1.Park Rangers

1/12

San Francisco's gorgeous Golden Gate Park plays host to the annual Outside Lands Festival from August 12-14. The event boasts a great lineup, including victory lap performances by some of 2011's biggest touring bands — Arcade Fire, Black Keys, Muse — plus SPIN faves like Arctic Monkeys, MGMT, Big Boi, and the Joy Formidable.

To help you dig deeper into the festival's bill, we offer up 10 wide-ranging SPIN recommendations. Check them out, listen to their music, and watch their videos!

CLICK HERE TO BEGIN >>

Preview by Peter Gaston

Get Our Free 11-Track Outside Lands Download Here >>

2.Park Rangers

2/12

San Francisco's gorgeous Golden Gate Park plays host to the annual Outside Lands Festival from August 12-14. The event boasts a great lineup, including victory lap performances by some of 2011's biggest touring bands — Arcade Fire, Black Keys, Muse — plus SPIN faves like Arctic Monkeys, MGMT, Big Boi, and the Joy Formidable.

To help you dig deeper into the festival's bill, we offer up 10 wide-ranging SPIN recommendations. Check them out, listen to their music, and watch their videos!

CLICK HERE TO BEGIN >>

Preview by Peter Gaston

Get Our Free 11-Track Outside Lands Download Here >>

3.LITTLE DRAGON

3/12

Hometown: Gothenburg, Sweden

Why They Matter: After lending their talents to make other people's music even better (two tracks on Gorillaz's Plastic Beach, a song with retro-soul crooner Raphael Saadiq, a recent, hot-shit collabo with upstart electronic act SBTRKT, to name a few), this alt-R&B quartet, inspired by great '90s hip-hop and led by the silken voiced Yukimi Nagano, is finally poised for its own breakout, with the just-released Ritual Union.

You Should Know: Little Dragon opened for Q-Tip in Central Park two summers ago, and Diddy popped onstage with the former Tribe Called Quest MC to rock "Vivrant Thing." But later, the hip-hop mogul dropped in to say how much he loved Little Dragon, too. Still, they remain humble: "It's amazing to know that a lot of creative people believe in what we do," the modest Nagano told SPIN.

LISTEN: Little Dragon, "Ritual Union"

4.TORO Y MOI

4/12

Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina

Why He Matters: Toro y Moi is the recording moniker of Chaz Bundick, whose soulful digi-pop on this year's Underneath the Pine transcended the chillwave scene he helped jumpstart. Recorded with a full band, it has the urgency that no bedroom synth recording could ever muster, and gets closer to perfecting the "shoegaze R&B" sound he's been pursuing.

You Should Know: While he didn't participate in it, a discussion about a Toro y Moi remix of Odd Future sparked one of the most stupid/hilarious Twitter battles in recent memory, between music bloggers Christopher Weingarten of 1000 Times Yes and Chris Cantalini of Gorilla vs. Bear. Read the transcript here.

LISTEN: Toro y Moi, "Still Sound"

5.CHARLES BRADLEY & THE MENAHAN ST. BAND

5/12

Hometown: Brooklyn

Why They Matter: Much like his labelmate Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley's rise to the limelight is utterly amazing. After toiling as musician for nearly four decades, fueled by seeing James Brown at the Apollo as a teenager, Bradley was discovered by Gabriel Roth of Daptone Records while playing in a lounge in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. Assisted by guitarist Thomas Brenneck, Bradley brought his tale to life on this year's autobiographical LP No Time for Dreaming.

You Should Know: Bradley recently participated in SPIN's tribute to Nirvana's Nevermind, completely reconfiguring the aggressive punk of "Stay Away" into a slow-creeping soul jam. But he made one lyrical change: "Charles is a very spiritual cat," Brenneck told SPIN. "We couldn't have him singing the line 'God is gay.'"

LISTEN: Charles Bradley, "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)"

6.THE VACCINES

6/12

Hometown: London

Why They Matter: From taut romps whose titles are almost longer than the songs themselves to delirious, blissed out jams, like the thick stoner rock of "Wetsuit," What Did You Expect from the Vaccines is one of the year's most compelling debuts. Refreshingly, they've already got a killer live show to match.

You Should Know: One of the album's best tunes, "Norgaard" is an homage to the Danish model Amanda Norgaard, and frontman Justin Young felt a bit icky when a friend shared the song with the muse herself. But all seems to be sorted now -- she actually appears in the band's video for the track.

WATCH: The Vaccines, "Norgaard"

7.TUNE-YARDS

7/12

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Why She Matters: Merrill Garbus, who records as tUnE-yArDs, is almost as much of a performance artist as a straight up musician. Patching together oddball field recordings, globetrotting basslines, and African rhythms into a quirky pop gumbo layered beneath her enchanting tenor, her live show is completely mesmerizing. Plus, her latest album, w h o k i l l, is one of the best albums of 2011 so far.

You Should Know: Among Garbus' pre-tUnE-yArDs pursuits: performing in a puppet theater, playing in a Montreal band called Sister Suvi, and busking in the Montreal subways, playing ukulele.

LISTEN: tUnE-yArDs, "Bizness"

8.THE SHINS

8/12

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Why They Matter: Their first two records, which came out in 2001 and 2003, were revered indie hits, released by the venerable imprint Sub Pop. Then, Natalie Portman's this-song-will-change-your-life scene in Garden State catapulted James Mercer and his band into the mainstream, and 2007's Wincing the Night Away nearly topped the album charts. But the Shins have been dormant since, with Mercer firing two of his bandmates, then dropping two albums with Danger Mouse as Broken Bells. Outside Lands will be their first live performance in more than two years.

You Should Know: Last we heard -- and that was 18 months ago -- Mercer said the next Shins album would be out in 2011, and would be up-tempo, "not so melancholy," and even "aggressive in a new wave way." So far, there's been one lone hint of new material, which came via a stripped-down performance at a benefit concert in April.

WATCH: The Shins, "Phantom Limb"

9.PHISH

9/12

Hometown: Burlington, Vermont

Why They Matter: Following their own mushroom-lined, grassroots-driven path, this jam band has become one of America's most popular touring acts, and no matter what you think about their oddball, jazz-inflected rock'n'roll, their live show is the sort of spectacle any music completist needs to see once.

You Should Know: To hone their improvisational skills, the quartet employs an exercise called "Including Your Own Hey," in which guitarist Trey Anastasio starts by playing a four-note phrase, then waiting for the other three band members to sync up, he explained to The Believer. When each player feels they've locked into the groove, he shouts "Hey," and ideally they all shout it at the same time.

LISTEN: Phish, "Wolfman's Brother"

10.CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH

10/12

Hometown: Brooklyn / Philadelphia

Why They Matter: With their jangly, Talking Heads-ish art pop and singer Alec Ounsworth's signature yelp, this quintet lapped up a wave of blog love and moved almost 300,000 copies of their 2005 debut album without the help of a record label. After a two-year break, during which they pursued other projects, they're back with Hysterical (out Sept. 20), an urgent collection that finds them reemerging as more confident, sprawling rock band.

You Should Know: Part of the reason the band is called Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is "to balance out what is serious with what is not serious," Ounsworth told SPIN in 2007, to take life not seriously at all and utterly seriously at the same time."

LISTEN: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, "Same Mistake"

11.TY SEGALL

11/12

Hometown: San Francisco

Why He Matters: Like some of his garage punk contemporaries, Segall has cleaned up his act on successive releases, particularly the new Goodbye Bread, which, in the words of SPIN editorial director Charles Aaron, is "a startling, if completely natural progression, similar to the jump the White Stripes made from their debut to De Stijl."

You Should Know: Earlier this year, Segall performed while steaming to the Bahamas on the "Bruise Cruise," along with Vivian Girls, Surfer Blood, Turbo Fruits, and the Black Lips, who organized the affair.

LISTEN: Ty Segall, "You Make the Sun Fry"

12.GROUPLOVE

12/12

Hometown: Los Angeles

Why They Matter: After bursting onto the scene with their anthemic first single "Colours," this quintet, whose sound ranges from winsome indie pop to boisterous freak folk, is set to release their debut album, Never Trust a Happy Song, on September 13. Live, they perform with a tribal urgency that's not to be missed.

You Should Know: The band's roots span the globe, literally. Frontman Christian Zucconi and keyboardist-singer Hannah Hooper met in New York City, then shuffled off to Greece to an artists' residency where they recruited the rest of their band: bassist Andrew Wessen, who was on a surfing trip, drummer Ryan Rabin, and British guitarist Sean Gadd, who were both on vacation.

LISTEN: Grouplove, "Colours"