Summer Fest Round Table: What About Next Year?

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Assuming we all survive this weekend, and then the supposed Mayan apocalypse, Free Press Summer Fest will return to Eleanor Tinsley Park in June 2013. Pegstar's Jagi Katial and Jason Petzold told the Houston Press this week that they'll start booking next year's acts in about a month, so Rocks Off polled our writers to see who they'd like to see next year.

Neph Basedow: I think there should be several "cutting-edge" acts added to the fest each year. That said, I think it's too early to call it. I think there shouldn't be a focus to book someone who has ever played the fest before (or, for that matter, plays out in Houston all the time) -- local acts included. For a legitimate answer's sake, I'd like to see Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, the National, Dinosaur Jr. or the newly reunited That Dog play Summer Fest next year -- though I hope not to have to wait another year to see them in Texas!

Cory Dieterman: Next year Summerfest needs a performance by Cloud Nothings. These guys are, in my opinion, the best breakout band of this year, their latest album, Attack on Memory, is a fantastic slice of old-school emo meeting indie rock, and they killed it at their South by Southwest appearances that I caught. I almost expected them to be on this year, but they should definitely be booked next time around.

Cory Garcia: Summer, to me, brings back memories of past Warped Tours and cheesy pop punk bands. With that in mind, the obvious choice for what I'd like to see at Summer Fest next year is Fenix TX. They might not have been as funny as 30 Foot Fall or as good as Dynamite Boy, but high school me loved them and older me wants to see them one more time. And for the record, Lechuza should have gotten more love; "A Song for Everyone" and "Tearjerker" are awesome.

Chris Gray: I'm going to be a boring 37-year-old white man, which is exactly what I am, and say nothing would make me happier than for Summer Fest to bring Wilco to Buffalo Bayou. Not only are they one of my favorite bands of the past 20 years (and thus of all time, by default), some of my favorite Wilco shows have been in outdoor settings like Austin City Limits 2003 and '07. That said, I would be less surprised to see someone like Cookie Monsta, the British dubstep DJ who opened for Flux Pavilion at Stereo Live Thursday night. (Yes, I went.) Cookie built an entire song out of one line from the Adam Sandler movie The Waterboy -- "You can do it! Cut his fucking head off!" -- which to me is both totally unfathomable and completely rules.

John Seaborn Gray: Well, they're having Morris Day and the Time this year. I guess next year they'd better get Prince to come defend himself. Or maybe they could have Roger Waters come perform Yoshimi Vs. the Pink Robots.

Craig Hlavaty: I have always wished that the fest would snag Beck for a FPSF appearance. He seems to be in their wheelhouse, and he only seems to be getting more and more legendary as the years go by. Tons of local acts bite from him, and he's one of the last artists of his generation who haven't gone off the deep end, no matter what you think about his Scientology. He hasn't been here in Houston since at least November 2002 with the Flaming Lips at Jones Hall.

Christina Lynn: The Eastern Sea is one band that should go far, so maybe we'll see them at Summer Fest once again. Their music is mellow albeit with a rocky touch. One of the things that makes them different is, on "The Mountain," the song has a very interesting drum track which is unconventional, but it works well for them. On the other hand, their song "The Mountain" seems to mesh a little of both of the bands sides: their mellowness and some of their rock tendencies. They combine that with great lyrics.

William Michael Smith: What one act should FPSF book next year? No brainer: Local blues legend Texas Johnny Brown. The indie-rock hipster set that thinks Rudyard's or Walter's is the epicenter of the musical universe would be well served to be served up a dish of living Houston blues. And no one is better placed to deliver it than Brown, whose history goes back to the golden days of Duke-Peacock but whose talent and fire is just as sharp and vibrant today as it was almost fifty years ago. When he leans into his classics "Two Steps From the Blues" and "There Goes the Blues," there is no realer deal. And put the man on a decent stage in a decent time slot and pay him.

Nathan Smith: Half the fun of Free Press Summer Fest is walking in without knowing dick about half of the acts you're about to see. I enjoy the event's eclecticism, and it's ideal for discovering new music -- especially EDM artists I've never heard of. For that reason, I'd prefer to leave the booking in the capable hands of the FPSF organizers.

If I had to make a suggestion, though, it'd be the Norwegian black 'n' roll band Kvelertak. The group is sort of a black-metal Turbonegro, and they write heavy, catchy tunes about trolls and Vikings that you can shake a tambourine to. I don't think they've ever been to Houston before, and the bigger the H-Town debut the better, as far as I'm concerned.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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