Wisconsin singer/songwriter Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame has kept busy for the past several years with not just Bon Iver but numerous other bands and collaborations. Of all the non-Bon Iver projects, the album that always stood out the most to me was Volcano Choir’s debut Unmap, an art-rock collective Vernon created with members of Wisconsin experimental rock band Collections of Colonies of Bees. The album was ambitious and more out-of-the-box then the Walden Pond/winter-cabin folk of Bon Iver, but was still centered in memorable pop hooks. The band’s followup, Repave, sees Volcano Choir reaching extraordinary heights, making atmospheric stadium rock that should be held up in the same regard as Vernon’s two dynamic Bon Iver records.
Whether its Jim James, David Byrne, or Jack White, here at LxL we love musicians who dip their hands in many musical pots (or projects). Another artist who is having a banner year in diversifying himself is Justin Vernon, best known as the man behind Bon Iver, the cabin-in-the-woods indie folk act that became the Grammys’ Best New Artist just a couple years ago. He has already starred as the main hook singer on Kanye’s Yeezus, released a good-ole boys rock record with the Shouting Matches, and is set to release an album with his second best project (beside Bon Iver) in the experimental pop project Volcano Choir. So here are five choice cuts from his various projects (only 5 of his 10 projects) from the past few years.
It’s been five years since my last Lollapalooza, and this is not due to strength of lineup. Lollapalooza pretty consistently churns out jam-packed lineups and is also an amazing setting for a festival, standing in beautiful Grant Park sandwiched between Lake Michigan and the skyline in the heart of downtown. What has kept me away is primarily two things: moolah and the festival schedule. Money is pretty self-explanatory but Lollapalooza’s schedule is not. The festival jams so much music in a 10 hour span that it leads to shortened sets and tons of scheduling conflicts. Even in the headlining time slot, Lollapalooza packs four different acts instead of the usual one or two at other festivals.
Our Bonnaroo coverage continues, and Todd and I are still feeling the Bonnaroo hangover so to speak – longing to be dehydrated, sun-poisoned, and soaking in hours upon hours of excellent music. Since we can’t seem to get our minds off of Roo, without further ado, here are our ten favorite acts from Bonnaroo 2012.