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The best acts to see at Northside Festival 2016

Here are the acts you don't want to miss at this year's Northside Festival from Brian Wilson to Lotic

Photograph: Courtesy Northside

Since its birth in 2009 as a locally focused upstart music fest, Northside Festival has grown to be one of New York’s top summer music festivals (and things to do in the summer). Over its four-day run, the fest presents loads of worthwhile homegrown talent at a variety of north Brooklyn venues alongside bigger outdoor concerts in NYC and a technology and film component, à la SXSW, kicking off earlier in the week. It’s hard to go wrong at any number of showcases—but here’s a guide to ease your path.

RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to Northside Festival

Best acts at Northside Festival 2016

If you want to find a groove: BADBADNOTGOOD

If you want to find a groove: BADBADNOTGOOD

The Toronto outfit makes instrumental music that’s not quite jazz, soul or hip-hop but all of the above, collaborating with rappers such as Ghostface Killah and Mick Jenkins. Its latest gem, “Time Moves Slow,” is a lush syrupy burner sung by Future Islands frontman Sam Herring. Thursday, June 9 at House of Vans with DIIV

If you’re yearning for a walk in the woods: Steve Gunn & the Outliners

If you’re yearning for a walk in the woods: Steve Gunn & the Outliners

Brooklyn-based Gunn draws on homey American primitive guitar sounds and jammy Grateful Dead–esque riffage on his new LP, Eyes on the Lines, a mood-setting record made for balmy summer nights. Thursday, June 9 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Cut Worms

If you want to revisit the early aughts: Wolf Parade

If you want to revisit the early aughts: Wolf Parade

The Montreal indie-rock band returns from a five-year hiatus: Listen for songs from its debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary, a danceable, hook-filled masterwork, but expect some tunes from its new EP as well. Thursday, June 9 at McCarren Park with Land of Talk

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If you want to bath your ears in sound: Battle Trance

If you want to bath your ears in sound: Battle Trance

Local experimentalist Travis Laplante leads his saxophone quartet in free-form explorations with stops in swinging melody, spiritual contemplation and shrieking blasts of noise (all featured on its forthcoming sophomore LP, Blade of Love). Friday, June 10 at Knitting Factory with Zs

If you’d rather be stoned: Colleen Green

If you’d rather be stoned: Colleen Green

Green’s fuzzed out power pop recalls the bubblegum punk of the Ramones and garage-rock Buddy Holly of early Weezer, taking on the vastness of human experience from self-destructive romance to hitting the bong. Friday, June 10 at Baby’s All Right with Childbirth + Diet Cig

If you want to get moving: D∆WN

If you want to get moving: D∆WN

Former Danity Kane singer Dawn Richard, coming off last year’s frenetic dance-pop opus Blackheart, utilizes the production of Fade to Mind wizard Kingdom on her latest EP. The result is darkly hued futuristic pop-R&B that offers plenty of reason to get sweaty. Friday, June 10 at Rough Trade with Kingdom

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If you want to hear crate-dug treasures: Peanut Butter Wolf

If you want to hear crate-dug treasures: Peanut Butter Wolf

The DJ and founder of the influential SoCal record label Stones Throw, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, visits to spin old-school, sample-soaked hip-hop heavy on funky breaks. Friday, June 10 at Brooklyn Bowl with J Rocc

If you want to hear a new spin on an old classic: Frankie Cosmos

If you want to hear a new spin on an old classic: Frankie Cosmos

Local folkie Frankie Cosmos (born Greta Kline) puts aside her own stirring, tuneful songs to play from Liz Phair’s acerbic Exile in Guyville on an all-covers bill. Saturday, June 11 at Rough Trade with Ava Luna + Deradoorian

If you’re feeling broody: Lotic

If you’re feeling broody: Lotic

A welcome addition to the sinister Tri Angle Records family, genre-defying producer Lotic crafts subterranean bass-music soundscapes that are as hair-raising as they are body-moving. Saturday, June 11 at Saint Vitus with Rabbit + Priests

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If you’re feeling a little bit country: Kacey Musgraves

If you’re feeling a little bit country: Kacey Musgraves

A keen interpreter of classic country sounds, Musgraves’s latest LP, Pageant Material, combines golden-hued tones with sharp lyrical turns—and her live show typically comes equipped with neon cacti and plenty of pink tinsel. Saturday, June 11 at McCarren Park with Conor Oberst + The Felice Brothers

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