Tag Archives: daft punk

This one goes out to: the Grammy nomination panel

4 Dec

grammy-pic

Really? Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” for Song of the Year? Five musicians who I’ve never heard a single song from for Best New Artist? Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance? Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance? The Eagles of Wal-Mart for anything? The list goes on and on…

While there are some respectable names on the list (M.I.A., Radiohead, Daft Punk, Hot Chip, Kings of Leon, Beck, My Morning Jacket), it’s obvious that someone needs to reboot the whole damn institution. Maybe I’m being too harsh though. At least it appears (as of today) that they’ve actually selected artists who sing their own songs.

What planet do these tone deaf blowhards come from where Jethro Tull is considered metal? This one goes out to you, Grammy nomination panel…courtesy of a fellow extra-terrestrial, Dr. Octagon…

Bonnaroo 2008 – Day One

16 Jun

So here’s the deal. For the next four days, I will be breaking down each day of my Bonnaroo experience. It will be the blogging equivalent of the “tape delay.” If you weren’t there, it will still be new to you.

Before we delve into Day One, I would like to make a blanket observation about America’s most hyped music festival – it was pretty awesome, but far from perfect. Although I attribute the brutal heat and humidity to a few moments of misery, I don’t think moving our generation’s Woodstock to a more temperate climate would transform it into 96 hours of complete bliss.

The fact of the matter is that once you get into the Bonnaroo gates, you’re totally stuck. A few hours of slightly uncomfortable sleep is the only time you’ll have away from the people you came with. Spend 12-15 hours with the same folks each day for four straight days, and you’re bound to experience some frustration. The same can be said of occupying that much time in front of the same stages underneath the same sun. Moderation and variety are important, but they’re not part of the Bonnaroo M.O.

Consequently, each day of the festival unfolded in a similar manner for me – at least one moment of absolute euphoria, eight hours of fun, and three hours of insufferable shitiness. So if you keep reading, you’ll get the great, the good, and the Kanye-esque.

Day One – Thursday, June 12

My moment of euphoria: An early morning visit to the Silent Disco. If you’ve never been to Manchester, the Silent Disco is a tent where people put on wireless headphones and dance together to music being broadcast by a DJ right in front of them. Yeah, it’s dumb. But it’s also hilarious. And a hell of a time.

As we walked in “Revolution 909 / Da Funk” was playing from Daft Punk’s Homework album. Although it probably shouldn’t be surprising considering the crowd, this was thrilling to me. I knew the songs that were playing, even though my knowledge of electronic and dance music is limited to ostensibly two artists (have I professed my love of LCD Soundsystem before?). Needless to say, I had no trouble conjuring up my inner French robot and really getting down.

I don’t know if I’ve properly conveyed it, but I’ve found few things in life more energizing than flailing appendages alongside a Greyhound busload of semi-sober young people who have no qualms about looking goofy as fuck.

If it wasn’t for the disco: It would have been Vampire Weekend’s performance. Even though I am a fan of their eponymous debut, I tempered my expectations for the Columbia University classmates, especially hearing from a friend that their Saturday Night Performance bordered on boring. Such was not the case at Thursday night. VW ended up being one of the more energetic bands I caught all weekend. The B-side “Ladies of Cambridge” was a highlight. But even songs I never much cared for on the CD, “One (Blake’s Got A New Face)” in particular, convinced my feet to stomp and shoulders to turn.

The only complaint I had about VW is that the crowd (mostly female) seemed almost too into the band. I don’t get it – It’s not like these guys have anything going for them. So what if they’re wealthy, Ivy League-educated, critically acclaimed indie rock darlings?

Who am I kidding, even Eminem would go gay for the boys of VW.

Under new MGMT: That’s where Vampire Weekend was on the schedule. Battles played before them, with interesting but not terribly memorable or melodic results (although I probably should have been paying more attention). Before Battles, it was MGMT, a duo that I was hyped to see after posting their video on this blog a week ago.

I don’t partake in psychedelics, but these guys were almost awesome enough to make me reconsider. “Electric Feel” was astounding live. I pretty sure it put the entire crowd into a trance. Of course, I can’t say for sure, since I spent those four minutes scouring the grounds for pieces of my brain.

It was mind-blowing, did you catch that?: And so was Grand Ole Party. Not because they mirrored the ethereal trippiness of MGMT. No, instead because they’re one of the tightest and most impressive three-piece bands I’ve ever seen, and yet, no one ever talks about them as one of the best upcoming acts in the business.

It was enormously impressive to watch Kristin Gundred pound the shit out of her drumkit while belting out a bunch of great tunes. I know it’s hard to play drums and sing – I’ve played Rock Band, after all. But I was hesitant to force my friends to venture all the way over to The Other Stage to see a band that I’d listened to for about a total of five minutes before the festival. Nevertheless, everybody loved Grand Ole Party. I fancied them as a more hungry and compact incarnation of The Raconteurs with a female lead singer. I would discover just how much of a compliment this was the following day.

I would continue, but this is tape delayed, and that tomorrow hasn’t happened yet.

So, what sucked?: Well, the drive to Manchester from Indianapolis was awful, especially because I was the one driving from 1 to 6 in the morning. I had to pull the old karaoke trick to prevent my mind from going into shutdown mode (I can sing just like Eddie Vedder, believe me). But that wasn’t even the worst part. The shit hours of the day were from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. before we finally decided to head into Centeroo.

After further exhausting myself by helping to erect a tent as soon as we arrived at the campground, I tried to reward myself with a nap. Of course, the only place available for me to sleep at the time was the front seat of the car. This was dreadful. With the heat rising by the second and my back in a position that would make me a candidate to become a scoliosis model, I think I dosed off for about nine minutes or so.

When I woke up, the rest of my crew was asleep, and I decided to bury my head into the ground. Only l didn’t have a fucking shovel. I’m pretty sure Jesus and Satan both ventured to Bonnaroo this year (to see Pearl Jam, I would presume) because they’re simply wasn’t much separation between heaven and hell during my weekend in Manchester.

See you tomorrow for a recap of Day Two.