10. Secret Show - I'm throwing in the Scion Secret Show because of the hype building around it. The level of the band playing is said to be somewhat of a "household" name on the indie scene.
9. Ruckus Roboticus
8. AA Bondy - This former frontman of a rock band called Verbena, has traded loud rock for an acoustic guitar and bluesy-folk songs about damnation and salvation. His sound fits somewhere between Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams.
7. Ha Ha Tonka - staying true to their Missouri mountain roots, this up-and-coming indie band has been praised by Paste and Spin Magazines. Their debut album finished at #15 on Popmatters Magazine's "Best Albums of 2007." They played both the Lollapalooza and Sundance festivals in 2008, and have toured with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, The Meat Puppets, and The Old 97's. They are currently on tour with Backyard Tire Fire.
6. Why? - we welcome back home, the well-trained artists otherwise known as Why?, featuring Cincinnati's very own, the Wolf brothers. Since they left, they've been riding a rising wave of success with their intelligent mix of indie, folk rock and hip-hop.
5. Mates of State - this husband-wife duo from Kansas, mostly stick to their drums and keys, however they venture creatively with a variety of keyboards, organs and synthesizers, other types of percussion, the glockenspiel, but only occasionally, the guitar. Their live show possesses the fun-loving, dancing spirit, you can find in electronica/indie-pop, much like that of Cincinnati's, The Seedy Seeds.
4. The Felice Brothers - they were festival whores this past year, and I don't mean that in a bad way. They played a lot of festivals including Mountain Jam, Clearwater Festival, Bonnaroo, Philadelphia Folk Festival, All Points West, Outside Lands and the Newport Folk Festival. When I'm listening to this band, I sometimes have to remind myself that I'm not listening to a recently undiscovered Bob Dylan album from thirty or forty years ago.
3. Backyard Tire Fire
2. Lonely China Day - they may be the underdog of the festival. Their sound is drawing comparisons to Sigur Ros. They could possibly be the best of this year's festival. They're just that good.
1. Boston Spaceships - I won't be suprised if this show ends up being the most talked about. The former Guided By Voices frontman's new all-star project includes another GBV member and the drummer from The Decemberists.
Others You Can't Go Wrong With:
Oh My God, Daniel Martin Moore, Seabird, The High Strung, Coltrane Motion, Ryan Adcock, The Chocolate Horse, Peter Adams
The Sadies, The Hiders, Say Hi, Buffalo Killers, Scratch Track, Pomegranates, The Seedy Seeds
Kim Taylor, God Made Me Funky, Headlights, Cipes and the People, Flow, 500 Miles to Memphis