With five sprawling stages featuring mostly local and unknown bands, hitting Sunset Junction can often feel like an even bigger risk than the giant board you constructed in your backyard, with the dog house as Kamchatka. Which is why we asked Fold Stage headliners Dawes to hook up an eight-pack of the best tracks from artists playing over the weekend.
Chief, "Night and Day": These scruffy Angelenos deliver an expansive melody-filled song that somehow also manages to be intimate, with the line "take me away/I don't care what the place", though they will once they find out it's Simi Valley.
Rhythm Roots Allstars, "Son Del Ayer": This Latin-tinged, multi-instrumental, Spanish-crooning collective used to be the house band at the Temple Bar and have played with both De La Soul and Ghostface Killah, but really, did you hear? House band at the Temple Bar!
Fitz and the Tantrums, "Winds of Change": This ultra-soulful, super-buzzy band's fronted by a gawky white dude with a Motown-ready voice and an ultra-hot backup singer; they're also playing for free next week at Amoeba, even though that place is more for phagocytosis.
Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang, "Farm Animal Friends": This country song's just silly, and features "Old McDonald Had a Farm"-type singalongs of animal noises... House band at the Temple Bar! That's still so crazy!
The Janks, "Old Enough to Be Your Father": This retro-rocker from the LA-based band's got tinges of bluesy, Molly Hatchet-style grooves and Zeppelin moans, from a singer whose father was one of the stars of TJ Hooker, also Charlie Sheen's nickname for everybody.
Lee 'Scratch' Perry, "Dreadlocks in the Moonlight": This track features a predictably laid-back vibe and a calming melody, all from the influential legend of dub and reggae, who also goes by numerous pseudonyms, such as Pipecock Jackxon and The Upsetter, also the subtitle to Andrew Dice Clay's memoir.
Ray Ricky Rivera, "The Boom Box Bounce": This sample-laden, hip-hopping ode to LA is chock-full of scratches, just like your pool game. And your Kia. And Lee Perry, who's apparently NOT getting out of your Kia.
The Deadly Syndrome, "Eucalyptus": This rocker from the Spaceland and Echo favorites boasts a xylophone and group-shout vocals, but not shoop shout vocals, since they'll just make you want to do exactly that.