After the rousing success of last year’s inaugural Town & City Festival, a sequel seemed inevitable. For the second year running, 10 Lowell venues will host over 50 different acts from across the New England area. Among these are scene staples such as Circus Trees, Corner Soul, and The Only Things, but as with last year quite a few performers from beyond Lowell (And even beyond the confines of New England) will be converging upon the Mill City. Many will be experiencing these artists for the first time, so we at The Lowell Spin have taken it upon ourselves to spotlight a handful of Town & City visitors arriving on October 18th and 19th. This primer represents but a small portion of the many great performers you’ll be able to find at the festival.
Buffalo Tom are considered one of the best kept secrets of the alternative rock boom of the early 90s, earning critical praise and a cult following for their fuzz-heavy, grunge-inflected take on power pop music. They’ve brought their Boston-born sound to venues the world over, as well as to festivals like South by Southwest, the Wicked Good Festival, and the Come As You Are Festival in the Netherlands, while their signature song “Sodajerk” was prominently featured in the TV show My So-Called Life. Buffalo Tom will be performing at Zorba Music Hall with support from And The Kids on October 19th.
The Hatian-born Vanda Bernadeau has earned a potent reputation as Boston’s “Queen Of The Bean” via her rap moniker Dutch ReBelle. Her music has been is a deftly lyrical and cleverly poetic blend of modern and classic boom- bap styles of hip-hop. Her videos have been featured on MTV’s Rap Fix Live, and is a multiple-time winner of a Boston Music Award. (For Best Hip-Hop Artist and for Best Music Video.) Dutch Rebelle will be performing at UTEC with support from Jazzmyn Red, Genie Santiago, Hech Rhymes, and Avanti Nagral on October 18th.
Boston-based rockers Powerslut have a sound that harkens equally to 90s indie, garage punk, and riot grrl movement acts like Bikini Kill or Sleater-Kinney. A finalist of the 2019 Rock & Roll Rumble who have earned high praise for hard-rocking songs with a modern, empowered sensibility that emphasizes sex-positivity, personal freedom, and a slyly irrepressive sense of humor. (Their latest EP titled Go Fuck Myself was released in a limited run bundled with packets of flavored lube.) Powerslut will be performing at The Worthen Attic with support from Mint Green, The Only Humans, and Babydriver on October 18th.
Hailing from Cambridge, Darlingside perform a lush, ethereal, and baroque take on folk music, harkening heavily to the sounds of indie acts like Fleet Foxes or Iron & Wine, with CSNY-inspired multi-part harmonies. The quartet regularly tour throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and their music has earned rave reviews from major publications like NPR Music, and The Daily Telegraph. Darlingside will be performing at Christ Church United with support from Honeysuckle & The Twisted Pine Band on October 19th.
Graduates of the Berklee Music of College, Lady Pills present a singularly hazy, lethargic, and eerily beautiful take on dream pop music. Featuring interchanging vocal harmonies and interlocking guitar melodies, this Boston-based trio has been a mainstay of the capital’s DIY scene for years, performing reverb-awash lullabies to remind one of the likes of Mazzy Star or Autolux. Lady Pills will be performing at The Worthen Attic with support from Floor Hockey, The Burning Hell, and Arty $lang on October 19th.
With a name like Party Bois it may surprise you to learn that this band is first and foremost all about partying. This multiple Boston Music Awards-nominated quartet is renowned for their raucous live shows, (Which has opened for the likes of Andrew WK, Kool Keith, Men Without Hats, and The Polyphonic Spree) and their floor-moving indie dance sound, not unlike that of major acts like Two Door Cinema Club or Phoenix. Party Bois will be performing at The Old Court with support from Eddie Japan, Marcela Cruz, and Magen Tracy & The Missed Connections on October 18th.
Described as a combination between Amy Winehouse and Bonnie Raitt, Vermont’s Kat Wright‘s sound combines all the best elements of of electric blues, roots rock & roll, and Motown soul into one cohesive sound. A consummate performer with a seductive stage presence, who has received high praise from NPR Music, Portland Press Herald, Boston Public Radio, and other outlets. Kat Wright will be performing at Warp & Weft with support from Squires Of Soul on October 19th.
More information for The Town & The City Festival as well as tickets for the full event and all of its individual shows are still available at their website: www.thetownandthecityfestival.com
– Lilz Martin