For its fifth year, the Village Voice 4Knots Music Festival gets a new home (Pier 84 in Hudson River Park), a new admission price (or, to be more precise, a first-ever admission price -- previous editions had been free), and even a VIP area on a docked cruise ship. But most importantly, it features bands ranging from punk acts used to playing in pizza parlors to one of the crown jewels of the last 25 years of British music.
Here's a quick rundown, in reverse schedule order:
Super Furry Animals
The New York stop for the psychedelic Brit-pop outfit is a rare American date: The band's other summer sets include festivals in England, Spain and Japan. The run is the group's first live performances since December of 2009.
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
The band's 2014 effort "Wig Out at Jagbags" may currently be overshadowed by Malkmus' last project, Pavement, and its new reissue series. Don't expect to hear "Cut Your Hair" this weekend, though.
With a co-sign from Chance the Rapper, rockers Twin Peaks is the latest band bubbling up from Chicago's independent music scene. The young quintet is the festival act most likely to make anyone who actually remembers when "Twin Peaks" aired feel ancient.
The solo artist released his third full-length, appropriately titled "MCIII," on May 4 and celebrated by filming a video with Kristen Schaal for his song "Turn Around" that starts as a shot-for-shot remake of Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn" clip, then gets weird.
A decade in, the New Jersey indie/punk trio is still evolving its sound; the band's latest album "Rose Mountain" has a polish not seen in earlier efforts. It's still loud and heavy as all get-out, though.
The London trio either puts a British spin on 2000s American college alternative or an American spin on 1990s Britpop, depending on who is listening. The band also may have the best song title at the festival: "Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste the Same."
Lead singer and guitarist Chad Ubovich is used to being on bills with Mikal Cronin, having backed him on tour before. The heavy, psychedelic feeling of the band's debut album fits in well with the group's west coast roots, sounding like the soundtrack to a foggy day on a California freeway.
The psych-rock outfit is from Michigan, but Brooklyn label Beyond Beyond is Beyond landed the trio and is putting out the Grand Rapids-based crew's debut LP, "Holy Water Pool," in late September.
The appropriately-dreamy indie pop of Heaven feels more appropriate for a sunset time slot, but early arrivals can find their bliss before the heavier guitar rock arrives later.
The lo-fi Brooklyn punk outfit may really like Beyoncé. Or it may not. Irony, y'know?