After a trial run last August (August!) that exceeded even its creators' expectations, the two-day festival staged by our friendly rivals over at Free Press Houston moves to the slightly more hospitable climes of early June with twice the stages, twice the star power and, yes, twice the expectations. Bank on twice the crowd, too, because headlining Oklahoma psychonauts the Flaming Lips haven't been glimpsed in these parts since a 2002 Jones Hall date with Beck. But before that, there's a bounty of music to be had, including sparkling Canadian indie-pop (Stars), swaggering H-town hip-hop (Bun B & Slim Thug), Lower East Side avant-jazz (Medeski Martin & Wood), Memphis twang-punk (Lucero), dual-cam Motor City garage (Detroit Cobras) and several dozen of greater Houston's best and brightest (Robert Ellis, Ghost Mountain, Tyagaraja, the Hates, Tax the Wolf, Fat Tony; oh hell, just go check the Web site). It may not be Austin City Limits — yet — but Summerfest is a hell of a lot closer. And, with two-day passes going for $40 at walk-up (less than that in advance), cheaper too.
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