So what exactly is the Modern Sky Festival?
Modern Sky began as a Beijing record label and organized its first music festival in 2007, featuring a mix of Chinese acts and American bands such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The company has since rebranded as Modern Sky Entertainment and now puts on about 20 festivals per year in major Chinese cities.
So it's a Chinese festival, but it's in new York City?
Right—Modern Sky is bringing the festival to the U.S. for the first time this weekend.
The lineup seems like a random stylistic jumble. Am I missing something?
Not to worry—an eclectic roster is part of the fest's appeal. Scheduled acts include alt-singer-songwriter extraordinaire Cat Power, lush Canadian indie-poppers Stars, local art–punk heroes Liars, recently reunited early–aughts hardcore legends Blood Brothers and the Aimee Mann–Ted Leo super-duo The Both.
What is this Atomic Bomb business I keep hearing about?
Atomic Bomb! is a touring tribute to the music of William Onyeabor, a vintage Nigerian funk artist. It's put on by David Byrne's Luaka Bop label and features a core backing band with different guest performers at each show. The group's Modern Sky slot has Jamie Lidell, Alexis Taylor and Dead Prez among others as billed guests, so you know it's going to be groovy.
But I don’t know anything about the Chinese acts. Help?
We’ve got you covered. Here's what to expect:
Re-TROS (Rebuilding the Rights of Statues) plays Gang of Four style post-punk.
Queen Sea Big Shark plays electro-rock with a retro vibe.
Shuh Tou is a metal band from Western China.
Deserts Zhang Xuan is a singer-songwriter.
Second Hand Rose mixes rock and traditional Chinese music.
Omnipotent Youth Society plays emotional alt-rock.
Awesome—so how do I get tickets?
Check out Ticketfly for details.