<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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<p>Man Man</p>

Man Man

Listen: 2011 Bonnaroo Podcast with Black Joe Lewis, Man Man, Sallie Ford

A brief rundown, from Eminem to The Head and the Heart

If prepared my heart and said my prayers: tomorrow is the start of a four-day run at Bonnaroo. I'll be reporting from the grounds and the photo pit, and have assembled a podcast of lesser-known artists I'm looking forward to hearing below.

The Manchester, Tenn. fest is historically known as a hippie/jam event, but obviously has flung the door wide open with the addition of a substantial comedy lineup, a dance stage and headliners that aren't exactly "rock" guys.

This year will mark the first time that I've seen a full set live from Eminem, who -- like everybody who's from the suburbs -- I grew up on, in a way. And while I've seen Arcade Fire something like 2.3 million times, I am very interested in catching up with their warm-up My Morning Jacket for a third. Dan Auerbach and Ben Sollee sound like they'll be showing up to jam at everybody else's set, like the Black Keys' singer's sit with Dr. John and Sollee's with MMJ and Abigail Washburn.

I'll certainly be watching who will guest with Lil Wayne, and what kind of inclinations he's giving his forthcoming "Carter IV" material. Same can be said of Florence + the Machine, who have been churning out their material in private for a sophomore set. And naturally I will be as close as possible Robyn, on the off-chance she's shaking hands and magically transmits the happiness that surrounds her charmed life. I'll be reduced to a pile of glitter. Loretta Lynn will show me how to shake it off.

[Podcast and more after the jump...]

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<p>Buffalo Springfield</p>

Buffalo Springfield

Interview: Buffalo Springfield's Richie Furay talks Bonnaroo, reunion tour

After 43 years off, the seminal folk-rock group is on for the farmland fest

Bands break-up or go on hiatus all the time; reunions have almost become a standard for cult acts, particularly after big 10th or 20th anniversaries.

Try 43 years on for size.

That's what's happened with Buffalo Springfield, the seminal folk-rock group that acted as a springboard for Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and Jim Messina in the mid-'60s. The troupe only put out three albums, and disbanded after a little more than two years.

But now some of these superstars have played a couple warm-up shows for the big gig, at Bonnaroo this weekend, the lineup featuring Furay, Stills, Young, Rick Rosas and Joe Vitale

"Bonnaroo is the most significant festival in the country," Furay said during a recent phone press conference. He sounded pleased with revisiting the back catalog, so much so that he might have trouble remembering to sing when the group hosts a field day for the heat in Manchester, Tenn. on Saturday. “I can sometimes just get caught up in the moment and listening and say ‘oops, I gotta go sing now.’”


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Listen: Selena Gomez' new single 'Bang Bang Bang'

Listen: Selena Gomez' new single 'Bang Bang Bang'

Is there anything to this Disney star on this particular tune?

I'm not trying to make it a habit of reporting on Disney singers, past and present, but I have been curious about Selena Gomez, considering her stock went up recently for dating the world most famous-est teenager evah.

The Toby Gad-produced "Bang Bang Bang" has the synths of the '80s but rings reminiscent of early-career Britney, starting with those very teasing, very mature "yeahs" at the beginning. I hear nothing particularly extraordinary about her voice, but the chorus sorta has me doing a dance. Let's get a Boyz Noize remix, stat.

Like Taylor Swift -- who also had her hands on a Jonas -- there comes with songs of this sort speculation on just who she's trying to court and burn. I'm not particularly interested in whom 18-year-old Gomez is dating and experiencing the normal brash of teenage fumblings, but the politics of starting that game this early into one's career is somewhat startling, as it always is. She boasts that her new "man" -- perhaps 17-year-old Justin Bieber -- knows how  to "flaunt this," her as a thing. But it's not like pop has ever pretended to turn the corner on teenagers objectifying themselves (nor in journalists reducing artists to calculated brands).


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Listen: Wu-Tang prep new album, release 'Only' single with RZA

Listen: Wu-Tang prep new album, release 'Only' single with RZA

Kung-fu-inspired set looks heavy on the Ghostface

Wu-Tang have some "Legendary Weapons" up their sleeves.

The new collaborative project from the equally legendary rap troupe is scheduled to drop July 26, and has the promise of executive production from RZA, the band backing of Brooklyn's The Revelations and a high number of contributions from Ghostface Killah.

A released describes the 14-track "throw-back sound" set as being "inspired by classic soul and kung fu imagery," neither of whcih are surprises coming from these guys.


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<p>Kanye West in &quot;Monster&quot;</p>

Kanye West in "Monster"

Watch: Does the final version of Kanye West's 'Monster' cross the line?

30 Seconds to Mars, Rihanna, 'Fight Club' and Lady Gaga: Fetish and murder

Hey, it's his "Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy": Who are we to judge?

Of course we can judge. It's Kanye West, and his final version of his "Monster" video. This shortened version lacks the Rick Ross cameo -- which, to this writer, was the laziest portion of the original. But we're not talking about the original: here's "art." Yeezy wants to make sure we call it that, because somehow that protects it from the original criticisms lodged against it to begin with. Namely? It depicts the brutalization of women, frequently unclothed. It's meant to be gross -- but beautiful -- in all its monster-ly glory.

And ironic, considering that Jay-Z's "Achilles Heel" is, in fact, "love," not "naked models draped on furniture."

[More after the jump...]

Read my original, very positive review of "Dark Twisted Fantasy" here.

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<p>Nick Lowe: Outta the way, &quot;Jeopardy!&quot; is on</p>

Nick Lowe: Outta the way, "Jeopardy!" is on

New album announcements: Thrice, Saves the Day, Nick Lowe, Primus

Personal blasts from the past

Mondays are always heavy on the new album announcement tip, but today been particularly fruitful for those who still nurture that little cigarette mark burned onto our hearts from rock at the turn of the century  (OK, and Nick Lowe).

Of course, earlier this morning, alternative rockers (ha!) Red Hot Chili Peppers made their way into headlines for their forthcoming set.

And Primus, Lowe, Saves the Day and Thrice all have new albums about to drop this year. You could call some a comeback.

Below is a rundown...

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Radiohead releasing 'King of Limbs' 12" single remix series this summer

Radiohead releasing 'King of Limbs' 12" single remix series this summer

First up are reduxes from Caribou and Jacques Greene

While I've given up some hope that Radiohead will be touring in support of "King of LImbs," the band hasn't apparently walked from all promotions.

The British rock and experimental troupe will be releasing a series of 12" singles this summer, of reduxes from their latest set.

First up is a remix of "Little By Little" by personal fave Caribou, and "Lotus Flower" from Jacques Greene. The latter is a lesser known, young electronic/DJ, also from Canada. Big break, huh? This limited edition run will be out on July 5.

Audio nerds (raise your hands) will be able to purchase WAV versions of the tracks through Boomkat and Radiohead's site; physical releases will be sold exclusively at independent record stores. Radiohead apparently feels Record Store Day should run all year.

No word yet what the other releases will be, who will be remixing them and when they will drop.

It's tough at this point to gauge Radiohead's own feelings on their record; as I mentioned in my review, they don't seem to interested in pleasing The People with the same album twice, and are intent on creating new sounds if just for themselves. Perhaps the intention was to always have remixers attached to the product.

Who would you like to see remix "King of Limbs" tracks?

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<p>Dave Grohl: never looks older than 30</p>

Dave Grohl: never looks older than 30

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

2011 MTV Movie Awards' Music: Foo Fighters and Lupe Fiasco

Did either steal the show?

Jay-Z predicted it a couple years back: all-black everything. While MTV Movie Awards night was kept light with the hilariously high number of awards -- again -- going to the "Twilight" folks, Foo Fighters and Lupe Fiasco had a pair of fairly dark performances. Couldn't Generation Award winner Reese Witherspoon sung a happy tune? (Perhaps she's intent on not pulling a Gwyneth.)

Pop hits from Katy Perry, J-Lo and Kings of Leon were played as bumper music throughout the show, but the Foos went with a lesser-known, new single "Walk" [Corrected: was thinking so hard of Michael Douglas...] the music video to which premiered this week. While the clip featured Dave Grohl doing his best "Falling Down" impression, the mop-haired frontman was standing up straight for this loud performance.

What started out as the veteran act's best shot at a soft rock tune quickly turned into a battery of sound, a moment similar to that of Arcade Fire's first performance at the Grammys this year on "Month of May." Sudeikis, since when did this one-guitar song require three? I was confused, particularly since -- as host Jason Sudekis said -- the set looked like a Rainforest Cafe. Garbage from the "Alice In Wonderland" set. Eye-herpes.

I still don't get the "Walk" hook, and it won't touch the success of "Rope," but for a straight-up rock show, the band did good. But Lupe did better.

The rapper appeared in his best rock garb after a chorus of viewers cried, "Trey who?". Trey Songz people. No? Nothing? Yeah, I forget he's on "Outta My Head" too. Fiasco didn't stumble for a second, even as he transitioned to wirey, firey summer-hot "Show Goes On." The Modest Mouse-sampling track burned with all-red lighting, a violinist, a spotlight-stealing hook singer and too many shots at the audience members who didn't know the lyrics. There was just too much going on. But Lupe ripped off his sunglasses and it was like BOOM. He won. YOU'RE WELCOME, ATLANTIC.

Extra notes:

+ Sudeikis further implicated that he and Ed Helms cannot be in the same room at the same room, by "playing the piano" and writing theme songs to the nominated films. This was funnier than the majority of the show. It also helped me remember who the hell Brooklyn Decker is. Such a dude moment.

+ Three words: Justin Bieber's earrings. #justinbiebersearrings has potential to go all the way. I wonder what Selena Gomez thinks?

+ I also wonder what Gomez though about her and "Monte Carlo" cohorts Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy's presenter theme song "Drunk Girls." Is that slander or just very, very funny?

+ Nicki Minaj cannot get through a single public appearance without her trademark Crazy Eyes (TM) and making a character voice. I tire of the butt jokes, though, can we talk about something else now?

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