While the Summer Jam 10 lineup only encompasses 13 bands – relatively light in lieu of other multi-act, multi-venue music events – every single one is worthy of your attention. So, which to choose? We’ve highlighted six mandatory sets below.
The Jacksonville outfit — frontman Jonathan Berlin (vox, bass, guitar, keys) and drummer Jared Chase Bowser now joined by Walter Hill (guitar, keys) and Jordan Allen Davis (guitar, drum pad) — crafts bright, buoyant, poignant psych pop with heavy doses of rock bombast. Sunbears! celebrate five years together in 2014 with some exciting recordings, including their contribution to a Flaming Lips-curated Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
tribute album (with MGMT, Phantogram and Miley Cyrus among others) and a sophomore full-length, Future Sounds
, set for release via New Granada on Nov. 11; first single “Now You’re Gone” premiered on Stereogum a few weeks back. 7:40-8:10, New World Brewery.
A mix of textured, high-octane rock ‘n’ roll and more ambling trippy-noise odes from a four-piece out of Athens, Ga., that reeks faintly of My Morning Jacket but with two guitars dropping glittery-fast shreds and clear melodic solos; 2014 second full-length Sunswimmer
was recorded solely on analog tape with producer David Barbe (Deerhunter, Drive-By Truckers). 8:30-9:10 p.m., Crowbar.
No one turns up the dance party with quite so much vigor and instrumental prowess as Tampa’s own funky, world-fused, brass-blasted hip-hop collective, Gwan Massive, a mash-up of d’Visitors, The Rukus and Tribal Style featuring two strong female singers (Nikki Ferraro with support from keyboardist Monica Delgado) and several emcees who cycle in and out throughout the set and spit solo rhymes or team up to trade verses. 9:30-10:10 p.m., New World Brewery.
The breezy, girl group-vibing, surf-glazed garage-pop band from Hollywood, Fla. has been busy since inking a deal with Kanine Records in 2012. Their latest output is a sophomore LP, Native Echoes
, recorded in Detroit with Jim Diamond of White Stripes fame. Beach Day hits town minus one of the original feminine members; singer/guitarist Kimmy Drake and drummer Skyler Black are joined by a stand-in bassist while on the road. 10:30-11 p.m., New World Brewery.
Roadkill Ghost Choir
This Orlando-spawned five-piece has a delicate and sometimes ethereal steel guitar-wailing alt-folk appeal that amps up into wheeling and driving indie rock with a psych/experimental quality. Brand new full-length In Tongues
has been getting a lot of buzz, and was even streamed in full at esteemed online music rag Consequence of Sound. 11:50 p.m.-12:40 a.m., Crowbar.
Another Athens band of note, electro-experimental pop act Reptar is signed to Vagrant Records and influenced by Talking Heads. Their tunes are full of clapping hands, weird vocals, and a rather delightful infectiousness that translates to good clean fun in a live setting and makes for a perfect way to close the final Summer Jam. 1 a.m., Crowbar.