Sound on Sound Fest Pops!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Electric Wizard, and king Stooge himself

Iggy Pop performing at a renaissance fairground …. You don’t have to promise much more than that to get us driving 35 miles east of Austin to Sound on Sound Fest, held in McDade on the weekend of Nov. 10-12.

T.V. Eye: Iggy Pop taping Austin City Limits during SXSW 2016 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Aside from the godfather of punk, who’s made no secret of his plans to retire from touring, the second annual SOS also boasts indie darlings Grizzly Bear, heart-string-plucking soul man Charles Bradley – bouncing back from stomach cancer that kept him sidelined last year – Clipse rapper and GOOD Music President Pusha T, smooth British R&B producer Blood Orange, acclaimed indie pop troupe the Shins, Big Fish theorist Vince Staples, and modern R&B singer/dancer Kehlani.

Top billing goes to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on their first live appearance since 2013. The New York art punk trio isn’t promoting a new album, but rather making up for lost time. Sound on Sound talent buyer Graham Williams first booked them at Emo’s in 2003, but since then, Karen O and company have been difficult to see locally: playing one swiftly sold-out show at Stubb’s in 2006, then replacing the Beastie Boys at ACL Fest 2009 after wristbands had already gone off the market, and finally playing one impossible to access showcase at SXSW 2013. Thirteen years after breaking big, this is the first time local fans can see them without hassle.

“We have a lot of special moments this year, rather than a lineup of artists who are touring through and you saw them six months ago, and you’ll see them again a few months after,” says Williams.

Among those special bookings is UK sludge legends Electric Wizard, making their only American appearance of 2017 so far and their first local stop since the Back Room was still open. They lead a strong lineup of heavy acts that include industrial godheads Ministry, Dallas speed thrashers Power Trip, Japanese space metal trio Boris, searing doom legacy Sleep, metalcore giants Converge, and alt guitar benders Dinosaur Jr.

The Margin Walker lineup also reps Chicago poet Noname, slacker pop breakouts Mild High Club and Hoops, backpack rap legends Digable Planets, noise pop act Cherry Glazer, indie rockers Twin Peaks, guitar fiends Real Estate, extravagant rockers Foxygen, and Latina femcee Snow Tha Product.

The festival, essentially hosting the musical curation of Fun Fun Fun Fest in a medieval village, will also add a dedicated DJ area this year, featuring acts like Peanut Butter Wolf, Hot Chip, and Poolside. They’re reconfiguring the layout as well, moving the main stage from the parking lot area to inside the wooden gates of Sherwood Forest Faire.

Austin acts tapped for Sound on Sound 2017 include experimental noise punk trio USA/Mexico, both Sabrina Ellis/Andrew Cashen bands Sweet Spirit and A Giant Dog, analog synth squadron Survive, funky disco dudes Capyac, LNS Crew rappers Kid Jones and Tank Washington, Aaron Behren’s project Midnight Stroll, electro-noise act Street Sects, DJ crew Flying Turns, indie/Afrobeat/guitar-pop group Growl, female fronted slacker pop charmers Alex Napping, psych melters Holy Wave, and eclectic soul singer Mélat.

Three-day general admission tickets are now on sale for $189, with VIP options available as well. Camping passes are $75. Click the poster to see the full lineup.

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