HOUSTON, Texas - Continuing its reputation as one of the most intriguing yearly festivals in the U.S., Houston's Day for Night festival this year is leaning on big artists at the top of its lineup while leaving room for breakout stars to emerge.
2017's music headliners of Nine Inch Nails and Thom Yorke could potentially outshine 2016's offerings of Aphex Twin and Bjork. And as with last year's lineup, all ages will find something to like about this year.
From Solange and St. Vincent, to Cardi B and the return of En Vogue, it also appears Day for Night is letting women take the wheel.
Here are some takeaways from the newly released lineup.
The throwback factor
Following in the formula of most music festivals, Day for Night organizers managed to hit the target when it comes to booking their nostalgia artists.
Clearly, the one-two punch of Trent Reznor's collective of Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke provides the top-of-the-lineup firepower needed, especially for a festival that is turning 3.
Going down the lineup, you'll see Day for Night's selection of En Vogue as an inspired one, given recent festivals looking to 90's urban acts. See: Missy Elliot at this year's FYF Fest for an example.
Even nostalgia in the latter years, which includes the 2000s on up, is being offered. You can thank Of Montreal and Godspeed You! Black Emperor for that.
Plus, we can't get over the addition of legendary DJ Roni Size, who returned in a big way last year on the electronic festival circuit.
As has been with last year's lineup, Gen X-ers are being served up a nice batch of their young adulthoods thanks to DFN.
Don't overlook the talk-driven Friday night lineup that serves as a precursor to Saturday and Sunday's music frivolities.
At the top of the lecture docket is Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower who sent shockwaves in the intelligence community when she passed off sensitive information to Wikileaks while she served in the Army.
Right below Manning is Nadya Tolokonnikova, who as part of the Russian band Pussy Riot challenged the Kremlin and was later jailed thanks to their guerrilla-style protest performances. Pussy Riot are part of the music lineup as well.
The top two lecturers should provide a refreshing moment of discourse during this otherwise amusing weekend of music.
While it's not necessarily normal in the festival setting to book speakers, especially those highly controversial in nature, Dec. 15 in Houston will give those with a broader world view the opportunity to justify their leanings.
Dependability of sub-headliners
This portion of the lineup is packed and might help Day for Night win "best lineup of the year" in various music publications.
How can you go wrong when the next acts down from the headliners include Houston's own Solange, French DJ duo Justice, Dallas-native St. Vincent, the dependably rambunctious Tyler, the Creator, and a trio of genre twisting producers in James Blake, Pretty Lights and Jamie xx?
In Solange, the Houston audience will find out how her highly-touted recent album "A Seat at the Table" translates to a live crowd.
In St. Vincent, the Day for Night crowd is in for a treat thanks to Annie Clark's preference for theatrics and upper body choreography, which is assuredly a sight to behold.
It'll be interesting who among the near-top of the lineup will be remembered as set of the weekend. We're leaning Blake whose ghostly and melancholic but soft aura should pair very well with a hopeful overcast December day.
We're giving the up-and-coming chart-topper her own section. And, why not?
With her boastful rhymes that can definitely make an in-her-prime Nicki Minaj sweat, Cardi B is the MVP of rap music in the second half of 2017.
She's not quite at the level of consciousness that beckons a stadium tour. But The Bronx rapper is a fine and well-timed addition by Day for Night.
Who knows? By the time her set is over at the Barbara Jordan Post Office, many who aren't familiar with the one-time exotic dancer will probably play "Bodak Yellow" on the drive home.
In case you missed it...
Here is the full music lineup of Day for Night, which is set to take place Dec. 15-17 in downtown Houston:
Nine Inch Nails, Thom Yorke, Solange, Justice, St. Vincent, Tyler, the Creator, James Blake, Pretty Lights, Jamie xx, Phantogram, Pussy Riot, The Jesus Lizard, Nina Kraviz, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Rezz, Laurie Anderson, Cashmere Cat, Cardi B, Perfume Genius, Sky Ferreira, Gas, En Vogue, Lil B, Of Montreal, Venetain Snares and Daniel Lanois, Princes Nokia, Kimbra, Mount Kimbie, Corbin, Shlohmo, The Album Leaf, DJ Tennis, Tim Hecker, Forest Swords, Babyfather, G Jones, Shabazz Palaces, Andy Stott, Jessy Lanza, Roni Size, Jlin, Priests, Bjarki, Demdike Stare, Saro, Rabit and House of Kenzo, B L A C K I E, Marcus Marr, HoodCelebrityy, Faten Kanaan, True American, Pearl Crush, Deep Cuts, Tyler Barber, N N O A, Santa Muerte, Kona FM, Anitra, Narcons, Acid Jeep, Hescher, Tearz, XLX, Miguel Flaco, Collin Hedrick and more.
You can purchase passes to this year's festival at the Day for Night website.
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