El-P's Cancer 4 Cure and Killer Mike's R.A.P. Music were released right around the same time, and they're something of a matched set: both were produced by El-P and offer compelling and highly listenable arguments for the continued relevance of classical hip-hop techniques that may not be currently in fashion.
"On its previous recordings," writes Peter Margasak, "this Austin indie-rock band toyed with fuzzed-out space-rock overkill, but its second full-length, Dub Egg, displays a heightened sense of economy and proportion." The group's unabashed classic-rock leanings and analog attitude makes them sound occasionally like a "well-scrubbed, less rambling Crazy Horse."
This pair of brothers out of Bloomington, Indiana, play brainy, brawny art-rock redolent of Joy Division, early Sonic Youth, and Chicago neo-Kraut texturalists Disappears. Their upcoming record, Temporary Room, is a burner. The Bottle show is headlined by Man or Astroman?, who play West Fest alongside Stagnant Pools.
Of the new Break It Yourself, Margasak writes, "Andrew Bird continues to sound very much like Andrew Bird, which means lovely melodies, pretty textures, and delicate multilayered arrangements dancing seemingly effortlessly around his frail voice." The eccentric and exceedingly precious whistling aficionado opens for Wilco.