For those who aren't already aware, I'm extremely excited to travel to Tennessee in less than three weeks for the Bonnaroo Music Festival. I've been to one music festival before, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, but that was just for one day, and this is for four. This week I thought I would take a break from dense, philosophical posts, and write about something was more fun. So here is a breakdown of the bands I'm most excited to see this June.
Arctic Monkeys Ever since their first album came out in 2006 I've wanted to see them live, but the limited opportunities I've had never came at the right time. I used to very often listen to this album while driving and find myself speeding because of how intense certain songs would get. It's definitely different from the suave, almost British-James Dean vibe their music has evolved in to. I'm not saying their current music is bad, because I like it, but to me none of it has beaten the energy their first album brought. I think almost no matter what this show will definitely be fun.
Elton John I used to listen to Elton John in high school with frequency and without any irony, which while wasn't alienating from my classmates or friends, it really wasn't a point of connection. Despite that fact, I became very familiar with a chunk of Elton John's music, and actually recently looked at the songs of his I love, and it totaled over two hours, which means his show is going to be a great way to end the festival.
Little Dragon Their previous album "Ritual Union" I thought was decent but wasn't really enough to rope me in, however earlier this month when their second album Nabuma Rubberband came out I really got in to it, and so far it is going back and forth with Nothing's "Guilty of Everything" for my favorite album of the year (though the year is still young). Before that album came out I kinda felt casually interested in seeing them but now I certainly won't be just watching from a distance.
First Aid Kit Over the past six months or so I've really been getting in to Alternative Country, starting late last year when I discovered Jason Isbell's album "Southeastern". After that I found out about First Aid Kit, a Country/Folk duo of sisters from Sweden, and I haven't stopped listening to their album "The Lion's Roar" since. They have a new single off of their upcoming album "Stay Gold" which comes out on June 10th (two days before Bonnaroo) called My Silver Lining, which I'm linking to, but embedded is the song Emmylou, which is the song that first got me in to them. Their harmonies and charm have them easily as one of the acts I'm most excited to see.
Disclosure I discovered this album by hearing the phenomenal single, Latch, as I'm sure most people did. In addition to the song's incredibly strong vocals, it pushed all my buttons when it comes to electronic music. Beyond that, even though Sam Smith didn't sing on any other track, their album Settle is incredible and has a really moving combination of vocals and music, which I find is uncommon for most electronic artists. This as a late night set is going to be extremely powerful and fun.
Die Antwoord About three or four years ago when I first saw the Zef Side (Beat Boy) video, I was being torn in two different directions. I was just starting to understand and like different forms of electronic music, so that aspect of the song completely clicked with me, however I wasn't sure I understood the Zef culture and vulgar side of the song, so it took me about a month of deliberation and re-watching that video before I finally gave in to it. I listened to their first album "$O$", and liked it more than I thought I was going to, but at that point I wouldn't say I considered Die Antwoord one of my favorite artists by a longshot. In 2012 when their second album "TEN$ION" came out, I wasn't blown away at first, but after a little bit (as is the case with many of my favorite albums) it started resonating with me on a ridiculous level. The beats are really, really exciting, and the lyrics are super clever, and just simply fun, regardless of however obscene they might be. There has actually always been a place for extremely vulgar music in my tastes, which used to be filled primarily by Rammstein (I took three years of German in high school so I could, and still mostly can, understand the lyrics), but Die Antwoord, with their use of both English and Afrikaans, their South African accents, and clever spitting, know exactly how to strike that chord with me. In addition to how fun they are, as time has gone by I have really come to appreciate and admire their artistic vision and not-giving-a-fuck, both of which are apparent in the Fatty Boom Boom video below. This set is going to directly follow Disclosure, starting at almost 2:00 am, which is going to be insane, especially when they hit "Jump mutha fucka, jump mutha fucka, jump!" in I Fink U Freeky, which I already experienced at their show at First Avenue in August 2012, but with significantly more people at Bonnaroo, this will probably be the craziest show I have ever been too, and I couldn't be more excited.