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Tunesfest brings Midriff, Sharks’ Teeth, Sexy Dex and others to the block party 

The local fest comes out of the backyard and into the street

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Photo by Katie Sikora

Several years ago, struggling to book regular gigs, Kenny Watson and his band Midriff (pictured) decided to take matters into their own hands. A string of successful backyard concerts later, the creative self-promotion has manifested into a bona fide Doobie Brothers street assault and potential six-cylinder fundraising engine. Tunesfest partnered early on with national brewing magnates Lagunitas Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company and Terrapin Beer Company, as well as Gulf Coast music supporter Cathead Vodka. This year, for its coming-out party, the festival picks up its most influential association yet: The Link Stryjewski Foundation, which paved the way for a new downtown locale (outside Cochon/Butcher) and charitable outlet (the Foundation's ongoing support for the Youth Empowerment Project, among other community nonprofits). Joining Midriff are Freret Street frequenters Sharks' Teeth and Sexy Dex and the Fresh alongside Tunesfest regular Owen Legendre. Denton, Texas' Pearl Earl plays honored guest, while Rik Slave's Space serves as house band. (Food and nonalcoholic beverage vendors include Piece of Meat, Le Tete Offense, ZTGdish, Congregation Coffee and Big Easy Bucha.) Admission $10.

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