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Heat, Rain & Kanye disappoint Bonnaroo

Kristi Kates - June 23rd, 2008
The seventh annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Fest took place last weekend, on 750 acres of farmland near Nashville. The much-anticipated event wasn’t a sellout, probably due in part to high gas prices, and served up a mix of good times and disappointments for festival attendees. Extremely high temperatures alternating with rain made the general outdoor atmosphere less than pleasant, but fans - paying around $210 to $250 for tix - stuck it out to see such bands as Pearl Jam, Widespread Panic, Jack Johnson, Raconteurs, Ben Folds, and Death Cab for Cutie. 158 bands in all were on the Bonnaroo bill, and the fest report stated that there were “fewer arrests and no deaths this year” - er, always a good thing. The biggest fan disappointment, however, occurred when Kanye West moved his show from 8 p.m. to 2:15 a.m. (to better accommodate his “glow in the dark” stage set), and then didn’t even show up on stage until almost 4:30 a.m., leaving fans standing around for over 2 hours, waiting for the prima donna to show up, chanting “Kanye sucks” and throwing glow sticks in the meantime. West didn’t offer an explanation or an apology when he took the stage. Hopefully next year’s Bonnaroo will occur under better circumstances (and with more considerate musicians)...
In other festival news, a plethora of groovy bands have been tapped for the upcoming San Diego Street Scene festival, scheduled for September 19-20; headliners Beck and The Black Crowes will serve as the “big acts” of the event, while other performers are slated to include Hot Chip, Spoon, TV on the Radio, The National, Vampire Weekend, Cold War Kids, Ghostland Observatory, and The Hives. Tix are on sale now for $75, and the shows will take place on four stages set up in San Diego’s village area...
Bob Geldof and U2’s Bono have presented a new report to world leaders that indicates that the Group of Eight of the world’s wealthiest countries have only given a small portion of the amount they pledged back in 2005 to donate to Africa by 2010. A mere 14% of the financial goal has been achieved at this point. “How tragic is that?” Geldof said in a recent statement. The funds are slated to be distributed by DATA, an advocacy organization dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty in Africa; Bono is one of the members of their board of directors. Out of the Group of Eight, only the U.S. and Britain appear to be on track to meet their target amount by 2010...
Coldplay’s critically-acclaimed new album is out now - Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends is being hailed as a strong growth album for the band, with influences from South America, Chris Martin singing in a lower register, and arrangements - helmed in large part by producer Brian Eno - changing things up from the band’s usual song structure. The band are now expected to track their first ever number one UK single (for the album’s title track, “Viva La Vida”) according to early sales figures; they already currently top the UK album chart, and are picking up sales very quickly in the U.S....

MODERN ROCK LINK OF THE WEEK:
Ten years before “real” rock and roll hit the world, guitar pioneer Les Paul made a guest appearance as a guitarist in an early B-movie about a Hollywood-bound jazz band. Check out the link at www.gibson.com to see Les Paul in Sarge Goes to College...

MINI BUZZ:
This year’s Lollapalooza schedule has finally been posted, so hop online (www.lollapalooza.com) to start making your festival plans - but beware of Kanye again, as he’s scheduled directly opposite Nine Inch Nails on the fest’s closing night, a position that probably isn’t going to make him too happy...
Blur drummer Dave Rowntree has announced that he’s been selected by the Labour Party in England to run for Parliament at the next general election, which probably means he’ll be too busy for a Blur reunion, as earlier discussed...
Rolling Stone and Wenner Media have embarked on an interested marketing ploy regarding subscriptions to the classic music mag - they’re selling classic Rolling Stone magazine covers from the past 40 years in t-shirt form for $36 per t-shirt - oh, yeah, and a one-year subscription to Rolling Stone is included with your t-shirt purchase...
Franz Ferdinand are set to criss-cross the UK the end of this month, playing a half-dozen gigs in smaller venues...
The revived The Zombies are kicking off a 21-date North American tour on July 3 in Detroit, and have even written a couple of new Zombies songs for the occasion...
And 23-years-legendary UK club Turnmills has closed its doors for the last time, with Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers, XFM’s John Kennedy, Sister Bliss, and Tall Paul taking over the decks for the Last Dance Weekend celebration...
ON CD: Beach Boy Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue... Morten Harket’s (former A-Ha singer) Letter from Egypt... Amos Lee’s Last Days at the Lodge... Sigur Ros’ Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust... Shinedown’s The Sound of Madness... and the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for Wall-E... ON DVD: Various Artists: All You Need is Love... The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself... Neil Diamond’s Thank You Australia Concert 1976... and Sesame Street: Elmo’s World - Summer Vacation (c’mon, you know you’re a fan of the little red guy)... and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.
Questions, comments, rants, raves, suggestions on this column or your fave musicians? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com
 
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