It’s almost here…the 2013 edition of Sunset Strip Music Festival! This year’s honoree is Joan Jett and the street fest headliner is Linkin Park, but tons of bands worthy of your attention round out the lineup, many of whom didn’t have to hop a plan or endure a long bus ride to make it to sound check.

The following are five LA-area based bands that you’ll definitely want to check out if you’re heading down to the Strip this weekend. If you don’t already have passes to this year’s SSMF, be sure to enter our ticket giveaway and you could be enjoying all the musical goodness below and more for FREE!

Terraplane Sun
I was a fan before Terraplane Sun graced us with their presence for the June 27th taping of the LA Music Blogcast, but after hearing what these guys can do from the limited confines of the TradioV studio, I can only imagine what they sound like live when unrestrained. They’ll be hitting one of my favorite venues on the Strip, The Roxy, during Saturday’s street fest, so be sure to catch their set.

Appropriately enough, I first caught AWOLNATION live at The Key Club during the 2010 Sunset Strip Music Festival. Smashing Pumpkins were playing on the main outdoor stage, but the day was drawing to a close, I’d already seen SP live, and I’d been loving AWOL’s Back From Earth EP, so I decided to catch their set instead. Though just a handful of people were in the crowd, frontman Aaron Bruno performed as if to a packed house, a dedication to his live performance that no doubt contributed to his rise to being one of the top-billed acts to grace the SSMF outdoor stages this Saturday. Don’t miss that set.

Sad Robot
Each week the LA Music Blogcast is preceded on TradioV LA by a show featuring everyone’s favorite sexy pinups, The Suicide Girls. The topics the Girls cover range from politics to film to music, and one week they had on a guest that caused me to stop what I was doing in the green room and take note of what was happening on the other side of the wall behind me. That guest was Sad Robot. If the gritty indie rock trio’s stripped-down acoustic performance can sound that good, their full set is sure to blow listeners away, so definitely catch them at The Roxy this Saturday.

Battle Tapes
Battle Tapes has been spreading their synthy, electro-rock sound around the LA area since 2010, and on Saturday they’ll bring their sexy beats to the Viper Room’s Guitar Center Stage. If you need a break from the heat of the Strip, I suggest you note Battle Tapes’ set time, though, to be honest, you’ll probably work up just as major of a sweat dancing to these guys in the AC as you would swaying out under the sun. Standing still while listening to Battle Tapes just isn’t an option.

The Active Set
And here’s yet another band with a Blogcast connection. These guys were also guests on the Suicide Girls’ show, and like two ships passing in the night, I had the chance to chat with them after their appearance and before our show started. This of course was followed by a trip to Spotify where I checked out The Active Set’s 2011 LP, 11, and fell in love with the group’s post-punk-meets-new-wave sound. Catch them at The Roxy on Saturday and be prepared to sing along. Loudly.