As Bonnaroo’s lineup was released a couple weeks ago, it seems like all the buzz is about Radiohead and the Beach Boys. Personally, I could take it or leave it. The good stuff isn’t at the top of the lineup; it’s at the bottom in the small print. Get a taste of the better part of Bonnaroo–the smaller, less crowded tents full of way more interesting tunes. (With the exception of Feist and Luda). Don’t get me wrong, Phish will be totally “far out”, but come back to our generation and get the goods. This collection of totally eclectic tracks should open your eyes to the wonder of bands that don’t classify themselves as “jam bands”.
Alabama Shakes – “Be Mine”
This one is super sexy. Not that everything the Alabama Shakes do isn’t, but this one especially has a delicious kind of slow dancing at a wedding feeling with your newly found soulmate (has that happened to anyone else?) Don’t be fooled though: the lead singer sounds like a man, but don’t fall in love with him yet, because he isn’t.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Simple Girl“
A super fun, almost poppy, tune filled with literal bells and whistles, “Simple Girl” is one of my favorites from their album A Corporate World.
Dawes – “When My Time Comes“
With harmonies like Dawes has, you can’t go wrong, but this track especially has some awesome moments that remind me a lot of old school CSNY ( in particular their totally a capella build near the end). This show at the Roo is bound to be chocked full of harmonies that make Dawes a favorite of mine.
Blind Pilot – “Paint or Pollen“
From their first, more stripped down album, Three Rounds and a Sound, Paint or Pollen is mellow with lovely romantic lyrics. From personal experience, their live show is amazing, and I don’t think there will be any exceptions in June.
Sarah Jarosz – “Run Away“
Appropriate for Tennessee, Sarah Jarosz has powerful vocals accompanied with strings and gritty, twangy guitar parts. This one in particular blows me away and at times reminds me of the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack.
Laura Marling – “Blackberry Stone“
If you listen to this one, you’ll realize that no description I could write would be even remotely good enough to describe her haunting vocals and lyrics.
The War on Drugs – “Best Night“
Springsteen + Petty + Indie Rock= The War on Drugs. This track especially gives a feeling of modernized Classic Rock, but with a nice twist. From their most recent album, Slave Ambient, this song totally makes for a good mood every time.
Delta Spirit – “California“
Upbeat and wonderful, this track is from their latest self-titled album. Even my three-year-old nephew likes it. That means it’s good. Real good.
Black Lips – “Modern Art“
These guys and their garage rock tunes make not dancing totally impossible.
The Devil Makes Three– “Old Number 7“
Twangy, raw country, Cooper McBean’s banjo based tunes get even your bum foot tapping. Imagine sitting on a porch with a shotgun, listening to all your brothers play music: that’s the Devil Makes Three (but in a good way).