If you're feeling inclined to mess with Texas, singer/songwriter Carrie Rodriguez might irk with her radio-ready sound and modicum of twang. (At times she evokes Mindy Smith, although the production on her latest, She Ain't Me, is often more pleasingly Bonnie Raitt.) But it's as a violinist— oh, excuse me, fiddler— that Rodriguez truly shines. Let's hope she brings her lap steel player to the Starbucks Stage.
"Born from the ashes of gangsta rap" (but weren't we all), Los Angeles-based U.N.I. have all the looks of a next big thing, at least if their Myspace page is to be believed. What they do is [pick one: indisputably? arguably?] unique, mixing hip hop delivery with layers of anachronistic live instruments including 80s synth. I'm hearing Talib Kweli by way of MGMT. The Kanye influence is pretty vivid, too, especially in certain vocal turns. It's a pretty charming package, so I'll be at the Fisher Green Stage for sure, to see if they can convince me.
Also in the "WTF? Hmm... I gotta see this" category on Saturday are The Scream Contest— which is just what it sounds like and features members of TacocaT— and some guy who goes by "Justin Kredible" that does magic and apparently kicks it with Rachael Ray on the regs.
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