The dust from R. Kelly-gate has settled, and this weekend the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival takes place at dozens of venues in the Arena District and Short North. The dust from has settled, and this weekend the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival takes place at dozens of venues in the Arena District and Short North.
While Kelly was dropped from the festival lineup following outrage over his controversial history with underage girls, there are still plenty of acts to check out.
Destiny’s Child alumna Michelle Williams, whose new gospel album, Journey to Freedom, comes out on Sept. 9, and Columbus’ favorite jam band O.A.R., will lead a diverse line-up of more than 120 local and national music acts (including dozens of free outdoor performances).
Here are five additional acts you won’t want to miss at FMMF.
Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons
The Columbus band’s Americana and country-tinged rock is infectious — and best observed live (one reason the group was named an Alive 2014 Bands to Watch). Fans of Lydia Loveless, Grace Potter, Patty Griffin and the like will appreciate the band’s latest album, Hey Kid, which delivers several surefire crowd-pleasers, including “Athens,” (inspired by her student years at Ohio University), and “Hurricane,” in which she purrs, over a stomping beat, “Take the truth for what it is. All of us just hungry kids. Got a light in the dark. And a mouth that sparks.”
Where: After-party, 10:45-11:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29 at the Garden Theater/Short North Stage; free outdoor show, Sunday, Aug. 31 at McFerson Commons.
The Wet Darlings
The Wet Darlings are a self-described “Midwestern sludge-pop” band from Columbus, consisting of Jenny Lute (vocals, keys), Bill Patterson (guitar), Joe Patterson (bass) and Aaron Bishara (drums). Formed in 2008, the band is currently in the studio working on its first official full-length album. Lute’s ready-for radio voice and killer fashion sense make The Wet Darlings an FMMF must-see.
Where: After-party, 11:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at Brothers Drake; free outdoor show, 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31 at Nationwide & High.
Cold War Kids
Indie-rock band Cold War Kids hails from Long Beach, California and infuses its catchy tunes with more than a hint of soulful blues. The band formed in 2004 and is set to release its fifth studio album this fall. “All This Could Be Yours,” the first single from the upcoming album, is a fitting earworm of a follow-up to the chart-topping power pop anthem “Miracle Mile,” from 2013’s Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. Lead singer Nathan Willett’s dizzying vocal stylings will resonate well with fans of Fitz and the Tantrums and Bleachers.
Where: Free outdoor show, 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31 at McFerson Commons.
If you’re not one of the millions who’ve listened to the airy, foot-tap and head-bop-inducing song “Bright Whites” from experimental-pop musician Kishi Bashi’s 2012 debut album, 151a, stop what you’re doing and listen to it now (good luck getting it out of your head.) Kishi Bashi (aka Kaoru Ishibashi), of Athens, Georgia, is a talented multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter worth familiarizing yourself with. A classically trained violinist, he got his start touring with Regina Spector, Sondre Lerche and Of Montreal. Their influence is clearly felt in the quirky, ethereal sound of Lighght, his most recent album, which was released in May on Joyful Noise Recordings. A standout from Lighght is the almost psychedelic "Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!," on which Kishi Bashi’s violin and electronic loops form an intriguing blend.
Where: After-party, 11:30 p.m.-12:15 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29 at Skully’s Music-Diner.
Nick D’ and the Believers
Columbus’ own Nick D’ and the Believers burst onto the Ohio music scene in 2013 with the release of its first EP, Throwing Stones. One year later, lead singer and keyboardist Nick D’Andrea, guitarist Kerry Henderson and drummer Joseph Barker are back with a follow-up EP, Bang Bang. In interviews, D’Andrea has cited fellow Ohio natives the Black Keys as an influence, and it’s most notable on the Bang Bang title track, which features D’Andrea’s soulful falsetto over an energetic, yet gritty synth-rock beat. FMMF offers a chance to catch Nick D’ and the Believers as its star quickly rises.
Where: After-party, 11:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29 at Park Street Tavern; free outdoor show, 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31 at Marconi.