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Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Mar. 4, 2015 3 years ago

Listen Up: Your guide to the bands at Harvey Milk Festival 2015

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by: Nick Friedman Managing Editor of Arts and Culture

This Thursday, May 14, the sixth annual Harvey Milk Festival returns with three days of free music, visual arts and film, all celebrating the legacy of one of America's first openly gay politicians, Harvey Milk.

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The free festival kicks off Thursday, May 14, with a Burns Court Cinema screening of the film, "Tiger Orange," a story of two feuding gay brothers reunited by their father's death. The HuB will play host to the festival's second day and visual-arts portion Friday, May 15.

The festival will culminate Saturday, May 16, with a free all-day concert in Five Points Park, featuring local, regional, national and international acts.

Feeling overwhelmed? Here's our guide to this year's bands. Stay tuned for continued coverage.

Beach Day

WHO ARE THEY? This aptly named Hollywood, Florida duo pays homage to the sun-soaked, upbeat sounds of ’60s female-driven doo-wop bands with its breezy songs about love, heartbreak and — most importantly — trips to the beach.

FOR THE: Nostalgia seekers, fans of Best Coast and beach bums born in the wrong decade.

FINE, HEAR FOR YOURSELF:

Chasing Jonah

WHO ARE THEY? Based in Orlando, Florida, Chasing Jonah is an indie-rock band fronted by 24-year-old singer, Ashley Dudukovich. Her fluttery, larger-than-life voice, paired with the band's orchestral indie-rock arrangements, creates a haunting, memorable soundscape sure to tug at the heartstrings of the wistful. 

FOR THE: Bedroom singer, fans of Florence + The Machine or anyone wishing their life was scored by a dramatic soundtrack.

FINE, HEAR FOR YOURSELF:

Jami Gee

WHO ARE THEY? Industry veteran, guitar hero and transgender champion, Jami Gee (formerly known as Jimi Gee), is one of the area's most well-respected classic rock and jazz musicians. There's a reason her resumé includes backing gigs with bands such as The Temptations, stints with the Florida West Coast Symphony Orchestra and several Broadway shows — Gee's intricate finger-picking, virtuosity and classic-rock sensibilities make her a must-see act.

FOR THE: Guitar lover, equal-rights supporter or anyone yearning for the days when classic rock was king.

FINE, HEAR FOR YOURSELF:

RedFeather 

WHO ARE THEY? Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, RedFeather combines hippie sensibilities, electronic experimentation and slow-building dynamics to create droning, tribal jams that lull listeners into a daze of delicate, nylon-string acoustic guitar lines, vocal harmonies and atmospheric lead guitar melodies.

FOR THE: New hippie, fans of Roadkill Ghost Choir and shoe-gazers who just can't get enough floor tom.

FINE, HEAR FOR YOURSELF: 

Amythyst Kiah & Her Chest of Glass

WHO ARE THEY? Chattanooga's stripped-down roots and soul act Amythyst Kiah might have a chest of glass, but her pipes are nothing short of gold. Her strong, versatile vocals weave swampy, Southern-fried stories of loss, despair and murder through a backdrop of bare-bones acoustic, banjo and folk instrumentation fit for the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack.

FOR THE: Heart that needs soothing, fans of Brittany Howard and wayward sailors looking to be shipwrecked.

FINE, HEAR FOR YOURSELF:

Lost Lander

WHO ARE THEY? Portland, Ore.- based quartet Lost Lander's artistic pop stylings consist of deep, swelling synth lines, playful guitar melodies and understated hooks, courtesy of singer/songwriter Matt Sheehy, which explore the more emotional aspects of the human experience, including love, loss and a search for something permanent.

FOR THE: Introspective, fans of Bombay Bicycle Club and the broken-hearted optimist.

FINE, HEAR FOR YOURSELF:

Yip Deceiver

WHO ARE THEY? Yip Deceiver, a dance duo out of Athens, Ga., gets right to the point. Their 2013 album, "Medallius," opens with tremolo-soaked synthesizer chords under a harmonized preview of the chorus-to-come before dropping right into a percussion-driven electro-pop dance party that doesn't let up until the album ends 10 high-energy songs later.

FOR THE: Synth junkie, fans of Ghost Beach and unabashed late-night dance partiers.

FINE, HEAR FOR YOURSELF:

MeteorEYES 

WHO ARE THEY? Hometown electro-synth rockers, MeteorEYES, have established themselves a staple in the original music scene with their brand of punk-inspired dance rock that serves as a melting pot for a variety of genres, including indie rock, punk, dance and pop, consistently branded by local music-scene veteran Shannon Fortner's buoyant, belted-out vocals.

FOR THE: Quirky, fans of Sleater Kinney and local-scene supporters

FINE, HEAR FOR YOURSELF:

Kodak to Graph

WHO ARE THEY? Hailing from Pensacola, Florida and now living in Los Angeles, Michael Maleki, who performs as Kodak to Graph, is drawing attention with his glitchy, sample-driven electronic dance music, which has earned him a slot at this year's SXSW. If this Harvey Milk headliner reminds you of last year's headlining act, Slow Magic, you've got a good ear. The two have been on tour together, and festival organizers say they credit Slow Magic for the introduction.

FOR THE: Lo-fi fiends, fans of Slow Magic and seekers of an aural chill pill.

FINE, HEAR FOR YOURSELF:

Bright Light Bright Light

WHO ARE THEY? This year's main headlining act, Bright Light Bright Light, epitomizes the recent resurgence in ’80s-influenced, synth-driven pop music. Hailing from London, Rod Thomas lays smooth, easy-listening vocals over infectious, thumping tracks that continue to build.

FOR THE: ’80s kid, fans of Swedish House Mafia or anyone whose world collapsed when Miami Vice was cancelled.

FINE, HEAR FOR YOURSELF:

Stay tuned for more coverage!

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