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Bonnaroo rant/BISB/Morning Benders

February 11, 2010

After some thinking, I have this to say about the Bonnaroo 2010 lineup: 1/2 good, 1/2 FAIL. Part of it is just my personal taste, but part of it is just plain WTF?

First the bad part: the headliners. The combination of Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Kings of Leon, and Dave Matthews Band (the 1st 4 listed in the lineup, thus assumed to be headliners) is pretty weak compared to Phish/Springsteen, or Metallica/Pearl Jam, or The Police/Tool. As much as I hate Phish, they were a HUGE score for the festival last year, and IMO, they needed someone like the widely-rumored Paul Simon or Paul McCartney to really stand up the last few years. I don’t think Jay-Z, despite his legendary status in the hip hop world, can quite fill the shoes of past headliners. Stevie Wonder is awesome and I’m glad he’s playing but somehow I just don’t see him as quite headliner material. DMB has played Bonnaroo before, and of course will please the hippie crowd, but will also draw a considerable number of collar-poppin’ fratastic douchebags.

Now for the good part: the tent-playing (or maybe Which Stage-playing) mid-level indie acts. I’m more than elated to see She & Him, LCD Soundsystem, Phoenix, Flaming Lips, Miike Snow, They Might Be Giants, OK Go, The Melvins, Neon Indian, and many more of the “indie rock” acts on the bill. Let’s just say that if I go to cover it for the Scene again this year, I will no doubt be spending most of my time in the tents.

In other lineup news, Vanderbilt’s Rites of Spring lineup came right on the heels of the Bonnaroo announcements, and the list is not surprising, though Phoenix and Passion Pit together make the lineup a tad bit stronger than past years, IMO. Headliners Ben Harper & the Relentless 7 and Drake fit right into the typical RoS formula of putting an up-and-coming rap star on one night, and a frat-pleasing, jam-ish act on the other. But this broad, please-all formula has worked well for the festival in the past, so I can’t blame them for doing what works. This ain’t no Pitchfork afterall.

As most Nasvhillians who pay any amount of attention to the local electronic/DJ scene already know, Justin Kase has been on the road for several months as a the DJ in Ke$ha’s backing band. He also ran a pretty cool, though sparingly updated blog called Blogging Is Serious Business. Sadly, though, he’s putting that blog on indefinite hiatus:

Touring kept me from updating recently, but now i just don’t have any interest to continue this blog. Never say never, but don’t expect anything new for some time to come.

What’s utterly flattering, though, is that he mentioned my blog, along with the obvious Nashville Nights, as an alternative for “your Nashville dancing fix…” Therefore, expect me to attempt to live up to that plug by bringing in a little more coverage of the DJ/electronic/dance scene beside my usual plugs for gigs at which I’m DJing. Don’t expect many mp3’s though, because A) Joseph at Nashville Nights has that very well-covered, and B) I don’t have the time or energy to devote to climbing the HypeMachine charts and getting labels/producers to send me shit to post. I will however, post a link to my last mix, just in case you missed it back in Dec. (Spring 2010 Mixxxx is currently in production for release next month.)

DJ Burgers-Winter 09 MIXXXX

Finally, I was excited to this nicely-done video of the Morning Benders performing/recording the track “Excuses” for Yours Truly with about 50 of their best musician friends crammed into the studio, Phil Spector-style. In fact, as the singer Chris Chu talks about in the interview segment, the song is a bit of a tribute to Spector and his “Wall of Sound” recording method. They even wrote a cute little letter to him which you can read at Yours Truly. Here’s the video. (All of this via Gorilla vs. Bear and Pitchfork)

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