MidPoint has some bigger names in the indie department performing this year like Panda Bear, Real Estate, The Afghan Whigs, OK Go and The Raveonettes which should all be on your list to see live. With that said, TFN thought we would add to your schedule and give you 10 more indie artists that you should try and see while you are there!
This is the second of our genre highlight pieces for the MidPoint Music Festival. Below you will find 10 Fire Note approved acts that should satisfy your indie rock thirst!
Saturday: Know Theatre 9:30 PM
You may not know Ex Hex but you just might know Mary Timony. Through the mid 90’s she fronted the Matador Records band Helium, was in a collaboration with Sleater-Kinney/Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein called The Spells, released a handful of solid solo records and most recently was in Wild Flag which once again paired up with Brownstein but also included Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi) and Rebecca Cole (The Minders). She now has formed the trio Ex Hex and they have a new record due out on Merge October 10. It is more alt rock at its finest and should be an act to catch on Saturday night.
The Ghost Wolves
Thursday: Taft Ballroom 9:30 AM
The White Stripes reversed is a good way to describe Austin’s Ghost Wolves. Married couple Carly and Jonny Wolf bring a feverish garage rock to the stage as Carly supplies the upper register vocals and guitar while Jonny sings along from the drum kit. The duo will bring the right grit to the Taft Ballroom and shouldn’t leave anyone sitting around or disappointed by their set.
Saturday: Know Theatre 10:30 PM
Speedy Ortiz are still up and coming so now would be a great time to check them out. Their last full length, Major Arcana, was Headphone Approved and their live sets are even better. The band kept the fire burning with the solid EP, Real Hair, released earlier this year and when their tour concludes they are heading back into the studio. If you are into a Throwing Muses meets Pavement and Liz Phair type of sound – Speedy Ortiz will be your next favorite band!
Thursday: The Drinkery 8:00 PM
We would be doing you a disservice if we did not put Dayton, Ohio’s Motel Beds on the list. We have been praising them for years but others are starting to take notice with their Headphone Approved new album titled These Are The Days Gone By which features a collection of previously released tracks. I guarantee that the band will bring all the hits to The Drinkery and you can see for yourself why the Motel Beds have been gaining traction!
New York City, New York
Saturday: Memorial Hall 8:00 PM
Mutual Benefit’s proper debut LP, Love’s Crushing Diamond, received a Headphone Approved from us and the Best New Music stamp from Pitchfork last year as it was a breath of fresh air in an always crowded music scene. Mutual Benefit is really a one-man band in Jordan Lee but when he tours, Lee typically brings along a five-piece backing band to add to the experience. Mutual Benefit’s sophomore record will be highly anticipated, so there is no better time than now to see them live.
Thursday: Mr. Pitful’s 10:30 PM
I like different. The best part about any music festival and especially MidPoint is that they offer different. Steelism fits that bill as guitarist Jeremy Fetzer and pedal steel player Spencer Cullum, will provide a wide-ranging instrumental set that takes from Surf rock greats, classical soundtrack composers and vintage Soul music. This will be a set where the musicianship is on full display as Steelism does their thing and gives one of the more eclectic performances of the three days.
New York City, New York
Friday: Mainstay Rock Bar 12:30 AM
Miniature Tigers have been around since about 2008 and are a band that is sort of hidden in this festival schedule. At one time, the group had tons of hype with their indie pop sound but over the last several years it has been quiet on the press front for the band. The good news is that Miniature Tigers are alive and well and their live act should completely satisfy. They will be an example that you do not need glowing press and album sales to put on a great set. If you hit the Mainstay late on Friday you will hear what I am talking about.
Saturday: MidPoint Midway 8:30 PM
I was excited to see Alex G on the festival bill. He had been opening for Mac DeMarco but stopped before Mac’s Columbus date at Skully’s. So now is the chance to hear this talented young singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist as he should provide a perfect break from all of the other “band” type groups on the list.
Scott And Charlene’s Wedding
Melbourne, Australia / New York, New York
Thursday: Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. 12:30 AM
Back in 2013 we called Scott And Charlene’s Wedding a “mutant cross between The Clean and Pavement” which we think still accurately describes the band. It also should be noted that their last album, Any Port In A Storm, landed #27 on our Top 50 and continues to find its way back into the office player. Don’t be scared from the band name and make your way to see this group because the awkward eloquence you hear on the record will translate into one great indie show!
Friday: Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. 7:15 PM
I will fully admit I don’t know much about Nashville’s Bully but they have a great name and a great front woman in Alicia Bognanno. She interned with Steve Albini in the past and Bully’s sound is a modern 90’s type of rock. The band currently only has an EP from last year and a new 7-inch so finding their music is a bit tough but hopefully a full length will be soon. If anything, this under the radar tag encourages me to check out Bully as there is nothing better to say down the road – “I saw them when…”
You can still grab a three-day pass HERE for $79 or $40 for a one-day pass.
-Feature by Christopher Anthony