<p>Bad Meets Evil (Royce 5'9&quot; and Eminem)</p>

Bad Meets Evil (Royce 5'9" and Eminem)

Credit: Shady

Review: Eminem and Royce 5'9" on Bad Meets Evil's 'Hell: The Sequel'

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MCs are on about Lady Gaga, swagger, Alf and the death of David Carradine

My live review of Eminem at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival this past weekend, there was a question of if the veteran Detroit rapper could be the villain he aspires to be anymore, if his mainstream mega-hits of “Recovery” and the “ehhh” of “Relapse” made a dent in that perception.

As the Evil half of the Bad Meets Evil project with Royce 5’9”, the answer is yes, yes he can be.
 
And he brings it out in Nickel Nine, too, as the pair frequently face- and bounce-off each other in the nine-track set “Hell: The Sequel.” It’s a reunion of sorts, after the two friends matched up briefly on Slim Shady’s earliest studio release, beefed, then came back together after the death D12 rhymer Proof. Em’s since signed Royce’s crew Slaughterhouse to his Shady imprint, and this set marking the meeting of the minds.
 
Granted, a recording project is wildly different from a live festival performance, but what this album and Eminem’s stop-off in Manchester, Tenn., is that they’re both fun, and they’re for the fans.
 
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<p>Neil Young with Buffalo Springfield at 2011 Bonnaroo</p>

Neil Young with Buffalo Springfield at 2011 Bonnaroo

Credit: AP Photo/Dave Martin

Interview: Neil Young on a country 'Treasure,' next project

Watch: Video of previously unreleased track 'Amber Jean'

Nashville, Tenn. – Neil Young stood talking about friends and pictures to a handful of reporters in the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Ford Theater yesterday. The oversized, black and white photographs were group portraits and individual shots of the International Harvesters, the country group with which he toured over 85 stops during 1984 and 1985. Some from that ensemble – like fiddler Rufus Thibodeaux and steel and slide guitarist Ben Keith, whom Young refered to multiple times as “my brother” – have passed. Others were actually in the room.

As the “Harvest” man --  dressed in a black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers -- made his way from photo to photo, he spoke less out of wistfulness, and more with a-matter-of-factness.
 
“This was the part of my life that was unmistakably the most satisfying, from a musician’s standpoint,” he said, “All these guys are so great. The moment we had together was so precious to me.”
 
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<p>The Strokes' Julian Casablancas at Bonnaroo Sunday</p>

The Strokes' Julian Casablancas at Bonnaroo Sunday

Credit: Katie Hasty

2011 Bonnaroo Superlatives: Best dressed, Most popular, Biggest drunks

The Head And The Heart, Robyn, Eminem, Arcade Fire, Lil Wayne and more

I am but one woman, so understand that there are time and space restrictions that kept me from attendance at every single one of Bonnaroo's hundreds of shows. But below are some quick hits on superlatives from the Manchester, Tenn., festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Most popular: Ben Sollee. Dude played with My Morning Jacket, Justin Townes Earle, the Low Anthem, Nicole Atkins and even his own solo show.

Biggest pothead: Wavves. Sorry Wiz.

Most likely to succeed: The Head and the Heart. Why don't you have this self-titled debut yet? Everyone at the early tent set was singing along. Sub Pop scored big time with this folk-rock-popper-people. Check back soon for my interview with them.

Best early show you slept through: Alberta Cross. They did, however, have a short set later on Saturday, jerk.

Best late show you should've stayed up for: Ratatat.

Best collaboration: Superjam with Dan Auerbach and Dr. John.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Dr. John and Dan Auerbach at Bonnaroo on Sunday</p>

Dr. John and Dan Auerbach at Bonnaroo on Sunday

Credit: Katie Hasty

Dr. John, Dan Auerbach's Superjam is the reason you go to Bonnaroo

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band joined in the collaboration at the 2011 fest

At Bonnaroo this year, at the last day of the fest, one of the hottest collaborations was public knowledge. The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach joined NOLA legend Dr. John in a slot on the schedule appropriately called Superjam. And it was better than super. It's what every festival should aspire to organize.

My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan helped back the big band, which was aided by a pair of serious songbirds, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a seasoned rock ensemble and an enormous back catalog of Dr. John tracks, blues and jazz standards and classic New Orleans sass.

It was a jam in the true sense that there was a general setlist and plenty of time for adjustment between songs, where Auerbach's high guitar volume level and John's sunglasses-cool presence were the only common denominators track-to-track. Smiles abounded, there was no required banter. The two stunned with a dual-take on "St. James Infirmary" and the good doctor took us back to the '60s with "I Walk on Guilded Splinters." A thousand hearts broke to the bluesy umph of "There's a Break In the Road" and the rompy scoundrel “Black John the Conqueror.”

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<p>Mumford &amp; Sons at Bonnaroo</p>

Mumford & Sons at Bonnaroo

Credit: Katie Hasty

Bonnaroo roundup part two: Mumford & Sons, Loretta Lynn, Wiz Khalifa

Deer Tick are brats, Patty Griffin joins Mavis Staples, Justin Townes Earle sells snake oil

There’s been a triad of music First Ladies, a series of trailblazers that have shaped the goosebumps on the skin of everyone’s sunburned arms at Bonnaroo. Friday brought the Queen of of Rockailly, Wanda Jackson, among one of my favorite Immaculate Noise interviewees. Last night brought my first full set sit-in, from country great Loretta Lynn. She wore a combination of Flashy Loretta and Down-Home Loretta, with a simple pant-suit with a bibbed, rhinestone shirt. Her petite frame was fragile against her male-dominated, inveterate band and she rarely strayed from her place on stage.

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<p>Eminem</p>

Eminem

Review: Eminem blazes through 'Recovery' hits, nostalgia at Bonnaroo

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Can the rapper still be the villain he aspired to be?

MANCHESTER, TENN. - Loud, banging explosives went off a couple of times during Eminem’s Saturday night set at Bonnaroo, the end-cap to particularly violent songs in his set list like “Kill You.” Red, flashy scenes of blazing matter and bombs glowed behind the rapper and his full band on screens, like early visions of doomsday. He defiantly claimed he “Won’t Back Down” to his rivals, and performed darkly in front of the burning house from “Love the Way You Lie.” 

Eminem envisions himself a villain, as he raps in Drake’s star-studded “Forever”; at times over these last 12 years, he’s wanted the world to think he wanted it to burn. He’s stepped on the toes and fingers of gay rights, women’s and parents’ groups, nurtured some nasty murder fantasies in song, has been sued by his own family and suffered tabloid fatigue due to his relationship with on-and-off again ex-wife. He’s pissed off more than his fair share of public figures with his in-verse disses.
 
But he’s also a multi-award-winning Grammy artist, a former and recovering drug addict and one of the most in-demand rhymers in hip-hop. In addition to becoming a self-described baddie, Eminem has turned into quite the deconstructionist, too, to the point of almost-parody.
 
“Weighing in at 175 pounds… the undisputed, most diabolical villain in the world… Slim Shady!” Em said in the usual intro to “Crack a Bottle,” a party track so juvenile, I thought it was a joke the first time I heard it.
 
“Are we having fun or what?” hypeman and D12 cohort Mr. Porter asked unironically of this vile villainry.
 
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<p>Arcade Fire's Win Butler at Bonnaroo</p>

Arcade Fire's Win Butler at Bonnaroo

Credit: AP Photo

Arcade Fire makes a Bonnaroo debut: Are we really hippies?

Canadian rockers are all alarm and no surprises, at least for a setlist

MANCHESTER, TENN. - -- Arcade Fire made its Bonnaroo debut last night (June 10), and frontman Win Butler seemed somewhat at home.

"My brother and I grew up in Houston and it's great to feel the proper humidity for once," the Montreal resident said, referring to his brother Will. His button-down insistently stuck to his chest and the top of his arms. “It’s really cold where I live.”
 
Butler busted up the set of hit after hit with little side-notes and addresses, calming the attendees between songs after 90+ degree-heated tizzies. Fists would pump in the air, with emphasis on lines like “The rain can't get you wet / But do you think your righteousness could pay the interest on your debt?” from “City With No Children” and, naturally, “Lies / Lies” from “Rebellion.”
 
At the Bonnaroo music festival, there’s an undercurrent of subversion, a desire and want to turn the minor humiliations of expensive food, unpleasant conditions, bottled water and port-o-potty lines into something with Meaning. A Summer of Love Revisited, maybe, or a revival of – as Buffalo Springfield puts it – “something happening here.” For the most part, there’s not (although organizers have some phenomenal environmental awareness and programming here).
 
So perhaps it was said with a smirk, then, as Win rang the alarm for the cause of Partying, exclaiming, “Hey you f*cking hippies, let’s do it,” before banging out “Month of May.” Richard Reed Parry sung his parts into a megaphone, right before the lead singer put his hands up in prayer and crossed himself.
 
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<p>Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine</p>

Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine

Credit: Katie Hasty

Florence + The Machine debut new song at 2011 Bonnaroo

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British singer proved a fan favorite at farm fest

MANCHESTER, TENN -- Florence Welch smiled many, many times during her highly anticipated set at Bonnaroo. It often indicated thanks, and obviously she had a good time at that. But she also had a secret she was eager to reveal.

The Florence + The Machine singer alluded to her new album mid-set, and then launched into her new song. The refrain sounds like it may be called "feeling on the earth." It starts out with her outer-space, new age coo, then bumps into a minor-keyed rock swing beat, the synths humming into a chant-sing. The chorus then goes into "feeling..." and "singing on the Earth" repeated several times each, and banging into a full-soul verse and a breakdown and a dreamy, Christine McVie-like backing vocals and a third part that devolves into "ahs" and "dum-dums." A harpsicord synth pokes out until a crash finish.

[Edit: A Florence spokesperson has confirmed that the track was "Strangeness and Charm" and that it will be on the new album.]

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<p>The Knux</p>

The Knux

Credit: Katie Hasty

2011 Bonnaroo: Day One roundup with J. Cole, Best Coast, Twin Shadow

How 'bout that heat, huh?

A girl wearing an “Indian headdress” likely purchased at a costume shop lay dormant on the ground starting mid-Wavves, through the Knux and halfway through J. Cole. I happened to see her as I traveled from photo pit to photo pit at the big tents at Bonnaroo. Without lifting her sunglasses or moving, really, the girl’s limp fist raised from the ground into the air. “Fun!” she exclaimed, as her crew laughed around her.

Even on the half-day day one of the Manchester, Tenn., fest, there’s kids already whupped. It’s estimated to hover around 95 degrees every day for the four day fest, and a 30% chance for each. Even a sprinkle of showers could settle some dust that rises from the ground, creating what looks like fog but is really an unavoidable pitfall of events on a 80,000-person scale. You can taste the dirt, and revelers are without a puddle in sight in which to wallow, as per custom. There’s fountains and water slides opening up, and a considerable number of gentlemen in skimpy Speedos are starting to weigh out the amount of flesh that college girls permit themselves to bare.

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<p>Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss whips off her jacket at Bonnaroo. The front of the jersey says &quot;Bells&quot;&nbsp;and, yes, the back says &quot;Slay.&quot;</p>

Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss whips off her jacket at Bonnaroo. The front of the jersey says "Bells" and, yes, the back says "Slay."

Credit: Katie Hasty

2011 Bonnaroo: Sleigh Bells say 'See ya in 2012'

Noise-rock group slays at opening night in Manchester, Tenn.

Sleigh Bells may only have one full-length album and a half an EP to work from, but that doesn't bar them from providing main-stage, headliner-caliber performances time after time.

That's what they achieved last night at the opening of Bonnaroo, as vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist Derek E. Miller whirligigged around the stage like janky Chinatown wind-up toys. The duo took the stage only after a full blaring of Queen's "We Will Rock You," the opening strains of Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere," segueing into a death metal track and into that wall of sound that's put the band on the map.

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