BONNAROO 2011- The Heat, The Dust, The AMAZING!

BONNAROO 2011 Day #1

The first thing that Day #1 brought was the heat!…as a friend said…”it’s hotter than 2 hells!” and it was. The first day is always a bit chill but concert organizers made some changes that I am not sure are for the better. Some problems may have arisen from the popularity of the artists and who the 80,000 people in attendance chose to see when. In any case the heat did not keep some great music from happening.

I would love for you to be saying right now…”when is he going to shut the hell up about SLEIGH BELLS?!?” but whether due to poor planning on the festivals part or just the immense popularity of this act, I couldn’t get close enough to see or hear them. I would say a good 20,000 people showed up at one of the medium sized stages, which rendered the situation just not worth it. SLEIGH BELLS is still one of the coolest acts out there so if you have somehow missed them and don’t know about them don’t let it stay that way!

HAYES CARLL

I am always looking for those who are going to save country music…and buddy does it need saving! Jamey Johnson, Zac Brown, Elizabeth Cook, Miranda Lambert and the like have been on my list but now add “Aunstinite” HAYES CARLL. I am not sure what it is about these guys from Texas but there is something about their music that rings so true in the genre of country. Carll is one of these folk. CARLL is in the fun yet insightful and heartfelt vein of Robert Earl Keen and Jerry Jeff Walker but without too much “outlaw” feeling. Carll is nobody’s great singer and you would think that might bug me but his writing and delivery are SO earnest and honest that you can’t help but listen to him. All your normal country themes are explored (drinkin’, women, etc) and as Carll said yesterday there shouldn’t be any 2 people that a little alcohol and a little communication can’t bring closer. A fantastic backing band and Carll’s great homespun yet intelligent take on his subject matter made for a great set.

FREELANCE WHALES

This is a wonderfully unique act out of New York that cut their teeth playing in the subways. These talented multi-instrumentalists make use of some eclectic instrumentation (glockenspiel, analog synths) to accent their arty form of indie pop/rock. Making good use out of a nice mix of male and female vocals, the end result is a somewhat like The Arcade Fire…if possible a bit more eclectic. Unique time signatures and unexpected grooves will keep the musicians interested but none of this musicality keeps everything from flowing nicely and being eminently listenable. For a young act they are surprisingly polished.

KAREN ELSON

Being a super-model and gracing the covers of Vogue and being the face of several major fashion house ad campaigns might not sound like the pedigree for a great singer/songwriter…in fact just opposite. We have seen young actresses and models try this before with few being of any real merit. Also, being the wife of music icon Jack White might smack of nepotism but Ms. Elson proves herself a wonderfully, unexpectedly refreshing singer/songwriter/guitar player/performer. Taking to the bathroom to write her songs (as to not be heard by hubby) was her M.O. but White (one of today’s music industry true mogul/artists) heard enough thru the bathroom door to know that this was an artist that needed to be heard…even if it was his wife. The music is a nice mix of alt country and chic singer/songwriter fare and it is as beautifully sung as Ms. Elson is to look at. Having Jack White on drums and his stable of musicians as a backing band on the record doesn’t hurt either.

BEST COAST

There’s nothing too complicated going on here with BEST COAST. Simple, short yet good West coast/surfer influenced post-punk pop tunes (how’s that for genre definition) played with a unique instrumentation. A nice “crunchy” guitar sound mixes with solid drumbeats and bass lines that are mostly meant to provide counterpoint rather than a heavy bottom. Solid songs, well played and sung that would make for a perfect backdrop to any fun hangout on either coast.

BAND OF SKULLS

Now don’t get scared by the name…this is not one of my hard rock/metal acts but a power rock trio from England with a great sound! I am always frustrated when I see an act that draws a huge crowd that obviously everyone knows about that I don’t. This is good solid not-too-hard rock music with passionate female vocals and one of the best drummers I have heard in a while. I will definitely be checking them out…if you like the good rock music (and who doesn’t) you should as well.

And now off to Day 2 with THE DECEMBERISTS, FLO AND THE MACHINE, THE ARCADE FIRE, PRIMUS, MY MORNING JACKET, BELA FLECK AND THE FLECKTONES and many more await today and tonite with late nite sets from BASSNECTAR and my favorite electronica act PRETTY LIGHTS.

Look for day 2 update tomorrow!

ROWYCO!

Dave

BONNAROO 2011 Day 2

 

Today’s letter is the letter B…B for brevity, which I will try to have as I recap an AMAZING day of music but it was a stunning so it will be a challenge…it was some of the best festival experiences I have ever had.

If you take the Twitter (and I recommend you do) follow me @clemmusic for updates as the action is happening.

BONNAROO 2011 is a crazy thing. I have been passed out on, puked on, seen naked guys just milling about in broad daylight, seen multiple people carted away in golf carts turned ambulances and in a horrible turn, a woman was found dead in her tent on day 1 most likely from heat stroke. The heat is borderline unbearable, it’s a dustbowl Steinbeck would write about and oh the crowds, crowds, crowds! But save the women’s death (which of course I am not making light of) everything else has been washed away by the near religious experiences of the music…and there’s 2 more days to go!

JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD

If well written, well sung female alt country is your thing then 20 year old JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD is for you. Produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, this is simplistic, heartfelt, well-sung fare in a vocal style with more folk influences than country twang. Well worth a listen.

BEN SOLEE

I suppose it started with ELO back in the 70s but we seem to be in a cello as an alt and Americana mainstay instrument. The Avett Bros. have made it popular in the alt/folk world and Apocalyptic has in recent years taken the cello on a metal spin but BEN SOLEE has taken it to maybe the most interesting level. This is one of those you need to just listen to so that you understand but it is beautiful, well-sung, gorgeous inventive Americana/alt/folk music from a truly inventive artist. This is a “trust me on this one”.

MY MORNING JACKET

This is simply one of the greatest concert experiences I have ever had. The musical journey taken is thru many genres…alt rock, prog, shoegazer, jam band, psychedelia and others, blended into one astoundingly good whole. This band was so tight that any coal lumps within 5 miles was turning to diamonds and the Germans were using MMJ’s time to set their train schedule by. I think it was maybe the most musically emotional 2 hours I have ever experienced. Just when you though these musicians could take it no further, MMJ propelled it to a near orgasmic emotional height. This was also maybe the best concert sound I have ever heard. There was certainly a reverb-laden “wall of rock sound” but each instrument including the circa 1985 Rhodes piano had it’s own distinct place in the mix including the amazing horn section that at times included some of the members of The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. As a friend described it…there were times that the sound was so intense and rich that it was almost Wagnerian. Such passion, such musicianship…such an amazing concert!

THE ARCADE FIRE

I know, I know…shut up already about these guys but what MMJ had in emotion these guys brought in energy…it simply takes you over in a live setting. For me, THE ARCADE FIRE is simply the yardstick by which all alternative bands should be measured. These artists (they are a true definition of the word) are SO earnest and passionate about making music that it catches you and pulls you up like a funnel cloud. I still remember the comments of all the stunned music fans when this Montreal consortium picked up the Grammy for Album of the Year but if these fans would see them live they would drink the incredible musical and emotional Kool-Aid that is THE ARCADE FIRE.

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE

I have written about JTE before but he failed to disappoint on my second viewing. As I have said before it is the spirits of Woody Guthrie, Hank Sr. and Johnny Cash living thru a young man that is musically wise beyond his years. Once again, I was stunned at his guitar playing. I need some guitar player friend of mine to see him and explain to me how ONE acoustic guitar with NO electronics can sound like 3 people. This is a wonderful artist on the folk/Americana scene that gives a fantastic live show.

GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS

GRACE POTTER played at my first Bonnaroo some years ago and at the time I claimed that we had a new savior of female rock singing and she and her kick-ass band have not let me down. She was in full-on Anne Wilson mode yesterday with the whole act giving shades of Big brother and The Holding Company, Heart and Zeppelin. Her voice is stunning and seems to just continue to improve. One would think that this voice combined with her Heidi Klum looks would be enough but Grace writes great 70s influenced rock tunes, plays solo guitar and Hammond B-3 organ throughout the set. While not yet a name on everyone’s radar she has earned a spot on the big stage at ‘Roo and the 20,000 that heard her were blessed with Grace. Check it out for yourself and watch for this amazing singer and her group to continue grow in popular and critical acclaim.

PRETTY LIGHTS

The funk is strong with this one. I first saw PRETTY LIGHTS aka Colorado native DEREK SMITH in a small club in Athens, Ga. almost 4 years ago and since that time this dance/electronica act has grown to become one of the most talked about and popular acts of the genre. Living somewhere between Moby and Jr. Vasquez, Smith does not take on the norm of extended 40-minute jams that slowly morph in and out of different dance tempos. He chooses actual song forms with detectable beginnings and endings. Certainly, he uses great samples but he creates his own unique melodies and intricate rhythms that would drive a music theory teacher insane trying to notate. In trying to teach young musicians to find pop feel, I concentrate on teaching them where beats 2 and 4 are but Smith (a white dude) has taken his cue from James Brown and George Clinton in that TRUE funk is about landing as hard as you can on beat one. Don’t try this at home as it is only for those on the higher plane of “the funk”. There is not an “oontz” sound heard…just HARD, driving, funk and soul based grooves so deep and in your face that you can’t not move to them. PRETTY LIGHTS is elevating the art form of this genre and is becoming immensely popular in doing so. This was easily the largest crowd I have EVER seen on one of the medium sized stages at ‘Roo and he didn’t start ‘til 2.45 in the AM. Forming his own record label and offering his music for free on his website www.prettylights.com has helped quickly propel PRETTY LIGHTS to the top of a funky heap. Go there and check it out. You will make George and James smile if you do.

I would love to be able to tell you that FLO AND THE MACHINE had an amazing set but as with SLEIGH BELLS the night before you couldn’t get close enough to tell. BELA FLECK is truly the world’s greatest banjo player but he and the FLECKTONES were truly out of place with their jazz-fusion meets bluegrass style. Electronica act BASSNECTAR sounded pretty good from afar but there was no getting close enough to really know and BIG BOI brought a fun and funky set with a stage full of about 20 people playing originals, fun covers and some Outkast tunes.

Lots of great acts on tap today including ALLISON KRAUSS and MUMFORD AND SONS capped off by Slim Shady himself tonite so look for day 3 report tomorrow.

ROWYCO!

Dave

BONNAROO 2011 Day 3

Normally when I am at festivals like this I am bouncing from stage to stage trying to take in as many new acts along with old favorites as possible. But today was a bit different as the combination of the hottest day so far and the fact that some of my favorite acts in music as well a funk history lesson, were taking place.  I decided (or maybe the sun decided for me) that I would truly enjoy full sets of the acts I was seeing…that was my choice and I’m glad I did it.

ALLISON KRAUSS AND UNION STATION

It has been, I suppose, about 15 years since I first heard AK and US’ version of the 70’s hit Now That I’ve Found You and watching them perform it yesterday early on in their set, gave me a BIG reminder of why I love them so much. Lots of acts are doing folk influenced pop or using traditional acoustic instruments to make a more Americana or well… acoustic music sound but no one really does what this amazing group of musicians does…nobody else sounds quite like them and in my opinion their success has paved the way for this instrumentation now used by many other acts. AK and US have been together for over 20 years and when they play and sing, it sounds like it. When you look up the origin of the phrase…”sings like a bird” it will say “see Allison Krauss for audio example”. Her beautiful and hi-lonesome tone when mixed with the others singers makes for the most amazing blend this side of The Gatlin Bros. Harmonies and intonation are perfect and there isn’t any auto-tune anywhere in sight. The other great thing about seeing this act is that UNION STATION includes the world’s greatest dobro player JERRY DOUGLAS and multi-instrumentalist cum brilliant bluegrass/mountain music singer DAN TYMINSKI (the voice of George Clooney in the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou). Both of these incredible solo artists get their turn during this set and hearing TYMINSKI sing Man of Constant Sorrow and DOUGLAS play anything would be show enough in and of itself. AK and US’ new album is definitely more of what they have been doing for 20 years but not in a way that feels like treading in the same musical water. Somehow it is still new, fresh, beautiful and original sounding. The winningest woman in Grammy Award history will likely add to her count this year. See them…listen to them…truly savor and enjoy the artistry that is ALLISON KRAUSS AND UNION STATION live or on recording when ever you can…think I’m a fan?

BOOTSY COLLINS AND FUNK UNIVERSITY

Oh no he did not pull a Kanye and start almost two hours late?!?….OH yes he did!!! But unlike Kanye, BOOTSY is a living legend and truly helped to create a genre, so I really didn’t have a problem waiting. How often do you get a chance to see a true musical time capsule and that music being played just as well as it was when it was created. I mentioned yesterday in my PRETTY LIGHTS review how DEREK SMITH had learned that true Funk is all about hitting beat one…HARD!…and BOOTSY proved it true when he said…”c’mon y’all…it’s all about the BIG ONE!” and you better believe all 15 performers on that stage knew where it was. Other original members of Parliament were on stage including BERNIE WORRELL . BOOTSY continually paid homage and gave tribute to James Brown and George Clinton with whom he created The Funk. Parliament covers, BOOTSY originals (new and old) and a little Sly and the Family Stone tribute added to the funk-fest-fun that was being had by all…on and off the stage. BOOTSY and band were not afraid to let their inner Hendrix show either with a couple of covers. BOOTSY did not want us to forget at this crash course in The Funk, that Hendrix’s psychedelic sound was an important component of the original Funk. While it would have been easy for this to turn into a total vanity gig for BOOTSY, his continual “givin’ it up” for James Brown, George Clinton and the original Parliament members with him, made you like BOOTSY even more. James is gone and sadly George is just barely with us but at only 60, BOOTSY is still vital and still lays down a mean-ass groove. It was maybe the most fun music history lesson I have ever had. If those in attendance did not know what the TRUE Funk was before, BOOTSY and company saw to it that they were properly schooled. It was a nasty, stanky, funky, low-down, amazingly musical and just a butt-load of fun. BOOTSY can enroll me in The Funk University any time!

MUMFORD AND SONS

Wait, wait, wait…I promise I am not just going to heap the same praise on these amazing Brits as I have in the past…this is all new praise. When a friend told me last year…”you are a complete fool if you miss MUMFORD AND SONS, I had no idea they were going to explode as they have and that they would become one of my favorite acts. Graduating from a smaller stage to the #2 stage at Bonnaroo and drawing the most massive crowd I have see surrounding it is a testament to their meteoric rise in popularity. Last year this time, barely anybody knew who these guys were and they have risen to big record sales, big stages at major festivals, a featured spot on The Grammys and a popularity level so high that even my 9-year-old daughter knows them when she hears them and can name their songs. As at Coachella, they presented some new songs from a forthcoming 2nd album…even different songs that they played at Coachella. If these tunes are any indication of how good this record will be (they seem to be taking what they do and growing it to the next level)…well, I’ll just make a bold prediction and say that this will be the most anticipated album of next year and will enter the Billboard charts at #1…mark my words! In the meantime, continue to enjoy their wonderfully written, performed and produced album Sigh No More and see them live if you possibly can.

EMINEM

I’ll stand up and say it…EMINEM is the best rap, hip-hop artist of our time. I have felt this way for over 10 years but his reemergence with his masterpiece The Recovery and now seeing him live…well, it is firmly cemented in my mind. I have never seen SLIM SHADY live and it is one amazing show. From Slim’s unending energy to a full live band and singers on stage to the mind blowing 3-D projections and then hearing hits all the way back to the beginning of his career…I won’t go on…an AWSOME show! Shady’s back and he is not about to let you forget it.

NEW BAND YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD OF ALERT

Without question my favorite unknown act… actually one of my favorites acts overall of the festival was South African import CIVIL TWILIGHT. They have set up shop now in Nashville (who hasn’t these days) and made their first American release. The sound is power trio alt/art rock with a serious edge. Shades and sounds of U2 (if The Edge were on acid), Radiohead (they don’t need to be on acid) and The Police are everywhere. The sound is unique in that normal song instrumentation is turned upside down as the wonderfully dreamy, ethereal, synth-like guitar sounds serve as a base or bottom for the bass to drive each tune, play solos and lead riffs. Very well sung vocals and a totally intriguing song-writing style make this band so listenable…therefore I recommend you do so! This band is making the serious effort here in the states already touring and playing out like crazy…they even played all 3 small Bonnaroo stages on 3 different days…I have never seen that before. I will report more as soon as I have dug the record…but hell…don’t wait for me…check it out on your own and let me know what you think.

It will take a couple of days but look for a short day 4 report (not a lot happening this day), a festival “award” report and the ever popular “shopping list”.

ROWYCO!

Dave

BONNAROO 2011 Wrapup

OK…so I’m 2 weeks late with this wrap up but a horrible virus that knocked me out for 4 days, a computer in the shop and a little thing called work have all conspired against me and kept me from getting this out. But I would be remiss if I did not at least report a bit to you about what was ultimately a great festival. MANY of you have written me, posted on my Facebook wall or “tweeted” to me how jealous you were that you were not there and how you wish you could go. There is an easy way to fix that. If you can believe it, tickets are already on sale for 2012 so just mark your calendars, buy a ticket and get your ass to the great cow pasture in the middle of nowhere. I have now taken several friends over the years and it is common with them (including the 3 discriminating friends I took this year) that Bonnaroo is a life-changing event. It may sound trite but it really is true. It really doesn’t matter what the line-up is ( it will always be good)…it’s just an event that somehow gets in your musical and artistic soul and draws you back year after year.

This year brought some growing pains with the new bracelet technology and we truly had some bad scheduling conflicts. There were also acts that far exceeded the size of their stages and thus many people missed some great acts (Flo and the Machine, Sleigh Bells, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, etc.) but I’m sure that the king of American music festivals will figure it out. The heat and the dust were also not the most desirable conditions but once the music begins that all fades away and the true bliss that can be had by hearing some of these great artists takes over and you don’t even notice.

I didn’t write much about them as I have devoted much time to them in the past. But MUMFORD AND SONS and THE DECEMBERISTS (with Nickel Creek’s SARA WATKINS in the band) are putting on shows that just get better and better. THE DECEMBERISTS actually sound better live (and that’s hard to do) and MUMFORD AND SONS just continues to drive like their music…hard and straight ahead as if their lives depended on a “last song” like performance of EVERY song. (New music previewed here and at Coachella has me licking my chops for the next record).

DAY 4 was a bit of a slow day, which may have been good as I was beginning to reach a point of musical saturation. Of course, there still was some great music to be heard…

THE SMITH WESTERNS are a group of youngsters…like 19 years young…from Chicago and a group on the rise. Solid, well-written, well-played alt rock with a nice raw edge is getting these guys a lot of notice. I’m giving a potential “breakout alert” for these guys.

AMOS LEE has been a favorite of mine for a while and he gave a great…actually a smart set as he leaned on his bluesier, slightly southern rock flavored roots for this daytime set in the blistering sun. He certainly can pull out the subdued sensitive singer/songwriter (but no EMO crap) thing but that would have lost the audience on this steamy day. I just love this guys voice…it’s a better than the normal singer/songwriter sound and at times he brings a VERY soulful, bluesy, passionate style that can show off his great and versatile instrument.

SUPERLATIVES and OBSERVATIONS

Best Act Of The Festival- MY MORNING JACKET. It was 2 ½ hours of musical bliss and a journey across genres that were hard to keep up with. It was passion and a connection to and love of music like I have never seen or heard. This was also maybe the best sound I have ever heard in a concert…everything in it’s own distinct place yet still a wall of sound at times that will knock you over like being hit by a musical tsunami. It’s slow and steady at first but before you know it, no matter what style they are playing in, (and they play in many) it reaches near orgasmic force. Truly stunning!

Runner Up- Hell, you could reverse these two acts quite possibly but what MMJ brought in passion THE ARCADE FIRE brought in sheer effervescent energy that scoops you up and takes you on their kind of intelligent, alt rock musical trip through some of the most inspired and original music of our day.

Best New Singer/Songwriter Fare- It’s a 3-way tie between new savior country music HAYES CARLL, the alt-country, slightly folksy, wispy cool vocal and Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) produced sounds of JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD and the hard to pin down yet tres cool style and mellow sounds of the soon to be ex- Mrs. Jack White, KAREN ELSON.

Best New Singer- Even though she has been around a couple of years, many people are just now getting to know GRACE POTTER and her band THE NOCTURNALS. I have heard her now 4 times live and she is better and better on each live listen. Reminiscent of Anne Wilson (some songs sound like they could be new Heart tunes), Janis Joplin and Grace Slick, GRACE POTTER sings her ass off! Writing, playing guitar and organ tell us we have a real musician and not just an awesome voice. The Heidi Klum looks don’t hurt either BUT I heard and loved her before I saw her so I’m gonna maintain that it has nothing to do with it…doesn’t hurt though.

Best Group Of Musicians/Singers Inhabiting The Stage At The Same Time- ALLISON KRAUSS AND UNION STATION…Nothing short of perfect playing and singing.

Not Sure Where To Put Him But It Was A Great ActEMINEM proved to me (as this was my first time to see him live) and hopefully to the rest of the 60,000 at the big stage, that he is the greatest rap and hip-hop artist of all time. A bold statement I know but I stand by it. SLIM SHADY’S unbelievable and uniquely rhythmic flow, great musical ideas and not heard before story-telling perspective make him so. I’ve been listening to the best rap artists since the late 70s and I defy you to tell me who is better…NO!…there are no “apples and oranges” here…to quote Tina Turner he’s “simply the best!”.

Most Unique Act – Kentucky native BEN SOLEE is doing things with a cello (with no electronics) that would stun even Yo-Yo Ma. It is a wonderfully entertaining blend of Americana and indie-folk with compositional ideas that stretch way beyond those genres. Great singer…AMAZING player…oh and he manages to do both brilliantly at the same time.

Best Band No One Has Heard Of- CIVIL TWILIGHT A power trio from South Africa, channeling U2 and Radiohead… wonderfully artsy and interesting. Their new and first American release is definitely worth a listen.

Trend That Continues- Female musicians are no longer a novelty but additions to acts solely based on talent and rightfully so. At times these ladies are the founders and leaders of some acts that are bringing great new stuff. BAND OF SKULLS is led by bassist and vocalist Emma Richardson and they literally stopped me in my tracks, reached out and grabbed me by my ears and made me listen…I’m SO glad I did!

Trend That Was Cool At First But Now I Grow Weary- Taking the guitar off after the last song, setting it in front of the amplifier and leaving dissonant tones ringing for some minutes after the band leaves the stage. I get it…I liked it the first 30 times I heard it but how ‘bout we just finish the song, say “God Bless”, turn the guitar knob to 0 and wave goodbye. OK…I’ll allow it from Sonic Youth BUT THAT’S IT!

Uncommon Instrument That Everyone Seems To Be Using- Nothing immediately changes the sound and tone of a song or says plaintive, poignant and hi-lonesome like the pedal steel guitar. One tremolo slide and it takes us in a whole new sonic direction. It was everywhere this year…forget the country acts where you always see it but THE DECEMBERISTS, MY MORNING JACKET, the rocking GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS and others are using this deceptively hard to play instrument in their arrangements. I for one am a fan of the trend.

Band You Would Want To Play Your Party – This is a total no-brainer. BOOTSY COLLINS and his gang completely threw down, “funked” us all up, went up on the downstroke, shined his “Flashlight” brite and hit us with 2 hours of nasty-ass groove. You can’t help but dance…you can’t help but have fun! My intent was to catch part of BOOTSY and then head over to see part of the BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD reunion (which by all accounts was amazing) but I was caught up in the Funk and did not want to get off the Mothership. I’m already getting a lot of flack from folks for that but y’all without musical sin can throw the first drumstick. YOU get caught up in the REAL Funk with BOOTSY and Co. and tell me you can walk away.

Runner Up - OK…OK for those of you that think I’m givin’ it up to BOOTSY just ‘cuz I’m old and you need something a little more modern at your particular party, I’ll go with 80s new-wave influenced, funky, fun dance music progenitors !!! (Pronounced chk, chk, chk) as a runner-up. The show the lead singer puts on is alone worth the price of admission…like Mick Jagger meets DeeLite.

PERSONAL FOVORITE MOMENTS…

MAVIS STAPLES havin’ a little “Church” and then being joined by PATTY GRIFFIN to cover The Weight.

A crowd for 30,000 singing the chorus of Little Lion Man (I really f**ked it up this time…) along with MUMFORD AND SONS.

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR- standing on the side of the stage watching BOOTSY with a look that said..”Damn man…that is some nasty-ass Funk!”.

The fact that some 5,000 people showed up to hear BEN SOLEE do his totally unique “thing” with a cello.

Watching many other acts (GRACE POTTER, FREELANCE WHALES, WAVVES) show up in the VIP soundboard area to dig MY MORNING JACKET and THE ARCADE FIRE.

 

Weirdly iconic former porn star Ron Jeremy showing up in the VIP front stage area to see ALLISON KRAUSS AND UNION STATION. Maybe “favorite moment” is not actually accurate wording but it was certainly memorable and made one go…”why would…what the…”

SHOPPING LIST (new recs based on Bonnaroo 2012)

Country, Alt Country, Americana, Singer/Songwriter, Americana

HAYES CARLL

JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD

KAREN ELSON

AMOS LEE

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE

BEN SOLEE

 

Alt Rock, Indie, Art Rock,Kick- Ass Rock

SMITH WESTERNS

FREELANCE WHALES

CIVIL TWILIGHT

BAND OF SKULLS

GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS

 

Electronica, Mixmaster, DJ

PRETTY LIGHTS

BASSNECTAR

GIRL TALK (I actually did not see them this time but have before and my discriminating friends said it was not to be believed)

Next up in about 6 weeks is Lollapalooza which will bring another host of great acts including COLDPLAY and my boys MUSE…I would go all 3 days just to see them.

Hopefully you will take a chance on some of these new acts and give ‘em a listen or try and catch them live…let me know what you think and keep TAKING NOTES!

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