Northside Festival: Digging deeper in the musical lineup at the Brooklyn festival

Despite New York’s long history of nurturing up-and-coming musicians, filmmakers and entrepreneurs, the city never had a festival that brought …

Despite New York’s long history of nurturing up-and-coming musicians, filmmakers and entrepreneurs, the city never had a festival that brought all these people together until 2009 when the Northside Festival launched.

The Williamsburg-based festival has grown each year and now features more than 150 media, technology and design leaders; 100 films; and more than 400 bands.

The music portion of the festival will be headlined by rap duo Run the Jewels and rootsy singer-songwriter Neko Case.

Here are some other acts worth seeking out:

The Very Best

Made up of Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and Swedish producer Johan Hugo, The Very Best perform an exuberant combination of Afro-pop and EDM. Their albums have featured guest stars ranging from M.I.A. to members of Vampire Weekend to African legend Baaba Maal. Friday, McCarren Park, FREE

Ex Hex

Ex Hex lead singer Mary Timony (formerly of the band Helium) has said she wants to write songs “that would be on the radio in 1981.” Sure enough, Casey Kasem could have easily played any track on the band’s debut album, “Rips.” It’s full of glam rock guitar riffs and hook-filled choruses that would make Cheap Trick proud. Friday, Music Hall of Williamsburg, $13 advance/$15 day of show

Lower Dens

A different take on the music of the ’80s comes from Lower Dens. It performs synth-pop that balances upbeat melodies with darkness and longing. What sets it apart is singer Jana Hunter’s voice, which is often compared to Annie Lennox’s. Thursday, Music Hall of Williamsburg, $17 advance/$20 day of show

Girl Band

Ireland’s Girl Band is actually made up of four guys, but that confusion hasn’t held them back so far. They’ve been building buzz with a ferocious live show and a sound that marries grunge, post-punk and dance music. Sat-Sun, Music Hall of Williamsburg, $15


Bully lead singer Alicia Bognanno was an intern at producer Steve Albini’s recording studio, so it makes sense that her band’s poppy grunge sounds like it came straight from Albini’s ’90s heyday. However, her personal lyrics about navigating through the uncertainty of her 20s shows she’s interested in more than just looking back. Saturday, 50 Kent Ave., $30

Femi Kuti & the Positive Force

The eldest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, Femi is an incredible musician in his own right. While his music doesn’t stray far from his father’s style — Femi got his start in Fela’s band, after all — he has sometimes incorporated hip-hop into the mix, including collaborations with Common and Mos Def. Wednesday-Thursday, Brooklyn Bowl, $30


Rhye’s jazzy R&B is more suited for the bedroom than the clubs. Mike Milosh’s vocals are often compared to Sade’s — when the duo’s music first surfaced, people assumed the singer was a woman — and the band’s sound gives off a similarly smooth vibe. Friday, 50 Kent Ave., $30

If you go: The Northside Festival runs today through Sunday across the borough. For a full list of events, go to

HAL BIENSTOCK. Special to amNewYork