Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Seven (mostly) lesser known bands set to make Bonnaroo their bitch

There are few sensations greater than being able to scratch an artist off a bucket list, but let's be honest: one of the greatest parts of Bonnaroo coming home with a batch of new favorite artists. To help facilitate this, here's are a few bands who may not have crossed your listening spectrum:

Tame Impala

Sunday • The Other Tent • 6pm – 7:15pm

The field of contenders for best psychedelic rock album is a crowded one, but this Aussie outfit approaches it with a fresh attitude.They've drawn comparisons with everybody from The Beatles to Piper at the Gates of Dawn era Pink Floyd, and their star only seems to be rising. Their latest album, Lonerism, presents an overwhelming psychedelic flavor with loud keyboards and intricate instrumental passages which translates to an even more intense and tripped out experience live.

Of Monsters and Men

Friday • Which Stage • 3:30pm – 4:45pm

So many folk bands at the Roo, who to choose? All eyes will be on Mumford and The Lumineers, but Icelandic folk poppers Of Monsters and Men are my personal best bet. Their presentation is always upbeat and joyous, but under the surface some darker undertones are lurking. It's full of rich imagery -- imagine wolves running through the woods at dusk with dirty paws, or majestic whales emerging from the frigid ocean surface, and you have a good idea of what provides the magic at their shows.

Capital Cities

Thursday • New Music On Tap Lounge • 1am – 2am

This indie dance pop duo just dropped a new record this past Tuesday, and if it's any indication Thursday night will be bringing us one hell of a crazy dance party. They manage to sneak in a little bit of 80s New Wave influence, meaning that the synths are big, the hooks are glistening, and the music is just so relaxed and carefree.  Best get there ahead of time though. The combination of late night atmosphere and infectious dancefloor tunes makes it almost certain that the tiny On Tap Lounge will be packed to the rafters and will be flowing out into the night.

Lee Fields & the Expressions

Sunday • What Stage • 12:30pm –1:30pm

These days there are plenty of indie bands who infuse elements of soul into their sound but it's hard to find a good practitioner of actual soul in the middle Tennessee area. If you're not too still obliterated from Saturday night's antics, it's hard to think of a better way to kick off the festival's last day than a date with old school soul sensation Lee Fields. Drawing comparisons to the Delfonics, James Brown, and The Moments, Fields has been working the craft for over 40 years. He provides a chance not only to witness one of the most quintessential of American art forms, but to see it preformed at the highest level.

Purity Ring

Thursday • The Other Tent • 9:15pm –10:15pm

Enchanted electronic duo Purity Ring bring a fresh approach to synth pop. Megan James's childlike voice couple with Corin Roddick's twinkling production work to forge a mix designed to make you feel like you're stranded in the middle of a glistening, glowing forest late at night. Their live show is packed with passion and attention to detail, all the way down to the glittering cocoons that fill the venue -- a staple that their live shows have become famous for.


Saturday • Cafe Where? • 6:15pm – 7pm

If you need a great spot for Bjork, Beach House, or A-Trak it might be best to skip this set. But if not, here's a great idea. It's no secret this year's Roo is lacking in heavy stuff; thankfully this L.A. metal band is here to remedy that. Packed with tasty, crunching riffs and sizzling solos all over the place, Kyng excels in conjuring a type of sound that won't often be heard drifting across the farm.


Saturday • New Music On Tap Lounge • 6:40pm – 7:30pm

I'll throw these guys into the post as a bonus, though I won't vouch for the actual quality of this act. The concept, however, is just too bizarre to miss: two guys wearing cutout George Clooney masks rapping about what it's like to be clones of George Clooney. Whatever they're rapping about, it will probably be more convoluted than the plotline of Ocean's 13.

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