The All Tomorrow's Parties festival is curated this year by Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers fame. Dulli culls many of the best acts from basically every realm of music to create one of the finest, most unique festivals around. Here's who you should look out for this weekend at Pier 36:
The festival kicks off with the noise firebrand Lightning Bolt at 8:30, then transitions into a set by Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth joined by fellow guitarist Leah Singer. After that is a joint set by the celebrated composer Philip Glass and the relatively young gun Tyondai Braxton. It's after this that things get interesting. Following Glass and Braxton is one Frank Ocean, the mercurial R&B singer whose Channel Orange is being hailed -- with good reason -- as one of the greatest albums of the nascent decade.
Day Two of ATP is a bit more varied. Stage 2 appears a bit more interesting earlier in the day, with the intensely good synth-droners Emeralds kicking things off at 1:15. They've just announced a new album, so expect plenty of new material from them. By the time neo-retro soul man Charles Bradley goes off and you catch Detroit's garage-rock masters The Dirtbombs, you'll be ready to take in the delicate chamber pop of The Antlers at 6:15. The new(ish)ly reunited Afghan Whigs themselves play at 9:15, and The Roots will go on directly after them.
For ATP's final day, it's going to be hard to choose between the first and second stages with The Psychic Paramount (1:00) and Endless Boogie (12:30) going head-to-head. Endless Boogie delivers on the promise of its name, with a blend of legit boogie-woogie and Krautrock, while The Psychic Paramount gives you twice the noise and half the drummers (well, they don't have a drummer, but anyway).
Either way, they both sound like experimental music that you might like if you were a frat guy. Rowdy San Franciscans Thee Oh Sees are up at 6:00 on Stage 2, with Lee Ranaldo and his band following at 6:45 at Stage 1. The true highlight of the night, however, will prove to be at 9:45 at Stage 1, when the frustratingly punctuated always-rapturous Godspeed You! Black Emperor take the stage.