telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Bonnaroo Music Videos: Wale – “Pretty Girls” by Barbecue Bros
June 9, 2010, 4:33 pm
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And for something a little different, here is DC rapper Wale with Gucci Mane. And Michael from “The Wire” shows up in the video! Wale plays from 12-1am at This Tent on Thursday night.

Linkdown: 6/22/09 by Barbecue Bros
June 22, 2009, 12:50 pm
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– Steven Soderbergh’s Moneyball has been delayed, possibly canned

– AV Club Inventory: 15 depressing cinematic swan songs, including Peter Sellers and Orson Welles

The poster for Big Fan, written by Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) and starring Patton Oswalt

– Interview with Stephen Moyer aka Bill Compton from “True Blood”

Some “Must Lists” from Megan Fox, Josh Holloway (Sawyer) and the “True Blood” cast

TV on the Radio‘s Kyp Malone signs to Anti- for his solo project Rain Machine

– Finally, some Triumph the Insult Comic Dog videos from Bonnaroo, including what aired on Conan last week

Seriously Serious Concert No. 10: Bonnaroo 2009, final thoughts by Barbecue Bros
June 17, 2009, 1:38 pm
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I was a late decider for Bonnaroo (1.5 weeks before) but I was extremely glad that I did end up going.  I saw a ton of great bands that I already had wanted to see, had fun camping, and generally enjoyed the vibe of the whole festival, which I found to be fairly well-run.

But take a look at all the artists I saw: White Rabbits, Chairlift, Passion Pit, Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, TV on the Radio, Phoenix, Public Enemy, Girl Talk, Bon Iver, Wilco, Nine Inch Nails, and MGMT. Many of those I had yet to see and those that I had were a few years ago anyways. It would have taken me hundreds of dollars to see those bands individually, which I guess is obviously the attraction to big festivals like this.

In addition to the bands, I saw a butt naked girl somehow scale a 12 foot tall tent in one single bound, met Hannah from American Teen, remembered how to camp, met some interesting people from all over the world, saw possibly the last NIN show in the US ever, and got a tan, among many things I’m probably forgetting. Not too shabby.

Even still, there were a ton of acts that I wished I had gotten to or had scheduling conflicts with: St. Vincent, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santigold, Al Green, Patterson Hood, Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Heartless Bastards, Chairlift (acoustic), of Montreal,  Elvis Costello, Yeasayer, The Dirty Projectors, Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg,  Andrew Bird, and Okkervil River.

In any case, as long as I have some interest in the headliners next year, I am very seriously considering going again. And definitely staying until Monday.

Next up: Tonight, Band of Horses and Arbouretum at the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte, a 7 minute walk from my house

Seriously Serious Concert No. 10: Bonnaroo, Saturday 6/13/09 by Barbecue Bros
June 16, 2009, 2:25 pm
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So Paul Oakenfold played a set that apparently lasted until 6am Saturday morning. I guess I was passed out from Girl Talk and it thankfully didn’t keep me up, as we were really able to hear most stages from our campsite. In any case, we ended up not getting motivated to see Chairlift at Sonic Stage at 12pm (despite our collective crush) and opted to instead drink and hang out until Bon Iver at 3:30 at This Tent, hearing Booker T. and the DBT’s from afar (though it bled over into part of Bon Iver‘s set which was a bit annoying – maybe a testament to DBT’s?). I expected a very quiet, pretty set and was surprised when it was more of a full sound. Justin Vernon seemed to be in a good mood, introducing his band from Wisconsin and NC at one point and in addition For Emma, Forever Ago and Blood Bank cuts, they pulled out a Yo La Tengo cover of “I Feel Like Going Home.” The ending crowd participation of “The Wolves (Act I and II)” singing “What might have been lost” was a nice touch to end the set.

From there we got some food and proceeded to What Stage, in what would prove to be my only real venture to the main stage the whole weekend. I’m more upbeat about Wilco after the upcoming album than I have been in years, though they’ve always been very confident live. The two hour set started off with “Wilco (The Song)” and dipped in and out of songs mostly from the past couple of albums. “Misunderstood” at the 1 hour mark was transcendant and a hot air balloon came out of nowhere to punctuate it nicely.

Jeff Tweedy seemed to be in a good mood despite looking a little haggard. The band confidently strolled through their last hour alternating between shorter songs and those that delved into near-jamband tendencies before ending on “Hoodoo Voodoo,” a “song written by Woody Guthrie” from Mermaid Avenue. The perfect late afternoon set on a nice day.

We headed back took in whatever parts of Bruce Springsteen‘s set seeped its way into our consciousness while hanging out at the campsite before catching the tail end of the show. Then moved over to Which Stage for my first Nine Inch Nails‘ show but their apparent last U.S. show ever. I was only planning to stay until I headed over to MGMT at That Tent a little early but got “March of the Pigs,” “I’m Afraid of American,” and “Piggy.” Obviously wish I could have seen “Hurt” but what are you going to do?

In fact, I wish I would have seen the rest of NIN‘s set considering how disappointed I was by MGMT, who just sounded flat from where I stood (outside of the tent, decently far back). The new songs sounded like surfer rock (interesting, considering they are recording their next album in California) and even the songs from Oracular Spectacular just didn’t have the same punch that I was expecting. I left with a few songs to go in their set because I was exhausted, though I did catch “Kids” clearly from my tent and it actually sounded really good.

We woke up on Sunday and decided to get on the road since a few of us didn’t have the foresight to take off work on Monday and none of the acts were must-see for us. We somehow managed to get Scotty’s big ass Durango through the campers and cars in the parking lot (thanks to two other groups of people also looking to leave as well as some nice campers) and parked across the street from our site, loaded up and hit the road. From there, we hit no traffic and were on the highway towards Charlotte-via-Atlanta in no time, looking at photos from the weekend and recounting stories from the past 3 days.

More photos after the jump… Continue reading

Seriously Serious Concert No. 10: Bonnaroo, Friday 6/12/09 by Barbecue Bros
June 16, 2009, 12:36 pm
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After a surprising decent night’s sleep (despite the shouting couple in the next tent over at 5 or 6 am) as well as a fortuitous trip to the port-o-john right after a cleaning, we got ready for a packed day of shows that would start with Dirty Projectors at 1:30 and ultimately end in a ridiculously awesome Girl Talk set until 4:15 in the morning. Alth0ugh to be honest, we really didn’t catch much of Dirty Projectors at That Tent before heading over to get a spot at Which Stage for Animal Collective. Whoever stuck Animal Collective with a 2:45pm set time should be fired. Seriously. Because the crowd didn’t get into it as much as I feel they would have if they had played at, say, 11:30pm that night. I enjoyed the set, which comprised of  “My Girls,” “Summertime Clothes,” “Brother Sport,” and Strawberry Jam jam “Firecracker.” But still, afternoon set? Really?!

One of my most anticipated sets was Grizzly Bear, though I wasn’t quite sure how it would work in an outdoor setting. Boy, I was way off, as they put on a top 3 set of Bonnaroo for me (not to mention these were my best photos). After a slight delay, they opened with “Southern Point” off Veckatimest. Keeping mostly with songs off that album, they did play some older songs including “Knife.” Both “Two Weeks” and “While you wait for the others” (both album highlights) were set highlights. The band was on point, and just sounded amazing live.

A song or two into the set, I noticed a familiar-looking girl standing quietly near me. “Wait, is that Hannah from American Teen?” I thought to myself. Turns out it was, and hopefully she wasn’t too creeped out by me asking to take a photo with her after the set. But seriously, check out American Teen on dvd; great documentary and Hannah is by far the best part of it.

We moved back over to Which Stage for TV on the Radio. I feel like sometimes it takes a while for sound guys to get their mix just right, which left the first few songs as kind of a mess. The band and sound guy eventually hit their stride and the rest of the show was great, including a fantastic version of “Family Tree” towards the end of the set. After TVOTR we took a break for several hours and listened to some of the Beastie Boys show from our campsite. I probably should have wandered over to What Stage to see them, as I actually do like them and Nas came out for a song from their forthcoming Hot Sauce Committee album.

The Phoenix set at 11:30 might have been the most collectively anticipated set among our group. And it. was. awesome, though unfortunately my camera batteries died during their set. Every song they played from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix sounded really good – “Lisztomania,” “1901,” “Lasso,” “Armistice” especially – and they mixed in some songs from It’s Never Been Like That. This was another top 3 set of the festival for me, and my only complaint is that they only played for 45 minutes. So, so good, and the crowd wasn’t pushy like it was the previous night for Passion Pit.

I left during the setup for Crystal Castles to check out Public Enemy playing It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in its entirety at This Tent because I wanted to take advantage of them being at the festival. I caught probably 3/4 of their set and although I am not as familiar with that album (I’m more of a Fear of a Black Planet guy myself), it was cool to check them out. I then headed back over to That Tent and caught the last song of Crystal Castles, which the crowd seemed to insanely be into.

I wish I had some photos to capture just how awesome the Girl Talk set was, even with the two mishaps with his laptop because of people dancing on stage. I’m not a rave kinda guy and never will be, but after a nearly 2 hour set of dancing with glowsticks and balloons and huge blow-up pillows, I can maybe see the appeal. And he didn’t just hit play on a cd of his, he mixed up samples from the past two albums with newer or different songs than from the album versions. The set ended about half an hour later than it was supposed to, but I could have gone on for another hour. If you’re playing at home, this is the other top 3 set of Bonnaroo for me. So you can see just how awesome Friday was.

More photos after the jump… Continue reading

Seriously Serious Concert No. 10: Bonnaroo, Thursday 6/11/09 by Barbecue Bros
June 16, 2009, 11:28 am
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Leaving at approximately 1am from Charlotte, we took advantage of Susong’s insomnia and got on the road to Manchester, TN. I did all I could to stay up (promise) but dozed off at around 3:30am, waking up about 3 hours later in a Wal-Mart parking lot near Manchester. So we start stocking up on essentials in our cart – snacks, bottled water, and beer – until a manager informs us that we actually can’t buy beer in Tennessee until 8am (it was 6am). Debating whether to hang out for a few hours or not, we head on the road to the festival, chancing it that we would be able to buy beer at some point before we got in line. A chance which proved fortuitous once we stopped at a random gas station at 7:45 and promptly bought all of their cold Miller Lite and Bud Light 18 packs.

Once we had finally loaded up everything (including a bang up job on tying the huge cooler to Scotty’s luggage rack not so much by me but by Hal), we were prepared to wait in line for a few hours. However, as luck would have it (a theme throughout a good part of the weekend), we made it through the security line in about 45 minutes without actually having to open our car for a search. I guess the decision to put the minority in the 3rd row seating paid off. From there, it was still another 1 hour, 15 minutes to park but I was prepared for much, much worse.

We parked and then it started pouring down rain. Instead of panicking, Hal stated that we should wait about 15 minutes and the rain would pass. Sure enough it did, and we started our first of three trips hauling our stuff to the camping only area of the festival grounds. We got a cushy area and began setting up our tents. After we finally got everything set up, I took a look at the time (ever since I got to Bonnaroo I don’t wear a watch — my cell phone has a clock) and it was like 10am. It felt like 7pm. But it was a good feeling to bet all settled that early on the first day.

So its early afternoon and we are all settled, and all of a sudden a girl strips off her bathing suit top and bottom, is completely naked and shouting at the guy she was with (we later learned this was her brother through her shouting). We have no idea what she is shouting, only that she is naked in the middle of the road. Obviously people are going to stare and she is aware of this through her drunken/drugged haze and yells at the top of her lungs “WHO WANTS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME?!?” Her brother corrals her away from the road (poor guy) and next thing you know, she has scaled this huge tarp tent Spiderman-style (we have no idea how) and is standing on top yelling at whoever will listen (everyone who is aware that she is still but ass naked at this point). I mean, it was truly bizarre. Finally, her brother coaxes her to come down, but she is not going to make it easy. She flops on her belly and proceeds to slither down the side of the tent, toppling over onto her brother ass first (seriously, poor guy). Words fail me when I tell this story. I got some photos and Scotty got a video, but it seems unfair to post them at this point. Oh, and did I mention that this was before any concerts had even started?

The White Rabbits set at This Tent wasn’t until 4:30 so we hung out and got some lunch until then. I had only really heard “Percussion Gun” but was curious to catch them live. They were kind of a mix of Cold War Kids and Spoon (Britt Daniels produced their latest album), but with an extra percussionist for many of the songs. They started off a big slow for me, but the turning point was when the power briefly went off on stage and without missing a beat they started an audience clap along. The power returned 20-30 seconds later and they finished the song before promptly taking the rest of the show to another level, peaking with a great version of “Percussion Gun.” Great set to start off Bonnaroo.

After a dinner break, we came back and caught the last bit of Hockey at This Tent. They didn’t really do anything for me, but the next two were Chairlift and Passion Pit to close out the night at the tent so we bunkered down in some good spots near some tweens (or at least thats how they looked – they were actually college students) who probably only knew “the iPod song” (aka “Bruises”) . Chairlift took the stage, and launched into a version of “Sensual Seduction.” Simultaneously, all the jaws of the males in the audience dropped at the sight of singer Caroline Kolacheck. She’s cute to begin with, but has so much charisma performing and dancing and singing and being cute that you can’t help but to just be fixated on her the entire show. See?

Being fairly familiar with their album beforehand, I gotta say that it does not do them justice live. They were really good, and I’m not just saying that because I am now in love with Caroline. Oddly enough, they even brought out Solange Knowles for a song (wait what?). “Evident Utensil” was the highlight of the set for me, and the crowd really seemed to get into it (although I did notice a theme of very enthusiastic-in-general Bonnaroo crowds). After the set, the crowd became increasingly pushier and sweatier in anticipation for Passion Pit. Were they featured on an episode of “Gossip Girl” or something? Because the average age of fans around us was probably close to the late teens if not early 20’s. The band finally came on and sounded great. Plus, they had this guy who really knew how to sell his keyboard playing:

However after a few songs off Manners – “Moth’s Wings,” “Little Secret,” “Make Light” – I had to go to the bathroom and was so hot and sweaty and tired of being pushed around that I didn’t bother fighting my way back to our spots. Instead I took the rest of the show in from outside of the tent, where it was incidentally much cooler.

Afterwards, I was prepared to hang out at the campsite for a while before it started to rain and decided to call it a day and rest up for the next day, which was going to be packed. In any case, great start.

More photos after the jump… Continue reading

Bonnaroo stuff is coming soon by Barbecue Bros
June 15, 2009, 5:30 pm
Filed under: photography | Tags: , , ,

Grizzly Bear @ Bonnaroo, originally uploaded by twoguns.

Photos and write up from my ridiculously awesome time at the festival will be coming over the next day or two

Bonnaroo packing by Barbecue Bros
June 10, 2009, 2:42 pm
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Bonnaroo, originally uploaded by twoguns.

Leaving later this night, so just finishing up my packing this afternoon…

1. Air mattress w/ battery operated air pump – the battery air pump is clutch
2. Keen waterproof sandal/shoe hybrid – purchases from a REI yardsale for $20 – functional!
3. NC State hat – represent
4. Wash cloth, towel – not that I will be taking a shower anyways
5. Bedsheet – for number 1
6. Extra TP – apparently a must-bring
7. Camping lantern – borrowing from my brother – shhh
8. SPF 15 sunscreen – so I won’t peel in two weeks
9. Nalgene – will mostly be used for bathing, maybe some drinking too
10. Rinseless body wash – we’ll see how this works
11. Rinseless shampoo – ditto
12. Gold Bond powder – you never know when you will need to bond
13. Backup sunglasses – prob won’t wear them cause I like my other ones too much
14. Backup batteries for my camera
15. Trail Mix – for snacking
16. Backup chap stick – essential if you know me
17. Bandanna – I don’t know that I am a guy who can pull off a bandanna, but I intend to find out!
18. Clif bars – my breakfast each day
19. Gum – so I won’t get “Bonnaroo breath”
20. Bonnaroo FAQ – kind of pointless now
21. Ticket – duh!
22. Car charger for my phone – so I can tweet as much as I want
23. Backup digital camera – just in case

Thursday Music Videos: 6/4/09 Bonus edition by Barbecue Bros
June 4, 2009, 5:38 pm
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Because of the whole rabbit fiasco in the earlier post, here’s a bonus video of MGMT‘s “Kids.” I’m super psyched for their 2:15 – 3:45 AM set Saturday night at That Tent. Joanna Newsom guest-stars in the video.

Thursday Music Videos: 6/4/09 Bonnaroo edition by Barbecue Bros
June 4, 2009, 11:20 am
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So now that I am officially going to Bonnaroo, so here’s a few videos to prime me for next weekend:

White Rabbits Frightened Rabbit – “Song Against Sex” (Neutral Milk Hotel cover)I don’t know a ton about White Rabbits, but they are playing a set on Thursday, so I think I will be checking it out. Bonus points for covering Neutral Milk Hotel; I wonder if they will work this into their set. So I’m an idiot and got my rabbit-bands mixed up. This is Frightened Rabbit, not White Rabbits. Frightened Rabbit will not be at Bonnaroo. Still, good cover of “Song Against Sex.”

Passion Pit – “Sleepyhead” – They are playing a set starting at 11:15 on Thursday night at the This Tent, and this is one of my more anticipated acts to check out to see how well their music translates live. I’ve read them described as this year’s MGMT, and I’m inclined to agree with it.

Dirty Projectors – “Knotty Pine” – This came from the excellent Dark Was the Night compilation from this year. There is about 2 minutes of intro from the Dessners before the music performance starts at 2:04. These guys play a set on Friday at That Tent so I may check them out for a bit before heading over to Animal Collective at Which Stage.