Tag Archives: Kanye West

Metallica at Bonnaroo 2008

I’m not a die-hard Metallica fan, but I was looking forward to hearing some of the old classics live at Bonnaroo on the main stage. In high school, I think the only cds we had in the weight room were Boston and Metallica, and it rocked. I mean, in that context, you can’t help but act like Jim Breuer’s caricature/imitation of Metallica fans in his stand-up routine.

Of course, the band has pulled the YouTube clips of its Bonnaroo ’08 performance. Figures. They’re proprietary to the extreme: c.f. Napster and the blog review kerfuffle. You can of course pay them to download the mp3s of that show (and others) here.

It was predicted that Metallica would be anathema for Bonnaroo. And, yeah, having them there was a little incongruous. But us neo-hippies and indie rock geeks have other sorts of bands stashed in our musical foundation, bolstering our knowledge and impacting our tastes. I mean, no one was bitching that BB King and Willie Nelson were there. And I saw nothing but tens of thousands of people enjoying themselves.

We enjoyed ourselves because Metallica rocked our favorite old-school radio songs all night, and they were way into it. There were pyrotechnics (better than the unrealized Kanye West light show). And the sound was perfect (as opposed to the sound during The Raconteurs’ set on the same stage, which was wretched).

My only criticisms are that James Hetfield and crew looked so juiced-up (note that I said “looked” not “were”–I’ll have no libel suit over my head) that they appeared to be Lord of the Rings characters, like exaggerated action figures … oh, wait, Metallica action figures already exist. And James kept demanding that the audience adulate him, so much so that my friend started calling the band “ME-tallica.”

One more bit of trivia, to be filed under guilty pleasures: Metallica will be the feature in another band-specific Guitar Hero edition. Insert metal sign here!


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Kanye West at Bonnaroo 2008

I didn’t think I’d say anything more about Kanye West’s ante meridiem show. But I had to put something up after reading Stereogum’s post about Kanye’s cap-locks blog rant regarding his postponed-then-much-delayed fizzle at Bonnaroo.

I stayed for the show, and I was glad to do so. I hadn’t seen a rap show in a decade (Ice Cube), and I think that Kanye has done some brilliant or at least incredibly interesting things.

But I agree with the commenters who say a simple apology or even acknowledgment of the audience’s tenacity in standing sardine-style waiting for him would have gone a long way toward building good will. Also, if he would have mentioned that his crew forwent some of the pyrotechnics in favor of actually getting on with the performance, we wouldn’t have been so disappointed in his “Glow in the Dark” tour’s much-hyped light show. Watch video of some people’s reactions at Bonnaroo (wait for the end for a woman to say “S my D, Kanye”) courtesy of Spin.

His blog post? Even if there is a “sorry” or two in there, and despite the logistical obstacles, his lyrics from the song Stronger say it all:

“You should be honored by my lateness
That I would even show up to this fake shit”

Live and die by the pen, dude.

Putting Bonnaroo aside, I’m uncommitted about how interesting Kanye is at this point … particularly after being initially fascinated by the three different music videos for the intense yet catchy song Flashing Lights, and then being horrified at the “she was asking for it” message at the end of one of them (the third one here on MOKB). In the chorus he says to his girl, “As I recall, I know you love to show off / But I never thought that you would take it this far,” which is innocuous in and of itself until paired with images implying the drunk golddigger’s rape at the end of the vid. Very uncool.

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Bonnaroo 2008

7th annual Bonnaroo

700 acres

70 miles from Nashville

70,000+ people (not quite sold out at 80K)

Bonnaroo 2008 YouTubes

Bonnaroo 2008 Downloads

Dig it. I had a great time at Bonnaroo.

But in comparison to other festivals, it felt surprisingly less hippied out, which was disappointing. I didn’t feel like I was going to randomly get hugged by someone overwhelmed with love for his/her fellow man in line at the Port-a-John. Everyone seemed pretty self contained, going about the business of seeing great bands but not really engaging with each other like I’d hoped. Maybe it’s the sort of drugs that are in vogue? I’m not sure.

In good news, with all those people standing crushed together, trampling the Tennessee earth as they herded from stage to stage, I never saw a single act of violence, or even aggression. Hell, I never even heard a malicious comment (except those directed at the excruciatingly tardy Kanye West). All in all, a most excellent display of humanity. Bravo. Even the Highway Patrolmen who pulled us over for whipping a U-turn on the interstate let us go with little more than an admonishment : )

My friends and I asked many people what “Bonnaroo” means. The only answer besides “dunno” was “have a good time!” I think this was just a gut reaction, but it is actually accurate: “The word Bonnaroo, popularized by New Orleans R&B giant Dr. John with his 1974 album Desitively Bonnaroo, is a Cajun slang word meaning “a really good time.” The name was chosen for its literal meaning, and also to honor the rich Louisiana music tradition that inspired the organizers’ desire to provide many styles of quality live music for appreciative fans. The word Bonnaroo is actually a creole-French construction taken from “bon” (french for “good”) and “rue” (French for “street”).” Thanks, wiki.

I’m going to be rolling out posts about bands I saw at Bonnaroo, but here is a scattering of thoughts that aren’t strong enough to stand on their own.

Matt from You Ain’t No Picasso is the only music blogger I read (shocking, since I read a bunch) who was there. He took some killer photos of My Morning Jacket‘s epic set, and his review of his fellow Kentuckians is better than I could do from my location way back from the stage, under a tree to escape the worst of the rain.

Yes, Kanye was inexcusably late. Yes, he was so late the sun started rising about 15 minutes into the show. Yes, the “light show” we were promised did not deliver. Yes, there was booing. But the booing subsided after the fans who continued to wait realized they were making a choice to stay and thus needed to either leave or shut the hell up. It was a refreshing bit of groupthink that changed the crowd from something that made me think “Great shades of Altamont” to “Wow, these people have mellowed out.” Or maybe we just became stupefied with sleepiness and lost the energy needed to be pissed.

The New York Times’ Bonnaroo blog sucked. Dude stayed at the Country Inn and Suites. He had an epiphany of festival-going when he got out of the media corral and onto the lawn with the hoi polloi. Wecome to the fold, eh. The posts were short, lame, and showed a lack of research. It’s really too bad. Example.

More to come.

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Chaka Khan, Al Green, Diana Ross & The Supremes, etc.

I totally missed the great Chaka Khan‘s double-Grammy disc Funk You (listen/buy). For fun, here are three very different YouTubes of her, a classic song, her on drums, and a jazzy tune.

Muzzle of Bees introduced me to the disc Dirty Laundry: The Soul of Black Country. Review here, tracklist here, and buy it here. We’re talking a great compilation here, including James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, The Pointer Sisters, Bobby Womack, Etta James, etc.

Stop, children, what’s that sound … everybody look at this delicate but soulful cover of Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth covered by Sergio Mendes & Brazil ‘66, which you can download at Aquarium Drunkard. Buy the disc.

Aquarium Drunkard also alerts us to the amazing double disc of Diana Ross and The Supremes rarities, available here. Find their cover of Stevie Wonder’s Uptight for download here. Also, you can stream Diana Ross’ recent album of just covers, I Love You, in its entirety here.

In late May, Al Green comes out with a new disc Lay It Down that is evidently star-studded, as if Al weren’t enough. Preview a track at Soul Sides; it’s Al with Anthony Hamilton (my review of him) performing You Got the Love I Need Babe. You can also stream Al Green’s remastered greatest hits album here.

By the way, if you get a chance to see Al Green live, pay the money and sit in the front. It’s a life highlight. Check the tour dates, such as his shows co-headlining with Gladys Knight!

To bring this post full circle to yesterday’s, the Estelle/Kanye song American Boy contains the lyric “The Pips at they Gladys.” Fun!


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I’ve felt deluged by BritSortaSoul lately (Duffy, Adele, Amy, etc.), so I wrote the Estelle hype off without listening. Estelle herself has been bewildered by the fact that white girls in this BritSortaSoul craze have dominated “the sounds of blackness.” But if Soul Sides says she’s the real deal, then I’ll try her out.

Soul Sides hosts the mp3 for the song Come Over (download), but I like neither the echo effect on her voice nor the wind chimes in that tune. And let’s be clear: she’s hip hop, not soul.

I do like, however, her older Lauren Hill-like songs such as 1980. And I like this song No Substitute Lover off the new album, but I feel George Michael (who is inexplicably back on tour) should get some credit for the lyrics from Faith

You can listen to Estelle on her MySpace or watch the video of American Boy, her and Kanye West’s superhit. Her album Shine comes out in the states the end of the month (preorder/buy). In addition to Kanye, there are also tracks with Will.I.Am, Wyclef Jean, Cee-lo, and John Legend.

Of course, now there will be even more copycats. But luckily, we can still listen to real soul, funk, and R&B. Check in tomorrow for some old-school magnificence.

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Bonnaroo Muxtape

To check out the Muxtape phenomenon, where anyone can upload up to twelve songs for the listening enjoyment of the cyberworld at large, I made a mix of songs by artists who will be performing at Bonnaroo Music Festival. See the complete list of bands from which I chose here.

Listen to the Stella Splice Bonnaroo Muxtape

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Nobody’s Baby 2:28 100 Days, 100 Nights 2007
Little Feat – That’s A Pretty Good Love 4:49 Ain’t Had Enough Fun 1995
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Rich Woman 4:05 Raising Sand 2007
Levon Helm – False Hearted Lover Blues 3:30 Dirt Farmer 2007
Drive-By Truckers – Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife 3:06 Brighter Than Creation’s Dark 2008
My Morning Jacket – Golden 4:58 12.1.06 @ the electric factory, philadelphia 2006
The Swell Season – Into the Mystic (Van Morrison cover) 5:05 NPR 2007
Jack Johnson – Rodeo Clowns 2:52 Live From Bonnaroo 2002
Rogue Wave – Lake Michigan 3:48 Asleep at Heaven’s Gate 2007
Iron and Wine – White Tooth Man 3:57 The Shepard’s Dog 2007
José González – Down the Line 3:11 In Our Nature 2007
CRS (Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Pharrell) – Us Placers 3:54 2007

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