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.

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.

11 Days to Bonnaroo: Danny Brown

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: Get dry ice. Wrap it in a towel, cover it with ice or frozen water bottles and this will help keep food and water cold/frozen all weekend.

Danny Brown – June 13, 4:00 P.M. – The Other Tent

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Pusha T, Kanye West, A$AP Ferg

Danny Brown is a 33-year-old underground hip hop artist from Detroit, MI. In 2011, Brown released his breakout album XXX, and impressed the critics again in 2013 with Old. If you like acts like Odd Future or Wutang Clan, you might enjoy Brown’s persona and distinct flow. His lyrics depict a hardened drug pusher, hustling in the streets. Although Brown’s verses can seem boisterous, many critics say his work is a fitting portrayal of urban struggle.

14 Days to Bonnaroo: Speedy Ortiz

We have two weeks people! TWO! TO! TOOO! We’ve already halfway through our countdown, but still have a shit ton of awesome acts to cover. Enjoy

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: If you’ve got the extra cash, you should try all the tasty food Bonnaroo has to offer. Vegetarians and vegans are not discriminated against.

Speedy Ortiz – Friday, June 13, 10:40 P.M. – New Music on Tap Lounge

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Warpaint, Real Estate

Speedy Ortiz is an indie rock band from Northampton, Ma, whose debut album Major Arcana was released in July of last year. Their often haunting brand of indie rock combines grunge and post-punk elements, with singer Sadie Dupuis’s surprising sweet voice. Speedy Ortiz’s music is always changing direction, moving up and down in a chaotic tornado. The band recently released Real Hair, a four song EP with some of their most disorganized, and most infectious, sounds to date.

15 Days to Bonnaroo: First Aid Kit

Love a Bonnaroo band that I haven’t featured yet? Shoot me a Facebook message telling me of their greatness. Enjoy.

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: Put soapy washcloths in plastic bags and bring them to Bonnaroo. Wet the washcloth, and BOOM! Insta-bath.

First Aid Kit – Saturday, June 14, 3:00 P.M. – This Tent

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Neutral Milk Hotel, The Head and The Heart, Ms. Lauryn Hill

First Aid Kit first broke onto the music scene in 2008, when the folk duo released a cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” on YouTube. Since then, Johanna and Klara Söderberg have released two albums, and our currently promoting their third, Stay Gold. 

The angelic harmonies of First Aid Kit are instantly captivating; I haven’t heard voices with such technical and emotional prowess in along time. Their music isn’t anything groundbreaking, but the authenticity and beauty in which it’s presented is nothing less than touching. I’m not even someone who is generally attracted to acts like First Aid Kit, but I can recognize talent, and I enjoy seeing talented people perform. If you feel the same way, than I hope to see you there!


16 Days to Bonnaroo: Chromeo

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: Don’t forget to Wang Chung before, during, and after every performance.

Chromeo – Saturday, June 14, 7:30 P.M. – Which Stage

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Fitz & The Tantrums, James Blake, Cut Copy

Chromeo are currently in the standings for best album title of 2014. The album I’m speaking of is White Women, and its contents matter much more than its title. Chromeo’s music is made for more than just Caucasian females to enjoy. All races and genders are welcomed, encouraged in fact, to groove to the electronic, discoesque, funk pop, music of Chromeo.

Upon initial listen, you can hear a variety influences from Hall & Oates to Daft Punk. Singer/guitar player Dave 1 lays down stanky funk and R&B riffs, whilst singing in a very Wang Chung “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” manner. Seriously, everything about Chromeo screams the 80’s: their fucking album is named White Women. What part of that doesn’t sound like a Culture Club? P-Thugg’s synths are so light and sweet, that this music begs to be danced to. So Bonnaroo? You wanna dance?

17 Days to Bonnaroo: Neutral Milk Hotel

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: If you’re looking for a great way to save money on food, check out the Clean Vibes Trading Post! If you recycle your plastic bottles, cans, and cigarette butts, you can earn food vouchers.

Neutral Milk Hotel – Friday, June 13, 8:00 P.M. – This Tent

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: The Avett Brothers, The Head and The Heart, Seasick Steve 

If in 1999, you were to say that the recently defunct Neutral Milk Hotel were going to be one of the most anticipated acts at any music festival, people would respond in two different ways: 1. “Wow, I can’t believe they managed that.” or, the more likely, “Who the hell is Neutral Milk Hotel?” But the years have been very good to Jeff Magnum and his associates. At the time of its release, the band’s second album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea made little to no waves in the vast ocean that was the late-90’s music industry. But as time went on, as The Internet took over every aspect of our lives, and as ITAOTS simmered, things began to change.

If you are at all involved with the online music community, or more specifically /mu, then the former paragraph was not news to you. But, if you’re unaware of Neutral Milk Hotel, let me educate you on arguably the most important album of The Internet Age. In the 16 years since its debut, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea has spread like hipster wildfire and is now ranked with the likes of Sgt. Pepper’s in the god-like tier of music. Songs like “Holland, 1945” and “Oh Comely” have become intensely analyzed  works of art, and choice lyrics (see: “I love you Jesus Christ”) have become memes in their own right. Seriously though, this album is phenomenal. Everyone should listen to it, and I mean actually listen to it, at least a few times. The narratives are moving; the instrumentals are familiar, yet unique; and Magnum’s voice is strangely emotive. Note: I’ve come across a minority who find Magnum’s vocals incredibly annoying, so don’t feel bad if you do too.

All of this being said, it is obvious that Neutral Milk Hotel is on the tippy top of my must see list. This is Neutral Milk Hotel’s first tour since their 1999 break-up, and holy shit I’m giddy. I cannot wait to shout the lyrics of ITAOTS – there other album On Avery Island is also worth a listen – with hundreds of fans. I am fully expecting a religious experience, and if you connect with Neutral Milk Hotel’s music in a similar way, you know it will be a set like no other.

18 Days to Bonnaroo: Haerts

Love a Bonnaroo band that I haven’t featured yet? Shoot me a message telling me of their greatness. Enjoy.

Bonnaroo Tip of the Day: Make the most of your time on the farm. Never say to yourself, “I’m going to go take a nap.”

Haerts – Saturday, June 14, 3:30 P.M. – The Other Tent

Similar Bonnaroo Sounds: Chvrches, Broken Bells, Warpaint

Haert – don’t ask me how you say it – is an electro-pop outfit hailing from Brooklyn, New York. In 2013, the band released Hemiplegiatheir debut EP, containing tracks with slick grooves, strong vocals, and smooth melodies. Songs like “Wings” remind of the slower, wispier cuts from Haim’s Days Our Gone. On a personal level, I don’t overly gravitate towards acts like Haerts. I prefer poppier pop or more experimental electronic music; Haerts seem to be somewhere in the middle. Note: I do intimately love the bass line on “All the Days.”