3 Days to Bonnaroo: Frank Ocean

I missed a day, so kill me. I had to drive two hours to get supplies. We have three days. Enjoy.

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: Bring a flashlight for everyone, and a lantern to light the whole camp site.

Frank Ocean – Sunday, June 15 – The Other Tent

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Ms. Lauryn Hill, Janelle Monae, James Blake


My introduction to Frank Ocean came through the Odd Future rap collective. Ocean provided strong, smooth vocal melodies dispersed amongst the various mayhem being caused by Tyler, Earl, Hodgy, and whoever the hell else is in cult of Odd Future.  But Ocean’s solo work stands alone; with two successful releases and numerous Grammy nominations, the R&B superstar has emerged as an Odd Future standout.

This is an opportune time to catch a Frank Ocean’s set. His second full-length album is set to come out later this year, and he’s bound to preview some new tracks at Bonnaroo. Check out “Nature Feels” off of Nostalgia, Ultra. The song samples MGMT’s “Electric Feel” and adds a truly incredible vocal performance.

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5 Days to Bonnaroo: Cage the Elephant

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: Bring tons of cash. ATM lines are infinite.

Cage the Elephant – Saturday, July 14, 5:45 P.M. – Which Stage

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Dr. Dog, Ty Segall, The Orwells, Those Darlins



Cage the Elephant have gone through some major changes in their career. The band’s 2008 self-titled debut album was full of jangly, Stones-influenced rock hits like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and “In One Ear.” In 2011, Thank You, Happy Birthday saw the band at their most ferocious, playing fuzz-filled noisy rock. Incredibly aggressive tracks like “Sabertooth Tiger” and “Sell Yourself” featured vocalist Matt Schultz screaming incoherently, and to date, I consider Thank You, Happy Birthday my favorite Cage the Elephant album. Just last year, Melphobia, Cage’s third album, saw the band at their most experimental, incorporating elements like dance-infused melodies, trumpets, piano, and spoken word.

A few years back, I saw Cage the Elephant play at The House of Blues Orlando. Schultz was a madman: barking into the microphone, launching himself off their sound equipment, and nose diving into the audience. Afterwards, my best friend Joel and I met Schultz in parking lot. That night was a wild, sweaty experience that I will never forget, and I’m sure their Bonnaroo set will prove just as explosive.

6 Days to Bonnaroo: James Blake

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: One word. Sunscreen.

James Blake – Saturday, June 14, 8:45 P.M. – That Tent

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Broken Bells, Disclosure 


Generally, I’m a music listener that likes sporadic changes and quick tempo. But that’s not James Blake. His music takes its time, slowly moves, churning like a soft current. There is an overwhelming openness to the music he produces; you can almost feel the breeze it conjures brush past your cheek. And his voice, his voice adds passion to the drifting instrumentals, that may otherwise feel dull. In 2011, Blake released his self-titled debut, and turned the music critics eyes doing so. 2013 was another big year for Blake, his second album Overgrown received another warm welcome and even helped ear him a Grammy nomination.

I’ve just found this remarkable version of “Limit To Your Love” off of Blake’s first album. Feist, who first recorded the song for her 2007 album The Reminder, has been a favorite of mine for sometime; her music always reminds me of my time as a camp counselor, and Blake’s recording does the original supreme justice. He’s a real talent, one who we’ve only started to see shine.

7 Days to Bonnaroo: White Denim

ONE WEEK. Enjoy.

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: Bring a pee bottle. Late night walks to the port-a-potties are not as fun as they sound.

White Denim – Friday, June 13, 12:00 A.M. – That Tent

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Jack White, Those Darlins, Blank Range, Vampire Weekend


White Denim is a four-piece band from Austin, Texas. Since 2008, they’ve combined a Vampire Weekend style indie rock with psychedelic and blues flavors. Just last year, White Denim released their sixth album, Corsicana Lemonade. 

The first song I remembering hearing from the band was “Shake, Shake, Shake.” I know it’s the most famous they’ve produced, but I think it’s also one of the best. The thumbing bass lines give me chills every time, and the sporadic drum fills are so damn tasty. At Bonnaroo, White Denim are bound to bring energy and excitement to their set. Good times will be rollin’ for sure.



8 Days to Bonnaroo: Omar Souleyman

Omar Souleyman is the fucking man! The word “man” is in his name, that’s how much of the man he is. Enjoy.

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: Check out the Cinema tent. It has air conditioning and some awesome flicks!

Omar Souleyman – Thursday, June 12, 10:30 P.M.

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: DakhaBrakha


This is why I do this shit!  Chances are you’ve never heard of this glorious human being, because I myself was blindly unaware of his existence. Omar Souleyman is a 48-year-old Syrian musician, who performs traditional Middle Eastern songs in Kurdish and Arabic. Souleyman has been recording music since 2006, but his first studio album Wenu Wenu came out last year. With so much remarkable talent at Bonnaroo, an artist like Souleyman may be overshadowed, but that would be a tragedy. His music is so fun; you feel like you’re experiencing a different culture, but the music has a familiar electronic groove to it. Watch that fucking video! Whoops. Your brain exploded.

9 Days to Bonnaroo: Those Darlins

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: Beware of cops on the way down and the way home. The closer you are to Bonnaroo, the more there will be.

Those Darlins – Sunday, June 15, 1:15 P.M. – The Other Tent

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Ty Segall, The Orwells, Dr. Dog, Blank Range


Those Darlins are everything I love about garage rock: poppy hooks, gritty vocals, and just the right amount of blood-curdling guitar. Something you should know about me is that I fucking love rock bands with female vocalists, and Jessi Zazu’s voice contains the perfect amount of sex and grit. Due to a long night of Red Lobster bullshit, I’m going to keep this post short. So listen to Those Darlins, and be amazed. Their music is simple, yet incredible, and so is the blog post that describes them. Peace.

10 Days to Bonnaroo: Disclosure

Before I introduce you to today’s artist, I wanted to take a second and thank everyone for their overwhelming support. Thanks to all of you, especially everyone from the Bonnaroo subreddit, my work has been shared with more people than ever before. If you’d like to hear about future posts, (whether they be: new singles, album reviews, underground artists, or anything else music related) you can follow me on WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter. Enjoy.

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: The ‘Jesus Tent’ is a good place to check out for breakfast. Free water, fruit, snacks, and coffee. While you’re there, they have free phone chargers you can use.

Disclosure – Saturday, June 14, 12:00 A.M. – The Other Tent

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Broken Bells, Chromeo, Washed Out



Disclosure is an English electronic duo, whose debut album Settle became wildly popular last year with the help of massive dance singles like “Latch.” The pair of Guy and Howard Lawrence create an infectious blend of house and synthpop that incorporates simple repetitive beats and a variety of guest vocalists. This isn’t music that needs to convince you to dance; movement comes naturally.

Disclosure is sure to be a huge crowd pleaser at Bonnaroo. The duo’s slick production is sure to turn The Other Tent into a chic London club, full of stars sipping champagne. Or, it may just be a tent filled with tired, sweaty concert patrons. But I can’t tell the difference.