A digital rendering of Jeannie Wu's "Glitched" shows the carpet's positioning in front of Day For Night's Red Stage.
A digital rendering of Jeannie Wu's "Glitched" shows the carpet's positioning in front of Day For Night's Red Stage.
Jeannie Wu/Courtesy of Day For Night

10 Houston Acts to Watch For at Day For Night

THE CARPET
With all the innovative and unusual tweaks Day For Night gave the traditional festival model last year, one of the simplest and most effective was the dang carpet. By laying down tens of thousands of square feet of deep pile in front of the main stage, the festival made a patch of concrete surrounded by warehouses and railroad tracks feel as cozy as your living room. Not surprisingly, this year the rug has been upgraded into an art installation itself, dubbed “Glitched” and created by Jeannie Wu of the Houston-based architectural/design firm Gensler. “The idea was to create a pattern that plays off of the digital aspect of the art installations by combining pixels with the graphic nature of soundwaves,” Wu says in a statement relayed by festival PR guru Dutch Small. “The intent was to create something that is amorphous in nature, playing off of the theme that surrounds Day for Night.” Keeping all that in mind, we probably shouldn’t be calling this a “rug” at all. CHRIS GRAY

Kam Franklin, flanked by fellow winners Genesis Blu (left) and Gracie Chavez at last week's HPMAsEXPAND
Kam Franklin, flanked by fellow winners Genesis Blu (left) and Gracie Chavez at last week's HPMAs
Marco Torres

KAM FRANKLIN (DJ SET)
10:20 p.m. Friday, Blue Stage
We all know Kam Franklin has the best set of pipes inside the beltway, but her skills as a DJ have yet to be tested. That will all change on Friday night, where those who shelled out the extra money for Day For Night Festival's Friday party will hear the legendary local singer spin. According to Franklin's Facebook page, the set will contain "nothing but baby making music," and because temperatures will be low, she "wants everyone to get pregnant." Guess I might end up somebody's festival mama after all. KATIE SULLIVAN

MARAMURESH
6:50 p.m. Sunday, Yellow Stage
Any festival that bills itself “experiential” should leave a little room for improvisation, since both spontaneity and stage fright can play crucial roles in the texture and flavor of whatever lump of musical clay gets presented before a live audience. Promisingly billed as from “the margins of Houston’s rock scene,” Maramuresh exists in virtual Internet obscurity, granting the collaboration-prone trio full carte blanche onstage Sunday. The skittering techno and ambient drone of the MM-labeled tracks on Joshua Cordova’s Soundcloud page might provide one clue what awaits, though CHRIS GRAY

JERK
9:50 p.m. Sunday, Yellow Stage
Welcome to Houston is not D4N’s only supergroup. JERK is a conglomerate of Bayou City players that also includes members of Black Kite and Deep Cuts. The newly minted crew recently released a self-titled EP, which at times sounds like DJ Screw got a hold of it; it will be interesting to witness them pull off this simple, yet effective, effort onstage. JACK GORMAN

MNYNMS
4:40 p.m. Saturday, Yellow Stage
MNYNMS’s sound seems to be perfectly created to fit the D4N concept. The group’s latest release, Rite of Passage, features dreamy, chillwave synth backed by sharp beats, but the predominately instrumental tracks of the earlier Projection Series EP take the listener on a haunting journey. In addition to their original songs, MNYNMS have produced several remixes of other artists’ work, so it will be exciting to see the direction they choose to take their Day For Night performance. JACK GORMAN

SPIT MASK
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Yellow Stage
First and foremost: Spit Mask is an amazing name. Just throwing that out there. Second, it's always nice when a festival takes a chance on an artist that doesn't necessarily push out “happy” vibes. Third, if you're sad you missed Youth Code a few weeks back (like I am), Spit Mask are a pretty good replacement. Fourth, Spit Mask makes songs that are sonically interesting and don't sacrifice catchiness in their aggression. Skip trying to get a good spot for the main stages and don't miss them. CORY GARCIA

SPLENDID EMBLEM
3 p.m. Saturday, Yellow Stage
Carve out some time in your life, find a dark room and watch Splendid Emblem's “Upper Body.” Don't try and make sense of it, don't try to figure out how to describe it, just let it wash over your eyes and ears. Maybe tap your foot or bounce your head if it really grabs you. I have no idea what their live show is like, but after 20 minutes in their world I was on board with finding out. CORY GARCIA

TEE VEE
3:50 p.m. Saturday, Yellow Stage
I don't envy anyone playing the same time as Welcome to Houston, but if you're looking for an interesting alternative to Houston's hip-hop history, Tee Vee may be just what you need. Rarely is the word 'ethereal' deployed as accurately as when it comes to describing Teresa Vicinanza's vocals, and combined with her synth stylings the results are really cool. Give her 30 minutes of your time and get ready to move. CORY GARCIA

WELCOME TO HOUSTON
3:20 p.m. Saturday, Red Stage
A significant percentage of Day For Night’s clientele hails from out of town, and what better welcoming committee than a gaggle of the baddest MCs to ever come out of Screwston, Texas? Suddenly the rap boulders that were the 2014 and ’15 lineups seem puny compared to the 2001-style megalith that is Welcome to Houston 2016. The ranks have now doubled in size, swelling to include not only FPSF holdovers Bun B, Z-Ro, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Lil Flip, Devin the Dude and Mike Jones, but now Lil’ Keke, Yungsta, Big T, Lil O and J-Dawg, plus DJs DMD and Michael “5,000” Watts, the legendary ESG, and assorted Swishahouse All-Stars. How’s that for a deep bench? CHRIS GRAY

WILD MOCCASINS
11 p.m. Sunday, Yellow Stage
It's been a while since we've heard anything new from Wild Moccasins, whose pastiche of New Wave, glam rock, and indie pop caught a few critical glances after the release of 2014's 88 92. Though the bubbling, on-stage chemistry of the band is more than enough to merit a watch, we're really hoping that Wild Moccasins might take the opportunity to share some new stuff with a wider audience. These musicians have only begun plumbing the depths of their abilities, and Day For Night would be a great place to experiment with their next step. KATIE SULLIVAN

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