Los Dells makes a play this year at what could cement its reputation as one of the state's more expansive and diverse music festivals. Info
After the relative disappointment that was Eaux Claires’ bougie surprise lineup, and Summerfest’s yearly bumper-car pileup, this year’s Los Dells fest could very well stake its claim for Wisconsin’s best overall music festival. Across the big-font artists, Puerto Rico’s Bad Buddy is most worth catching. At the forefront of the ever-expanding Latin trap genre, Bad Bunny has the same tendencies of English-speaking trap artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Travi$ Scott, complete with auto-tuned flows and ad libs, but with different rhyme schemes applied over tracks that pull from Latin and tropical music traditions rather than American ones.
Further down the card, but perhaps he shouldn’t be, is Eliades Ochoa of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club. No single paragraph could capture the importance a group that is both a considerable artistic force and also a human revival archive of Cuba’s musical revolution that happened before its actual revolution. Even seeing one member, in this case Ochoa, would be comparable to seeing all the other genres that form the cumulative inheritance of all of the different cultural histories that have informed Cuba's musical traditions.
Finally, a low-billed artist not to miss is the youngster Cuco. Born Omar Banos in Los Angeles, Cuco’s self-produced bedroom pop is simply composed with striking straightforwardness. His lyrics are sad and often saccharine: “Family calls me crazy, and my friends say I’m degenerate / But you tell me I’m so generous, and my self-worth’s in opinions,” on the seven-minute “Lover Is A Day.” Cuco’s simple production allows his sincerity to shine through, making the highs uplifting and lows ever the more cutting. —Henry Solo