Free Press Summer Fest

Free Press Summer Fest is coming up so I am going to being showcasing the talent that will be at this festival in Houston, Texas. Check out the full line up as well as getting tickets to the event at: We have also started a countdown!


Today’s post is about Phantogram.

PHANTOGRAM is the duo comprised of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel of Saratoga Springs, NY. Their music is a mix of organic and electronic sounds, with swirling guitar, spaced-out synths, and chopped up samples and rhythms.
They often describe their sound as “street beat, psych pop”. According to Josh Carter, their music has “lots of rhythms, swirling guitars, spacey keyboards, echoes, airy vocals”.


Today’s featured band is Portugal The Man.

While the lineup of John Gourley, Zachary Scott Carothers, Jason Sechrist, and Ryan Neighbors are firmly dedicated to the rock and roll scripture—record, tour, repeat as necessary—Portugal. The Man still remain unsettled on the outskirts of any set genres. With untethered roots, the band offers an audible adaptability, one unlike anything offered by their peers, that allows their music to form over a gradual incubation process. Songs are birthed and then organically evolve over the course of the band’s seemingly endless slate of tour dates, along with the sliver of downtime they allow themselves.

And of course there is the issue we can’t ignore here, that of a band with a unique and hardwired DIY pedigree signing to Atlantic Records. While our punk rock muscle memory might be trained to react vehemently against bands that are seduced into putting ink to page on a major label contract, keep in mind that the Portugal. The Man and Atlantic Records relationship was the result of a long, mutually respectful courtship. While their new label has a well-documented history of famed recordings left in its wake, it was Atlantic’s artist development that brought the band into the fold. As Gourley explained in a gushing open letter to the band’s fiercely loyal flock, “We are people. We are people that happen to love music, we happen to live, eat, sleep, think and love within this bubble of music.” He continues, “Don’t expect to hear from our mouths things like paying our dues, or working towards this moment. No mention of eating poorly or sleeping on hardwood floors. That is what we do for music. We did not go through all that because we thought one day we would hit our payday, we did it because we love what we do. This will not change… It is who we are.”


Today’s featured artist is Starfucker / STRFKR!

In late summer 2010 Starfucker announced they would be signing with Polyvinyl Records, releasing a two song EP, with a full album in preparation for March 2011.

In several of their song intros or endings (“Florida,” “Isabella of Castile,” “Medicine,” “Pistol Pete,” “Mystery Cloud,” “Hungry Ghost,” “Quality Time”) are samples from lectures by Alan Watts.

Their song “Bury Us Alive” was featured in the 2012 film Chronicle


Not only do we have Pretty Lights as the only EDM group at Free Press Summer Fest, we also have for your entertainment Afrojack.

Gig-wise, he’s rocked the world’s biggest floors including Pacha Ibiza, Miami Ultra Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival in LA.

Afrojack’s rise to fame as a producer has brought him a roll call of A-list champions – from Pete Tong to David Guetta, and Josh Wink to Fedde Le Grand, along the way collaborating with some of the world’s most respected producers and artists like David Guetta, Steve Aoki, Diplo, Kid Cudi, Pitbull and Black Eyed Peas.

His most recent single, ‘Take Over Control ft. Eva Simons’, is currently one of the hottest club anthems on the planet, not least in the UK where it’s been championed by Radio 1’s Annie Mac and Pete Tong. The track also hit No 2. on Beatport and has already reached over 1 million views on YouTube.

_____________________________________________________________________________ If you wanted someone other than American bands and artists, look no further than Two Door Cinema Club. A bit about the band: Two Door Cinema Club are 3 people with the help of technology and a thirst for anything quirky. If you were to pose the question, “Where do Two Door Cinema Club live?” and someone was to answer, “Why, Bangor!” That someone would only be 66.67% correct because Two Door Cinema Club are a Bangor/Donaghadee based electro pop band. An obvious absence in the rhythm department is humbly filled by an unadulterated Macintosh and the electronic thump from the fourth imperceptible member goes hand in hand with the electro/pop direction. Their music has been loosely compared to the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Broken Social Scene but without a definitive capacity to be pigeon-holed. Melodic vocals, which hail from all three members of the outfit, infuse with guitar riffs that have been described as “oceanic” and rhythm described as “pulsing”. To get the symbolism out of the way, take your seats; it’s going to be a blockbuster! _____________________________________________________________________________ Don’t worry, you no longer have to worry about Ska music at the festival, we got you covered with Los Skarnales. This group from Houston has the ska fix you need if you were ever missing it. Their facebook biography says: “Fast approaching 16 years on the Texas music scene, Los Skarnales was started in 1994. The band rose out of the ashes of local punk rock band Desorden with help from original members Felipe Galvan and Jose Rodriguez. Always true to roots music in all forms, Skarnales performs a mixture of ska, reggae, rockabilly, swing, mambo, cumbia, and danzones, all with a punk attitude. Never letting down at a live show, the band has performed extensively throughout the United States and Mexico. Los Skarnales has shared the stage with such artists as Flaco Jimenez, Ozomatli, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, the Aggrolites, Maldita Vecindad, the Slackers, the Specials, Agent Orange and many more. The band now consists of eight members including a full horn section. Los Skarnales is on the verge of releasing its Fourth studio album entitled “Dále Shine!” which was recorded in New Orleans. The Album retains the Ska/Reggae feel of previous works, but incorporates more Latin sounds for an energetic mesh that will most definitely keep the bodies moving.” _____________________________________________________________________________

We turn to Local Artists now, and friend of the blog and page The Sour Notes. They are not only any other band from Austin but are an immersing force in the local scene. They have played across venues in Austin as well as Houston and other local cities opening for bands such as Ringo Deathstarr, The Ten Eleven, and many other artists. “Never short on hooks or ambition, The Sour Notes play brittle pop for star-crossed post-grads… On rising tides of lonesome guitars & glimmering synths, the band builds its postmillennial laments, occasionally nodding to Krautrock & frequently conceding to soundtrack-worthy mood.”-Erik Adams, The Onion AV Club _____________________________________________________________________________

Not all rock duo’s have the same sound. At times there could be some similarities, but The White Stripes do not sound like The Black Keys. Neither sound like The Kills, not She Wants Revenge. All of these do not sound even similar to Jeff the Brother. This two-piece rock band consisting of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall is from Nashville, home of rock and country. This band has been featured on Pitchfork, SPIN, and Paste. Their jamming style is an uplifting experience which was heard in their Tiny Desk performance on NPR. They have a raw sound live resembling at time the early days of punk and then turning into guitar shredders. Make sure you check them out. _____________________________________________________________________________ We are greeted this festival by many musicians from across the country. One group from LA, Best Coast has come out with a new album entitled, “The Only Place,” which came out May 15th, 2012. This surf based rock duo is made by songwriter Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno. Bethany told The Guardian about the new album stating that, “I hope they make out to it, but they can smoke weed to Snoop Dogg instead. I want babies to be created to this music. I want people to have their yoghurt while listening to this record.” _____________________________________________________________________________

Recently added to the lineup is Pretty Lights. Though the tracks from this group are made by sampling, they have originality infusing hip-hop and dance in a style that cannot be confined to a genre. They were present last year at ACL and have come back to enthrall Texas once again. There is also a bit of alternative in the sounds of the tracks overall creating an experience for all audiences. Since it’s difficult to define Pretty Lights, I will just leave you to check them out yourself.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s