This Ain’t No Picnic 2022 Preview

Brookside at the Rose Bowl welcomes alt-pop, indietronica and more, Saturday & Sunday, August 27th & 28th, because This Ain’t No Picnic: SATURDAY, AUGUST 27th Fairway   LCD Soundsystem,...
This Ain't No Picnic
This Ain't No Picnic

Brookside at the Rose Bowl welcomes alt-pop, indietronica and more, Saturday & Sunday, August 27th & 28th, because This Ain’t No Picnic:



LCD Soundsystem, 9:40 PM

When the indie kids started using synthesizers, it began with LCD Soundsystem (QRO live review). As essential a starting point for twenty-first century music as Day One’s (see above) The Strokes (and with a much better legacy), the outfit around James Murphy (QRO DJ photos) taught hipsters to dance – and hit single “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” introduced the helmeted ones to Americans. Their 2005 self-titled debut full-length is as seminal an album this century as anything, with strong follow-ups in 2007’s Sound of Silver (QRO review) and 2010’s This Is Happening (QRO review). Eventually, the band got so big that Murphy had to call it quits on the whole thing (to focus on running DFA Records), but not before an epic run of goodbye shows in New York (QRO photos).

But as sure as people asking what time Daft Punk goes on, we all knew the Soundsystem (QRO photos at a festival) would be back, and after much rumors & hype, and in 2016 they returned to headline festivals, open the new venue Brooklyn Steel (QRO venue review) with a string of shows, played Saturday Night Live, and the following year released the excellent American Dream (QRO review). Now they come to headline This Ain’t No Picnic.

LCD Soundsystem

Le Tigre, 8:20 PM – 9:00 PM

One of the key formative acts of the aughts dance-punk scene was Le Tigre, who included Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, who brought in their feminist political stance to the male-dominated scene. They broke up way back in 2007, but have had sporadic reunions, including performing with Russia’s Pussy Riot, and now at This Ain’t No Picnic.

Le Tigre

Kaytranada, 7:05 PM – 8:00 PM

Haitian by way of Montreal, Francophile DJ/producer Kaytranada won two Grammy Awards, including Best Dance/Electronic Album, for 2019’s Bubba, and now comes to This Ain’t No Picnic.


Isaiah Rashad, 6:10 PM – 7:00 PM

Outta Chattanooga, Tennessee, Isaiah Rashad began rapping in tenth grade, got spots opening for the likes of Juicy J and Smoke DZA, and wowed critics with his 2014 debut EP, Clivia Demo, and 2016’s debut LP, The Sun’s Tirade.

Isaiah Rashad

Courtney Barnett, 5:10 PM – 6:00 PM

Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett (QRO photos at a festival) won fans like Rolling Stone and New York Times after her CMJ 2013 performance (QRO festival recap), with funny, rambling lyrics and a deadpan delivery (QRO photos). Since then she’s just gone and won fans outside of just critics with 2015 debut full-length, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, 2018’s team-up with Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice and her own Tell Me How You Really Feel, and last year’s Things Take Time, Take Time as well as playing a ton of festivals (QRO photos at a festival), now coming to This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a festival last month).

Courtney Barnett

Yves Tumor, 4:20 PM – 5:05 PM

Turin-by-Miami experimental electronicist Yves Tumor comes to This Ain’t No Picnic behind 2020’s Heaven to a Tortured Mind, with his wild show.

Yves Tumor

Julia Jacklin, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Sydney, Australia’s alt-country Julia Jacklin (QRO photos at a festival) has been Crushing it.

Julia Jacklin

Genesis Owusu, 2:45 PM – 3:25 PM

Ghana-by-way-of-Australia, rapper Kofi Awusu-Ansah, a.k.a. Genesis Owusu, practically swept the ARIA Awards Down Under last year, so see him in this hemisphere.

Genesis Owusu

Indigo de Souza, 2:00 PM – 2:40 PM

Asheville’s intimate, anxious Indigo de Souza (QRO photos from a festival last month) comes to California.

Indigo de Souza

Dawn Richard, 1:20 PM – 1:55 PM

A rare artist to emerge from the reality show grinder, Dawn Richard (QRO photos at a festival last month) got her start two decades ago on Making the Band 3, becoming part of Danity Kane. She later formed the duo Dirty Money, who then joined up with Diddy as Diddy – Dirty Money. However, more recently she has been making her solo way, most recently with last year’s acclaimed Second Line, and returns to Pitchfork.


Tre’ Amani, 12:35 PM – 1:10 PM

Dawn Richard
Back Nine  

Jorja Smith, 9:20 PM – 10:15 PM

West Midlands singer Jorja Smith won the Brit Critics’ Choice Award in 2018 with her debut full-length, Lost & Found, and followed that up the following year Brit Award for Best British Female Artist and Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Last year she would Be Right Back EP, and now comes across the pond.

Jorja Smith

JUNGLE, 8:00 PM – 8:55 PM

Catch the modern-soul London music collective JUNGLE (QRO live review), who bring “mid-tempo 1970s funk” intermixed with “tropical percussion, wildlife noises, falsetto yelps, psychedelic washes and badoinking bass” to This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a festival).


Mac DeMarco, 6:35 PM – 7:30 PM

Some artists toil in obscurity for years, even decades, but Mac DeMarco (QRO photos at a festival) hit success when he was barely old enough to drink (and loves to party, even on stage – QRO photos). With 2019’s Here Comes the Cowboy & a reputation for wild live shows (QRO photos at a festival), he comes to This Ain’t Not Picnic (QRO photos at a festival).

Mac DeMarco

Earl Sweatshirt, 5:25 PM – 6:10 PM

The massive hip-hop collective Odd Future (QRO live review) keeps giving – there’s frontman Tyler, the Creator, R&B star Frank Ocean, and Earl Sweatshirt (QRO photos at a festival), who’s also worked with the likes of Flying Lotus, in Lotus’ Sealab 2021-inspired alter-ego, Captain Murphy. He to This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a festival last month), behind this year’s Sick!.

Earl Sweatshirt


Ying Yang Twins, 4:15 PM – 4:55 PM

Queen Naija, 3:15 PM – 3:55 PM

Enjoy, 2:10 PM – 2:50 PM

Lala Lala, 1:05 PM – 1:45 PM

Isabella Lovestory, 12:10 PM – 12:45 PM

Ying Yang Twins

Kelly Lee Owens, 8:50 PM – 9:35 PM

Welsh producer Kelly Lee Owens comes to spin at This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a festival).

Kelly Lee Owens

Circle Jerks, 7:25 PM – 8:10 PM

One of the legends of American punk rock, Circle Jerks formed way back in 1979 with former Black Flag singer Keith Morris and Redd Kross guitarist Greg Hetson. The group (QRO live review) influenced & inspired pretty much all punks from the eighties on. They also broke up & reformed many times, most recently last year (QRO photos from ’21) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Group Sex (originally planned for 2020, but punks aren’t on time), and now come to Pasadena.

Circle Jerks

Magdalena Bay, 6:05 PM – 6:50 PM

Los Angeles’ own synth-pop duo Magdalena Bay (QRO photos at a festival last month) are known for their TikTok videos & DIY visuals, because this is a Mercurial World.

Magdalena Bay

Ethel Cain, 4:55 PM – 5:40 PM

Ethel Cain (QRO photos at a festival last month) brings Southern Gothic trauma via ambient rock.

Ethel Cain

Eyedress, 3:40 PM – 5:40 PM

From the Philippines to Phoenix, Idris Vicuña, a.k.a. Eyedress (QRO photos at a festival), brings hot rhymes & sounds.



Godford, 2:40 PM – 3:20 PM

Arooj Aftab, 1:35 PM – 2:15 PM

Hana Vu, 12:35 PM – 1:10 PM

Arooj Aftab
The 19th Hole  

Honey Dijon, 8:15 PM – 9:45 PM

Honey Redmond, a.k.a. Honey Dijon (QRO photos at a ’22 festival), comes to This Ain’t No Picnic spinning house music.

Honey Dijon


Gerd Jackson, 7:00 PM – 8:15 PM

Danilo Plessow (MCDE), 5:45 PM – 7:00 PM

Palms Trax, 4:30 PM – 5:45 PM

Leon Vynehall, 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM

Peach, 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Maral, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Dave P, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Leon Vynehall

DESPACIO, 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem (see above) teams up with renowned audio technician & recording engineer John Klett and McIntosh UK distributor Jordan Acoustics for their unique DESPACIO audio & visual installation, playing all day both days of This Ain’t No Picnic (see below).




The Strokes, 9:40 PM

Back in 2001, The Strokes’ Is This It and “Hard To Explain” basically launched the alternative music revival, starting in Lower East Side before going to Brooklyn, Canada, Sweden, and everywhere else (not to mention drummer Fabrizio Moretti dating Drew Barrymore). However, follow-ups Room On Fire and First Impressions of Earth were way too similar to what the band had broken through with, while countless indie acts had taken advantage of the opening & the internet to make The Strokes (QRO photos at a festival) feel like old hat, and fans say, “Is This It?”. Various members did their own thing, such as solo records from guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. (QRO solo photos at a festival) and singer Julian Casablancas (QRO solo live review), but didn’t light the world on fire (QRO review of Casablancas solo record), and Barrymore & Moretti broke up, leaving the band something of a forgotten caricature (or, as The Onion so excellently put it in a side headline, ‘Guy from The Strokes accused of looking like guy from The Strokes’).

But maybe that’s what the band needed – no follow-up or solo record could live up to Is This It, and there was enough time that them getting back together for 2011’s Angles (QRO review) practically counted as the first ‘twenty-first century reunion’ (on the lines of the popular eighties & nineties alt-reunions – we need a name for the last decade…). However, 2014 saw them release Comedown Machine (QRO review), which seemed like a ‘last record’, from the chosen name to the band not doing any promotion to it being the final one on their RCA contract. Yet after another round of solo side releases, The Strokes (QRO photos at a festival) came back in great fashion with last year’s Grammy-winning The New Abnormal (QRO review) and killer singles like “Ode To The Mets” (QRO review) and “The Adults Are Talking” (QRO review). When they’re not stumping for the likes of Bernie Sanders (QRO photos playing a Sanders rally), they’re bringing rock back to headline big festivals like This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos headlining a big festival).

The Strokes

Phoebe Bridgers, 8:05 PM – 9:05 PM

Nobody in music has had as good a COVID pandemic as Phoebe Bridgers (QRO photos from just before everything shut down). Bridgers already had critical acclaim with records like Stranger in the Alps (QRO Top Albums of 2017), and a great team-up with Conor Oberst (QRO photos together) as Better Oblivion Community Center (QRO photos) on their 2019 self-titled record (QRO review), plus her supergroup boygenius with Julien Baker & Lucy Dacus.

But 2020’s Punisher (QRO review) launched her into the stratosphere. Basically the favorite record by everyone you have a crush on (except for the hilariously self-depreciating Bridgers herself), songs like “I See You” (QRO review), “I Know the End” (QRO review), and “Savior Complex” (QRO review) all broke your heart – if not in-person, than in videos (like the “Savior” one directed by her near-namesake Phoebe Waller-Bridge) on TV (QRO review of “I Know the End” on TV). We all were desperate to see her live (QRO live review), whether in her trademark skeleton onesie in a livestream (QRO livestream review) or in her pajamas from home. So, maybe you didn’t see her when (QRO photos from 2017), but catch her now as her ‘Reunion Tour’ (QRO ’22 live review) comes to This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a 2021 festival).

Phoebe Bridgers

IDLES, 6:45 PM – 7:35 PM

Bristol’s young punks IDLES (QRO live review) – even if they don’t like that title – have had four widely acclaimed records, 2017’s Brutalism and 2018’s  Joy as an Act of Resistance, 2020’s Ultra Mono, and last year’s Crawler (QRO review), now returning to This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a ’21 festival).


slowthai, 5:50 PM – 6:35 PM

Northampton’s slowthai brings rough instrumentals and raw lyrics over to This Ain’t No Picnic, as he’s taken on everything from Brexit to wielding a (fake) severed head of Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Mercury Prize ceremony for his debut studio album, Nothing Great About Britain.


Wet Leg, 5:00 PM – 5:45 PM

THE buzz band of last year & this, the Isle of Wight’s Wet Leg (QRO live review) charmed everyone & their sister with “Chaise Lounge” (QRO review), “Too Late Now” (QRO review), “Angelica” (QRO review), selling out upgraded spaces (QRO live review) even before their awesome self-titled debut (QRO review) came out. So, you in the front row (QRO photos) should catch them at This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a festival earlier this month), or it will worry Ur Mum (QRO photos earlier this month).

Wet Leg

Mdou Moctar, 4:10 PM – 4:55 PM

Niger’s Mdou Moctar (QRO photos) plays modern rock music inspired by Tuareg guitar music, in his Tamasheq tongue and the takamba & assouf guitar styles.

Mdou Moctar

Nicki Nicole, 3:20 PM – 4:00 PM

Argentine rapper Nicki Nicole comes to the other side of the Western Hemisphere to play This Ain’t No Picnic.

Nicki Nicole

Girl Ultra, 2:30 PM – 3:10 PM

The Mexico City R&B of Girl Ultra crosses the order into Pasadena.

Girl Ultra

SPELLLING, 1:45 PM – 2:25 PM

Chrystia Cabral, a.k.a. experimental pop musician SPELLLING makes it to This Ain’t Not Picnic (QRO photos at a festival last month) riding last year’s The Turning Wheel.


Margaritas Podridas, 1:05 PM – 1:40 PM

Brandon, 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM

Back Nine  

Beach House, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

The guitar-and-keys pair of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally (QRO photos at a festival) may hail from Baltimore, but there’s a Francophile expanse to Beach House (QRO photos). 2008’s Devotion (QRO review) earned them many fans that felt that way (QRO live review), and 2010’s Teen Dream (QRO review) was shortlisted for ‘albums of the year’. In 2012 they came out with Bloom (QRO review), and they’ve since been working the festivals, coming to Sound On Sound (QRO photos at a festival). And the sweet sounds work in the bright sunlight (QRO photos outdoors) or the dark of the evening (QRO photos at a festival). And in 2015 the band (QRO photos) released not one, but two new full-lengths, Depression Cherry (QRO review) and Thank Your Lucky Stars (QRO review), following that up with a b-sides & rarities compilation in 2017, 2018’s seventh record, 7 (QRO review), and this year’s double-album Once Twice Melody (QRO review).

Beach House

Turnstile, 7:35 PM – 8:25 PM

Baltimore hardcore punks Turnstile (QRO ’22 photos) head over to California behind last year’s Glow On – just hopefully no one will shit in the pit this time…


Caroline Polachek, 6:20 PM – 7:10 PM

Late-2000s New York City had its own wave, including numerous dreamy acts, with one of the best in Chairlift (QRO photos at a festival) in records such as 2012’s Something (QRO review). Since they ended in 2016, singer Caroline Polachek has forged her own dreamy career, including 2019 debut Pang and coming on her own to This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a 2021 festivalQRO photos at a festival earlier in August).

Caroline Polachek

Tinashe, 5:10 PM – 5:55 PM

Tinashe Jorgenson Kachingwe (QRO photos at a festival) first came to notice for her acting, including motion capturing the female protagonist in Tom Hanks’ Polar Express, but has since broken out as a singer/songwriter (QRO photos at a festival), already up to fifth album last year with 333 (QRO photos at a ’22 festival) – and even performed “America the Beautiful” at WrestleMania 33!


Paris Texas, 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM

Los Angeles’ own experimental alternative hip-hop duo Paris Texas play This Ain’t No Picnic.

Paris Texas

Pachyman, 2:55 PM – 3:35 PM

Spinning tropicalia at This Ain’t No Picnic will be Pachyman (QRO photos at a festival last month).


Mike Watt + The Missingmen, 1:55 PM – 2:35 PM

There’s no one in music like Mike Watt. He was one-third of the seminal eighties punk outfit Minutemen – who gave the world “This Ain’t No Picnic” (and the Jackass theme song, “Corona”) on one of the greatest double-albums ever, Double Nickels On the Dime – and after the tragic, too-young death of Minutemen guitarist D. Boon, he & drummer George Hurley, recruited “Ed from Ohio” to forge fIREHOSE. He’s since worked with everyone from Wilco’s Nels Cline (QRO photos together) to Iggy & The Stooges (QRO photos at a festival) to Space Ghost Coast to Coast, but comes to this non-Picnic with his Missingmen (QRO photos).

Mike Watt


Junior Varsity, 1:00 PM – 1:35 PM

They Hate Change, 12:10 PM – 12:40 PM

They Hate Change



Godspeed You! Black Emperor, 9:45 PM – 10:35 PM

Post-rock is littered with seminal acts, but none, none is more important and acclaimed as Godspeed You! Black Emperor (QRO photos at a festival). The Montreal ensemble has done everything from curate numerous All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals around the world (QRO photo at an ATP) to working with the late Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü on Hot Wax (QRO review). They come to This Ain’t No Picnic behind last year’s G_d’s Pee at State End!.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Descendents, 8:20 PM – 9:05 PM

Amid the plethora of indie reunions in the twenty-first century, one of the most welcome has been that of Los Angeles’ Descendents (QRO photos at a festival). One of the seminal punk bands of the eighties (QRO photos at a festival), singer/research biochemist Milo Aukerman left the group in 1987, with which the rest of the Descendents (QRO photos at a festival) recruited a new singer and became ALL, but Aukerman returned in 1995. The group went on hiatus again in 2004, but 2010 saw them return, again – so go see where today’s punk is Descended from (QRO photos), as they come to This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a festival).


Sparks, 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM

Long before hipsters these days dropped their guitars for keyboards, brothers Ron and Russell Mael shifted Sparks from rock to electronics way back in the seventies, in collaboration with Giorgio Moroder. Since then, Sparks have created their own musical universe – or universes, inspiring everyone from Kurt Cobain to ABBA, Björk to Paul McCartney. And while recent years have seen them finally getting some the commercial credit that they’re due, including teaming up with Franz Ferdinand as FFS (QRO photos with Franz Ferdinand), they continue to “steer clear of pop conventions.”


Deafheaven, 5:50 PM – 6:35 PM

Deafheaven (QRO photos at a festival) expand on the black metal sound with elements of post-metal and even shoegaze, coming to This Ain’t No Picnic behind last year’s Infinite Granite (QRO review).


Shame, 4:40 PM – 5:25 PM

South London’s Shame received tons of praise for 2018’s Songs of Praise.


Nothing, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

From hardcore into shoegaze has been the evolution of Nicky Palermo, who has found critical success with the searing Nothing (QRO photos at a festival), in albums like 2014’s Guilty of Everything (QRO review), 2016’s Tired of Tomorrow (QRO review), 2018’s Dance On the Blacktop (QRO review), and last year’s The Great Dismal (QRO review), and now come to This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a festival).



King Woman, 2:25 PM – 3:05 PM

Michelle, 1:20 PM – 2:00 PM

Zulu, 12:25 PM – 1:00 PM

King Woman

The 19th Hole


Four Tet + Floating Points, 7:45 PM – 9:45 PM

U.K. post-rock electronic musician Kieran Hebden, also who’s remixed everyone from Andrew Bird to Radiohead, tours once more as Four Tet (QRO photos outdoors), on the back of 2020’s Parallel, and comes to This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos at a festival) to play with electronic musician & neuroscientist Sam Shepard, a.k.a. Floating Points.

Four Tet


Avalon Emerson, 6:15 PM – 7:45 PM

Tsha, 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM

Romy, 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM

Sofia Kourtesis, 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Naafi, 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM

Fundido, 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Avalon Emerson

DESPACIO, 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM