[Incidentally, the number before each band is not a ranking. I realize that might be confusing. Consider the numbers more like the numbers on the backs of collector's cards. Maybe at the end of this series I'll rank the top bands of the festival, but for the moment I'm trying to highlight lesser-known acts worth checking out.]
#5 Black Kids
One of the most buzzed-about bands post-POPFEST was one that hardly anyone had heard of going in. Black Kids, from Jacksonville, managed the mean feat of getting everyone at Little Kings to dance when they were only the first act of the day, playing in the early afternoon. Lead singer Reggie Youngblood looks a little like Jimi Hendrix, but the soul of his music is firmly rooted in 80's New Wave, in particular The Cure and the Pet Shop Boys. Tullycraft immediately declared them the best band of POPFEST on their blog. They were certainly one of the most unexpectedly fucking awesome. And extra kudos to the band for handing out free CDs to everyone who wanted one...which seemed to be everyone.
Black Kids - I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You
#6 How I Became the Bomb
Is the 80's the new 60's? Jon Burr, lead singer of How I Became the Bomb, may as well be channeling Devo or New Order or whatever other 80's pop band you want to name-check. Their music is dramatically serious on topics such as fat girls talking about cardio and, um, kneeling before some guy named Zod (does this have anything to do with that movie Zardoz?); the best new song I heard at the fest, "Robo," is, yes, about a robot. But the guitar licks are furious, and on stage they're as completely alive as Black Kids, teaching all the jaded hipsters how to cut loose. It seems inevitable they'll be breaking out of obscurity soon, judging by the strength of their debut EP, Let's Go!, which you can order from the band at their website.
How I Became the Bomb - Robo