This is a post from our favorite music blog, They Are The Imitators. You can check out all their stuff at http://www.theyaretheimitators.com/. Enjoy!
On the eve of "Summers Last Stand" we give you our top ten acts not to miss this weekend at the North Coast Music Festival. Now in it's second year the eclectic mix of electronic heavyweights, conscience MC's, and genre expanding acts will once again touch down on Union Park. Take a look after the jump for the bands not to miss over the labor day weekend. Check back with us after the festival for a full report of the weekends happenings.
Little Dragon - Sunday, 5:30
The Swedish electronic band fronted by the Yukimi Nagano have been refining their soulful sound since their days in high school, over ten years ago. It took them almost as much time to release their first single in 2006, but the band hasn't looked back since. Releasing three full lengths since, and being hand picked by Damon Alban to contribute to Alban's Gorillaz project. The band released their third album this summer Ritual Union, which continues their soul tinged trip-hop.
Download Little Dragon - Nightlight
Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) - Saturday, 8:30
STS9's Saturday set is one of the most highly anticipated sets of the weekend. The all instrumentation band combines perfectly, organic and electronic elements to create something 100% original. With headliners only being awarded with 90min. of playing time expect a clean tight set that will bend the genre of electronic music.
Download STS9 - Equinox (Acoustic)
Big Gigantic - Saturday, 4:30
The electronic duo of Dominic Lalli (Production/Sax) and Jeremy Salken (Drums) make up the parts of Big Gigantic. The duo resides in Boulder, CO which, over the past few years has become the epicenter of mixing live instrumentation with electronic music. Much like the aforementioned STS9, or last years breakout Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic look to push the boundaries of electronic music.
Download Widespread Panic - Shut Up and Drive (Big Gigantic Remix)
The Budos Band - Sunday, 3:30
Daptone Recording artist The Budos Band are next on our list. The funk/soul revivalists have adapted the sounds of The Funk Brothers along with afro-centric rhythms that would make Fela Kuti proud. The 10-piece ensemble should provide a nice relief from the beat heavy lineup. Do not underestimate the power of this band, they will have even the most tweaked out of kids moving to their B-Movie inspired grooves.
Download The Budos Band - Black Venom
Loyal Divide - Sunday, 5:00
Chicago's very own rock outfit Loyal Divide will be pulling double duty over the weekend. They will first play the role of backing band for hip-hop group BBU on Saturday (5:45 Magic Hat Stage) before playing their electronic heavy set Sunday at 5. Expect to hear many tracks off their forthcoming debut Bodice Ripper. I've been talking about these guys for a while now, and with a full length on the horizon, it's about time they take Chicago and beyond by storm. If you're looking for some unknown local talent this weekend, you should have no problem, but trust, Loyal Divide are worth skipping whomever they playing against. Download Loyal Divide - Vision Vision
Lotus - Sunday, 7:30
Expanding on multiple genres from jazz to funk and rock, Lotus continue to defy the traditional aspects of electronic music. Gravitating towards electronic music seemed to be an organic transition for the band, but they have always stayed rooted in rock and roll. Guitar, and percussion are at the foundation of the band lead by Mike Rempel/Luke Miller and Chuck Morris/Steve Clemens respectively. But, it's the bands love of dance music which gives them their unique sound. The band has packed rooms throughout Chicago, so to have them in a festival setting should bring a new perspective to the bands live show.
Download Lotus - Grayrigg
Thievery Corporation - Sunday 8:30
Another band on the list that should not surprise those who have been following The Imitators for some time, the DC based production team that makes up Thievery Corporation. Eric Hilton and Rob Garza make international beats that could, if used in the right context, bring together rival diplomats. Listening to Thievery Corporation is like reading the complete works of Ernest Hemingway, you just feel globalized. One minute your in Nigeria with Femi Kuti and the immediately transported to India when they break out that distinctive sound of the sitar. In between you may wind up in some deep Jamaican dub mixed with a slice of Lisbon. Either way you're coming out a well traveled.
Download Thievery Corporation - Originality (Feat. Sister Nancy)
The New Mastersounds - Saturday, 2:30
Back for their second year at North Coast, the New Mastersounds are once again game to lay their funk infused jams on the lucky few at Union Park. The UK four piece play deep soul music that has enough back bone to keep heads bobbing and feet kicking up dust. The band is supporting their latest release Ten Years Out, which sees them continue their tribute to sounds of Booker T. and The Meters. Download The New Mastersounds - Six Underground
BBU - Saturday, 5:45
With a lineup filled heavy with DJ's and instrumental bands, groups that lay their foundation on spitting lyrics -with a few exceptions- will be few and far between. Sure there is Common, Wiz Khalifa and Latyrx -the duo of Lateef The Truth Speaker and Lyrics Born- but standout lyricists of the weekend just might be hometown heroes BBU. The Hip Hop Trio has been a secret to know one following the Chicago underground. Combining dance floor ready beats with social-concise undertones BBU will be throwing thier own house party Saturday afternoon whether you want to hear their voices or not. Download BBU - Please No Pictures (Feat. Das Racist)
Fatboy Slim - Saturday, 8:45
In 1998, when Fatboy Slim exploded into the mainstream with You've Come Along Way Baby, electronic music shifted drastically from European clubs and underground raves to MTV with Christopher Walken doing dance numbers. It was a sonic shift about 10 years too soon. But, with the likes of the Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim laid the seed for the massive flower that has bloomed into DIY producers to massive festival headlining sets from the likes of Deadmau5 and Girl Talk. It's hard to imagine what the music spectrum would look like had Slim not experienced the success from his '98 smash. With his return to Chicago in what seems like ages, do yourself a favor a go pay homage to a dance party 15 years in the making.