June 11, 2010

A ‘Roo State of Mind: Bonnaroo Day 1

Bonnaroo time has arrived once again, and after a few logistical malfunctions – so have I. I got on site yesterday afternoon and was welcomed by the always hot and muggy weather of middle Tennessee in June. Because of this, I didn’t hit Centeroo or the day’s activities until later in the evening.

My first stop was the Adult Swim Ragbag of Jollification. It’s midway carnival games at Bonnaroo, with the awkward twist that only [adult swim] could put on carnival games. I’ve wanted a midway carnival at Bonnaroo for years. I mean, how awesome is it to play putt-putt or ring toss at Bonnaroo? Let me tell you, it’s super awesome. The best part is that all of the games are free and if you win you get stuffed animals of the likes of Stewie and Bryan from Family Guy amongst other prizes.

[Dethklok’s Wheel of Deth]

My musical journey of the weekend started with NeedToBreathe. They kicked off for a great night of music with their hit song Something Beautiful as well as a couple of covers including Tom Petty’s You Wreck Me and Zeppelin’s When the Levee Breaks. After checking out most of NeedToBreathe’s set, I made my way over to That Tent to check out Temper Trap. They managed to pull off an epic version of Sweet Disposition to open the set. Temper Trap impressed me but I wanted to give a band that I had no preconceived notions about a chance so I opted to check out Mayer Hawthorne & the County at This Tent. I arrived just in time for a cover of ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky. The song was fun but honestly I don’t think I’m a fan of their original material. At least I gave them a chance, which has become a tradition of mine for Thursdays at Bonnaroo. You never know what you can find the first night.

[Musical Carnival]

READ ON for more from Jennifer on Thursday at Bonnaroo…

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Friday Mix Tape: Guitar Monsters

This week’s mix tape goes out to all the folks out there to whom words like phyrigian, humbucker, and “Ingvay” actually mean something. That’s right, this week we’re paying dues

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10 Years Later: Phish in Japan Pt. 4

In June 2000, Phish played their only headlining tour through Japan. A few dozen American travelers joined several hundred newly initiated Japanese phans on a phenomenal seven-night run of intimate venues, resulting in a series of fiery shows, unique cultural exchanges and the birth of the Japanese Meatstick. Longtime fan Stanch had been living and teaching English in Japan for a year when Phish arrived. In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the tour, and with help from a detailed journal and inputs from his traveling companions, he recounts his memories of the tour’s first four shows.

06/13/00 Club Quattro, Naka-ku, Nagoya

While On Air East was surely my favorite shows of the Japan run, the show at Club Quattro was not far behind. Let’s start with the set up: Club Quattro is a tiny (maybe 350-400 people?) club in downtown Nagoya. How tiny? It was located on the seventh floor of a Parco shopping mall, and your event ticket came with a complimentary drink. As we entered a room the fraction of the size of your average Phish stage, it had more the feel of a townie bar than a music venue fit for arena touring behemoth, but at the front of the room sat Phish’s iconic stage set up (though things were a bit crunched to fit their gear on a stage no more than 15 feet wide). And much like the rest of the shows thusfar, like some strange dream, we waited only feet from Phish’s stage crew for the show to start, as they prepared to run the sound and lights from tiny setups toward the back of the room.

The Meat opener was slow, patient and extremely funky, and it was followed by an electric and frenetic Maze. Almost as if to jolt the crowd, Phish then reprised a Meat coda for a few moments, making Maze remind you of the role it played on Rift: an interlude between other more balanced offerings. This was a new city, and the Japanese crowd had turned over some from the Tokyo group, and that served as the moment many first-time viewers began to look at each other with that look: who the hell are these guys? The band continued with an extended Ya Mar that had a rare jam punctuated with tasteful interplay between Trey and Page. Fast Enough for You, Old Home Place and a dark Wilson would follow.

The band topped off the first set with a highlight of the run: a great Mike’s > Simple > Weekapaug. The explosive Mike’s peaked with round after round of dirty, screeching notes from Trey, and the band turned on a dime seamlessly into Simple. The melodic end of a subtle Simple jam kind of petered out into silence, as if it was moving away from you into the distance. And just as you realized it was over, the faintest traces of the funky Weekapaug guitar rift entered in its place. It was as if Simple had gone backstage and Weekapug had passed it in the hall, rushing into the room. Responding, the small crowd welcomed Weekapaug by clapping in unison on beat throughout the opening chords, and after Mike slapped a few hints of the line, the band came in hard and released a roaring first set closer.

READ ON for more from Stanch on Phish in Japan…

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Strange Brew: Craggie Toubab Brewe

Welcome to back to Strange Brew our monthly column dedicated to – as you probably have already guessed – beer. Each month, we’ll take a close look at a new

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F4tF: World Cup Eats in NYC & More

The 2010 World Cup starts today in South Africa. As someone who has lived in Cape Town for two years, I’m so happy to see the country host this amazing tournament. If you ever have a chance to visit South Africa in your lifetime, do it! It is one of the most beautiful places on this planet.

Here are two places in NYC worth checking out during the World Cup tournament:

Socially Superlative shared that Paradou (located at 8 Little West 12th Street) will be doing $35 Prix Fixe menus for each of the next 4 weeks.

Here is the lowdown on the menus from their article:

Paradou will feature a different special menu for each of the 4 weeks of the World Cup. The menus will reflect the continents participating in the World Cup. There are five continents participating; Australia, Africa, Asia, The Americas and Europe. The menus will be slightly modern takes on classic dishes from those regions. The menus will be 3-course prix fixe. The price is $35. Our menus will be focusing on the following:

Week 1 – Australia
Week 2 – Africa/Asia
Week 3 – The Americas
Week 4 – Europe

READ ON for more of this week’s Fridays For the Foodies…

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Video: Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come

This week’s videos feature bands you should check out at Bonnaroo… While Bob Marley may have become the biggest name in reggae music history, it’s Jimmy Cliff that really deserves

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Televised Tube: On The Tube This Weekend

If you missed Arcade Fire’s appearance on Austin City Limits in 2007, you’ll get a chance to catch the encore showing this weekend on PBS. The Montreal-based band recently treated

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