By Tim Donnelly
Music festivals can be spendy. These days, the average Coachella outing costs more than a used car on Craiglist.
Providing an affordable Plan B for outdoor music enthusiasts, FM 94/9’s Independence Jam returns to the Oceanside Pier Plaza Amphitheatre June 5, with general admission tickets going for a more modest $35.
The annual, beachfront festival showcases both world-class indie acts and emerging local buzz bands. Indy Jam curators have a knack for booking under-the-radar acts that later go on to become some of the biggest names in the industry (i.e. Kings of Leon, MGMT and Yeah Yeah Yeahs). This year’s line-up is equally impressive and should help Independence Jam organizers maintain their perceptive streak.
Standout headliners include Cold War Kids; Peter, Bjorn & John; and the erotically-charged Lykke Li.
Though Long Beach’s Cold War Kids have been banging out soulful piano-punk since 2005, their newest release, Mine is Yours, is their most melodic to date. Back in 2006, Swedish popsters Peter, Bjorn & John had the whole world whistling to their ever-present and unforgettable hit, Young Folks. Their return-to-form single, Second Chance, is equally infectious.
Then there’s Swedish-born sexpot Lykke Li, whose recent performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon proves she’s poised for
mainstream success. Li’s sometimes sugary, often sexually-bitter pop drips from her single, Get Some, on which she unabashedly exclaims, “I’m your prostitute, you gon’ get some.” Her set will no doubt be one hell of a sexually frustrated dance party.
England’s Band of Skulls and L.A.'s Everest will also play the 94/9 Stage.
Performing on the Casbah Stage, worldtouring locals Crocodiles will melt ears with droning guitars and pulsing drums, while The Soft Pack’s stripped-down surf punk will have Jam-goers pounding their beers even faster. Another San Diego outfit on the rise, the ghostly yet serene Heavy Hawaii, will juxtapose its sunny melodies with demented undertones.
Florida’s Surfer Blood and S.D.'s Silent Comedy will also rock the Casbah Stage.
For those who want to get their drink on and not worry about driving to Oceanside, a $49 pass includes a roundtrip bus ride, departing from either Bub’s @ the Ball Park in East Village or 710 Beach Club in Pacific Beach.
FM 94/9 Independence Jam
When: June 5, 4 p.m.
Where: Oceanside Pier Plaza Amphitheatre, Oceanside