Catalpa Festival 2012 Preview

<p> <a href="features/features/catalpa_festival_2012_preview/"><img src="" alt="Catalpa Festival 2012 Preview" /></a> </p> <p> The New York City area, and especially the five boroughs proper, has missed out on the recent explosion...
Catalpa Festival 2012 Preview





Main Stage

The Black Keys, 9:30 PM – 11:00 PM

The blues-rock from guitar/drums duo of Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney (QRO photos) sounds like it comes from the deepest (and blackest…) part of the South, but these two white men (QRO photos at a festival) hail from Akron, Ohio.  However, The Black Keys (QRO photos outdoors) are as gritty as anyone, whether on records like 2008’s Attack & Release (QRO review), or live (QRO photos at a festival), as depicted on the Live at Crystal Ballroom DVD (QRO review).  And their latest, Brothers (QRO review), channels all their inspirations into a great sound that’s even better at a festival (QRO photos at a festival).

The Black Keys


TV On the Radio, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM

One of the bands that put Brooklyn not only on the indie-map, but at the top of it, is the borough’s TV On the Radio (QRO live review outdoors in Brooklyn).  2004’s debut Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes introduced their complex-yet-accessible indie-tech-punk-rock, 2006’s Return to Cookie Mountain proved it was no fluke, and 2008’s Dear Science (QRO review) saw the band launched into the top tier of alternative music (QRO live review).  The group took something of a break after that, as members such as Tunde Adebimpe, David Andrew Sitek, and Kyp Malone did various side/solo projects, but returned last year (QRO photos at a festival) with Nine Types of Light (QRO review).  Nine Types was a return in quality as well as success for the band (QRO photos at a festival), though they unfortunately lost bassist Gerard Smith to cancer last year, but have kept on magnificently (QRO photos outdoors in Brooklyn last year).

TV On the Radio


Hercules & Love Affair, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

New York DJ Andy Butler expanded his affair when he created dance-fashion outfit Hercules & Love Affair around him.

Hercules & Love Affair


Zola Jesus, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Goth-chill is very big these days, including acts like the blowing up Zola Jesus (QRO photos at a festival).  Fronted by the haunting Niki Roza Danilova, they seriously impressed with last year’s Conatus (QRO review).  They are, however, better suited for playing indoor classy places like museums (QRO photos at The Guggenheim), but unfortunately it won’t be dark by the time they play Catalpa (QRO photos outdoors in the daylight).

Zola Jesus



Fort Atlantic, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Q104.3 Winner, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

My Pet Dragon, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Fort Atlantic


2nd Stage

Umphrey’s McGee, 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM & 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM

The ‘progressive improvisation’ of Umphrey’s McGee (QRO photos at a festival) combines the live ways of such hippie legends as Phish and The Dead, with often-changing set lists, heavy live jam sessions, fanatic fans recording.  Their more progressive-inspired music makes them a festival mainstay – and they’ll be doing two sets at Catalpa!

Umphrey's McGee


The Sheepdogs, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Last year, Rolling Stone ran a ‘Choose the Cover’ contest for the first unsigned band to ever appear on the venerable magazine’s cover, and the winner was Saskatoon’s The Sheepdogs (QRO photos at a Canadian festival, two days before winning the contest).  However, the group (QRO photos) was unsigned more due to location than sound, as their seventies guitar-rock isn’t entirely original, but is popular – they’ve since signed to Atlantic Records…

The Sheepdogs



The Demos, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

The Aviation Orange, 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

The Rebel Light, 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

The Aviation Orange



Felix da Housecat, 9:30 PM – 11:00 PM

From the second wave of Chicago house comes Felix da Housecat to close out the dance Arcadia Stage.

Felix da Housecat


JDH & Dave P, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM 

Otherwise known as ‘FIXED’, JDH & Dave P are two of the most active DJs and event impresarios in the NYC dance scene.



Paul Favretti, 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM

DJ Paul C, 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM

JDH & Dave P





Main Stage

Snoop Dogg, 9:45 PM – 11:00 PM

Do you really need to be introduced to Snoop Dogg (QRO photos at a festival)?  Unless you’ve been living on that island from Lost with The Others for the past twenty-plus years, you’ve seen Snoop (QRO photos) from his part in Death Row Records’ West Coast rap ascendance (QRO photos on the West Coast) with "Gin and Juice" through his legal troubles and ‘less-than-amicable’ split from Death Row to today’s chart-topping success in hip-hop and mainstream, most recently with this year’s Doggumentary.  His high profile and relatively laid-back, but charming, persona these days have also made him ubiquitous on screen, whether cameoing as himself in everything from Showtime’s Weeds to T-Mobile Sidekick ads, or guest-spotting as a rapper from Showtime’s L Word to ABC daytime soap One Life to Live (not to mention having his own reality show, Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood, and filling the quintessential pimp role as Huggy Bear in the big screen remake of Starsky & Hutch).  But Snoop will be returning to rhyming when he’s on stage, as he performs his classic Doggy Style (QRO photos outdoors at a festival).

Snoop Dogg


Girl Talk, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Greg Gillis (Girl Talk – QRO photos at a festival) moved from biomedical tissue engineering to DJ mash-up engineering, taking samples from across the spectrum and making something very new (QRO photos at a festival).  While he started out playing clubs, he’s graduated to ballroom & even the great outdoors (QRO photos outdoors) – but that just means he’s got bigger stages (QRO photos outdoors at a festival) and festivals (QRO photos at a festival) to fill with dancing concertgoers… (QRO photos at a festival)

Girl Talk


Matt & Kim, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Serious, long-time ‘Friends of the Q’ (QRO spotlight on), it’s been great watching Matt & Kim (QRO photos at a festival) blow up so seriously – without losing their infectious cheer (QRO live review).  Singer/keyboardist Matt Johnson (QRO interview) and drummer Kim Schifino (QRO interview) bring a self-described ‘onstage pizza party’ with their sugar-filled hyper-pop/rock on stage (QRO live review).  Known for spreading their giant, ever-present grins (QRO photos) to every crowd they play for (QRO live review), large, outdoor stages (QRO live review outdoors) don’t faze them, and neither do massive festivals (QRO photos at a festival), nor even foreign crowds (QRO live review overseas) or playing on New Year’s Eve (QRO live review on New Year’s Eve).  They also stepped up their musical game on 2009’s Grand (QRO review), with Sidewalks (QRO review) the following year, and have just returned to the road after work on the Lightning, out this fall.  So expect them to rock the crowd (QRO photos), from old tracks like "Silver Tiles" (QRO video) and "Yea Yeah" (QRO video) to Grand ones like "Good Old-Fashioned Nightmare" (QRO video) and "Daylight" (QRO video) to Sidewalks  "Good For Great" (QRO video) and even a cover of Biz Markie’s "Just a Friend" (QRO video) – as the kids go nuts (QRO photos at a festival), and so do Matt & Kim (QRO live review).

Matt & Kim


Cold War Kids, 4:30 Pm – 5:30 PM

After a string of EPs, Fullerton, California’s Cold War Kids (QRO photos) blew up in 2006 with their full-length debut, Robbers & Cowards.  While 2008’s Loyalty to Loyalty (QRO review) suffered something of a sophomore slump, last year’s Mine Is Yours (QRO review) lifted things, and their live show (QRO photos) is still electric, especially outside (QRO live review outdoors), as they still ring with singles (QRO photos), from the more recent "Mine Is Yours" and "Audience" (QRO video) to their break-outs "We Used To Vacation", "Hospital Beds" (QRO video), and "Hang Me Out To Dry" (QRO video).

Cold War Kids


City and Colour, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Dallas Green, singer/guitarist of emo-punk band Alexisonfire, embraces his sad, acoustic side as City and Colour (he’s Canadian, thus the extra ‘u’ – 2005’s Sometimes only came out in America in 2009 – QRO review).



Aunt Martha, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Bury Me a Lion, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

City and Colour


2nd Stage

A$AP Rocky, 8:45 PM – 9:45 PM

Even as stocked with hip-hop as Catalpa is, A$AP Rocky (QRO photos at a festival) stand out for their wild shows – so expect shouts for schwag and probably a fight to break out (like happened just last week, on the street, A$AP vs. photogs…).

A$AP Rocky


AraabMUZIK, 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM

From Providence, Rhode Island of all places, producer AraabMUZIK (QRO photos) is getting known for his live beats over MPC drum machines.



Matisyahu, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

Everyone’s favorite Jewish reggae/alternative/hip-hop artist (QRO photos at a festival) will also provide plenty of moments for dancing (QRO photos at a festival), but these moments are more of the lets all hold hands and sway back and forth (QRO live review) because if this very Jewish man (QRO photos on Hanukah) can make reggae sound this good (QRO photos at a festival), then anything is possible (QRO photos at a festival).



The Dirty Heads, 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

Huntington Beach’s Dirty Heads (QRO live review) began by fusing reggae, rock, and hip-hop, and their 2008 debut Any Port In a Storm featured appearances by the likes of Beatles collaborator Billy Preston, Weezer/DEVO/Vandals drummer Josh Freese, and reggae singer/DJ Tippa Irie.  They come to Catalpa while on tour with Matisyahu (see above) behind this year’s follow-up, Cabin By the Sea.

The Dirty Heads


The Big Pink, 2:15 PM – 3:00 PM

Three years ago, London electro-rock duo The Big Pink (QRO photos) made a very strong debut with A Brief History of Love (QRO review).  Their highly anticipated follow-up Future This (QRO review) didn’t really wow (QRO photos at a festival), and the same could be said for them live (QRO photos at a festival).



The Airplane Boys, 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

The Big Pink



Hellfire Machina, 9:45 PM – 11:00 PM

Polish Ambassador, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM

Hook n’ Sling, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Alex English, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Alex English





Both days of Catalpa will feature a Reggae Stage, curated by – who else? – High Times Magazine, and featuring the likes of:

The High Times Cannabis Cup Band featuring Ras Droppa – Skadanks with Lenky Don & special guests – Marcia Davis & Outro – Leon & The Peoples – Lupa with The Anthem Band – Num & Nuafrika – Rasmenelikdacosta & The Arc Angels – The Rudie Crew – Rocker T – Metricman – Quarterbill – Adriel Williams – Crucial Bridge – Laury Webb – Val Kelley – Cliff Simpson – Simone Gordon – Edizen Archer

Leon & The Peoples



For festival website, go here:


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