Gorillaz. Nicolas Jaar. The xx. No doubt audiences are excited about the headliners and national acts performing at III Points 2017, which begins next Friday, October 13, and continues through the weekend.
However, since its inception five years ago, the festival has always given local acts a chance to share the stage with the top billing. What began at least partially as a cost-saving measure has turned into one of III Points' best features. No other music festival on this scale gives local acts a chance to perform to large crowds. Sure, shaking Churchill's Pub's crumbling walls is a must for any local band, but a larger stage puts a brighter spotlight on the music coming out of Miami.
So do yourself a favor: Don't stroll into the festival late to catch only the bigger acts. Make a day of it and show your support for the amazing bands, DJs, producers, and others who call these swampy lands home.
Byrdipop. When Poorgrrrl made her debut in 2015 at the festival, behind her stood a shadowy figure manning the boards. That was Byrdipop — real name Andrew Byrd — who has helped Poorgrrrl with the music production of her grifter-meets-rapper-meets-performance-art hybrid. Byrd has been actively DJ'ing around town since then, but if you've never caught him live, now is the time. Byrd's production sometimes delves into the absurd, but he knows when to pull back before it descends into complete chaos. 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Friday, October 13, on the Main Frame stage.
Jaialai. The four-piece band will make its festival debut this year, and it's no surprise why III Points invited the band to take part. In its short existence, Jaialai has released its debut EP, When I'm on the Run, whose title track is the perfect introduction to the group's pop-meets-psychedelic-rock sound. And though the band is new, its members — Jose Vinicio Adames, Oscar Sardinia, Mario Lemus, and Richard Boullon — are local music veterans. 6 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, October 13, on the S3ctor 3 stage.
Seafoam Walls. A perfect representation of today's postgenre music, Seafoam Walls describes its sound as jazz and indie and shoegaze and hip-hop. And technically, yes, it's all of those. It's hard to describe the group's sound, apart from calling it highly layered and melodic. What began as a solo project by vocalist and guitarist Jayan Bertrand has extended to a four-piece, but as Bertrand told New Times in May: "The band is probably going to expand." 6:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, October 13, on the Mind Melt stage.
Deaf Poets. This duo packs quite a wallop in live performance. You can't help but wonder if there are more musicians behind the curtain helping round out the sound. But rest assured Deaf Poets is made up of just Sean Wouters and Nico Espinosa. The two released a new album, Lost in Magic City, this year and have been touring extensively. What have they learned on the road? You'll have to catch them live to find out. 6:50 to 7:20 p.m. Friday, October 13, on the S3ctor 3 stage.
Danny Daze. He calls Miami home only part-time these days — Berlin is his base when he's in Europe — but Danny Daze has been repping the 305 hard since he's blown up on the dance music scene. He's one of the rare local acts listed higher on the bill than some national performers, and for good reason: Daze has become a force to be reckoned with, releasing cuts on the highly respected Kompakt label as well as his own imprint, Omnidisc. His latest Kompakt release with German producer Shokh, "Aire," is a slow burner that crescendos to an instrumental call-and-response. 12:25 to 1:55 a.m. Friday, October 13, on the Main Frame stage.
Wastelands. This psychedelic-punk trio has been shredding through the local music scene for almost two years. Released last summer, the band's self-titled album is a nine-track introduction to Wastelands' rock aesthetic: crusty, loud, and a whole lot of fun. Alex Nuñez, Ale Campos, and Eric Hernandez are sure to pique festivalgoers' interest as soon as they let out guttural growls. 5:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, October 14, on the S3ctor 3 stage.
Arthur Baker. What Arthur Baker doesn't need is a long list of reasons why you should care who he is — but here it is anyway: He has produced tracks for bands such as New Order and Afrika Bambaataa and collaborated with Al Green and Neneh Cherry. And, yes, he's called Miami home for a while. You should be so lucky to bask in the presence of his musical greatness. 10:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, October 14, on the White Dragon stage.
Sndngchllz. Returning again to III Points is the genre-defying Sndngchllz. His debut album, Tension, is a self-assured release that sets him apart from many local acts that tend to take a while to develop their sound. Collaborating often with producers such as Nick León and Bear, he makes music not easily classified as hip-hop or R&B — pop, electronica, psychedelia, and other genres come into play whenever he feels like it. The lead cut off Tension, "Poison," is definitely one of his radio-friendlier moments, but don't dismiss more experimental releases like "(D)anger" or "Greener." 7:45 to 8:15 p.m. Sunday, October 15, on the White Dragon stage.
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Lautlos. Pembroke Pines native Lucas Racine, AKA Lautlos, has been bringing his electronic sounds to venues like 1306, Floyd, and Sweat Records for a bit. A member of the XYZA collective, he's part of the new wave of local electronic music producers who eschew the standard dance music beats for something that feels more complex and organic. His bootleg remix of Frank Ocean's "Chanel" is a good entry point into Lautlos' sound, while his track with Nick León and Phantasman, "Eclipse," delivers a jittery beat that seems to trip over itself. 8:45 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, October 15, on the White Dragon stage.
Telescope Thieves. Often overlooked — including by this publication — Mario De Los Santos certainly deserves a listen. Whether producing for other acts such as Twelve'Len and Sndngchllz or releasing work under the Telescope Thieves moniker, De Los Santos has certainly proven himself an apt composer. He also doesn't take himself too seriously, as evidenced in "YounknowNannHoe," a reworking of Trick Daddy and Trina's infamous duet, "Nann Nigga." In Telescope Thieves' version, the visceral lyrics are accompanied by a dreamlike beat. 1:15 to 2 a.m. Sunday, October 15, on the White Dragon stage.
III Points 2017. Friday, October 13, through Sunday, October 15, at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-0371; manawynwood.com. Tickets cost $125 to $345 via iiipoints.com.