by Savannah Burke
10 days ago
What I love about Day 2 of a fest is that I usually have my bearings — I understand the layout of the festival and know how to find what I need. What I love more about Day 2 of a fest is that, while things seem the same, there is still much to be discovered, like new music, food and more. When Day 2 of Forecastle arrived, I went into the morning with expectations that would end up being far exceeded. I got to the press tent early Saturday to meet with my first interview of the day, with Australian band Boy & Bear. I saw these guys perform at CMJ Music Marathon several years back and it was good to catch up with them again. I suggest listening to their latest record, Harlequin Dream, just released last year, if you‘ve never heard Boy & Bear before. The band will also be making their way across the United States in October, so look out for them! (LIYL The Avett Brothers, Trampled By Turtles). After talking to Dave and Dave of Boy & Bear (listen below), it was still early in the day, and I forgot that music didn’t start for another couple of hours. Thank goodness it wasn’t too early for Heine Brothers’ Coffee, so to my iced coffee sanctuary I went. The morning felt nice and calm before the craziness that is Forecastle arrived, so I took a moment to walk the grounds and soak everything in. I could feel great things coming for that day, and great things indeed did come. When the music finally began, I went to find my way to the Boom Stage (my unofficial favorite stage of the fest this year, I’ve decided), but not before meeting a fellow college radio DJ. We talked for a few about radio things and the bands we were excited to see that day, and when we finally split ways I found myself in front of Hurray for the Riff Raff. Funny enough, as my college radio station’s Music Director, I had passed on Alynda Lee Segarra‘s latest record, but as I stood watching her live set I couldn’t figure out why. She was amazing. With the full band, the sound was soulful and remnant of New Orleans Y’at, as if the group of musicians had just been resurrected from a Louisiana swamp (in the best way possible). I stuck around the stage for Boy & Bear and Lord Huron, who together gave me my Americana fix for the day, before traveling to the other side of the fest.At the Ocean Stage, I waited for Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks to begin. As a longtime fan of both Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors, I’ve been enjoying the recent collaboration between Dave “Avey Tare” Portner and Angel Deradoorian known as Slasher Flicks, and it was nice to see that happen live. It was clear that the audience was full of Animal Collective fans — where I was standing, Portner nearly started a riot when he came on to the stage. Slasher Flicks began full of high energy and noise, which one might expect from the howling (sometimes screeching) vocalist, who was backed by Ponytail drummer Jeremy Hyman. The audience bobbed along to each of the playfully spooky yet jazzy songs and the band, who had just come from the Pitchfork festival in Chicago, danced along with us from the stage. As the set ended, I quickly made my way back to the media tent to begin my next scheduled interviews.First I talked to a few dudes from The Weeks, a band that is from Mississippi but now based in Nashville, about touring and new tunes. These guys recently toured with Kentucky’s own Buffalo Rodeo and noted that they prefer to tour with friends when given the chance. This was perhaps the most fun interview that I’ve done so far — these guys were super laidback, giving me the perfect opportunity to get out any nervous giggles before speaking with Dave “Avey Tare” Portner. A long time fan of Animal Collective, I was both excited and incredibly nervous to talk to the man who fronted the band, even if he was with a different project. We met in a trailer behind the Ocean Stage (which was, at the time, accompanied by a very loud DJ) and began to chat. Portner was incredibly kind and open to conversation, something I always appreciate about an artist. He opened up about the formation of Slasher Flicks, the new record and how it served as a means for “moving on.” He even dropped a hint about new Animal Collective material coming out within the next year. It is definitely worth noting that Portner complimented my bright green and electric blue nails, which I had been referring to earlier in the week as “boy repellent” on account of their somewhat crazy nature. Leave it up to a member of Animal Collective to like them, of course. (Listen to the interview below.)After talking to Portner about my favorite Animal Collective songs and such off the record, I finally left him alone and floated across the fest to the Mast Stage. My head still buzzing and heart still racing from the conversation I just had, I stood swaying along to my favorites as Band of Horses belted from the stage. “No One’s Gonna Love You” and “Is There A Ghost” soared across the lawn for a moment that took me back to high school. I fell in love with the band all over again. As the night progressed, so did my exhaustion, so I found myself at a bench near the WFPK Port Stage for Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors. A refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the day, Drew Holcomb and his band played their tunes as the soundtrack to the river at dusk, the colorful festival lights slowly growing more prominent against the evening sky. I’ll admit it, I closed my eyes for a minute to soak in the beautifully bluesy tunes traveling from the Port Stage, especially when “What Would I Do Without You” began. Holcomb sings pretty songs of love and Jesus, and the Forecastle crowd was definitely into it. I watched across the river as Jack White’s audience began crawling closer and closer to the stage, my cue to make my way over.I decided to watch White perform from a distance, finding a spot where I could see him and not simply watch the screens on the sides of the stage. He cranked out White Stripes classics like “My Doorbell,” as well as his solo tracks like “Love Interruption” for the huge crowd. His band, in the most classic Rock & Roll way, was quite entertaining to watch. They didn’t need much as far as props and graphics go, just their energy and passion. It worked. White was the perfect end to Day 2, and, knowing Day 3 would be here soon, I looked forward to the few hours of sleep I would gather before heading out again.To check out if you’re Forecastling today: Eno hammocks. Give your feet a break, they deserve it!Sober Sailing. These guys want you to be safe and composed at the fest. They support each other in staying alcohol- and drug-free at Forecastle, so if you need some encouragement in doing the same, just give ‘em a visit. Heine Brothers’ Coffee. The folks working here have been especially kind and the coffee is great. What could be better than nice folks and good brew?
by RIC HICKEY
45 days ago
This morning’s activities were as hectic as a hurricane as I jumped from one interview to the next in the Bonnaroo press compound.
Things started off nice and easy when I rendezvoused with a friend of a friend who is Lionel Richie’s stage manager. An industry veteran of many years, Sal Marinello has worked for Barbra Streisand, Metallica, Neil Diamond, Britney Spears and many more. Large festival stages like Bonnaroo are equipped with lights and sound, so Marinello’s workload and schedule today are not as demanding as a typical day on the road. Marinello and his crew arrived in the wee hours this morning with one truck instead of the usual seven. Main stage headliner Jack White’s line check completed and his gear rolled to the side of the stage by 8 a.m., Sal and his staff had Lionel’s gear in place onstage for their line check less than an hour later. (The rest of the day’s main stage performers will set up and perform in front of Lionel’s gear.)
The noon hour brought a flurry of activity that had my head spinning pretty much for the rest of the day. Nashville’s Wild Feathers returned on the red eye from St. Louis to do a three-song acoustic performance in the press tent that found the band looking ragged but sounding great as ever. Their material is strong, their performance was spirited, and their three-part whiskey tenor harmonies were crystal clear as ever. But they sure did look tired. Scheduled to play at noon, they were running late and had to jump right on the stage and burst into song immediately upon their 12:30 p.m. arrival.
Chatting with Ben Kaufman, Adam Aijala and Dave Johnston from Yonder Mountain String Band, I found the trio cautiously optimistic about moving forward after the recent departure of mandolin player and founding member Jeff Austin. Not that I expected them to be in a full-blown panic, but it was impressive to hear the calm in their voices as they discussed their future options with no apparent concern about securing a permanent replacement for Austin. Bluegrass legend Sam Bush joined Yonder for their 2:30 p.m. set on the main stage today. For their summer tour they’ll be joined by Jake Joliff on mandolin and Ally Kral on violin. (Yonder Mountain String Band plays Moonlight Gardens at Coney Island on the Fourth of July.)
The Flaming Lips brought a whole new freak rock spectacle to Bonnaroo this year and frontman Wayne Coyne was bouncing around the press tent talking to reporters for a couple hours yesterday. Spirits high and eyes aglow, Wayne happily made the rounds. The man loves to talk and this writer spent a dizzying 10 minutes with Coyne, discussing their brilliant new record The Terror. The band’s 12:30 a.m. set on the Which Stage was an explosive spectacle of lights, confetti, balloons, and dancers in costume, with the fiendish ring leader Wayne in the middle of it all looking like an evil super villain dressed in red tights with a shiny silver codpiece. (The band is one of the headliners of Cincinnati's Bunbury Music Festival this year.)
It’s not the first time I’ve seen Coyne dominate a press conference here; yesterday he spoke excitedly about The Flaming Lips’ desire to always bring something special to the Bonnaroo stage.
“If you’ve been here for three days and you’ve already seen 50 bands,” he said, “you wanna see something different. So that’s why (in 2007) we decided to land a spaceship here.”
Cool as a cucumber in spite of the summer heat penetrating the crowded tent during an early afternoon press conference, Derek Trucks fielded a question about the size of the Tedeschi-Trucks band. “An 11-piece band is a lot like herding cats.” Then he quietly mumbled the unintentionally Zen aside: “But it’s better than 30.”
Still buzzing from my conversation with Wayne, I scampered out into the crowd to catch Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke on the Which Stage. This was one of my personal Top 3 must-see bands of the weekend. It was gratifying to see the young Bonnaroo audience embrace a band that has more in common with their grandparents’ record collection than what many probably have on their current iPod playlist. I stopped to say hello to Blackberry Smoke singer and guitarist Charlie Starr after a 4 p.m. press conference and we discussed some of our favorite early Blues singers. I feel confident that he and I were probably among the very few here at Bonnaroo chatting about Ishman Bracey.
From there the day just got crazier, as the Saturday schedule was packed with stellar artists, including Valerie June, Drive-By Truckers, Phosphorescent, Lauryn Hill and Seasick Steve who boasted none other than Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones on bass. Walking through the crowd I heard Cake play a spot-on cover of Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” with the guitar solo section cleverly transcribed for the horn section.
After a late afternoon breather back at the campsite, I wandered through Bonnaroo’s famous archway entrance to catch some of Lionel Richie’s set. My timing was perfect. As soon as I walked through the gate he launched into the Commodores’ “Brick House,” a Bonnaroo performance I’d been looking forward to for months. Again I found it gratifying to see the young audience dialed into Richie’s performance as he pulled out one classic song after another. You can imagine how his ’80s gem “All Night Long” had the dancers moving. This was a moment of such heartwarming cross-generational bonding that it gave me goosebumps in the humid Tennessee night.
Last night’s main stage headliner Jack White nearly tore the stage in half, bringing an explosive thunder and fury that’s largely missing from Rock & Roll these days. One of the most highly-anticipated sets of the weekend, Jack and his crack band did not disappoint. A frantic and fiery performer onstage, he was straightfaced and serious, as if in character, throughout a bombastic set that stretched well over two hours. White has called Nashville home for several years now and he brought noise to these Tennessee hills last night like no one ever has before. An all-out stunner from the first song all the way through to the last note of several encores, this was unquestionably one of the most memorable performances in Bonnaroo’s 13-year history.
And believe it or not there is still more to come. Today is the fourth and final day of Bonnaroo 2014. Photographer Chuck Madden and I must bear in mind that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, as we endeavor to take in performances today by Lucero, Lake Street Dive, Okkervil River, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Arctic Monkeys, Broken Bells, Washed Out, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Avett Brothers and more. The legendary Elton John will close out the fest tonight.
Thanks to CityBeat for making this all possible! Chuck and I would like to extend a special thank you to CityBeat photographer Jesse Fox who was a big help to us this weekend.
Only 361 days ‘til Bonnaroo 2015!
Plus, Jack White and Exene Cervenka apologize
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The Jesus Christ Superstar arena tour is canceled at the last minute due to poor ticket sales, Jack White offers The Black Keys (and others) an apology and X's Exene Cervenka backs off of her "Santa Barbara mass murder was a hoax" comments
Jack White makes, sets record, Prince makes deal with old foes and Wu-Tang cuts ties with penis cutter
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Jack White makes record-holding Swiss Polka trio look like slackers with "World's Fastest Released Record," Prince re-teams with the major label he once likened to slave owners and if you cut off your penis and jump off a balcony, don't go looking for sympathy from Wu-Tang Clan (especially if it might hurt their "brand")
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Rumors of Motorhead frontman Lemmy's demise have been greatly exaggerated (again!), TMZ takes a break from Bieber coverage to focus on a Circle Jerk, an ex-White Stripe and a Black Key and Black Sabbath says Bill Ward was too overweight for their reunion tour, then announces a new amusement park attraction.
by Mike Breen
Third Man Records traveling record shop to hit CMJ, Muddy Roots Festival and MPMF
One of the more popular features at this year's MidPoint Music Festival isn't a band or singer/songwriter — it's a truck. The "Rolling Record Store" used by (and stocked with releases from) Jack White's Third Man Records will be at MPMF Sept. 28 and 29, between visits to the Muddy Roots Festival and New York City's CMJ conference/fest. An extension of White's tiny Third Man record store in Nashville (connected to his label's HQ), the record truck stocks all kinds of Third Man releases, including limited edition vinyl, as well as various Third Man merch. There is also reportedly a DJ station so visitors can spin tunes and a sound system was installed so that bands/musicians can plug in and play. White himself has performed a few times along the Rolling Store's travels (but it's not a guarantee). The Third Man Records Rolling Record store — which debuted last year at South By Southwest in Austin, Tex. — will make a great addition to the growing MidPoint Midway, the outdoor area featuring vendors, a side-stage, poster exhibitions and other cool "pop up" projects. The bright-yellow truck even has local ties — it was built by Erlanger, Ky.'s C. Cook Enterprises, a car restoration and metal fabrication shop.I visited White's Third Man headquarters in Nashville a few weeks ago and got to check out the cool merchandise on sale in that closet-sized shop. The Rolling Record Store was parked in the parking lot. I didn't get a tour, but even from the outside, it's a pretty striking vehicle (and I took a few photos, like the one above). Can't wait to see inside at the end of next month!Here's White playing a "B show" (side gigs on his current solo tour) next to the truck during the recent Outside Lands Festival.
by Mike Breen
Lollapalooza YouTube channel to stream live sets all weekend from Chicago
It's not quite the same as being there — unless you have long lines at your refrigerator, like to keep your house a balmy 105 degrees and live shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of drunk people — but watching a music festival from the comfort of your own home isn't the worst thing in the world. (You could, for example, be watching Two and a Half Men.) The Lollapalooza YouTube channel will be streaming various artists' sets from this year's festival in Chicago, including today's 5:15 p.m. (Cincy/EST time) performance by reunited Cincinnati icons The Afghan Whigs. The festival begins this afternoon; streaming starts at 1:30 p.m. I watched a few live sets from last year's Lollapalooza through the YouTube site and the footage and stream were both pretty strong. Here's another Cincy act performing at Lolla last year.Here's the full rundown of streams for the next three days of Lolla (times are CST, so add an hour if you are in the Queen City):FRIDAY • 1:30 PM • Yellow Ostrich • • 1:30 PM • Michael Kiwanuka • • 2:15 PM • The Black Angels • • 2:15 PM • Dr. Dog • • 3:00 PM • The War on Drugs • • 3:30 PM • Blind Pilot • • 4:00 PM • Metric • • 4:15 PM • The Afghan Whigs • • 5:15 PM • The Head & The Heart • • 5:15 PM • Tame Impala • • 6:15 PM • The Shins • • 6:15 PM • Band of Skulls • • 7:00 PM • Sharon Van Etten • • 7:30 PM • Dawes • • 8:00 PM • Die Antwoord • • 8:30 PM • The Black KeysSATURDAY • 1:30 PM • JEFF the Brotherhood • • 1:30 PM • Los Jaivas • • 2:15 PM • Delta Spirit • • 2:15 PM • GIVERS • • 3:00 PM • Neon Indian • • 3:15 PM • Aloe Blacc • • 4:00 PM • The Temper Trap • • 4:15 PM • Alabama Shakes • • 5:15 PM • FUN. • • 5:15 PM • First Aid Kit • • 6:00 PM • The Weeknd • • 6:00 PM • Washed Out • • 6:45 PM • tUnE-yArDs • • 7:00 PM • Bloc Party • • 8:00 PM • Red Hot Chili Peppers • • 8:30 PM • AviciiSUNDAY • 1:30 PM • Oberhofer • • 1:30 PM • Bombay Bicycle Club • • 2:15 PM • Trampled By Turtles • • 2:30 PM • White Rabbits • • 3:00 PM • The Walkmen • • 3:15 PM • Gary Clark Jr. • • 4:15 PM • Franz Ferdinand • • 4:15 PM • J.Cole • • 5:15 PM • The Gaslight Anthem • • 5:15 PM • Toro Y Moi • • 6:00 PM • At The Drive-In • • 6:15 PM • Of Monsters & Men • • 7:15 PM • Florence + the Machine • • 7:15 PM • The Big Pink • • 8:15 PM • Miike Snow • • 8:30 PM • Jack White • • 9:15 PM • Childish GambinoClick here to watch all of the Lollapalooza streams. The Whigs — who will perform at great Chicago club Metro for a sold-out post-Lolla party tomorrow night — have most recently added tour dates in Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The group comes home to Cincinnati's Bogart's on Oct. 25 for a sold-out gig with part-time tourmates Wussy. (Don't have tickets? Click here for a chance to win a a pair.)
0 Comments · Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Heading to a gig in Bloomington, Ind., Indie Rock band
Here We Go Magic saw a familiar looking man on the side of the road
holding up a sign and wearing a hat with the words “Scum of the Earth”
who looked a lot like Indie film legend John Waters. After some debate, they turned
around and, sure enough, it was him.
by Brian Baker
After the tumultuous revolution of The White Stripes, the twisted Pop/Rock convention of The Raconteurs and the Blues/Indie Rock gene splice of Dead Weather, there was nothing left for Jack White to do but to hang his own name on the marquee and go the solo route. There is an argument to be made that every White project is an extension of his musical persona regardless of the personnel he surrounds himself with or what he calls it; even the album's he produces bear his distinctive mark. At the same time, it’s also true White uses his shifting musical guises to offer a prismatic glimpse into the unique facets of his creative psyche, each one cut from the same bolt of cloth but patterned into something subtly but noticeably different.White’s debut solo album, Blunderbuss, follows that logic line in much the same way. He explores and expands upon many of the genre variations that have defined his catalog to date in the service of imploding love songs that, at least on the surface, would seem to point toward his recent divorce as inspiration. In fact, the lack of actual drama surrounding that event indicates that White has written a song cycle about theoretical bad love rather than using pages out of his tear-stained journal for his muse. Musically, Blunderbuss is a mixed bag of White’s best tricks; the Who-like guitar blast of “Sixteen Saltines,” the Prince-channels-the-Stooges Soul squall of “Freedom at 21” and the bluesy sugar swing of “I’m Shakin’.” But White also pushes his work down some interesting new paths as well, from the Americanapolitan Soul of “Love Interruption" (where White and singer Ruby Amanfu duet in a manner befitting Robert Plant and Alison Krauss) and the purer Country sway of the effecting title track to the Ray Davies-tinged dancehall Pop of “Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy” and the loungey piano Pop of “Hypocritical Kiss.” Blunderbuss is another prime example of Jack White’s impeccable track record as one of Indie Rock’s most reliable chameleons.(Edited to correct White's duet partner on "Love Interruption")
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 3, 2012
In March, according to Rolling Stone,
Jack White celebrated his label Third Man Records’ third anniversary by
giving away all of the label’s “Blue Series” singles on an “easy to play
but impossible to hear” vinyl record designed to be “played” at 3 rpm.