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Bonnaroo Spotlight

WE’RE BACK: Bonnaroo 2011 Wrap-Up

Posted on by Eric in Bonnaroo Spotlight | Leave a comment

Another year another amazing festival gone by. Bonnaroo 2011 was full of top-notch acts, pleasant surprises and a lot of dust. After returning home from the 20 hour drive we have had enough time to gather ourselves and reflect on the beautiful and momentous weekend that we had in wonderful Manchester, Tennessee. Here are the top 5 acts and biggest surprise moment for each of us that was able to make it down to the farm–

Trevor:

5. Lil Wayne- My first rap concert so it had to make the list. Lil Wayne is much more than a rapper, he is an entertainer and that’s what he did during his concert. Not only was I feeling the beat and loving the pace which he performed at, but his banter with the crowd was priceless. Wish I could repeat what he said here but I imagine like at his show, some people might be scared off.

4. Twin Shadow- This group was new to me but I loved every minute of it. Lead singer George Lewis Jr. came out in a black leather jacket and a hat straight out of the 80’s black power movement. Not only was the music great, their stage presence made you feel like you were on the set of Purple Rain. With that being said, I would have considered this one of my top shows if they covered Prince.

3. My Morning Jacket- The reason this isn’t number one is because I knew what to expect from MMJ. As usual they crushed it and made one hell of a show. Their new material from Circuital transferred well to a live stage and I look forward to it becoming a staple of their performances.

2. The Head and The Heart- A quirky little band that you could tell was both excited and comfortable on stage in front of an audience. They played a beautiful set and their soaring harmonies will most certainly be talked about more as the Maimed and Tamed crew approaches it’s second major festival of the summer down in Newport, Rhode Island.

1. Band of Skulls- Clearly a great rock band and most certainly the best show of the weekend in my opinion. For those of you who went to Bonnaroo to see Black Keys; Band of Skulls would have fulfilled your straight up rock quota minus the 80,000 plus people trying to jostle for viewing positions. Their tunes were so catchy and deservedly earn their own praise but when transferred to the live stage become an entity of their own.

Surprise Moment- Lil Wayne being on time/sober enough to perform.

Eric:

5. Ben Sollee- I’m not sure if it is the novelty of using a cello in today’s music scene or the fact that the beautiful sound Sollee produces with his instrument of choice makes his music seem much more earnest, but whatever it is Sollee was one of the most intriguing artists at the festival. Not only was his solo set a work of art in and of itself but he also made guest appearances with The Low Anthem, Nicole Atkins and My Morning Jacket. A true festival warrior.

4. Portugal. The Man- Extended jams and seamless transitions between songs are a trademark of PTM sets and they didn’t disappoint in bringing exactly that to That Tent on a hot and stuffy Saturday.

3. Arcade Fire- EPIC. But it was a little weird that they ended with Sprawl II even though we all know it is an M&T favorite.

2. My Morning Jacket- You knew this was coming, Bonnaroo is basically MMJ’s hometown festival and they have delivered numerous historical performances on the farm during the festival’s 10 year run. Leading up to their Friday night set everyone was talking about how they called upon the rain gods in ’08 and ’04, but this year they came up a bit short. Maybe it was because they didn’t play Dondante.

WARNING: THIS EPIC VIDEO MAY CAUSE SEIZURES IF YOU’RE A PUSSY:

1. Buffalo Springfield- They still got it, there is no doubting that. Although they could have turned up the volume a bit they still had the power to do what MMJ couldn’t, bring the rain and lightning even if it was just for a short period of time. I have always been intrigued by 60s music and the Laurel Canyon scene and watching this set was as close as I think I’ll ever get to transporting myself back to that Golden Age of rock music.

Surprise Moment- When Trevor and I hung out at the Sonic Stage to see !!!. Lead singer Nic Offer brought a ridiculous amount of energy to the tiny stage along with his hilariously sexual dance moves that he shared with everyone when he jumped into the crowd. This was one of those sets where you think to yourself, holy shit I gotta see these guys again.

Jeff:

5. Portugal. The Man- The boys from Alaska played a great set on an extremely hot Saturday afternoon. Despite the heat,t hey had everyone in the tent dancing and singing along.

4. The Head and The Heart- I loved everything about this Sunday morning set. Good beats, catchy songs, and tremendous harmonies. “Rivers and Roads” was probably the highlight of the show, especially when Charity was belting out the chorus. This set gives me more and more reasons to go to Newport Folk Festival.

3. Arcade Fire- I thought they played an awesome set on the main stage. They are very energetic (sometimes it can be over the top), and they know how to put on a great show. I still can’t believe they closed by playing “Wake Up” and then “Sprawl II.” Too Funny.

2. My Morning Jacket- We missed out on both The Tennessee Fire and At Dawn when we saw them at their Terminal 5 shows, so I was hoping they would play a plethora of early stuff. I did not get my wish, probably due to the 2-hour time limit. We did get a great deal of Circuital, which was great, and we were about 10 rows back. My ears are still ringing.

1. Buffalo Springfield- I am a huge Neil Young fan, so I was really looking forward to this show. Neil was being classic Neil, and he and the rest of the boys rocked the shit out of roo. They closed their set by playing “Broken Arrow”, followed by “For What It’s Worth”, and an awesome rendition of “Rockin’ in the Free World” where Neil went nuts.

Surprise Moment- When Jack White played on every bands set at the same time…but seriously it was when My Morning Jacket obeyed the 2-hour time limit. I was just hoping they would play forever.

Neil:

5. Arcade Fire- One of the most hyped live shows on the planet didn’t disappoint…Win, Regine & Co. played the shit out of their fantastic debut album and sprinkled plenty of Suburbs gems in between.

4. Junip- Only knowing the solo work of Jose Gonzalez, Junip brought a new and entirely different and relaxing vibe that provided the perfect warm up for anyone running on fumes by Sunday.

3. Buffalo Springfield- The old men might have been hampered by sound difficulties, but they proved to everyone that Neil, Richie Furay, and Stills can still get along and have a lot of fun while jamming. Also, breaking out “Keep On Rockin’ In The Free World” never hurts.

2. My Morning Jacket- Jim James and crew show that they do in fact get a little better with every show. Having to play within a time limit for once, MMJ limited the setlist to tunes from Circuital and the previous three albums, but they still managed to delight the crowd with an energetic and emotional set.

1. Deerhunter- Far and away my number 1, first time seeing these guys and I am officially hooked. Bradford Cox provided a full on concert experience with weird banter and not one single moment of stage silence. It was easy to see these guys love playing with each other and recognize the artistry of Cox’s songwriting.

Surprise Moment- When I stumbled upon a band playing a late night set on Friday at the intimate Sonic Stage beneath the muffled sounds of Lil’ Weezy’s hyped-up set, I had to stop in for a look. The band happened to be folk-y favorites Deer Tick and were fully plugged in and rocking out to a set of strictly Nirvana. Deervana indeed.

Bonnaroo Power Hour

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Over here at Maimed & Tamed we have created the perfect pre-game for all of you Roo’ers to utilize before you head into Centeroo each day over the weekend: The Maimed & Tamed Bonnaroo 2011 Power Hour. With 60 tracks from a plethora of this year’s artists, this playlist is sure to help you not only catch a buzz, but also jam out to some of your favorite artists right before you go catch them live. Take a peak at the full track listing below and check out Grooveshark to grab the playlist for your drinking and streaming pleasure.

 

Also make sure to follow us on Twitter all weekend (@maimedtamed) as we will be giving live updates from Bonnaroo throughout the festival. Hope to see all of you down on the farm!

 

 

1. Band of Skulls- “Light of The Morning”

2. The Decemberists- “The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid (Live at Bonnaroo 2009)

3. Smith Westerns- “Be My Girl”

4. Florence + The Machine- “Dog Days Are Over”

5. Sleigh Bells- “Crown on the Ground”

6. Dam-Funk- “Mirrors”

7. Junip- “In Every Direction”

8. Black Keys- “Your Touch”

9. Best Coast- “Boyfriend”

10. Wavves- “Post-Acid”

11. The Strokes- “Last Nite”

12. Arcade Fire- “Headlights Look Like Diamonds”

13. Futurebirds- “Battle For Rome”

14. Arcade Fire- “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”

15. Lil Wayne- “Let The Beat Build”

16. The Drums- “Don’t Be a Jerk, Jonny”

17. Cold War Kids- “Hang Me Up To Dry”

18. Man Man- “Black Mission Goggles”

19. Explosions in the Sky- “Magic Hours”

20. Girl Talk- “The Knife (Grizzly Bear Remix)”

21. Big Boi- “Shutterbugg”

22. My Morning Jacket- “Highly Suspicious”

23. Bassnectar- “Where Is My Mind (Pixies Remix)”

24. Widespread Panic- “Aunt Avis”

25. Deer Tick- “Hand in My Hand”

26. Mumford & Sons- “Thistle & Weeds”

27. Buffalo Springfield- “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing”

28. Cold War Kids- “Louder Than Ever”

29. Iron & Wine- “Walking Far From Home”

30. Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore- “Only A Song”

31. Deerhunter- “Nothing Ever Happened”

32. Dr. John- “R U 4 Real”

33. Preservation Hall Jazz Band- “St. Philip Street Breakdown”

34. My Morning Jacket- “Phone Went West”

35. Gogol Bordello- “Start Wearing Purple”

36. Eminem- “Lose Yourself”

37. Twin Shadow- “Castles in the Snow”

38. Lil Wayne- “Playin’ With Fire”

39. The Walkmen- “Wake Up”

40. My Morning Jacket- “Holdin On To Black Metal”

41. Primus- “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver”

42. Sleigh Bells- “Run the Heart”

43. Robert Plant- “Shine It All Around”

44. Portugal. The Man- “AKA M80 The Wolf”

45. The Sword- “How Heavy This Axe”

46. School of Seven Bells- “Half Asleep”

47. The Low Anthem- “Boeing 737”

48. Portugal. The Man- “60 Years”

49. The Strokes- “Automatic Stop”

50. The Head and the Heart- “Ghosts”

51. Matthew and the Atlas- “I Will Remain”

52. Arcade Fire- “Wake Up”

53. Robyn- “Dancing On My Own”

54. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals- If I was From Paris

55. Freelance Whales- “Hannah”

56. Buffalo Springfield- “For What It’s Worth”

57. J. Cole- “Til Infinity”

58. Pretty Lights- “Finally Moving”

59. Black Keys- “I Got Mine”

60. Matt & Kim- “Daylight”

Bonnaroo Spotlight: J. Cole

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We welcome back our good friend Patrick for another Lesson in Hip Hop, this time in the form of a Bonnaroo Spotlight. Check out what he has to say about festival artist J. Cole and also some other jams he has been listening to below:

 

With Bonnaroo right around the corner I decided to write a spotlight on who I believe to be the best hip-hop act at the festivalin;  J. Cole.

 
J. Cole hails from the notorious ghetto of Fayetteville, North Carolina, which he reminds you of in almost every song. Coming from Fayetteville, J. Cole took a different route to becoming an artist than most. He did well in high school and went to St. John’s University in New York City, in order to meet label reps and ended up graduating from St. John’s with a degree in communications and minored in business. He also graduated Magna Cum Laude and you can hear the full story at the end of “Last Call” (in the same fashion Kanye finished his song which J.Cole borrowed the beat for this song). J. Cole is probably the best rapper out there to never release an actual album (which will change this year with his first studio album due to be released sometime in 2011). His mixtapes, of which there are three, are all classics within themselves. I know that I gave Eric a copy of The Warm Up mixtape, which he loves. The other two are called The Come Up (which was his first), and his latest mixtape is Friday Night Lights. All three can be downloaded at www.datpiff.com for free, which you should do right about meow.

 
If you don’t think that these mixtapes are enough proof of the greatness of J. Cole here is some more proof:

 

J. Cole was the first artist to sing to Jay-Z’s new label Roc Nation (along with another rapper and Bonnaroo vet named Jay Electronica who is ill, so you should probs check him out too).

 

He was also recently named the 5th best hip-hop artist under 30 by Vibe Magazine, without ever releasing a studio album (I know I keep repeating that but I’m trying to make a point). J. Cole finished much ahead of more popular artists such as Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, and B.O.B. and was only beaten out by Niki Minaj (which I think is horse shit), Drake (not a huge Drake fan so horse shit), Lupe Fiasco (I’m a big fan of Lupe, not really his last album but Food and Liquor is my shit), and Lil’ Wayne (fair enough).

 
J. Cole can do it all. He produces tracks, and writes all his own rhymes. His metaphors are clever and will have you rewinding tracks just to hear lines again. I’d give you some of my favorites, but the truth is all his songs are my favorite. Make sure to check out his new single “Who Dat” as well as “Killers”, which is also not on any of his mixtapes. But most of all make sure you at least check out Friday Night Lights and The Warm Up. J. Cole also adds a variety of unreal freestyles to his arsenal, so if you enjoy legendary rappers such as Jay-Z, Nas, AZ, Tupac or the Notorious BIG you’ll LOVE J. Cole.

 
So go out there and listen. I know that J. Cole will not sell out on his album but stay true to his roots and represent his fans with his first studio album. Here is a quote from the man himself about his forthcoming album “All singles done. Album ridiculous. Title Perfect. Music incredible. Thank you for your patience. Let’s change the game.”

 

Hip-Hop Extra: 3 Mixtapes I’ve been jamming to, that you also need to be jamming to.

 

1. Viva La Hov– Jay-Z Vs. Coldplay
This mixtape has been out for a bit, but I have really been jamming to it lately, especially over the last semester of college. It has all of Jay-Z’s hits mixed with some Coldplay songs and it just seems to work out perfectly. Plus its hard to go wrong with classic Jay-Z. Download it at DatPiff here.

 

2. Mos Dub-Mos Def Vs. Reggae Mixtape
This mixtape is freakin sweet. I am a big Mos Def fan (especially Black Star with Talib Kweli). So this is basically a mixtape of Mos Def’s smooth flow raps, mixed with easy going reggae music, which means you basically can’t go wrong.

 

3. The Rawth EP– Asher Roth and Nottz Raw
I know what you’re thinking, “I thought Pat was a big hip-hop fan but why would he listen to Asher Roth.” Don’t get me wrong I hate “I Love College”, and that whole album that Asher Roth did. But according to Roth himself he was forced by the record label to release all those songs on the album, which is why he left the label after the album. I discovered this mixtape after Vibe named Roth to the best hip-hop artists under 30, so I gave the Rawth EP a chance and I really like it. Roth shows that he has good MCing skills and I discovered another awesome MC in Nottz Raw. My favorite song is “In My Mind” (which is just Nottz Raw). Give it a chance and I promise you’ll find yourself surprised and enjoying the mixtape.

 

Enjoy and remember there is good hip-hop music out there

Bonnaroo Spotlight: Dr. John

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The time has come to tackle some of the funk on this year’s Bonnaroo lineup. Mac Rebennack aka Dr. John will be joined by funk legends Allen Toussaint and the original Meters on the Bonnaroo stage. They will be performing Dr. John’s 1974 album Desitively Bonnaroo in its entirety and I would expect to hear some tracks off of the other Dr. John, Toussaint, Meters collaboration, In the Right Place. Although I am more partial to the earlier of the two albums, Desitively Bonnaroo is where the festival gets its name. With these two albums Dr. John shifted from his Creole and voodoo inspired music to creating probably the two most important funk albums in New Orleans’ long and storied music history. The Meters provided the backbone to the music and Toussaint’s arrangements and production meshed perfectly with Dr. John’s desire to create funk music in its purest form. Also expect to catch at least a few more guests at this Bonnaroo set as a trio of groups/artists such as this will surely attract other artists hopeful to collaborate.

Bonnaroo Spotlight: Matt & Kim

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Matt & Kim have made a name for themselves over the past couple of years producing a blend of electronic dance and punk which has catchy choruses and fun loving hooks. This duo will undoubtably rock the Roo grounds like no one’s business as they will be able to combine name recognition with the ability to make them dance. Matt & Kim will most likely be playing a majority of their most recent album Sidewalks while incorporating their 2009 breakthrough album Grand. Roo this year has a lot of bands that have electronic elements and I wouldn’t be surprised if we found some cross pollination between these groups. A band like Matt & Kim will most likely have been heard by a majority of the audience at Roo and having some cameos could surely do nothing but give them some extra credibility. Moral of the story, keep your eyes and ears open when they step on stage.

Bonnaroo Spotlight: The Low Anthem

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The Providence based folk rockers will be taking to the Bonnaroo stage for the second time after an appearance at the 2009 festival. Having supported bands like the Avett Brothers in the past, the band will embark on some headlining dates this summer as well as filling opening duties for a portion of Mumford & Sons’ summer tour. The band has become favorites of the Newport Folk Festival (see interview below with festival producer Jay Sweet) and are beginning to gain more widespread notoriety since the release of their most recent album Smart Flesh. Like Jay Sweet says, it is impossible to listen to just one song on the album, you have to listen to the whole thing through each time you put it on. The band utilizes a style that blends lead singer Ben Knox Miller’s well-crafted storytelling skills with rich harmonies and unconventional instruments like the cell phone. The Low Anthem fit in perfectly with the Bonnaroo atmosphere and will certainly impress any festival goers who have not yet witnessed one of their live shows. For those of you haven’t familiarized yourself with The Low Anthem, below are a few of my favorite tracks from their last three albums that will certainly get you hooked.

“Yellowed By The Sun” from What the Crow Brings

“Charlie Darwin” from Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

“Boeing 737” from Smart Flesh


Bonnaroo Spotlight: Band of Skulls

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This week we’re taking a look at Band of Skulls, a rock band you may or may not have heard of, hailing from good ol’ Southampton, England. And if you’ve heard this song, which has been making the rounds on an ad for the 2011 Ford Mustang, then you’ve heard Band of Skulls…

Song actually fits the ad quite well. Ford Mustangs + Band of Skulls rocking = Bad Ass. BOS has a pretty limited discography to their name, so you can pretty much bet on a Thursday appearance from them. No matter, Thursday always provides two or three solid acts as a nice little segue into the rest of the weekend, and I think BOS is up to that task. Check out some other highlights from their full length Baby Darling Doll Face Honey below.

“I Know What I Am” -also featured in another car ad, they have that theme nailed down

“Death By Diamonds and Pearls”


Bonnaroo Spotlight: The Black Angels

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This week we will be highlighting The Black Angels, a psychedelic rock group hailing from the indie mecca Austin, Texas. Last week brought the announcement that is almost as big as the initial lineup posting: the bands who will be playing late night. Bonnaroo late night is what makes Bonnaroo Bonnaroo. Bands slated to play late night are given the freedom to play as late (or early, depending on how you look at it) as they feel, with most bands taking full advantage of the curfew-free farm and playing upwards of 3 hour sets.

At first, this years late night seemed to be lacking something (glaringly, the absence of My Morning Jacket). Artists included Lil’ Wayne, String Cheese Incident, Dr. John, Girl Talk and more. One band I had never heard and caught my eye was the Black Angels. All it took was a few youtube listens of some of their songs and I realized Bonnaroo made a good choice in this late night pick. The Black Angels combine a trance rock/stoner rock feel that could be the ideal way to close out a long day in the hot Tennessee sun. The band has released three full length discs since 2006 and has been garnering more and more critical praise with each release. Check out a few of my favorites so far below.

“Better Off Alone” off of 2006’s Passover

“Bad Vibrations” off of 2010’s Phosphene Dream


Bonnaroo Spotlight: The Sword

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It would be an understatement to say I am excited to see Austin metal band The Sword. Ever since I first wrapped my baby fingers around that original plastic Guitar Hero guitar and rocked out to “Freya”, I came to two realizations. One was that this would be the closest I would ever get to melting faces. The second was that I loved The Sword.

Since releasing Age of Winters featuring “Freya”in 2006, The Sword have gone on to release Gods of the Earth in 2008 and more recently the concept album Warp Riders last year. To me, The Sword lead the class in psychedila/stoner/metal/retro rock because there is no other band out there with a sound like this. A lot of metal bands can shred with the best of them, but feature vocals that cannot be distinguished from a banshee scream. This is where The Sword breaks away from the pack, featuring melodic vocals from lead singer/guitarist J.D. Cronise, whose favorite subjects to wax poetic on include hallowed mountains, bloody battles,  and beseeching enchantresses. Doesn’t get much more gnarly than that.

Also, any band that features wolves in their music videos is alright by me.

“Winter’s Wolves”

“Tres Brujas”


Bonnaroo Spotlight: The Drums

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This week’s Bonnaroo Spotlight features Brooklyn based indie-pop outfit The Drums. Formed by childhood friends Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham, the band began their road to Bonnaroo back in 2009 when they moved to New York City and were subsequently dubbed “New York’s official coolest new band,” by NME. With an EP, Summertime!, and a full-length self-titled record under their belt, The Drums have proved themselves to be worthy of a slot on this year’s Roo lineup. With songs like “Down by the Water,” “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “The Future,” The Drums produce a sound that is reminiscent of The Cure and one that is obviously inspired by the various artists who made their big breaks releasing albums for Factory Records back in the 80s. With so many great bands playing down on the farm this year it is going to be difficult to avoid scheduling conflicts, but I will definitely be making time to see The Drums. Here is one great quote from the band as to why you should do the same, “We only write about two feelings: one is the first day of summer when you and all of your friends are standing on the edge of a cliff watching the sun set and being overcome with all of your hopes and dreams at once. The other is when you’re walking alone in the rain and realize you will be alone forever.” Now if that isn’t intriguing enough for you, check out the two tracks below and then tell me you won’t be dancing with me in June.