Gig Guide: Saturday August 15, Sunday August 16, 2009

15 08 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)

White Rabbits

Last weekend in Chicago we heard White Rabbits getting some radio love on WXRT. If all stations were that good radio would be saved. Check out our White Rabbits feature right here and then pay the band a visit Sunday at The National in Richmond, Virginia.

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Bri Blahg… Another Bri Pod Countdown

2 07 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)

Photobucket
Several months ago I started writing columns about what my Ipod played for me on the way to work in the morning. Self absorption? Perhaps…. Still people occasionally ask me to write more. Here then is another installment in our occasional “Bri Pod” series.

1. The Beatles “Two Of Us”

A few weeks back this song came up in a conversation I was having with members of White Rabbits about obscure (being a relative term here) Beatles songs. A lot of their stuff sounds a bit dated, but this simple folk pop tune holds up quite nicely. For all the elegant simplicity of this track, “Let It Be” was the most laborious of The Beatles career as you can read here.

7 more tunes after the jump…

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White Rabbits Talk “It’s Frightening”/Live at Bonnaroo

17 06 2009




Rain shall not put a damper on hippie spirits

12 06 2009

Janelle Monae at SXSW 2009; photo by Jill Mapes

What’s a little rain when you’re tripping balls? We unfortunately wouldn’t know, but rain when you’re NOT tripping balls totally blows. Thanks, weather gods, for throwing us head first into this whole “camping at a festival” thing.

We toughed it out, though, and not only did we chat up some great bands like Passion Pit, Zac Brown Band and Those Darlins, but we also caught some kick-ass live sets (and only fell in a puddle of mud once). First up was Janelle Monae over at the Other tent. Humidity did not suit her signature coiffure well, and her ‘do came undid and looked a little like Sideshow Bob (Janelle, we say this with total endearment). No matter, the tiny Atlanta wonder woman owned the stage with her futuristic funked-out beats (how sick is her guitar player, too?), mesmerizing vocals, and terrific stage show (original painting of stage diving, anyone?).

Next up were my Columbia, Mo., brethren White Rabbits, who fell victim to a power outage, but still pressed up fantastically. Songs from the group’s most-excellent and recently released “It’s Frightening” took on a new dynamic live, with added percussion elevating the tunes to a whole new powerhouse level. Still always is that moody undertone of the music, and songs like “Percussion Gun,” “Rudie Fails” and the piano-driven “Lioness” showcased the talent these boys have together.

After hiding from the rain in the camping area with beers and friends and meeting some, uh, interesting Bonnaroo regulars, the end of Passion Pit was caught. The crowd was diggin’ it, but to be honest, it’s just not my thing (as I’ve explained to several people, the singer’s voice is too close to Coheed and Cambria for my liking). Nice dudes, though.

The night ended with a Burning Man-type fire show, and by that point, enough was enough, and it was time to call it a night. Tonight, Phish plays! And I’m the only one here who doesn’t care.





And we’re off …

11 06 2009
drive

Driving to Manchester, Tenn.; photo by Nick Jones

To a very, very rainy start. This is part of the South’s charm, right? Eh .. not buying it. Right now we’re just thankful we got our tents up during a very brief dry spell. But enough about that, you can read more of our irritated rain ramblings on Twitter. Back to the music:

The Thursday lineup at Bonnaroo is a bit slim, as most festivalgoers are spending this first day in a formidable car line that stretches for miles, but there are a few choice pickings: The futuristic R&B funk of the fabulous Janelle Monae; my former Columbia, Mo., homies White Rabbits; the double hip-hop bill of the Knux and People Under the Stairs; and the uber-buzzed-about Passion Pit.

We’re gonna chat with the Passion Pit boys before their set tonight, in addition to our favorite chicken-eating country-punks, Those Darlins. Here’s hoping we stay dry!





Bonnaroo Thursday Plans

9 06 2009

@BrianBlahg interviewing White Rabbits
White Rabbits Outside The Summit Columbus, Ohio

White Rabbits “Rudie Fails”

We’ve mapped out our shooting schedule for Thursday. We’ll be getting video and stills from Alberta Cross, Delta Spirit, Portugal The Man, Chairlift, People Under The Stairs, Passion Pit, Janelle Monae, White Rabbits (we chatted them up Sunday in Columbus nice blokes, feature coming soon) MURS, The Knux, Low Anthem, and Zac Brown Band. Let the games begin!





Bri Blahg Bonnaroo Thursday And Friday

8 05 2009

Veteran Bonnaroo goers will notice some subtle changes for the ’09 Festival. Changes for the better I think. We’ll hit those as we go through some of the highlights.


Thursday

Early arrivals will be rewarded for their punctuality. White Rabbits stop off at The ‘Roo behind their great new record “It’s Frightening.” Their 6:45 set kicks off an evening of indie rock fans running back and forth from This Tent to That Tent for Portugal. The Man, The Low Anthem, and Passion Pit. Murs and The Knux will have The Other Tent bumpin’ as a hip hop one stop Thursday. The Zac Brown Band fill the frat guy void in That Tent late night. I’d have to go back and look, but I don’t recall the Festival starting with so many strong shows right out of the gate.


Friday

The day is loaded, but if you stay focused (at Bonnaroo?) you can see just about everything. Gomez are always great and they’ll start my day at 12:30 on Which Stage. That venue will be crawling with hipsters all day… what with Animal Collective, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and TV On The Radio following up Gomez.

Kaki King doesn’t come with the name recognition of many on the bill, but she’ll generate a lot of talk. She’s an amazing musician. King is part of a Friday This Tent lineup that includes the equally compelling Grizzly Bear.

Friday afternoon also marks the opening of Bonnaroo’s largest venue. The Reverend Al Green is soul music brothers and sisters. The Hall Of Famer opens for The Beastie Boys at 6pm on The What Stage. I guarantee they’ll be watching from the wings. If Green doesn’t get your blood pumping, you’re dead. After The Beasties make way for Phish. God love ’em I just can’t get too excited myself. Thankfully Bonnaroo has scheduled a few small stage acts for those of us wanting shorter songs and fewer hippies. Frenchmen Phoenix hit the ‘Roo fresh off their Saturday Night Live appearence. Their 10pm set on The Cafe Where Stage conflicts with Justin Townes Earle on The Troo Music Stage. I’ll have to go with Steve’s kid on this one.

Still to come… Saturday and Sunday!