Moral victories in the music business are rare, to put it mildly, but Day For Night’s forging ahead at a time when many other festivals, concerts and theatrical productions across the Houston area have lost their footing in the wake of Hurricane Harvey has to count for something. Now entering its third year, #D4N has caused ripples around the festival world for its high-concept marriage of digital art and envelope-pushing yet fan-friendly music. In the process it’s given Houston a marquee live-entertainment event at a time of year when the only real competition, attention-wise, is lower-tier college bowl games and The Nutcracker. (And, true, your relatives.)
To wit, the blind presale announced last Thursday is already sold out, so to give everyone a little something to chew on in the meantime, the Houston Press asked our music staff to give us a few names of artists they’d like to see when the 2017 lineup is announced on Wednesday. With a track record that already counts Kendrick Lamar, Aphex Twin, John Carpenter, the Philip Glass Orchestra, S U R V I V E, New Order, Kamasi Washington and the Butthole Surfers (and that’s just the music), if Day For Night has proven anything in its short lifespan, it’s that very little is impossible. So why not shoot for the moon?
LANA DEL REY
Ever since Lana Del Rey burst onto the scene with Born to Die, critics have struggled to classify her music while fans have eagerly dissected her artistry. All the while, the rest of us have wondered how sincere these lyrics that seem tailor-made for Instagram captions can really be. But nonetheless, Rey is an unapologetic leading lady with mass appeal. And since Day For Night is as much an art festival as it is a celebration of music, her music would fit that mold nicely. MATTHEW KEEVER
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
Few artists mix music and visuals as well as Godspeed You! Black Emperor. With live film manipulation and songs that often feel like the world is crashing down around you, their performances sound, look and feel epic. From an artistic perspective, they’re the exact type of act that should be perfect for Day For Night. And what do you know — they’ve got a new album coming out they need to tour behind. I can think of few things more exciting than experiencing GY!BE under a cold Texas sky. CORY GARCIA
Founded in 1973, the San Francisco-based ensemble is one of the most recognizable brands in avant-garde culture thanks to their voracious, pan-cultural approach to chamber music. Live, they have appeared with David Bowie, Tom Waits, The National and Björk, while Kronos’s more than 60 albums have showcased the music of Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Tan Dun, Henryk Gorecki and Sigur Rós, among others. The biggest factor in Kronos's favor may be simple timing: A new record was released last week — Ladilikan, a collaboration with Mali’s Trio Da Kali — and it’s been ages since they’ve performed in Houston. CHRIS GRAY
Seemingly overnight, Logic became one of the most relevant rappers of 2017. Anyone paying attention, however, knows better. The Maryland-born artist has been rapping tirelessly for the better part of a decade, making a name for himself through a unique blend of spoken-word and hip-hop. He's huge with millennials and would be a perfect addition to Day For Night, either as a hype man around sunset or maybe even as a headliner, depending on what kind of slant D4N is hoping to take this year. MATTHEW KEEVER