At a hippie music festival, they are the indie band, at a indie festival, they are the hippie band. use whatever label appeals to you, but Blitzen Trapper make timeless rock and roll, with touches of folk, psychedelia, blues and even glam rock. And dudes got some pipes you don't notice until you see them live. The drummer looks like cousin it, has one of the most righteous beards of all time, and the Garfunkel-esque rhythm guitarist applied about a gallon of sun screen to his forehead.
Art-damaged hardcore outfit Fucked Up have one hell of a front man. Damian Abraham made the typical stage banter actually humorous, telling the crowd the crown they are better than "that Animal Collective record, they sound like Phish." Too easy? Maybe, but shifting one's jokes to the crowd at hand isn't always easy at is it probably seams. He was grabbing the beach balls out of the air and deflating them with his teeth, eventually wearing one as a hat. Here's a quiet moment during "Crooked Head."
The Flaming Lips
The last show on the last day. Word has it they spend $5,000 on confetti, that about sums it up. It's the second time I've seen the Lips. They played a couple new songs, and some super rarities, not of which translated live that well. And they let the crowd decide (by applause) between "She Don't Use Jelly" and "The W.A.N.D." The crowd chose "Jelly." I wanted the other. Why can't we have both? They also didn't play "Free Radicals," so that sucked. But otherwise the Lips were as entertaining as ever, even if i was a mile away.
I don't care what my friends think, Ponytail is awesome, especially live. The post-punk guitars absolutely destroy. Sure, "singer" Molly Siegel's lyrics are all ecstatic yelps and "whooos!" and "whyatcha!" But that's the point. She is just pure joy and energy on stage, personified. The band started as an art school project that took a life of its own, after all, and her voice is just an abstract instrument. I couldn't help but smile the whole time. (Insert joke about wondering if she's a boy or a girl .... that shit's tired, grow up).
before the show, I was sort of ambivalent about Yeasayer. Now I get it. Polyrythmic without losing it's groove, soulful while still digitally relevant - the band finds a happy area somewhere between TV on the Radio's poppier moments and something actually on the radio. One of the more amazing moments of the festival happened during their set, when it started dropping buckets of rain, only to stop when the band reached the chorus of it's indie hit - "Sunrise" - and the big yellow guy actually peaked his out from behind the clouds.
I only saw part of this show. Another bedroom/ear phone band.
Cymbals Eat Guitars
This was the first show on Saturday, and I only saw the last three songs. it was impressive enough to prompt me to order their CD. It's not only one of the best debuts of the year, it's one of the best records of the year. Not immediately as engrossing as seeing the band's energy live, the album "Why There Are Mountains" is a grower, and it's been in my car nonstop since its purchase.