MOG Music Network


Festival Season Is Almost Here!

Choices, choices, choices...

1) Bonnaroo

Where: Manchester, TN
When: June 10-13th
Sleeping Accomodations: Camping, On-site RVs, the Woods.

2010 Headliners: Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon [headliner? really?], Stevie Wonder, and Jay-Z:

Necessary Honorable Mention: The Flaming Lips w/ Stardeath and White Dwarfs performing "Dark Side of the Moon" [late night], Phoenix, Baroness, Steve Martin and the Canyon Rangers, John Fogerty, The National, Les Claypool, Thievery Corporation, The Avett Brothers, Jimmy Cliff, LCD Soundsystem, Local Natives, Miike Snow, She & Him, Jeff Beck, The Dead Weather, Explosions in the Sky, Dr. Dog, Blitzen Trapper, They Might Be Giants, and many, many more TBA

If the Rose Bowl is the "Granddaddy of them all" and The Masters is a "tradition unlike any other", Bonnaroo is "heaven's little slice of Americana." Not for the faint of heart or the heat stroke inclined, but consistently the can't miss musical event of the year in the Southland, with 18 hours of music a day, activities and amenities for the kids at heart (Batting cage, DJ academy, Playstation discotheque, ferris wheel, Silent Disco, and countless independent vendors peddling their wares). Casual music fans should stay at home [and, they usually do after coming for one year] because you have to REALLY LOVE MUSIC to endure 4 days and nights of oppressive heat, dust, mud, storms and w00kies. But if you come in with an open mind, you'll undoubtedly have the time of your life. Also, the late night shows are legendary and worth the price of admission itself. Whether it was moe. in 2002, STS9 in 2005, The Flaming Lips in 2007, or My Morning Jacket [Click to listen] in 2008, every year there's been a monumental performance for the ages that didn't get crackin' til after midnight. 2010's [9th Annual] edition is fairly vanilla at the top, but I've learned time and time again from my 7 summers down on the farm that it's generally the bands you least expect [or don't even know about] who end up making the weekend worthwhile. Also, just realized that after attending the festival this summer I will have spent 32 days of my life at Bonnaroo. Over a month...just plain scary.

2) The Hangout

Where: Gulf Shores, AL
When: May 14-16
Sleeping Accomodations: assortment of lodging options surrounding the festival including traditional hotels and beach-front condos to camping at the local state park.

2010 Headliners: Trey Anastasio and TAB, Zac Brown Band, & John Legend
Necessary Honorable Mention: Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Ray LaMontagne, The Flaming Lips, The Black Crowes, Gov't Mule, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Funky Meters, Keller Williams, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Matisyahu, North Mississippi Allstars, Girl Talk, Blind Boys of Alabama, Pnuma Trio, Moon Taxi and more...

A novel concept and guaranteed amazing weather in May on the Gulf Shore. The lineup is nothing too special, but should be an excellent way for college kids and grad schoolers to unleash some pent-up brain funk after a long year.

3) All Good Festival

Where: Masontown, WV
When: July 8-11
Sleeping Accodomodations: Camping

2010 Headliners: Furthur, Widespread Panic & Umphrey's McGee

Necessary Honorable Mention: Dark Star Orchestra, Yonder Mountain String Band, Lotus, Rebelution, The New Deal, Railroad Earth, and more

If you're a jam bander, this is probably the best stop for you this summer. Temperate climate in coal mining country and round the clock goo balls on several stages. Should be a righteous weird time.

Still To Be Announced: Lollapalooza [w/ Soundgarden (!) rumored to headline], Austin City Limits & The Voodoo Experience.

What better way to get amped for festival season than by viewing some videos at of the World's finest interpretative dancers "performing" at last year's summer festivals?

World's Best Dancer at Lollapalooza 2009:

World's Best Impromptu Dance Party at Sasquatch! 2009 [1.3 million vies so you know it's good]:

And finally, The Amazing Grass Skirt Dancer at Bonnaroo 2009:


2010 Album Grades So Far

Lots and lots of great albums this year already...

Spoon- Transference- [B+] The best average band in the world. Always good for a number of 5-star/A+ singles on each record, but in my mind, Spoon has, and always will be, the champions of the mid-tempo, agreeable genre as well. Nothing wrong with that, they just never seem to skate too far outside of their tried and true comfort zone. On the whole, Transference is as good if not better than 2007's overwhelming critical and commercial success Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.

Cold War Kids- Behave Yourself EP [B+] "Coffee Spoons" and "Audience" finds the band picking up where they left off on 2008's Loyalty to Loyalty and "Santa Ana Winds" [Click to listen] is just vintage and camera-ready Cold War Kids.

Memoryhouse- The Years E.P. [C-] If you're gonna shoegaze, you have to do it better than this. See M83 and/or Explosions in the Sky for inspiration.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band- An Album to Benefit the Preservation Hall and the Preservation Hall Outreach Program [A+] Don't think of this as just another compilation, rather an outpouring of support and appreciation from some of the more talented lyricists and performers to one of the city's most beloved groups. This is the real deal. Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong [who appears as an apparition on the record] himself would appreciate the authenticity of the 1920s, 30s & 40s Jazz sounds being reinterpreted and largely replicated to a T by such guests as My Morning Jacket's superhero front man Yim Yames, indie rock whistling expert Andrew Bird, the Okie from Muscogee Merle Haggard, and the collection's highlight, a delightfully fractured spin on the public domain Mardi Gras ditty "Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing" by the Tom Waits. Even the "wrong notes" fit here and the whole thing rolls together seamlessly as the backing Preservation Hall Jazz Band keeps this album melodically thematic and protects it from detracting into a heterogenous mess (like most compilations). But, as I said, this ISN'T a compilation. Each artist visited New Orleans over the course of a year to sit in the PHJB. Buy this album or stream it here.

Shearwater- The Golden Archipelago [C+] An intriguing concept based on insular life that wears on the listener making this record difficult to see through til the end.

Local Natives- Gorilla Manor [A-/B+] The record opens with a very standard mid-tempo track that immediately stirs up Band of Horses comparisons. Midway through "Airplanes", the listener finds the band's comfort zone as the exhilariting verse comes in, I bet when I leave my body for the sky/The wait will be worth it/I love it all. Compared to Fleet Foxes who seem to glow brightest amongst the simplest of sounds, Local Natives thrive on melodic complexity as in the album closing “Sticky Thread”, a track that slowly layers itself towards the stomp-and-clap exposition before the album drifts towards completion. Like the climate in the City of Angels, Gorilla Manor’s vibe is largely sunny as the words Why does the soul/Hallucinate?/I have control/I shift shape pulsate by in the strongest original track, “Shape Shifter”. Also, credit should be given where it’s due for a band with the cajones to cover the Talking Heads on their debut LP (something I haven’t seen since Widespread Panic covered “Heaven” on their ’88 debut Space Wrangler), putting a stirring and memorable spin on “Warning Sign”, and doing it their own way. The cover is arguably the best track on the record because of it’s inventive and effective approach on such a multi-faceted and amelodic tune written and arranged by one of the most difficult-to-imitate artists out there. These guys sound like they’d be great live, so I’ll be sure to catch them on their expansive upcoming tour…you should too.

Also, their YouTube video [330,000 views] from the Gorilla Manor backyard the band doing a campfire-arrangement cover of Simon & Garfunkel’sCecilia” is a must-see.

Midlake- The Courage of Others [B-/C+] Rockers, gets your flutes out. I haven't seen this much fluting since my high school days in the 70's watching Jethro Tull empty is lungs with his "Locomotive Breath". Many, many peaks and maybe even more somber-inducing yawners here. Worth a listen for fans of the band's 2006 excellent debut The Trials of Van Occupanther. New listeners may want to check out LP1 before checking out the choice tracks like the "The Courage of Others" [Click to listen] and the brooding "Children of the Grounds".

Reptar- EP [A-] 19/20 year old college collective. The next generation of indie synth psych-pop dream rock. Yes, that was a 6 word genre.

Beach House- Teen Dream [A/A-] See review below. Arguably the year's best. Almost perfect.

Yeasayer- Odd Blood [A-] Only slightly less staying power than 2007's timeless and stunningly psychedlic debut album All Hour Cymbals. The innovative style on this record should be a hugely influential sound in the coming years though. Recommended tracks: "Madder Red", "Ambling Alp", and "I Remember"

Vampire Weekend- Contra [B/B-] Too sporadic to receive a high grade. Having said that, these guys are here to stay for the long haul. A whole lotta people [including yours truly] would've disagreed with this statement after the flash-in-the-pan style explosion of hype surrounding the band's debut release in 2008. "Cousins" might be the best Vampire Weekend song yet. See the music video below.

Galactic- Ya-Ka-May [B-/C+] Trying to do too much within the confines of a single disc. As usual, go see them live any chance you get though.

Morning Benders- Big Echo [A-/B+] Go catch a wave.

Ravenna Colt- Slight Spell [B] Any friend of Yim's is a friend of mine. Ex-My Morning Jacket guitarist Johnny Quaid's debut album is a slice of Americana. This surging alt-country rock album will be appreciated by fans of Ryan Adams and early Wilco. "Forsake and Combine" is the only track that has much of a semblance from the sounds of early MMJ and that's only in the song's first thirty seconds and the sickening "Easy Morning Rebel" jam outro. Great voice, excellent musicianship, and a nice road companion of an album.

Vampire Weekend- "Cousins" Official Music Video

Spoon- "The Mystery Zone" live

Yeasayer- "Madder Red" live


The Reptar EP

Download and listen to "Context Clues":

The fictional green dinosaur named Reptar is viewed as a hero who helps save the world. Perhaps that’s why this Athens, GA quartet decided to name their band after the fictional green dinosaur… The EP is a four song set giving the world its first look into the kaleidoscopic and infectious synth-pop world of Reptar. Lyrically, it’s self-reflective and mature beyond the songwriter’s years until the comical rap “Track 4” a dirty and confused little narrative that I’m glad made it onto the EP. Although only four songs, the range of influences is notable as the band channels the more pop-oriented Modest Mouse canonical stylings on “Houseboat Babies,” a pummeling drums-and-synth rock song. “Context Clues” has the swirling, repetitive clutter of “Summertime Clothes” as lead singer repeats the “you came to see the good things” in a hypnotic fashion amongst sitar-ish keys, bird calls, a ticking clock and other dissonant sounds. Comparisons to fellow psych-synth pop artists like Animal Collective and Passion Pit will be unavoidable down the road (not a bad thing by any stretch), but I promise you these tracks are worthy of a listen. This is neither 2008’s [MGMT] synth pop nor last year’s [Passion Pit], as Reptar manages to create yet another nook in the ever-expanding genre. The only thing seeming to hold these younguns back is a full class load and geographical separation amongst band members [still in college at UGA, Dartmouth and UNC-Asheville]. Like Animal Collective (“Four walls and adobe slats for my girls”), Reptar’s demands aren’t much (All we want from life is big boy beds and a climax in our heads), but I implore any indie A & R label head to scoop these guys up before it’s too late. Remember, at this point last year, Passion Pit was just a little band with an EP, and look where they are now…

From “Phonetics”:

Music, no, I’ve never heard of the Collective

But once I heard their music I liked them too

Institution? No, I’ve never fought the institution

And beat poets are too self-indulgent for me

Punk shows? No I enjoy mood music

And violent moods are too self-indulgent for me

Rugrats (remember that show?) episode, "The Search for Reptar":


Beach House plays Teen Dream tracks live on Daytrotter Sessions

More, you want more? You tell me...Recently, Beach House did an excellent Daytrotter Session in support of their new album Teen Dream, the set list is as follows:

Walk in the Park
Take Care
Used to Be

Download here or those of you Pandoers can hit the link below:

Also, here's a video of the band playing "Zebra" on

And the video for "Silver Soul", the clip consists almost entirely of out-of-focus footage of silver-painted women hula-hooping, super heady:

I endorse this band fully. Victoria, got that 80's appeal, oh so sexy.


Bonnaroo 2010 lineup leak, rumors, speculation

As of right now the lineup is rumored as such:

Roger Waters (Performing The Wall)
Dave Matthews Band
Kings of Leon
Stevie Wonder
My Morning Jacket
Alicia Keys
Massive Attack
The String Cheese Incident
Norah Jones
Tenacious D
LCD Soundsystem
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Iggy Pop & The Stooges
Cat Power
The Dead Weather
The New Pornographers
Mos Def
Black Keys/Blakroc
The Avett Brothers
Disco Biscuits
Os Mutantes

Other notables include:
Les Claypool
Explosions in the Sky
Alberta Cross
Gillian Welch
John Frusciante
She & Him
Brian Jonestown Massacre
Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers
Blitzen Trapper
T Bone Burnett
John Butler Trio

Fingers crossed, this would be a good one as always.