Official Opinions: Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo 2010 is under way for the weekend. As a matter of fact, it kicked off yesterday. And it has a KILLER lineup. Much better than Lollapalooza, in my opinion. Unfortunately for me, I have a lack of funds (and time, frankly), so I am unable to attend Bonnaroo. Instead, I’ll be spending the weekend listening to my top 5 favorite albums of those playing Bonnaroo, I’ll call it “Bundaroo”

Here are the albums I’ll be listening to all weekend, and I’ll tell you why. If you get the chance to catch any (or all) of these artists live at some point, you really should.

The Avett BrothersEmotionalism (2007) – I’m huge Avett Brothers fan. I own every album. And while I love their most recent release (I and Love and You), I feel like it’s received plenty of attention in the past couple of months since its release.  Emotionalism is one of my favorite Avett albums because it captures their bluegrass roots and folk leanings in the transition between their raw roots and their polished folk rock sound.  The songs are all heartfelt and well composed. Best however, are the lyrics – songwriting at its finest – particularly on “The Ballad of Love and Hate.” I have yet to see the Avetts live, but it is my absolute #1 priority as far as concerts go. Their live recordings don’t disappoint – check ‘em out!

The Flaming Lips – Dark Side of the Moon (2009) – Ok, so I won’t be listening to any original material from the Flaming Lips (as much as I love them). They will be playing Dark Side of the Moon live at Bonnaroo, so in the spirit of that, I’ll be listening to their version.  I love Dark Side of the Moon, plain and simple. I grew up with all sorts of progressive rock (Pink Floyd, Rush, Peter Gabriel, Porcupine Tree, and Peter Gabriel era Genesis) so this album is obviously a classic. I’m also a fan of The Flaming Lips, so it’s time to revisit an old favorite with a new twist. If I have time, maybe I’ll do Pink Floyd’s version too.

The Gaslight Anthem The ’59 Sound (2008) – They gave punk a bit of a jumpstart by integrating folk elements into their sound. I can’t wait for Tuesday when their new album American Slang is available for purchase (it’s currently streaming on Rolling Stone’s website). To get pumped for the new release, I turn to their sophomore album, The ’59 Sound.  It’s a high energy album that is a blast to listen to. This isn’t your run of the mill power-chord punk music either. This album has clever lyrics, well constructed melodies and great guitar licks. Looking forward to catching them at the House of Blues in July – maybe I’ll see you there!

Kings of Leon – Only By the Night (2008) – Ok, so call me “mainstream” if you want to, but the fact of the matter is that this album is superb. It’s a short, sweet, no-filler album with catchy and well constructed rock songs. It’s just a fun album and I can listen to the whole thing without wanting to skip songs. I had the pleasure of seeing these guys live at Lolla last summer, and they put on a really great show.  Definitely a band to see.

Mumford & Sons ­Sigh No More (2009) – I just can’t get enough of this album – it’s the complete package: great compositions and arrangements, good lyrics and vocals, and it caters to both indie crowds and has some mainstream staying power. Much like the Decemberists, Mumford & Sons have the ability to bridge the gap between indie and mainstream, showing that folk music really can have an impact on mainstream music.


Happy listening all!

-Derek Bundy, Marketing Intern


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