Lands Ho! The Must-See Shows and Must-Eat Foods at Outside Lands

Read on after our music picks for Anna's food recommendations.


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By Ian S. Port

There are nearly 90 acts on the Outside Lands lineup this year, with a spectrum of musical offerings that includes R&B, funk, rock, hip-hop, and dance music. The options are simply bewildering, which is why we've laid out some recommendations here.

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The Men: Burly, chaotic, primitive, and very loud rock is the specialty of this Brooklyn outfit. The Men are somewhat notorious for their bruising live shows, but the songs are good enough to make them worth checking out. 3:05 p.m. on the Panhandle stage.

Jessie Ware: You may know Jessie Ware’s smoky, melancholic voice from her work with SBTRKT. Even if you don’t, check her out — the British singer makes sultry, hyper-modern electronic pop, with beats as subtly captivating as her voice. 3:25 p.m. on the Sutro stage.

Chic: So R&B enigma D'Angelo canceled due to illness, but that's not entirely a bad thing. We will now be treated to a live performance from Nile Rodgers' seminal disco vehicle Chic, only months after the man helped Daft Punk rule the world with his impeccably funky guitar work on "Get Lucky." In other words, maybe we just did. 6:05 p.m. on the Sutro stage.

Paul McCartney: As big a no-brainer as they come, Macca will easily put on one of the best sets of the festival. You’ll have to sit through some solo material, but the payoff will be hearing an original Beatle roll out tunes like “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and “Let it Be.” 7:10 p.m. on the Lands End stage.

Chromatics: Chromatics’ blend of spare beats, icy synths, and breathy vocals isn’t rare these days, but it is uncommon for a group to meld those elements as tastefully — and beautifully — as this Portland outfit. Given the success of the dance-pop group, it’s strange to recall that it once specialized in noisy, punk-indebted rock. 7:50 p.m. on the Panhandle stage.

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Bhi Bhiman: Local songwriter Bhi Bhiman is building a national reputation on the strength of his penetrating, heartfelt folk. Bhiman tackles serious topics with a human – and often humorous -- touch, spinning yarns from unusual perspectives, like that of a North Korean prisoner ("Kimchee Line") or a rail-riding hobo ("Guttersnipe"). 12 p.m. on the Sutro stage.

Bombino: Among the many talented purveyors of African desert blues — a hypnotic strain of guitar music from the Sahara — Bombino is a standout. His latest album, Nomad, was produced by the Black KeysDan Auerbach, and melds hip-swaying rhythms with a little rock ’n’ roll muscle. 4:30 p.m. on the Panhandle stage.

Thao Nguyen: San Francisco folk-rocker Thao Nguyen is a local luminary. Her album We the Common won acclaim from just about everywhere for its taut production and brave, socially aware songwriting. Thankfully Thao is as tuneful as she is smart. 4:40 p.m. on the Sutro stage.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Still among the finest purveyors of new-millennium New York rock, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have only gotten darker and weirder as the years have gone on. New album Mosquito doesn’t quite have the ruthless kick of earlier work, but Karen O’s notorious onstage antics will help remedy that. 6:30 p.m. on the Lands End stage.

Nine Inch Nails: The vehicle Trent Reznor used to bring industrial music to the ’90s rock mainstream is back, and in fine form. Come to hear alt-era classics like “Closer” and “Head Like a Hole,” but stay for “Came Back Haunted” and other previews of the new album, Hesitation Marks, which is out Sept. 3. 8:25 p.m. on the Lands End stage.

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Kurt Vile: No, he isn’t stoned — Phillytown’s freakiest long-hair just loves meandering guitars, daydreamy reverb, and hints of ’70s album rock. Vile’s latest album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, is his finest yet, making this an excellent time to see him live. 2:30 p.m. on the Sutro stage.

Hall & Oates: We aren’t being ironic, and you won’t be either when the synth lines that open “Private Eyes” tumble out into Golden Gate Park. Hall & Oates admittedly deal in a brand of hypermelodic ’80s pop that now sounds a little cheesy. But they’re so good that it can’t help but be enjoyed sincerely. 4:20 p.m. on the Lands End stage.

King Tuff: Vermont's Kyle Thomas goes by the stage name King Tuff, and deservedly so: Few artists out there make such satisfying, gleeful rock 'n' roll – and play it with such intoxicating fervor – as he does. Both his albums, including the recently reissued Was Dead, are psych-garage masterpieces, radiating pop joy as they careen from one memorable riff and guitar solo to the next. 4:25 p.m. on the Panhandle stage.

A-Trak: Alain Macklovitch was a DJ prodigy long before he became Kanye West’s touring selecter and a dance-music celeb in his own right. A co-founder of L.A.’s iconic Fool’s Gold Records, the man known as A-Trak is as accomplished as DJs come. 5:10 p.m. on the Twin Peaks stage.

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