This year, part of Epitonic's approach to amassing downloadable songs involves using monthly themes to inform and expand our curation efforts. January was the start, in February we took it international, throughout March we offered our take on that superglutted bastion of musical excess, South by Southwest, and in April we kept it local, examining the rich variety of music scenes across the nation (and beyond), including Cleveland, Denton, TX, and Chicago footwork, among many others.

With a new month comes a new theme -- and with summer quickly approaching, we're devoting May to previewing one of summer's greatest assets next to outdoor day drinking and ice cream: music festivals. There's nothing quite like a music festival; it's a totally different experience than attending a show. We'll of course talk about the big ones like Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, etc. -- but we'll also discuss and cover some of the smaller street festivals, too. After all, good shit happens right on your block just as reliably as it does in a huge field or arena.

SXSW and Coachella aside, Gorge, Washington's Sasquatch wins the prize for kicking off music festival season in earnest, held every Memorial Day weekend. I love the Pacific Northwest with all my heart and soul, but I've unfortunately never made it over for this festival -- a shame, as I've heard it's gorgeous out there and a lot of fun. The lineup is a crowd-pleaser for sure: Sasquatch tends to stick with the tried-and-true, curating an experience that's equally fun and appropriate for hip yup-ster parents bringing earplugged toddlers, those with entry-level alt tastes, and scene kids who aren't too cool to admit they still enjoy "indie bands" that now reliably sell out arena-sized venues.

Please enjoy a few tracks from some of the bands playing at Sasquatch 2012 -- and more importantly, enjoy your own music festival experiences this summer!