As summer keeps rolling along, as do the parade of summer music festivals. While some require you to travel across the country, bringing camping materials, spending hundreds of dollars, and a plan of action for what to do when you get there to realize you forgot the tickets. The good news is that the annual 4Knots Festival in New York’s financial district saves you from all of those problems. Taking place in our own back yard, NYC’s best one-day music festival returns to its home at South Street Seaport this Saturday, as the free day of music, booze, and dancing welcomes New Yorkers to the almost halfway point of summer. With only one day of music, 4Knots once again gives music fans a great lineup of bands and a chance to dance on a pirate ship in the process.

The festival, run by Village Voice, will feature ten fantastic acts that will give New Yorkers something to smile about. I mean lets be honest the week after 4th of July weekend is filled with hangovers, sunburns, and depression over having to come back down to reality after a Wolf of Wall Street-esque weekend celebrating Independence Day. Fear not! 4Knots always guarantees a fun time, especially on a sunny day, and here are some of the bands that are going to make it happen:


Dead Stars: These local Brooklynites have put out a few EPs and singles since their formation in 2009, but their first full-length album released last month under Old Flame Records now gives the band a full, legit catalog to work with. The three-piece rock band mixes strong influences of 90s alt-rock with modern indie guitar jams. Their riff driven style is evident throughout their crunch style of pop/rock. They’re that college band you went to see playing in the back yard of a house party mixed with a more mature and evolved songwriting style. You’ll dig ‘em.


Speedy Ortiz: The indie rock quartet from New England is making a stop in the big apple in the middle of their summer North American/European tour to give us New Yorkers a taste of what they bring to the table. They love fuzz pedals, catchy rhythms, and jangling guitars. Singer and guitarist Sadie Dupios gives fans a blissful mix between Jenny Lewis and Mazzy Star. Not a bad thing by any means. The band does bring an element of familiar rock influences as the foundation of their guitar-based rock and roll style. Prepare to be taken in by these guys.


Nude Beach: More Brooklyn bad boys will take the stage on Saturday with Nude Beach taking the helm at some point in the afternoon. Their pop/punk sound is a big machine made of up 3 integral pieces in Chuck Betz, Jim Shelton, and Ryan Naideau. The three New Yorkers bring and attitude and energy that still rocks listeners to their core but doesn’t over-intimidate. Their attitude really falls in the lyrics and the tone in which they are sung, as they bring back memories of early 80s punk at 315 Bowery. Their impressive guitar skills are equally matched by the bands ability to move as one, and transcend real rock and roll energy into each song they spit out.


Juan Wauters: Like Bob Dylan? These guys are a perfect example of what would happen if Bob Dylan had a musical baby with some badass New York poet. Son of an immigrant and a Uruguayan immigrant himself, Juan has reached out to New York to embrace him via his music and beautifully haunting lyrics. His 60s singer-songwriter vibes fit in perfectly with New York’s melting pot music scene. There’s something about his folky, acoustic performance that just fits in perfectly to the Brooklyn music scene at the moment. Maybe it’s his true passion and lack of giving a fuck, but rather just wanting to play good music and letting others enjoy it with him. Whatever it is, we’re sure glad he’s blessed out shores with his incredible musical ability.


Dinosaur Jr.: What else needs to be said about Dinosaur Jr. that hasn’t been said already? As the band celebrates their 30th year in existence, the Amherst, Mass. Rockers plan to bring FiDi a dose of awesomeness in the form of loud guitar rock. The Alt-rockers who were highly influential on the rock scene of the 90s, have not gone extinct by any means, rather they’ve gotten better with age. Their 2012 album I Bet On Sky showcased the bands ability to adjust into the new decade with brash and ballsy guitar riffs and rock melodies that keep them one of rocks more respected touring acts. They carry with them the memories and legacies of former contemporaries like Sonic Youth, The Lemonheads, Sponge, and other 90s alt-rock pioneers. Lots of gain, fuzz pedals, and melodic distortion help fuel this band and give them the arsenal to lead their rock and roll assault.

Article by: Tom Shackleford

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