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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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squirrelGot an itch? Ever wondered exactly what the hell an itch is, and why the hell scratching relieves it? Apparently even the best doctors didn’t even know why and how of itch vs. scratch until recently. Science Daily has an interesting report on research that was done to answer this very question. I think it’s funny how the simplest things sometimes are still medical mysteries.

Speaking of medical mysteries, I’ve got one for you- WHY THE HELL IS EVERYONE FREAKING OUT OVER SWINE FLU? I guess it’s actually a media mystery because they’re the ones responsible for the unnecessary freak-out. Chill the fuck out people! From what I can gather, this strain of the flu has caused about 160 deaths, and 2,500 illnesses in Mexico. Guess what? The NORMAL flu kills 36,000 people just in the U.S. every year! Do we see scaremongering about the normal flu? Nope. This is exactly the same kind of bullshit that surrounded the bird-flu. This swine-flu isn’t any more dangerous than the regular flu- basically the same symptoms and same risk of dying (you’ll only die if you have a weakened immune system due to being really old or really young, or have AIDS or other autoimmune disorder). Want more facts about the regular flu? Go to this CNN.com article.

On a happier note… if this doesn’t make you smile then you should have your head examined. A group called Playing For Change recorded the base track of the Ben E. King classic, Stand By Me, then had members of their group from all around the world hit the streets to get random musicians to add tracks to the recording.

I don’t post enough news about green technology and environmental issues on here… which is why I’m linking to this. As usual Europe is way ahead of the rest of the world in environmental legistalation and regulation. According to this report, there’s a proposal in Norway to ban the sale of any new gas-only cars starting in 2015. Even though the proposal is likely to fail because it has very little support, it’s a step in the right direction.

My love for Camera Obscura is endless. You can imagine my delight when I found an email from their listserv in my inbox yesterday containing info about their brand-spanking new website and FREEEEE mp3 of the title track from the new album, My Maudlin Career. Oh thank you Tracyanne & Co. for finally giving me something new to latch onto. If this song is a good indication of what the rest of the album will sound like, then it will be everything I hoped for. This track is full of fluttering piano runs drenched in cavernous reverb that flirt with Tracyanne’s beautiful Scottish croon in the most perfect way. GET IT. LOVE IT.
Camera Obscura-My Maudlin Career

I don’t know how I missed out on Fruit Tree Music, the blog of my old college friend Jon Arnold for this long…. He does a lot of great audio production work with one of my all-time favorite electronic musicians, Matt Pusti, as well as the Protomen and many other great locals. The cool thing about it is that he posts clips from almost everything he works on. Check it out.

I’ve recently discovered the blog Hipster Runoff. Their coverage of the Grammys is priceless. Just go. Apathy and snark. Snark and apathy.

Looks like Abe decided to get a punk rock hairdo not long before his assassination. The image links to the Library of Congress’ flickr stream. Yes, the Library of Congress has a flickr. How cool is that? Via Kottke.org.

Speaking of politics, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or aren’t from TN, then you know that the TN House of Representatives has been through some turmoil lately. Well, the Republicans finally decided to kick out Kent Williams, the guy who upset their plans for Jason Mumpower to become Speaker of the House, and an extreme conservative takeover. So we now have 49 democrats, 49 republicans, and Kent Williams. It could be worse? Via Nashville Is Talking.

Now for some national political humor…. Clips taken out of context from Obama’s self-narrated audiobook version of Dreams From My Father. Via Yewknee.

Just in case you didn’t know how incredibly unhealthy soft drinks are, read this article from Mercola.com. I don’t agree with everything this guy posts… in fact some of it is a little too “conspiracy theory” for me. And he’s somewhat of an antivaxxer (people who claim that vaccines cause autism- read more about them here), which is appalling, but some of the stuff on his website is good.

Good news on the Large Hadron Collider. They expect it to be operational again in September and hopefully will start collisions in October. I really hope some ground-breaking discoveries happen as a result of this enormous and fascinating piece of technology.

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