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Bamboozle 2010's Five Breakout Bands to Watch

From Taylor Momsen's Pretty Reckless to folk-pop act Good Old War

May 3, 2010 1:52 PM ET

A few short years ago, Paramore got their start on Bamboozle's small 'Boozle stage. This year, Hayley Williams and Co. headlined the New Jersey festival alongside Weezer, MGMT and Drake (check out our full coverage of day one and day two's biggest sets). After two days of nonstop rock in the Meadowlands parking lot, Rolling Stone picked out five up-and-coming acts who broke out of the pack in 2010:

The Pretty Reckless: Fronted by Taylor Momsen, a.k.a wannabe-popular-girl-turned-fashion-designer Jenny Humphrey from the CW's Gossip Girl, the pop-grunge outfit turned out a Saturday afternoon set full of sass and grit. Sixteen-year-old Momsen pranced around in a pair of itty-bitty jean shorts, a midriff-bearing black corset and platform patent-leather lace-up boots, growling like a cross between vintage Courtney Love and the Dead Weather's Alison Mosshart. Hear first single "Make Me Wanna Die" on the Kick-Ass soundtrack now, and look for the Pretty Reckless' debut album this summer while the band performs on Warped Tour.

100 Monkeys: This eccentric Cali act have a built-in buzz magnet — bandmember Jackson Rathbone, also known as one of Twilight's famous vampires. Their spazzy, energetic Saturday set blended tribal sounds with vocals recalling Jim Morrison's baritone croon. The "can-this-be-real?" factor ran high thanks to song titles like "The Monkey Song," lyrics like "free, free, free the beast" and five guys in bandanas jumping around and playing hand drums, trumpet and flute. The band's latest release, Grape, is out now.

The Maine: With a radio-friendly pop sound reminiscent of the All-American Rejects and Boys Like Girls, this Arizona-based quintet rocked a packed crowd as the sun set on Saturday. Their sugary hooks and driving guitars inspired perky sing-alongs to songs like "Everything I Ask For." The Maine will release their second LP and head out on their first headlining tour this summer.

Fun.: This quirky power-pop collective is currently playing to its largest crowds opening for Paramore, but its three core members — Nate Ruess from the Format, Jack Antonoff of Steel Train and Andrew Dost of Anathallo — are no strangers to big audiences, having opened for Brand New, the All-American Rejects and Tegan & Sara. Fun.'s performances are just that: light-hearted, jubilant and full of boy-girl harmonies. The band's debut, Aim and Ignite, is out now.

Good Old War: Two-thirds of this folk-pop outfit (guitarist Keith Goodwin and drummer Tim Arnold) were originally part of the Fueled By Ramen-signed band Days Away. After joining up with guitarist Dan Schwartz, the trio started writing songs filled with tight harmonies, jangly guitars and memorable, country-tinged melodies. Their mid-day Sunday set was a welcome change of pace, and the band is currently touring the country preparing to release its self-titled second disc on June 1st.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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