Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the Fun Fun Fun Fest, Sound on Sound Fest takes flight the first weekend of November at new magical festival grounds! Located 40 minutes from Austin in the town of McDade lies Sherwood Forest Faire, a real deal faire grounds best known for its annual renaissance festivals. There, Sound on Sound spreads its magnificent fiery wingz to shower us with glorious music from acts like Phantogram, Run the Jewels, Descendants, Beach House, Deerhunter, Purity Ring, Explosions in the Sky, Courtney Barnett, Young Thug and more! To help you prepare for this epic quest we’ve collected songs and performance videos from SOS Fest acts as well as picks from some of our bravest hosts.
Check out our VuHaus playlist and a Sound on Sound curated Spotify playlist attached below!
KUTX DJ picks for Sound on Sound Festival:
Friday, November 4th
Thundercat – Stephen Bruner (aka Thundercat) is the real deal. A musician’s musician, and primarily a bassplayer at that. He manufactures some truly intoxicating music – and you know that it’s gonna be an intoxicating weekend.
Phantogram – Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter are at the peak of their powers, crafting dreamy pop that looks ahead rather than at their shoes. Pro tip: they are a chief collaborator with Big Boi (Big Grams) who is at the festival on Saturday.
Thee Oh Sees – You’re gonna need to rock at least once this weekend. These are your guys. Beware of guitars falling from the sky…and loud ones at that.
Also worth a look: Guided By Voices, Magna Carda, Descendents
Art Levy (Host Sunday 10 AM-2 PM)
Thundercat– Kendrick Lamar/Flying Lotus/Kamasi Washington compatriot that can shred some jazz bass but also write some hypnotic, narcotic R&B jams.
The Range-This guy crafts electronic dance jams from bits of video clips that he randomly comes across via YouTube. Very strangely moving stuff, and it’ll be even stranger to see him do it live.
Jay Trachtenberg (Host Monday-Thursday 12-2 PM and Sunday 7-10 AM)
Thundercat — bassist/producer is part of the L.A. soul/hip hop/funk/jazz constellation that includes the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus and Kasami Washington.
Magna Carda — Austin’s fast-rising hip hop collective
Taylor Wallace (Host Saturday 2-6 PM)
Guided By Voices: This is my “oh god I never thought I’d get to see him!” pick. Robert Pollard is a man of songwriting brilliance and concision; I just can’t wait to be near him.
Thundercat: It’s Thundercat, man!
Jack Anderson (Host Saturday 6-10 AM)
Protextor– Weird City coordinator and Space Camp Death Squad member Adam “Protextor” (formerly P-Tek) brings a ton of energy to any of the local collaborations he can be heard on – especially between local hip hop producer Ruler Why and Mother Falcon’s Sterling Steffen & (Grammy-winner) Matt Puckett on this track about the service industry.
Run the Jewels– Think of a trap-juke-footwork reimagining of Public Enemy-esque lyrical delivery without as much social consciousness…let’s be honest – they don’t take anything too seriously. That said, you will get down once they begin the bump.
Descendents– Classic West Coast hardcore punk. Bonus points for reuniting just to play FFF in previous years.
Thundercat: Frequent FlyLo collaborator and incredible bass-based singer-songwriter-producer. Even if you think you haven’t heard his voice or bass on a song, trust me, you have.
Elizabeth McQueen (Host Saturday 10 AM- 2 PM)
Thundercat — Call is Avant R&B, call is Jazz Fusion, what ever if is, if Thundercats is making it or playing on it, I’m going to like it. He’s a collaborator with Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus, and his solo music is just my style. He makes music that expands my notions of what the bass is capable of AND he’s plays in an actual Thundercats costume. Of course I’m hoping he’ll do both a Sound on Sound.
Calliope Musicals — I know the band members, I dig their record “Time Owes You Nothing” but I’ve still never seen this band play! I hear their shows are epic, with the kinds of audience involvement that make you feel lifted up and tuned in!
Saturday, November 5th
Big Boi – Thank goodness someone is carrying on the brilliance of Outkast. He’s always full of surprises and he’s got a golden back catalog to choose from. And he may just hook up with Phantogram for the ultimate festival moment.
Car Seat Headrest – Will Toledo still looks like he needed a permission slip from his mom to attend a festival. See him before his band becomes famous and jaded; they are the epitome of indie rock youth with plenty of angst without the attitude.
Also worth a look: Jagwar Ma, Moving Panoramas, Hardproof
Diarrhea Planet-Six of their shows in the past two years don’t lie. This is a must-see experience–Van Halen meets AC/DC meets the Ramones meets a tent revival. When all four guitarists solo at once, you’ll understand.
Radioactivity-This Denton band has a simple formula: play incredibly fast and incredibly catchy-ly. The Ramones meets the Cars.
Beach House — Dream pop from Baltimore featuring the ethereal voice of Victoria Legrand.
Hard Proof — Austin’s hard-working, horn-driven, Afrobeat juggernaut.
Bleached: I’ve missed the last several shows these ladies have played in town (most were during SXSW). No more! Fem-flavored, high-energy, dirty surf rock is where it’s at.
Big Boi -One half of OutKast and now one third of Big Grams…which group will diminish his ability as a rapper next?!
Dead Milkmen– Here’s to hoping their favorite cover Doors band shows up.
Hardproof- The hottest brass lines from the Live Music Capital, and that’s coming from a Sip Sip trumpet player. Don’t underestimate the grooves.
Dead Milkmen — 14 year old me is super PSYCHED at the possibility of seeing Dead Milkmen, the first punk band I ever understood.
Sunday, November 6th
Monkeywrench – You like rock and roll? Screaming gutbucket rock and roll? These guys banded together in the early ‘90s as a side project: Mudhoney’s Mark Arm and Steve Turner teamed up with Austinite Tim Kerr (Big Boys, Poison 13, Jack O‘ Fire) to create their own sort of mayhem. This is a rare reunion and no doubt a highlight of the festival.
Explosions in The Sky — soaring, cinematic, instrumental post-rock from these Austin favorites
Bob Mould — legendary punk guitarist/singer/songwriter and founding member of Husker Du and Sugar
Courtney Barnett: Another act I was stoked to see at Levitation Fest. Powerhouse presence and provocative and emotive songwriting, she’s an amazing foil to the sweet-girls-with-guitars archetype.
Explosions in the Sky: There’s no place for anything except transcendence in their performances.
Strfkr– Because who else can get away with a cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”?
BoomBaptist– Neverending 808 greatness.
Courtney Barnett — I mean, come on. Don’t we ALL want to see Courtney Barnett?