WYEP Summer Music Festival

Published On June 21, 2012 | By Kymbo Slice | Music

WYEP returns to Oakland’s Schenley Plaza again this year for its 15th annual Summer Music Festival with one of the best lineups in recent years. The event begins at 4PM with a variety of children’s activities and the I Made it Market. Music begins at 6 and includes locals Donora, as well as Great Lake Swimmers, Sharon Van Etten and Philly’s own Dr. Dog. Grab a blanket and head down to Oakland tomorrow for an evening of free and delightful family-friendly entertainment! Not familiar with the artists? That’s what we’re here for.

If you aren’t already acquainted with Donora (6PM), you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years. That, or perhaps you’re new to Pittsburgh, which is OK, but it’s about time you become familiar with this infectious band. I was one of their first groupies and have since fallen off the wagon due to an unfortunate banishment from an establishment they frequently play, but I do try and catch their shows elsewhere as often as I can. They recently released a new album titled Boyfriends, Girlfriends and have continued to build upon their catchy garage pop sound as they grow as artists.

Great Lake Swimmers (7:10PM) are from the other side of the lakes. Our Canadian neighbors have been rockin it out for almost 10 years now and released their debut album back in 2007. Their sound has been compared to the likes of Iron & Wine, Neil Young, Sufjan Stevens and Bonnie “Prince” Billy (a fella one of my top fave bands, Hot chip, is quite fond of). Just because they’re from the other side of the pond doesn’t mean they’re any less legit. Their fourth album, 2009’s Lost Channels, was shortlisted for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize and was nominated for a Juno Award and a Canadian Folk Music Award. Baller status!

Sharon Van Etten (8:25PM) is a name I’ve seen popping up a lot as of recent. She has been praised for her musical prowess, as NPR states, ” Her songs are heartfelt without being overly earnest; her poetry is plainspoken but not overt, and her elegant voice is wrapped in enough rasp and sorrow to keep from sounding too pure or confident.” The Brooklyn-based songstress was encouraged by TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone to pursue a career in music after moving home post-college. Her third studio album, Tramp, was released in February and debuted at number 75 on the Billboard 200 charts.

Dr.Dog’s (9:45PM) “psychedelic harmonies, lo-fi and pop sensibilities, and descriptive lyrics” (XPN) are what have hooked loyal fans who keep returning to shows again and again, no matter how frequently Dr. Dog touches down in Pittsburgh. According to XPN, “Dr. Dog got its start under the moniker Racoon, added some more members, changed their name to Dr. Dog, and self-released their first album. After supporting My Morning Jacket on tour, the band began to accumulate fans and appreciative critics. Since then, they’ve only continued to increase their popularity with five more releases and much touring.” Perhaps their most recognizable song, “Shadow People” is the type that will get stuck in your head for days.

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