Brendza’s beat: Summer fests, Wu-Tang, Mike Kinsella and more

By: Zach Brendza|Features Editorbrendza'sbeat

Summer time, music time

Here’s the deal. Short and sweet: these are three music fests that I think are the best and closest to Pittsburgh with the music I like (sorry but yes this is my opinion column):

Bled Fest, May 25, Michigan

What is it? Indie/emo/punk non-stop one day fest in Howell Michigan (5 hour drive)

 Bands: Anti-Flag, Andrew WK, Pianos Become The Teeth, Tigers Jaw, Into It. Over It., The World Is A Beautiful Place, Xerxes, Modern Baseball, Prawn, Dads, empire! empire!

Warped Tour, July 17 (Pittsburgh)

 What is it? You either like it or you don’t. Simple as that.

 Bands: The Wonder Years, Chiodos, The Used, Hawthorne Heights, The Early November, Silverstein, Bring Me The Horizon, Motion City Soundtrack, We Came As Romans, Defeater

New American Music Festival, Aug.31 through Sept. 1, Philly 

What is it? Jay-Z does his thing and gets whoever he wants to play. Literally whoever he wants.

Bands: Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of The Stone Age, Phoenix, Imagine Dragons, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, A$AP ROCKY, The Gaslight Anthem, Walk The Moon

Pick your poison. They’re all good. Just depends on what you like. Well, they’re all good to me.


They’re back. And they ain’t nothing to…well, you know. Wu-Tang had previously announced playing some reunion things this summer, Coachella (played last weekend and will play again this weekend) Bonnaroo, etc. But just last week they announced that their new album, A Better Tomorrow, will be released in July. It’s their first release since 2007’s Diagrams. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of their debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and the group themselves.  In addition, they are playing festivals and one-off dates from now until July, playing festivals in France, Iowa (U.S.), Ottawa (CA), Switzerland and England. This is great news for fans of the Wu, on any scale. This summer will hold good things in store for the group, with all alive current members being a part of their plans. RIP O.D.B. Good things are ahead for Wu-Tang and fans. Protect yo neck.

Owen new album

Also coming out in July (already looking like a pretty sweet month) is the seventh album from Mike Kinsella, aka Owen. If you don’t know who Mike Kinsella is, have you ever heard of American Football? Cap’n Jazz? Joan of Arc? Owls? The One Upstairs Downstairs? Or more recently Their / They’re / There? Yeah, he was/is in all of those.  L’Ami du Peuple, his new album, translated from Francés to “The Friend of The People,” is Kinsella’s first release since 2011’s Ghost Town as Owen. The first single “Bad Blood” is streaming now. It sounds more full-band oriented than previous Owen releases, but it sounds great.  He’s got this music thing down. L’Ami is one of two albums I’m most excited for this summer. Again, I have an unhealthy obsession with Dallas Green (City and Colour). It’s fine. Anyways, Mike Kinsella is ungodly talented and this album should/will be great.

Out This Week

 Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll

Iron & Wine – Ghost on Ghost

Kid Cudi – Indicud

Tera Melos – X’ed Out

The Flaming Lips – The Terror

Turnover – Magnolia

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito

On the Horizon

4/23 – Kvelertak w/ Cancer Bats, Black Tusk and Girlfight @ Mr. Small’s

4/24 – The Joy Formidable w/ Fort Lean and You Won’t @ Stage AE

Just Announced

 6/9 – Silversun Pickups w/ Foals and more @ Stage AE

6/11 – The Mountain Goats w/ The Baptist Generals @ Carnegie Library Music Hall

7/24 – Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon and Fastball @ Stage AE

11/11 – City and Colour @ Stage AE