Music Tastes Good: Here’s who to catch at this weekend’s festival

Janelle Monáe is on the bill for this weekend's Music Tastes Good festival in Long Beach.
(Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Pop Music Critic

Launched in 2016 as a smaller and more food-driven alternative to the likes of Coachella and FYF Fest, Music Tastes Good returns this weekend for its third installment — a crucial threshold for any event competing in an increasingly crowded festival scene.

For this year’s edition, set for Saturday and Sunday at Marina Green Park in Long Beach, organizers are expanding their culinary offerings with dishes prepared by chefs not just from Southern California but also various port cities along the West Coast. Here are five musical acts to see between snacks.

Blake Mills

This local guitarist and producer is well-known among musicians for his work in the studio and on the road with artists such as Fiona Apple, the Alabama Shakes and John Legend. (His overseeing Legend’s “Darkness and Light” led to a Grammy nomination in 2017 for producer of the year.) But Mills is also a first-rate singer-songwriter, as he demonstrated on his most recent solo album, 2014’s “Heigh Ho,” which uses ear-bending textures to decorate tunes full of unsparing introspection.



Why this smart and witty R&B singer hasn’t achieved full-fledged pop stardom is a mystery. Lizzo was ready for the big time in 2016, when “Good As Hell,” her vivid anthem of womanly self-reliance, earned a spot on the soundtrack to Ice Cube’s “Barbershop: The Next Cut.” And since then, she’s only further honed her skills with a series of singles including “Boys” and “Fitness,” both of which should attract fans of Grace Jones, Neneh Cherry and Missy Elliott.

Broken Social Scene

Did somebody order a mid-2000s Canadian indie-rock revival? Last week, Arcade Fire pleased fans at the Greek Theatre when the band from Montreal opened a concert by unexpectedly performing its 2004 debut, “Funeral,” from beginning to end. Now Toronto’s Broken Social Scene — a sprawling outfit featuring musicians who also play in Metric and Stars — will visit Long Beach to revive “You Forgot It In People,” its breakout album from 2002.

Sun Kil Moon

Even devoted followers have probably had a hard time keeping up in recent years with the ultra-prolific Mark Kozelek, who since dissolving San Francisco’s influential Red House Painters has released well over a dozen albums under various names, including Sun Kil Moon. Yet because Kozelek sticks to such a signature sound — think mesmerizing folk grooves overlaid with seemingly stream-of-consciousness lyrics — it’s easy to check in on him at any given time and pretty quickly get a sense of what he’s all about. His latest record, called “Mark Kozelek,” has a song called “The Mark Kozelek Museum.”

Janelle Monáe

If you missed Monáe’s concert in June at the Greek Theatre (where she drew an audience that included admirers such as Donald Glover and Laverne Cox), here’s another chance to see her play tracks off of her “Dirty Computer” album, which is sure to end up as one of this year’s best. And if you caught that earlier show? Well, then you know that Monáe — as stylish and empathetic a soul singer as we’ve got right now — is well worth encountering again.

Twitter: @mikaelwood