As Outside Lands approaches every year, there’s a unique buzz around San Francisco. Between those frantically searching for tickets, hashing out set conflicts, proclaiming excitement or proudly boycotting, the City’s biggest festival is on locals’ minds this week. For the last 5 years we’ve watched Another Planet Entertainment’s crown jewel grow along a similar trajectory as the Bay Area–rapidly rising in popularity (and price). Even with the ever-changing landscape that surrounds it, Outside Lands maintains a dedication to quality music, comedy and food in 2016. The lineup sticks to the tried and true formula of local / up ‘n coming acts, the years’ current headliners and a rare performance from a star of the past.

While we’d be happy to harp some more on how awesome Anderson .Paak, Rufus Du Sol or LCD Soundsystem are, we thought we’d take this opportunity to introduce all our Bay Area Ninjas to some acts they might fall in love with for the first time this weekend at Outside Lands. We know how hard it is to get your crew moving, particularly in SF, but we think these artists make accelerating your pre-game well worth it. Hope to catch some of you Ninjas out in Hellman Hollow!

Day 1

Make It Funky DJs (Heineken House, 12-1:30PM)
For the most prompt attendees, we’d recommend kicking off your weekend at the Heineken House with our friends from Make It Funky. Over the last 3 years, the DJ collective have established themselves as a staple of San Francisco nightlife. If you haven’t yet been to one of their events, their set in the Heineken House should serve as the perfect introduction to their funk/disco vibes and get you dancing from the jump. – Ash

Marian Hill (Twin Peaks, 12:45-1:30)

’Marian Hill – One Time’

Marian Hill is the cleverly titled Philly-based band consisting of Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gongol. While they haven’t been on the scene long, the band makes up for short-term fame in their long-term chemistry – having performed together since middle school. Since gaining notoriety behind the catchy “One Time” in early 2014, Marian Hill has been putting together jazzy-electronic tracks at a solid pace. Their debut album, ACT ONE, is out now and well worth a listen. – Dom P.

Wet (Sutro, 2:30-3:20)

’Wet – It’s All in Vain’

While riding the wave to fame behind a hipster following, Wet has taken the back roads to success, allowing their vast internet following to shower them with (well deserving) praise behind early bedroom productions. Since putting out the 2013 melodic “I Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl”, the Wet trio has signed to a major label and toured nationally. Recently reemerged from their production studio in the wooded thickets of Hadley, Massachusetts, Wet dropped their debut album Don’t You and will be certainly gaining even more followers after their OSL performance. – Dom P.

Vulfpeck (Panhandle, 2:55-3:35)

’Vulfpeck – Back Pocket’

It’s unlikely you’ll see any performance quite like Vulfpeck’s this weekend. The funk/soul band take a fully improvisational approach to songwriting resulting in a catalogue of epic, at times comedic, jams that are morphed and built on during live performance. Don’t let their light-hearted approach fool you, though, Vulfpeck are truly gifted musicians who involve the audience in their show at every opportunity. – Ash

Day 2

Fantastic Negrito (Twin Peaks 12:40-1:25)

’Fantastic Negrito – Working Poor – Single’

After a debacle with SFPD prevented their performance last year, Oakland’s Fantastic Negrito return to Outside Lands this year with a chance for redemption in their hometown festival. Combining folk, funk and soul sounds with a distinctly defiant attitude, Fantastic Negrito should help you get over any morning hangover with a boost of energy early Saturday. – Ash

The Wombats (Lands End, 2:00-2:50)

’The Wombats – Emoticons’

As one of the driving forces behind the indie-pop wave of music that dominated the scene a decade ago, The Wombats have withstood the changing tastes and released their best album yet. When the danceable A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation hit the airwaves in 2007, the British trio challenged other famous acts as the top rock band of the time. Since then, their buzz had abated slightly, but is sure to pick up again with the circulation of their third studio album Glitterbug. Get to GGP early on Saturday to fill your nostalgic quota for the day. – Dom P.

The Knocks (Twin Peaks, 2:05-2:55)

’The Knocks – Dancing With Myself’

It’s actually surprising to see The Knocks land such an early set time with the success of their debut album 55 catapulting them to stardom this year. Regardless, the Brooklyn duo deliver a live set of quality pop-electronic music that appeals equally to the more involved and casual music fan alike. If you’re looking for something that’ll have both your music snob and top 40-loving friends moving their feet, don’t miss The Knocks. – Ash

Years & Years (Lands End, 3:20-4:10)

’Years & Years

As the recipients of countless awards such as “Album of the Year”, “Best New International Act”, and “Best British Group”, Years & Years may not have received a time slot comparable to the praise of their critics. Regardless, the trio of singer Olly Alexander, bassist Mikey Goldsworthy and producer Emre Turkmen will be turning out a performance to prove themselves worthy. Their debut album Communion has sold over 1,000,000 copies worldwide, giving them another honor – fastest selling debut album for a UK signed band. – Dom P.

Day 3

Kamasi Washington (Lands End, 12-12:45)

’Kamasi Washington – Malcolm’s Theme’

By Day 3, chances are you’re going to be pretty exhausted but Jazz virtuoso Kamasi Washington is not to be missed. His mind-blowing musicianship has been widely considered a driving force in the resurgence of contemporary jazz both as its own genre and in its influence across genres. If you can get yourself to Hellman Hollow early enough, you’ll want to be at Lands End for his set. – Ash

Oh Wonder (Lands End, 1:15-2)

’Oh Wonder – Body Gold’

The hypnotizing duo of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West went with an unconventional approach to music releases in 2015. Like clockwork, Oh Wonder released one song on the first day of each month for an entire year. This nontraditional approach lent itself to sustained relevance and was crafted with a common theme of depth, love, and isolation. Catch up with the entirety of their debut release on Soundcloud, as the majority of the 15 track album has been widely circulated – highlights of the album are “Dazzle” and “Body Gold”. – Dom P.

Snakehips (Twin Peaks, 2-2:45)

’Snakehips – Forever (Pt. II) Feat. Kaleem Taylor’

If you’re a regular here on TMN, chances are you’ve seen us post about UK production duo Snakehips. Their style combines a sensibility for throwback R&B/hip-hop with progressive electronic production making for some of the most irresistible tunes of the last few years. Another act that are falling surprisingly early, you won’t want to miss out on a chance to catch Snakehips up close. – Ash

Jack Garratt (Sutro, 2:35-3:25)

’Jack Garratt – Worry Feat. Anderson .Paak’

Jack Garratt is a one man band in the truest sense of the term. Jumping from instrument to instrument while delivering soul-wrenching lyrics flawlessly, his set is equally impressive to listen to as it is to watch. – Ash

Kehlani (Twin Peaks, 3:30-4:20) 

’Kehlani – CRZY’

As a student of Tony! Toni! Toné! and a finalist on America’s Got Talent, Kehlani has a pedigree that set her on a path to success from an early age. To coincide with her hometown performance at OSL  and the soon to be released motion picture Suicide Squad, Kehlani released a new track this week titled “Gangsta” to further bolster an impressive catalog. Following recent news of a bout with her own mental struggles, this Grammy-nominated fan favorite will surely be delivering a personal, soulful performance to touch the crowd on Sunday afternoon. – Dom P.

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