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Everyone spends so much time hyping the Forecastle line-up every year that it’s often times difficult to see passed the headliners and decide who else to catch while you’re there.  Believe it or not some of the other bands in “smaller print” are just as good as the marquee acts; so here is a list of some of the best “Non-Headliners” Forecastle has to offer this year.  When you’re busy killing time between Outkast, Jack White, and Beck this weekend  – here are some great artists that are guaranteed to put on killer shows down at Forecastle 2014.

Gary Clark Jr.:  Gary Clark Jr. is the modern torchbearer for classic blues artists and breathtaking guitar players.  He carries on a long tradition of visionaries like Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughn there is no doubt you will want to catch his set.

Spoon:  Spoon is like some wonderful indie-art-rock thing that is hard to describe if you don’t know their music.  The band’s subtle arrangements and thought provoking lyrics are addictive, and held out on display with albums like Kill the Moon and Gimme Fiction.  This will be their second time playing Forecastle, and certainly worth checking out.

Twenty One Pilots:  Twenty One Pilots are one of the most buzzed about bands on the bill.  This up and coming duo hails from Columbus, OH, and has critics raving about their haunting hip-hop infused brand of indie-rock.  They are a young band on the rise and this show will most certainly be one of the buried treasures of the weekend.

Against Me!:  Against Me! has been hailed as one of the premier live bands of the last decade.  Their albums are packed with angst, rage, and ruminations on sexuality.  Their latest album Transgender Dysphoria Blues is a deeply personal collection of songs from frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, and has struck a major chord with audiences and critics alike.

Dwight Yokem:  Dwight Yokem has that distinctive voice you’d know anywhere, caught somewhere between twang and a yodel, Yokem has recorded some of the biggest country songs of the last twenty five years.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings:  This R&B collective had to cancel last year’s performance due to their leader, Sharon Jones, having some pretty serious health issues.  A year later she’s bounced back and they have returned to the road and they are going to make this one up to Louisville.  It will be a hot show laced with soul and R&B jams that could’ve been cooked up in early 60’s Motown or a decade later in Muscle Shoals.

Jason Isbell:  Isbell returns to Forecastle, the former member of Drive-by Truckers has been on his own for quite some time now, and has built a reputation as one of the most revered country songwriters in Nashville; not to mention one of the most kick-ass shows on the road.

Slint:  These guys were the first band to put the Louisville music scene on the map when they reached their career high water mark with the release of 1991’s Spiderland.  The guys didn’t last much longer together after that, but their music went on to influence an entire generation of rockers including Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan.  With only a handful of reunions since their break-up, this will certainly be a show to see.

Nickelcreek:  If there is one thing you should know about music it’s this:  Never...I mean, never, miss an opportunity to see Chris Thile play the mandolin.  Thile, one of the biggest names in bluegrass today, is reuniting with the “Nu-grass” band that brought him to the dance so many years ago, Nickelcreek.  The reunion will feature all three original members of the group:  Sara Watkins, Chris Thile, and Sean Watkins.  This is their first tour since 2007, they are supporting their new album Dotted Line, and celebrating their 25th anniversary.

Jenny Lewis:  Jenny Lewis has spent most of her career as the voice and the brain behind indie-rock dynamos Rilo Kiley.  She’s touring in front her most recent solo album, The Voyager (to be released July 29th) which is the first record she has released since the 2011 break-up of Rilo Kiley.  Most of the album was recorded during sessions with musical genius/recluse Ryan Adams.

Trampled by Turtles:  Trampled By Turtles is a band that always gets a lot of love when they come through Louisville.  The alt-country/bluegrass/indie-folk band has been riding high on the crest of the Americana wave with stripped down bands like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers getting splattered all over the radio.   

Other bands of note:
Spanish Gold
Local Natives
Sun Kil Moon
The Tune-Yards
Nightmares on Wax


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About Brent Owen

Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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