More than 40 bands and a delicacy of “star” chefs taking center stage this weekend, Long Beach welcomes music and food aficionados to a weekend of bliss. Featuring two stages, New Orleans and the Long Beach Stage, and two Food “Stages,” Music Tastes Good’s ridiculous line-up satisfies the ears as well as your tastes buds which makes the balancing act a little difficult. Here’s our picks for the first day to help you on your journey, or if you just need some new bands to discover.
Saturday, September 30th
First thing first, hit up the Taste Tent at noon. There will be 9 amazingly talented Chefs beginning at this time and serving what makes them so unique. Like Chef Gus Sverkos, from Cafe Neo, who is a Greek-American raised in Long Beach and brings you “an American Kitchen with a Greek Soul.” Cafe Neo also has vegetarian options, which seems to be the only limitation for this food line-up. Chef Philip Pretty of Restauration offers a range of “beach foodies” with hormone-free beef, pork, and chicken with a French-inspired presentation. Chef Arthur Gonzales, of Long Beach’s Roe & Panxa Cocina has seafood galore! Salads, soups, full entrees. Not to mention the impressive line of cocktails. Beer Belly‘s Chef Wes Lieberher brings heavy, creative snacks, appetizers, and small dishes that go hand in hand with the craft beer.
The Taste Tent Demo stage starts at 1-3 p.m. with some Chef’s only being there for a good 30 minutes. Chef Luis Navarro from Lola’s Mexican Cuisine will be there from 1-1:30 p.m. Saturday and a full day on Sunday at the Taste Tent. Tortitas de papa, Combo Vegetariano, sopes, and special plates? Chef Luis Navarro is definitely a Long Beach Chef you need to visit.
The Natives- 1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. New Orleans Stage
Music wise, it depends how you want to start the day. Long Beach psych band, Spirit Mother kicks things off at 12:40 p.m. at the Long Beach stage, and their pretty good if you’re into the layered, neo-psych flare. Yet, a preferred route would be The Natives at 1:00 p.m. at the New Orleans stage. The Long Beach art-rap collective meshes smooth productions that truly stem from a crate digger’s mind and a worldly take, lyrically, that is simply fresh. Think Stones Throw.
TV Heads – 1:40 p.m. – 2:10 p.m. Long Beach Stage
Next artist to choose from is kind of tough considering the time, but if you really want to see good music, we suggest catching both Vinyl Williams and TV Heads, with a stronger emphasis on catching the majority of TV Heads‘ set. With a 10 min delay in their sets (TV Heads starting at 1:40 p.m. at the Long Beach Stage), both artists deliver an different range of energy. LA’s Vinyl Williams carries a silky funk demeanor, recommended if you’re a Toro y Moi fan, while TV Heads offer this incredible range of post-rock contemporary, with a slight melodic angst that falls heavenly into the indie genre. They’re just lovely.
Vinyl Williams – 1:50 – 2:20 p.m. New Orleans Stage
minihorse – 2:10 p.m.-2:40 p.m. Long Beach Stage
By 2 p.m., stay at the Long Beach Stage for minihorse– a great compliment to hear right after TV Heads. They have a light, almost dreamy feel to their pop-progression, rooted from a darker wave of rock. They lighten it up though with their quirky sounds, and every track on their 2016 EP, Big Lack, is worth the listen.
After some beer and maybe another trip to the Taste Tent, head back to the Long Beach Stage — New York, multi-instrumentalist artist Vagabon will be blessing the stage. Lætitia Tamko, the woman behind the moniker, possesses a vocal that is beautiful on any style of music. There’s just an excessive amount of talent to explain. She’s melodic, it’s indie, there’s bright pop-choruses, and at times well thought out instrumentation.
Vagabon – 2:40 p.m. – 3:10 p.m. Long Beach Stage
If you haven’t gotten food yet, head over to the Taste Tent Demo Stage. From 3-3:30 p.m., Chef Isaac Toups will be serving his authentic Cajun, and New Orleans dishes. If you do miss him, he will return to the main Taste Tent Stage on Sunday, so make sure you plan a visit. We’d recommend Saturday since Sunday is a busier day!
Juana Molina – 3:10 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. Long Beach Stage
Argentina, experimental mistress, Juana Molina, is one of those artists whose ambient textures are pretty trippy live. She’s a little eerie, a little modern rock, but a true artist for those who need good Spanish in their life.
Diane Coffee 3:40- 4:20 p.m., New Orleans Stage
Psychedelic motown? Yes, it exists, and comes from Bloomington and goes by the name of Diane Coffee. Every track drips with sophisticated, neo-psychedelia but with a bite to the sound — not typical in that genre, creative, and bright; simply pulling from the best of all genres.
BRONCHO 4:35 p.m. – 5:20 p.m., Long Beach Stage
BRONCHO. Say no more.
Slaves (U.K.) 4:50 p.m. – 5: 35 p.m., New Orleans Stage
U.K. punk duo, Slaves are a must see. If you’ve seen BRONCHO before, visit for a bit and then head over to the New Orleans Stage. The duo is raw, gritty, yet cohesive. The amount of energy that they are able to create is addicting and hopefully creates an ample amount of pits.
Alvvays 5:20 p.m. – 6:15 p.m., Long Beach Stage
Alvvays always puts on a great show with their indie sweetness appeal. Yet, we would definitely recommended finishing the set at Slaves before heading over to the Long Beach Stage.
Of Montreal 6:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Long Beach Stage
If you’ve never seen Of Montreal, this needs to be on your list. They will be performing Hissing Fauna, Are you the destroyer? as part of their 10 yr anniversary. You can catch-up and fall back in love with their charisma.
Ride (U.K.), 7:20 p.m. – 8:20 p.m., Long Beach Stage
Oxfordshire natives, Ride, are true to the shoegaze genre since their start in 1988. Heavy bass riffs, dreamy melodies, and the new-wave demeanor that influenced so many, can be heard through their entire collection. They have great instrumental breaks and a tight sound that ranges from headbanging to dancing.
Ween 8:20 p.m. – 9:50 p.m. , Long Beach Stage
Go back to the taste tent, have another beer, then ask yourself how you want to end the night? Ween closes the main stage at 8:20 p.m. – 9:50 p.m. and does have the perfect soundtrack to close a beach ridden event. Yet, over at the New Orleans Stage, locals Joyce Manor closes it with their post-rock, alternative waves. Their really great if you were a fan of adolescent, misunderstood rock in the early 2000’s. We suggest catching a couple of songs at 8:45 p.m. if this is your cup of tea, but truly close the night with Ween.
Music Tastes Good
September 30th – October 1st