best “dad-country” I’ve ever heard. 2) Brothers make better music, at least 99% of the time. 3) They played with Jackson Browne at Occupy Wall Street. 4) Call me biased, but I’m a big fan of just about every single record that ATO puts out. Their most recent, Nothing Is Wrong, has been on repeat at my apartment for some time now. 5) They opening for The Flaming Lips, Young The Giant and AWOLNATION in Atlanta later this month so….SUNDAY, MAY 20th

KURT VILE & THE VIOLATERS – I am a huge fan of The War on Drugs. Naturally, I felt like I had been living under a rock when someone brought to my attention that Kurt Vile was the founding member of the band but then everything made sense. Whether playing solo or with his backing band, Vile has been winning over audiences around the county on his past tours and is currently out on the road with Sonic Youth front man Thurston Moore. This seems to be Middle America’s only chance to see the guys before they head over to Europe. I’m excited. FRIDAY, MAY 18th

DARK DARK DARK – Dark Dark Dark came to me in the form of a mix CD a friend made last year. Given that there is a constant shuffle in the music that I’m playing and reviewing, I find myself occasionally lacking the time to just sit and put an album on repeat but after hearing the track “Day Dreaming”. I immediately purchased their EP Wild Go, along with their two previous full lengths and put a hold on the albums I was reviewing and sent it off tour one of the site’s writers who eventually fell in love with the band too. Now if only they would tour the South with Lost in the Trees…SATURDAY, MAY 19th

SALLIE FORD & THE SOUND OUTSIDE – The Portland-via-Asheville transplant seems to have been making quite a stir on the Best Coast. Sallie and her band, the Sound Outside, have been buzz worthy since 2009 when the Avett Brothers adoringly put them on two of their shows in Portland, only to eventually have them open a string of West Coast dates. As she and the band expanded their reach, they wound up back down South playing sold-out dates throughout Appalachia that culminated in a sold out New Year’s Eve show with The Avetts and Langhorne Slim. She’s a tough, no-nonsense woman that has no problem alternating between foot stomping rounds and sultry love songs. SATURDAY, MAY 19th

SHOVELS & ROPE – Again, this could be another example of my bias towards the sounds of the South, but the married musical duo that is Shovels & Rope are easily two of the hardest working, most talented people on the road right now. I can’t honestly remember a time in the past few years when they haven’t been crisscrossing the country playing sets everywhere from the in the middle of a bayou to theatres to festival stages. They recently came through Macon and charmed the audience once again with their flawless, signature twang. With a new album and documentary on the way, I can only expect it’s going to be a bright year. Think Johnny & June. SATURDAY, MAY 19th & SUNDAY, MAY 20th

BLACK BANANAS – I think the main reason why I’m excited to see Black Bananas (formerly RTX) is that I’ve never seen Black Bananas. As redundant as that sounds, I can only imagine their live set is overflowing with the intensity found in the video for their track “My House” and it’s going to be unlike anything I’ve been a part of before. The first thing I could think of was “Sleigh Bells’ older, raunchier siblings” and while comparisons don’t really do a band justice, I don’t think I’ll be able to describe them justly until I am a part of the madness that Jennifer Herrema and her band brings.  And I thought I had Allison Mosshart had me won over.. FRIDAY, MAY 18th

MOUNT MORIAH – Luke (TheBlueIndian.com’s founder) introduced me to this band back in 2010 when he featured them with nothing more than a short snippet about how much he had been enjoying them and was hoping their lineup changes would not be the eventual death of the band. Fast forward to the end of 2011 and longtime writer Chris Breslin had the band’s self-titled release as his #4 personal favorite album of the year. Heather McIntrye’s soulful vocals have a way of floating throughout the record despite their weight. SUNDAY, MAY 20th

SHIVERING TIMBERS – I guess the fact that Dan Auerbach decided to produce this Akron based duos record has got to mean a lot. The married couple of Sarah & Jayson Benn, who are occasionally joined by a friend to play drums, have built up an immense statewide following through a dedicated touring schedule and fans love of their 2010 debut We All Started In The Same Place. Ever since hearing hearing Amy LaVere’s NPR sessions, I’ve been a big fan of upright bass in this style of music so I can imagine I’m in for a treat. See you there? SATURDAY, MAY 19th

SPORT FISHING USA – I think if I were to ever have a band, I’d want a name like this. I noticed they were originally from Yellow Springs, a small, eclectic community I stopped in last year, so I figured I would look into them. Oddly enough, they’ve got the exact sound that I would imagine coming from a group of guys who have grown up there. The Yellow Springs news described them perfectly: “Neil Young without the brooding and instead the sharp vocals of Neutral Milk Hotel, perky drums and a Korg keyboard”. SATURDAY, MAY 19th

ANGELA PERLEY & THE HOWLIN’ MOONS – The Ohio based foursome, led by singer & songwriter Angela Perley, are sure to start off the festival in proper fashion. She and her crew will be kicking things off Thursday night for a pre-party that’s FREE to the general public, along with 4-5 other bands. With influences from Lucinda Williams to Wanda Jackson, it’s going to be a fun time. THURSDAY, MAY 18th