Five bands to catch at Houston’s Day for Night Art & Music Festival

Katie Walsh

Day for Night isn’t your typical music festival. The two-day hybrid event packs hip hop giants, electronic dance music legends and dozens of art installations into the heart of downtown Houston. Unlike other Texas-based fests that focus solely on music, Day For Night opened the door for visual artists to display their work between stages, most notably Björk, whose virtual reality exhibition, Björk Digital, will make its U.S. debut Friday.

Saturday, 4:40 p.m. – 5:25 p.m.
Red Stage

For over a decade, bassist Stephen Bruner played alongside some of the best musicians in the business. He worked with Erykah Badu, was featured on multiple Flying Lotus albums and won a Grammy for his work on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly. Then in 2011, the bassist and vocalist put out his first solo album, showing the world he knew how to occupy the spotlight too.

His unbelievably fast fingers create some of the best soul-funk-jazz beats around, and his smooth vocals make listeners swoon. Following his latest release, 2015’s The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam, Bruner announced a 42-date tour across the United States. and Europe that will take off next February.

John Carpenter
Saturday, 9:45 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.
Blue Stage

The Day For Night lineup is full of curveballs, but John Carpenter is the biggest surprise of all. After a year of touring theaters and concert halls across the U.S. and Europe, a hip hop and electronic dance music-heavy festival is the last place one would expect to find the acclaimed director and composer.

Best known for his 1978 horror film “Halloween” and the well-known score he composed, Carpenter has since directed various cult classics as well as two studio albums and an EP, which was released in June.

Aphex Twin
Saturday, 10 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Red Stage

Catching 45-year-old Richard D. James, otherwise known by his stage name Aphex Twin, needs to be at the top of everyone’s to do list this weekend, as his performance marks the first time in eight years James has played in the United States The Grammy-award winning electronic artist released an EP in July with a collection of slower, simpler experimental tracks he previously released on SoundCloud.

Saturday marks the first of a series of festivals for the private, rarely seen English musician who rarely gives interviews or performs live.

Sunday, 4 –4:40 p.m.
Blue Stage

Although Austin-based electronic outfit Survive has been making music since 2010, the four-man band burst into the mainstream this summer after two of their members — Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein — scored Netflix’s hit sci-fi series “Stranger Things.”  

Catch the whole band, which also includes Mark Donica and Adam Jones, Sunday to rock out to their eerie, retro, synth-based tracks off their September release, RR7349.

Wild Moccasins
Sunday, 11 – 11:50 p.m.
Yellow Stage

Houston-based indie pop project Wild Moccasins brings a much needed uplifting edge to the Day For Night lineup. Lead by Zahira Gutierrez’s bright vocals, the five-piece band sings upbeat songs about serious issues, such as Gutierrez visiting her mother in a mental institution and self-image. Although they haven’t put out anything since 2014’s 88 92, Wild Moccasins recently teased on their Facebook page that listeners can expect to hear some new tunes Sunday night.