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Seize the Dia: 5 not to miss

Posted 8:42am on Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013

Sure, Toadies are the big draw at the festival bearing their name, but don’t overlook the rest of the bill. Vaden Todd Lewis and his bandmates handpick every band you hear at Dia de los Toadies, and for its sixth installment, the Fort Worth rockers have assembled a smart blend of local and regional performers, many of whom have already turned heads nationwide.

Gary Clark Jr. (8:40 p.m. Saturday): This Austin-bred guitar slinger is being mentioned in the same breath as Texas icons Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, and has already shared the stage with titans like Eric Clapton, B.B. King and Jeff Beck. The 29-year-old’s major-label debut, Blak and Blu, arrived last year (Rolling Stone singled it out as one of 2012’s best), but his genius truly springs to life on stage.

Eisley (7:50 p.m. Saturday): Don’t be fooled by this Tyler family band’s dreamy output on record. Live, Eisley kicks with surprising force, lending grit and urgency to gorgeous, swooning pop music. Earlier this year, the sisters DuPree released their fourth (and first entirely self-produced) studio effort, Currents, and remain active on the touring circuit.

Will Johnson (9:10 p.m. Friday): In a state riddled with top-notch troubadours, the Denton-dwelling Will Johnson, whose creativity spills over into what seems like a half-dozen different projects (including Centro-matic, Overseas and South San Gabriel), is a talent apart. Johnson’s own solo work, typified by last year’s LP Scorpion, is an essential listen.

Oil Boom (4:35 p.m. Saturday): One of DFW’s most formidable talents, this trio pounds out sizzling slabs of rock tinged with soul. Fresh off the release of a new 7-inch single, Oil Boom catches fire live in a way you’ll not soon forget.

These Machines Are Winning (3:30 p.m. Saturday): An ambitious, self-described “electro art-punk” threesome led by the tireless Dylan Silvers, These Machines Are Winning is what happens when art collides with raw musical ability. The band’s debut LP, Defender 1, was unveiled earlier this week, replete with cinematic soundscapes. The second installment is reportedly due later this year.

— Preston Jones

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