It's Pickathon week! This Friday, August 2, the 15th annual Pickathon fest kicks off, and we're incredibly excited about it, as usual. Throughout the week I'm hoping to take a closer look at some of the bands on the bill with whom I'm not overly familiar.

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  • Bernie deChant

Yellowbirds is the current nom de record of Sam Cohen, formerly of Boston band Apollo Sunshine. The second Yellowbirds album, Songs from the Vanished Frontier, came out earlier this year, and here's the video for the catchy, dirty-bubblegum pop tune "Young Men of Promise." Cohen did the animation of his wife Sarah Graves' artwork.

Cohen's now based in New York City, and Yellowbirds is a four-piece, also including drummer Brian Kanto, bassist Annie Nero, and multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman. This track is dense but easygoing, full of whimsical pop and a serrated knife-edge guitar stitching things together. There's another video from Songs from the Vanished Frontier worth checking out: "Mean Maybe" is drily laidback, somewhere in between Loaded and the tenderest moments on Plastic Ono Band.

Yellowbirds plays three Pickathon sets this weekend: Friday August 2 at 4:10 pm on the Mt. View Stage, Saturday August 3 at 11:40 am in the Galaxy Barn, and Sundau August 4 at 3:30 pm in the Workshop Barn. That last one promises to be a more interactive set, with a possible Q&A or whathaveyou.