III Points Festival

Ten Can't-Miss Local Acts Playing III Points 2015

So you're planning on attending III Points this week. You probably can't wait to check out sets by Damian Lazarus, Nicolas Jaar, and Ghostface Killah and Doom, who will be appearing "live from the other side."

However, if you're only going to III Points for the headliners, you'd be doing yourself a big disservice. The best thing about the festival is how it manages to put touring acts and local talent on the same stage. Some of the best sets I witnessed last year were by Miami's very own homegrown talent.

Seriously, I'm tired of hearing there is no real music scene in Miami, because III Points is indisputable evidence that there is. And by placing the locals on the same level as the visiting talent, the festival provides much-needed exposure for them and, who knows, maybe they'll even get written up by a publication that doesn't rhyme with Shmew Shines.

Seriously, stop bitching about the local music, and go out there and support it. (Really, the only thing that sucks about Miami's music scene is your piss-poor attitude.) Miami musicians are making all kinds of music — rock, house, hip-hop, Latin, punk, techno, and more. If you're unfamiliar with the 305 sounds, we've made it easy for you and picked some local highlights performing at this year's III Points.

By all means, use this as a guide — terms like "best" and "must-see" are merely suggestions. The festival does a good job of picking Miami's most talented, so you really can't go wrong by checking out any local act.

10. Bluejay
Saturday, October 10, at the Sector 3 Stage at 5 p.m.

The trio picked up the Best of Miami title for "Best Band" this year, and after hearing them it's easy to see why. They don't really sound like any other act in the city, mixing rock, alt-country, folk, electronic, and more like a soup that combines all of Miami's musical variations into something that tastes really good.

9. Austin Paul
Friday, October 9, at the Sector 3 Stage at 8 p.m.

For such a young artist, Austin Paul sounds like someone who's much older and wiser than his years have afforded him. But as Aaliyah once sang, "Age ain't nothing but a number," and Paul's neo-R&B is the perfect pair of soulful vocals and progressive beats. And he's even earned Pharrell Williams' seal of approval.

8. Kazoots
Friday, October 9, at the Mind Melt Stage at 6:50 p.m.

If you want to give the synths a bit of a rest, Kazoots' set will be there to provide some relief. Their impressive musicality aside, Inez Barlatier's vocals are simply outstanding, a mix between Tracy Chapman and Shakira. It feels like Kazoots has been flying under everyone's radar, but there's a good possibility that the trio's III Points appearance could change that.

7. Deaf Poets
Sunday, October 11, at the Mind Melt Stage at 8:50 p.m.

The garage rock duo has been a staple at every event featuring local music. Still, III Points will serve as a refresher as to why they are so beloved here. It might be their bombastic sound — impressive for a two-piece outfit — or the tinge of '90s grunge nostalgia they emit. Either way, what's not to love about Deaf Poets? Even Tony Hawk is down with the Poets.

6. Virgo
Friday, October 9, at the Sector 3 Stage at 9 p.m.

Virgo may be new to Miami, but she's already made an impact on the city. She pairs her angelic vocals with shimmering electronic backdrops that give a nod to influences like Grimes and Planningtorock. She's performed a handful of times around the city — most recently at Libertine — but we consider her III Point set Virgo's proper debut.

5. Millionyoung
Saturday, October 10, at the Sector 3 Stage at 12:25 a.m.

Remember chillwave? It's better if you don't. Luckily, the faux genre did produce a few gems like Miami's own Millionyoung. Honestly, I feel like calling Millionyoung a chillwave artist does a disservice in describing his sound, which is rich and textured. Back in June, he told New Times he was working on new music, so there's a possibility you might be hearing some new cuts on Saturday.

4. Jesse Perez
Sunday, October 11, at the Black Hole Stage at 8:15 p.m.

New Times has been singing praises for Jesse Perez for a while now, but I'm not sure you're actually listening. Perez is the real deal, and if you need any more proof just know that his THOT EP was released by Germany's BPitch Control back in February — you know, the label founded by techno's queen bee, Ellen Allien.

3. Plastic Pinks
Friday, October 9, at the Mind Melt Stage at 7:40 p.m.

I absolutely fell in love with the Plastic Pinks' sound when I stumbled upon them during last year's III Points event at Butcher Shop. The quintet seems hellbent on bringing back a little fun to rock 'n' roll. Sure, some heady and introspection is good once in a while, but sometimes you want a good hook with some crunchy guitars and Plastic Pinks delivers.

2. Niko Javan
Friday, October 9, at the Sector 3 Stage at 2 a.m.

With an aesthetic that can only be described as Tumblr-GIF-overload IRL (I mean that as a compliment, really), Javan has been at the forefront of this evolution of Miami's sound that combines the high-brow ideas and beats that get dance music nerds hard with Miami's low-brow characteristics and bass. It's a mishmash that works really well and Javan's influence is already spilling into other acts around the city.

1. Robb Bank$
Friday, October 9, at the Sector 3 Stage at 11:30 p.m.

Miami has produced plenty of rappers who were hyped as the next big thing, but Robb Bank$ might truly be the 305's biggest contender yet. With hip-hop finally moving away from the posturing that blew up in the early 2000s, Bank$ appeals to the millennial sensibility of keeping it 100-percent authentic, rapping about drugs and video games, among other things.

Honestly, this is just a cliff-notes version of all the local acts at the festival — some other worthy mentions include Lazaro Casanova, the Hongs, Bedside, Jude, Tremends, Twelve’len, and Hunters of the Alps. So let this be the starting point in your exploration of Miami's ever-evolving music scene.

III Points with King Krule, Bomba Estereo, Run the Jewels, Nicolas Jaar, Damian Lazarus & the Ancient Moons, and others. Friday, October 9, through Sunday, October 11, at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-0371; manawynwood.com. Tickets cost $55 to $110 plus fees via squadup.com.
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Jose D. Duran is the associate editor of Miami New Times. He's the strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's cultural scene since 2006. He has a BS in journalism and will live in Miami as long as climate change permits.
Contact: Jose D. Duran