The festival kicks off this Friday on lower King Street. Musical acts listed below are not necessarily in order of appearance. To listen to a band, visit MySpace.com's Music Directory; every band listed here (except Giant Squid) has a page with at least one song on it.
- Hartwell James (L) and Fabulous Bird (R)
(301 King St., 577-9469)
Music starts at 8 p.m.
Bill Carson — Local aesthete Carson spins delicately arranged and sung gospel- and blues-inspired yarns
Band Marino — Cabaret mountain music with violin, banjo, and mandolin mixed in with snarling guitar solos; a bit like Sesame Street on 'shrooms
April Invention — Charleston seaside poignancy mixed with soaring Brit-rock sensibilities
The Fabulous Bird — Lo-fi, catchy indie rock with the character of old guitars that've been collecting dust in a garage for years
The Specs — Killer harmonies, keyboard hot licks, keen hairdos ... basically, Charleston's rebel Beatles
Kill Gordon — Laid-back punky pop with a swagger, rocks a bit like Brit-pop at times
- Cary Ann Hearst (L), and April Invention (R)
•Sat. March 25
UPPER DECK TAVERN
(353 King St., 958-0002)
Music starts at 6 p.m.
Hartwell James — Lyric-driven, initmate indie strumming fronted by the plaintive-voiced James (Littlejohn?). Watch your back, Malkmus
Pleasant — Easygoing weirdness, phat bass lines, and soothing female harmonies from these Chapel Hill scene stalwarts
Giant Squid — We can only guess that since giant squids rule the ocean with 25-foot front tentacles and eyes bigger than dinner plates, Giant Squid will rule the Deck
(301 King St., 577-9469)
Music starts at 7 p.m.
The Good Players — Chattanooga's answer to Charleston's New Music Collective; the "multimedia concept" group plays experimental rock that sounds like a (good) neo-noir soundtrack. The Good Players would probably give great dreams
The Green Fields — This Asheville group plays good--time, friendly, Sunday afternoon, back porch music that inspires plenty of toe-tappingDodger — Sunny, shambly folk-pop reminiscent of The Kinks, The Shins, and the Moogier Elephant 6 groups from these Orlando kids
The Chimney Sweeps — Country-tinged, atmospheric indie pop from the newish local group that includes guitarist Chris Shepp (Young Republicans) and fragile vocals from frontwoman Kit Gillespie
Actress — Heavier synth-pop from Chattanooga that unites the insistent beats of New Order and the glam playfulness of Duran Duran
Second Shift — More screamo/straightforward, fast-driving rock 'n' roll with "woo hoo"s mixed in. Think the Darkness, only less gay
The Californias — Appropriately peppy, upbeat pop tunes with a lead singer who bears an uncanny vocal resemblance to Elvis Costello
Schooner — Unique lo-fi, sometimes low-key, confessionals with a delicious sprinkling of vintage keyboards and a cheerfulness bubbling under the surface
The Explorers Club — If you've ever wanted to go back to the '60s and catch the Beach Boys (Smile-era, after all the surfing anthems), or the Kinks, or maybe even four Donovans at once, The Explorers Club will float your boat with their insane harmonizing and bevy of instruments
Cary Ann Hearst — Charleston's sweetheart with the rich, world-weary voice will hopefully debut some of her new material for a soon-to-be-released album, but even if she doesn't, she'll surely put on one heck of a show to close out the fest