Neon Reverb 2016: Get to know every touring act on the festival schedule

Annie Zaleski

The Aquadolls

Home: Southern California. Sound: Poppy psych-surf-rock with a growing penchant for ’80s synth zaps. Ideal for: Teenage riots full of go-go dancers and teeming moshpits. RIYL: Shannon & The Clams, Burger Records’ roster, SWMRS. First Spin: “Girl Riot” (2015 single).

Astronauts, Etc.

Home: Oakland. Sound: The smoldering intersection of ’70s soul and modern electro-R&B. Ideal for: Snuggling up by the fire with your beloved or trying to seduce an elusive crush. RIYL: Steely Dan, TV on the Radio, Toro y Moi. First Spin: “Eye to Eye” (from 2015’s Mind Out Wandering).


Home: LA. Sound: A loving, soft-glow homage to Wall of Sound-era girl groups. Ideal for: Anchoring a retro, ’50s and ’60s music playlist or the in-store soundtrack of a vintage clothing store. RIYL: Blondie, The Raveonettes, Phil Spector’s production style. First Spin: “ATMO” (from 2014’s Babes EP).

Cole Barnson

Home: LA. (Bonus: He graduated from UNLV.) Sound: An ’80s alt-rock mixtape filled with psych-rock, British pop and swooning new wave. Ideal for: Pairing with a John Hughes teen movie marathon. RIYL: Dream Syndicate, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cold War Kids. First Spin: Toy Bombs’ “Life Is Good” (from 2015’s Toy Bombs EP).

Beach Slang

Home: Philadelphia. Sound: Frayed-at-the-cuffs indie rock buoyed by bar-band jangle and scuffed catharsis. Ideal for: Feeling better about your post-quarter-life crisis and reminiscing about ’90s DIY punk house shows. RIYL: The Replacements, Jawbreaker, early Goo Goo Dolls. First Spin: “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” (2015’s The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us).

Big Business

Home: LA. Sound: A bellowing sonic sludge somewhere between metal, punk and stoner-rock. Ideal for: Playing at loud volumes to tick off your neighbors. RIYL: Mastodon, Melvins, Baroness. First Spin: “No Vowels” (from 2013’s Battlefields Forever).


Home: LA. Sound: California-kissed surf-punk, power-pop and new wave. Ideal for: Carefree bedroom dance parties or pogoing with your pals at a concert. RIYL: The Go-Go’s, Redd Kross, The Muffs. First Spin: “Keep on Keepin’ On” (from 2016’s Welcome the Worms).

Chaos Chaos

Chaos Chaos

Home: Brooklyn via Seattle. Sound: Bubbly indie-pop with whimsical electronic production. Ideal for: Reminding people that not all indie-pop is twee or slight. RIYL: Tegan and Sara, Lily and Madeleine, That Dog. First Spin: “Do You Feel It?” (from 2014’s Committed to the Crime EP).

El Ten Eleven

Home: LA. Sound: Mathy instrumentals driven by dual-neck guitar jams, electronic flourishes and intricate live looping. Ideal for: Getting your dance party on and letting off steam after a tough week at work. RIYL: Pinback, +/-, Minus the Bear. First Spin: “My Only Swerving” (from 2005’s El Ten Eleven).

Failure Machine

Home: Reno. Sound: Barnstorming, horn-peppered garage-soul that feels unearthed from a 1965 time capsule. Ideal for: Dressing to the nines and working up a (dignified) sweat on a Friday night. RIYL: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Sam Cooke. First Spin: “Beautiful Scene” (from 2016’s Boy).

Sage Francis

Sage Francis

Sage Francis

Home: Providence, Rhode Island. Sound: Socially conscious hip-hop with an emphasis on poetic, literary lyrics and genre-agnostic production. Ideal for: Anyone unafraid of mind-expanding truth bombs and provoking grooves. RIYL: Atmosphere, Public Enemy, Buck 65. First Spin: “Got Up This Morning” (from 2007’s Human the Death Dance).


Home: Washington, D.C. Sound: Ethereal shoegaze and daydreaming dream-pop with its head in the clouds. Ideal for: Communing with your inner goth. RIYL: Purity Ring, Cocteau Twins, Beach House. First Spin: “Pegasus” (from 2013’s Medusa EP).

Colleen Green

Home: LA. Sound: Fuzzed-out, empowering indie rock with a decidedly feminist (and ’90s) bent. Ideal for: Assuaging your nostalgia for MTV’s 120 Minutes. RIYL: Speedy Ortiz, Liz Phair, Veruca Salt. First Spin: “I Want to Grow Up” (from 2015’s I Want to Grow Up).

Haunted Summer

Home: LA. Sound: Ghostly, shimmering shoegaze and gothic nightmare-pop. Ideal for: Late-night conspiring and Ouija board exploring with your coven. RIYL: Beach House, Gems, Rilo Kiley. First Spin: “Dawn of the Red” (from 2016 Spirit Guides).

James Supercave

James Supercave

Home: LA. Sound: Spiky indie rock with a fine coating of guitar fuzz and psych-pop warping. Ideal for: Overhead music at a hip, independent coffeehouse. RIYL: Future Islands, MGMT, Alt-J. First Spin: “The Right Thing” (from 2016’s Better Strange).

La Sera

Home: LA. Sound: Burnt-sugar twang-rock with a penchant for Smiths-y guitar jangle. Ideal for: A languid, stoned picnic on a warm summer afternoon. RIYL: The Smiths, the C86 compilation, Lone Justice. First Spin: “High Notes” (from 2016’s Music for Listening to Music To).

Leopold and His Fiction

Home: Austin. Sound: Old-fashioned, hot-rodding blues-garage with a not-so-secret love of screaming proto-heavy metal. Ideal for: Cataloging your collection of 78s or pre-gaming for an End of Prohibition party. RIYL: Early White Stripes, the heavy side of Led Zeppelin, the wild-and-woolly era of The Stooges. First Spin: “Ain’t No Surprise” (from 2009’s Ain’t No Surprise).




Home: LA. Sound: Proto-grunge infected with stinging metal riffage, a King Kong-caliber low end and punk’s antagonistic spirit. Ideal for: Schooling yourself on where Kurt Cobain and other grunge bands learned their tricks. RIYL: Clutch, Tad, Boris. First Spin: “The War on Wisdom” (from 2012’s Scion A/V Presents: The Bulls & The Bees)

Moving Units

Home: LA. Sound: Keyboard-smeared dance-punk driven by unstoppable grooves. Ideal for: Recapturing the halcyon days of the mid-’00s post-punk revival. RIYL: Franz Ferdinand, !!!, The Rapture. First Spin: “Between Us & Them” (from 2004’s Dangerous Dreams).

My Body Sings Electric

Home: Denver. Sound: Effervescent indie-rock with an emo-punk edge that’s peppy, not cloying. Ideal for: Letting your hair down and dancing like nobody’s watching. RIYL: Pre-hiatus Fall Out Boy, early Panic! At the Disco, Walk the Moon. First Spin: “Keep It Simple, Stupid” (from 2014’s Part 1: The Night Ends).

The Mynabirds

The Mynabirds

Home: LA. Sound: Regal, well-constructed indie-pop grounded in electro programming. Ideal for: Anyone who digs Lana Del Rey’s vibe but not her execution. RIYL: Bat for Lashes, Wye Oak, Goldfrapp. First Spin: “Wildire” (from 2015’s Lovers Know).

Neon Indian

Home: Brooklyn via Austin. Sound: Next-level synth-pop enamored with sultry disco, phase-shifted house and quick-cut samples. Ideal for: Saturday nights full of bad decisions and overindulgences. RIYL: Early Daft Punk, Simian Mobile Disco, Pet Shop Boys. First Spin: “Slumlord” (from 2015’s VEGA INTL Night School).

Open Mike Eagle

Home: LA via Chicago. Sound: Kaleidoscopic, DIY hip-hop with equal parts humor and social commentary. Ideal for: Those looking for a textbook example of how a talented emcee operates. RIYL: Anderson .Paak, Busdriver, Flying Lotus. First Spin: “Celebrity Reduction Prayer” (from 2015’s Persona).


Home: LA. Sound: Loud, sloppy indie rock with punk’s convention-flouting attitude. Ideal for: Low-grade juvenile delinquency. RIYL: Cloud Nothings, Fidlar, Pixies. First Spin: “Your Old Man” (2015 single).

Chuck Ragan

Chuck Ragan

Home: Northern California. Sound: Gruff but deeply felt punk-folk burnished by fiddle. Ideal for: Growing out your beard, throwing on a flannel and enjoying a Scotch. RIYL: Frank Turner, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Cory Branan. First Spin: “Something May Catch Fire” (from 2013’s Till Midnight).


Home: LA. Sound: The collision of no-fi garage, surf-punk and indie rock. Ideal for: Comedown music at 3 a.m. when the party’s just about over. RIYL: Ty Segall, Wavves, Jay Reatard. First spin: “Lie Awake” (from 2015’s Sadgirl Vol. One EP).

Ty Segall

Ty Segall & the Muggers

Home: LA. Sound: Fractured lo-fi garage-rock that veers into psych-pop and fuzz-glam. Ideal for: Embracing the chaos inherent in everyday life. RIYL: T. Rex, White Fence, Thee Oh Sees. First Spin: “Breakfast Eggs” (from 2016’s Emotional Mugger).


Home: Mapleton, Utah. Sound: Funky, swerving electrocuted hip-hop and synth-rock. Ideal for: Perfecting your technique for the Robot. RIYL: Beck, LCD Soundsystem, Robert DeLong. First Spin: “Micky Macali” (from 2015’s Long Long Way From the Fringe).

Tijuana Panthers

Home: Long Beach. Sound: Surf-garage ideal for a B-movie soundtrack. Ideal for: A beach-party scene in a Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello film. RIYL: Los Straitjackets, Man or Astro-Man?, Guantanamo Baywatch. First Spin: “Redheaded Girl” (from 2010’s Max Baker).

Wheelchair Sports Camp

Home: Denver. Sound: Sample-happy, live-band hip-hop steeped in jazz, funk and soul. Ideal for: Old-school ’heads who’ve become disillusioned with the genre. RIYL: A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, flipping the bird to convention. First Spin: “Dance Off” (2014 single).

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