Sunday, July 09, 2006

3rd Time's the Charm

My friend - you are Bonnaroo

Dueschland took teh "little final" and 3rd place in convincing fashion to cap off a great run though the copa. And Remind me not to say anything bad about Zidane's momma.

Now onto the last in my extended Bonnaroo review...

Waking up Sunday was a wonderful relief - the clouds had come in and the temps cooled off to a very comfortable level. I went off to the Sonic Stage for some small sets from several different artists. I was a tad late to catch Matisyahu's performance - not that it would've mattered as you couldn't get near the micro venue. This would be a sign of things to come.

The tiny confines of the Sonic Stage

Settled into a nice spot near the front and right of the stage after that mass departed for Andrew Bird. Bird does the one man band type thing by playing, singing, whisteling and then looping it all and adding more elements overtop of those loops. It was a good performance though there was a distinct lack of energy.

After a bit of a break i moved closer to the stage for Rusted Root. Root was decent - they mostly played tracks from solo projects then Michael came out and did Scattered on his own. When they all finally got together to do a Root track he broke a string on the guitar as they started to go into (possibly "Martyr" or "Faith I Do Believe", can't remember which) and took a few minutes to restring and then they just did "Send Me on My Way" and left.

Bonnaroo 2006: Rusted Root: Sonic Stage Acoustic on Vimeo

Next up was Mike Doughty - had to get to the absolute front for this. He was taking requests and then doing his sarcastic Doughty thing with what was shouted out. A girl next to me packed a bowl during one of his songs and after Doughty did a great riff on it afterward - say he might be a narc. Such a quick wit. These are actually my carppy camera phone pics.

Doughty being clever.

Finally left the Sonic Stage to cath The Streets in This Tent. Went up near the front for the first few songs and the sound was terrible. Much like at Sasha, these venues aren't equiped as well for the bass that electronic atrists produce - it was a garbled mess. Moved to the back of the tent and the sound was much clearer. There were some grime heads back there dancing with hippies - wow. Mike Skinner was great - calling out americans for an in ability to drink and proving his point by handing out brandy to the front row who mostly didn't partake. Then some guy in a bright green pool tube and an anti-bush shirt somehow gets on stage and Skinner shoves the bottle of brandy in his face before security drug him off stage. The live band backing him up really added to the performance.

Soybomb's cousin?
Crossing swords on stage
Cheers Mate

Went to try and see Matisyahu for a second time - he was well into his set by the time The Streets were done - but i couldn't get within a quarter mile of the stage. He was obviously the main draw of the day as i can't imagine there were many other people at any other venue. Hung out listening for a bit but the decided to turn around and watch the venue i was actually closer to.

You can't see me in this pic

That venue was inhabited by one Atmosphere - whom I found boring and evoked in me the need to deficate for the first time since thursday morning (or at least the inability to ignore that pressure). So I headed back to camp (Centeroo's facilities had a bit too high a AQ - ass quotient - for me). But i did catch a bit of Sonic Youth on the way back - decent though i've never been a huge fan.

At this point the night was complete for me as watching increasingly un-ironicly named Greatful Dead remnants jam on for hours in the rain. All that was left was a quite enjoyable night of crazy 'Roo experiences with random people coming in out of the rain to our jury-rigged hovel.

Well EzArchive has been down most of the day so no Radiohead set just yet.


So for now a couple tracks from one of the most download friendly labels out there Vice Records. Home to a great stable and a bunch of tracks and videos to keep you entertained.

Bloc Party - "Banquet (Junoir Sanchez Remix)"

Pretty typical from JS - decent remix but nothing really special. Suprised its not as danced up as i would've thought. This is only availible on white label.

The Streets - "When You Wasn't Famous (Professor Green Remix)"

Its all Grimey! Pretty funny really, Green is a newly signed artists to Mike Skinner's label so Green makes fun of the fact that he's a no-one and that Skinner is making more on his records than he is as well as taking the piss out of 'im for being all famous.

"The Stills - Destroyer (Demo Version)"

An early version of the track from their Without Feathers set that came out 2 months ago. Another beautiful indie track from these guys. I like this version better than the album version - less highly produced bombast than that version. This has a very Velvet Underground feel to it.

Favorite Sons - "Hang on, Girl"

One of their most recent signings. Their debut, Down Beside Your Beauty comes out in September 12th. Favorite Sons are out of NYC and have a sound similar to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club sans fuzz. 4/5 of the band come out of the psychedelic philly based Aspera


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Review Numero 2

Back to Bonnaroo once again for 2 more days of sun and song.

After late night with west coast mc's I managed to wake up at some point in enough time to head down for the USA v. Itlay world cup match - as i posted before this was not to be. Mounties were even brought in to hold back the crowd.


So it was off to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah over at That Tent. The good thing about the tents being the shade i savored this as ot would be the only time i was able to get any on the day. Clap is a band that grows on you and after several listens to the couple tracks i have from their eponomous debut they had grown to the point where i was totally psyched for this show. They didn't dissapoint as they went through an short but solid hour long set.

Moved on from here to the main venue, finally after 2 days, the What Stage. Elvis Costello played a decent set did a few of the classics did some new stuff. Elvis was acting like he was on VH1 storytellers for a bit detailing some song history which was cool. Overall it was pretty average compared to mostly everything else. He brought out current recoring partner Allen Toussaint for a bit but i left this to catch the end of Rusted Root.

I hadn't seen Root since a very memorable show on NYE 97/98 and only made it for their final 2 tracks knowing i was planning on seeing them again the next day at the sonic stage but they closed with "Ecstacy" and that had all the hippies in twirl-on-the-grass heaven. I liked it too.

Obviously there were many partial set seen on saturday as so much was going on at the same time. After Root it was over to the Which Stage for a couple minutes with Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley. Saw Damian when he opened for U2 in their 2 fall shows in Philly last year and again he had "Flag Guy" with him! This guy's only job is to hoist and wave the Jamacian flag through the whole set - he rocks. Marley covered a few of his dad's tracks while i was there (way way in the back by the way). But i had to move on as Beck was coming up on the main stage and there aint no way i was gonna miss that - and try to get as close as possible.

He's a flag wavin' machine.

That turned out to be just about even with the front of the video booth in the middle of the stage which was a pretty decent vantage from which to see the man. This was definitely the most entertaining show of the weekend. Beck had a marrionette stage set up behind hin and instead of showing him and the band on the big screens to either side of the stage, those screens showed puppets doing an exact impersonation of the band (luckily i was close enough to actually be able to see both - friends further back didn't even realize that the puppet show was going on live). Beck played the ultra-cool center of all the crazyness going on around him. Later in the set he played solo while his band retired to a stage-left table for dinner. They were served salads, wine and some other items while Beck launched into brief covers of the Flaming Lips "Do You Realize" and a bit of Radiohead's "Creep" - which he then chided himself for doing as they were coming up next and might have played it (he didn't need to worry). Then band then started playing aling with their utensils and water glasses while the puppets mimed the whole thing. It was brilliant. During the encore they showed a prerecorded bit with said puppets touring through Roo and commenting on the action. This was liberally peppered with hippie culture jokes - all in good fun of course. When they came back out the audience was treated to a Bear costume wrestleing match across the stage and finally a giant boom box was brought on for the closer. Easilly the most memorable show of the event - thats not to say the next one wasn't a trancendent experience.

Beck - Do You Realize? (Flaming Lips Cover)

Beck, meet throng. Throng, Beck.
Malcovitch, eat your heart out.
Try the cobb salad.

After Beck i was able to move foward only another 8 feet or so - it was jam packed. And there was no place for me to sit so i stood in my little spot for the next 2 and a half hours. I remember my toes going numb at one point. Finally about 15 minutes before the show was to start some other people stood freeing up groud space which my ass quickly conqured - such relief and possibly the only reason i was able to stand and jump and sing and dance for the next 2.5 hrs. Stood up 5 mintes before they were supposed to go on and it was just in time - don't know what happened up front but suddenly the crowd surged forward several yards - ace. Then just before the show it happened once again - there were a few people caught under this time - I tripped on someone who was still sittingin a beach chair and went flying onto my face. Insanity. But i was now a mere 30 yards or so from the stage and ready to be blown away.

[This is the part where i drone on about how incredible Radiohead were are and will ever be. If you wish to skip the fawning scoll down to just after the set list]

Sharply at 8:30 Radiohead take the stage and the glowstick start to fly. Someone tossed several thousand of those glowstcik braclets into the front of crowd and each person who caught one launched it again and so on. For a solid 5 minutes during the opener There There the skies were awash in intense colored strands of glowing liquid. This continued sporatiacally throughout the show culminating in a lightstorm during the second encore - those tripping may still be seeing trails. Thom even joined in hurling the sticks on stage back at the audience.

Ooohh, the drugs

The set was amazing - 28 fuckin songs deep!!! New tracks "15 Step", "Videotape" "Arpeggi" and "Body Snatchers" sounded great. They played longer than Tom Petty who has 20 years on or more 'em. When 80,000 people go completely silet during "Exit Music" you know you are watching something incredible - and I got to start the audience eruption going into the climax of the song. The sound of the show was amazing though there were massive video problems which seemed to have left a large portion of the crowd with a bad taste - when they did finally come back on they were tapped into the Radiohead backing screens and not stand alone images and were difficult to make out at times. Thom's playing with the camera during "You and Whose Army" took me back to my first Head show in '01 (this was #4). This may be the best show they have ever played - and you could see they were having a blast doing it.

Thom's crazy little monkey dance!

1. there there
2. 2+2=5
3. 15 step
4. arpeggi
5. exit music
6. kid a
7. dollars & cents
8. videotape
9. no surprises
10. paranoid arndroid
11. the gloaming
12. national anthem
13. climbing up the walls
14. nude aka big ideas (don't get any)
15. street spirit
16. the bends
17. myxomytosis
18. how to disappear completely

encore 1
19. you and whose army
20. pyramid song
21. like spinning plates
22. fake plastic trees
23. body snatchers
24. lucky
25. idioteque
26. karma police

encore 2
27. house of cards
28. everything in it’s right place

After Head i crashed and sat on the field for 30 minutes while people very slowly filed out. Finally made it back top camp around twenty after twelve chatted a bit with Arron & Dave and went to sleep in the tent - setting the alarm on my phone for 3:45. That, along with the girls from the next tent over (what up sam, sofia & cat) woke me up in time to chat a bit more and run of to Sasha!!!

I was in NYC 2 months before the legendary Sasha & Digweed residency at Twilo abrubtly ended due to Gulliani's crackdown on the club scene and was geared up to see 'em. You may be able to tell that this didn't happen. The people i was there with decided they didn't want to go - i ended up sitting in the hotel room that night listening to their mix cd instead. This will not happen again. So I tossed on Sofia's cowboy hat (now my ever present accessory of the weekend) and went to the rave. I don't think i've ever seen that many dilated pupils in one place in my life. I love crazy, drug addled ravers. I really do. The Man Like kicked a great set that went well past the scheduled endtime. He even came back for an encore but i think he was a bit fuct up as well as his attemp to mix out of the first song in the encore killed the computers (he's doing that whole Fundacion remixing on the fly thing) and he smiles and stumbled off stage. Crack end to a crack day at the 'Roo. I headed back to sleep in the car (the tent would be an oven in less than 2 hrs) as the sun was now well above the horizon.

The disco plated decks.

Ok i think i'm gonna spread this out into a 3 post effort as it is again getting long in the tooth. So sunday will have to wait.

Head here for a daily blog from the fest from John Roderick - the guy from The Long Winters who was brought out on stage during Death Cab's set to play guitar. Good read.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - "Treat Me Right"

Ms. Potter was also at Bonnaroo this year but was not on my radar at the time. Nice blues/soul piece.

The Strokes - "I'll Try Anything Once"

What they try here is a loungy, casio piano tinged take on the opener "You Only Live Once" from their latest disc. Its availible as one of the b-sides on the "Heart in a Cage" single.

Nas - "Where Y'all At (Clean)"

New track from Nas - minimal yet jazzy production style from Salaam Remi. The emphatically titled disc Hip Hop Is Dead comes out in September. This is of course an edited track but it's what's out there at the moment.

1 more day at Bonnaroo - then I'm done. I'm also gonna get the whole radiohead set up at some point.