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Wednesday, June 21, 2006



Having just gotten back from Bonnaroo on Monday, I feel like this is as good a time as any to begin my blogging experience.

So, Bonnaroo. As the adjacent picture may indicate, it was an intense, confusing, deliriously fun experience. I attended last year, but this year was a whole new enterprise. I attended with a small group (myself, the girlfriend, and my cousin), and we all had a pretty damned good time. Many things could have been better thought out (we gave up on our dreary little tarp at approximately 2:00 AM on Friday), and others went better than I thought (my pale ass barely got pink in the scorching Tennessee sun). However, the music made everything completely worthwhile...I'll withhold comment on the other thing that Bonnaroo is famous for (no, not nudity).

TOP ACTS I CAUGHT

05. Andrew Bird
Surprsingly crowded show, though I expect that that had something to do with Devendra Banhart playing the next set. Mr. Bird is a fantastic whistler and fiddler/violist, as we all know; however, he is also an extraordinarily strong stage presence, and he has a rabid fanbase...all of whom seemed to be present on Friday.

04. Dungen
I only caught the last half, otherwise this would probably be higher. Dungen is one of those buzz bands that actually surpasses the hype that surrounds them; they aren't just the gimmick world music flavor of last year, they've got some serious chops. They had my favorite guitar work of the entire festival (which is saying a lot, considering the fact that it is basically a guitar festival), and they had more energy than most of the bands playing.

03. The Streets
I actually didn't really enjoy the first few songs of the set, but once they got to "Could Well Be In", it was clear sailing. The funniest stage banter I saw, and they covered "Don't Cha" and "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor"...that is why I love Mike Skinner (despite his dissapointing album this year).

02. Radiohead
It was Radiohead...and they played music. It ruled.

01. My Morning Jacket
I don't know how to explain how amazing this set was. They played a late night show (12-2:30), but played well over their time limit, and they were insanely good every second of it. More than ever, they reminded me of The Flaming Lips, and they seemed to bask in the glow of all the acid trips going on around them. The set opened in pitch black with the old victrola record of "When You Wish Upon a Star" playing, and then they kicked in with "Wordless Chorus", and pretty much kept the intensity up the entire time. They played almost every song on Z, and a sprinkling of older stuff, especially in the second half of the set. On top of that, they covered "Head Held High" (anyone who covers a track off of Loaded other than "Sweet Jane" is alright by me), "A Quick One While He's Away", and "Lovin' Cup", among others. It was an amazing show, and one of the (if not THE) best shows I've ever seen.


In other news

Recently, I have found myself listening to a whole lot of Boris and Asobi Seksu. I don't know what have brought upon this sudden burning desire for multi-layer Japanese music (I know, Asobi Seksu is American, but she sings in Japanese...sometimes), but I am loving the hell out of it.

Boris is one of those bands that I have heard much about (r5, over in Philly, dubbed them "BEST BAND EVER" on their schedule), but I didn't bother checking out until late in the game. And I am glad I did. I have been dabbling in appreciation for metal in the past year (my friends have a lot to do with this...when I loved Lit and Chumbawumba, they were listening to AC/DC), but Boris has finally broken the dam. I fucking love these crazy godheads.

Asobi Seksu is a little more typical of me. I like a whole lot of pretty music, and Asobi Seksu is nothing if not pretty. Plus, I'm a sucker for shoegaze, which I didn't even realize until recently.

Other than national heritage, theses bands share another quality that is unusual in my musical obssessions...I don't give two shits what these guys are talking about. For me, lyrics matter a lot (or, they used to), but in the past couple of years, I've begun to get lost in dreamy guitars, as opposed to Colin Meloy's prose (not to knock his wordcraft...he's a poet...a fusty, musty poet).

The other band I've been hooked on (or, not so much band as album) is Comets on Fire's Avatar. I have compared this album to The Mars Volta, and I stand by that comparison. If you take Cedric and Omar, you shave away the Latin influences, and add a healthy dollop of Southern Rock, and then tell them to stop fucking around with helicoptors and random noises, you'd get Comets on Fire's new album. It's tight. REALLY tight.

Anyways, this seems like a substantial (if terrible) starting post. I hope all of you (both of you?) who read this enjoy it.

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