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Bonnaroo Music Festival: Eminem, Neil Young, Lil Wayne & Grammy-Winning Arcade Fire

Bonnaroo: the best of old music and new Bonnaroo: the best of old music and new

Fresh from winning two Grammys and no longer in relapse or rehab, Eminem is set to share top billing with Grammy champion Arcade Fire at this year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival in the wilds of Tennessee. With the Bonnaroo Music Festival in its tenth year, and Lil Wayne out of jail and back to his skank-ho lyrics, this year’s Bonnaroo will have something for everyone.

Frankly, it’s going to be interesting to see if a lot of people drop in and drop out of Bonnaroo Music Festival instead of staying the entire three days (June 9-12). I say that because you’d have to be verrrrry open-minded musically to enjoy the wild smorgasbord of styles in this year’s Bonnaroo line-up.

Eminem, of course, is Eminem. Hip-hop white boy rap, confessional slag your wife rap, talk about all your problems rap. But at least he knows how to sample, and he hasn’t painted himself as God on a ceiling (copying Michelangelo) like ConYay West did.

Compare Eminem to Arcade Fire, the alt “indie” group that won Record of the Year at the Grammys.  It’s like apples and oranges, or maybe vinegar and water. But I’d take Eminem or Arcade Fire anytime instead of Lady Antebellum. I mean let’s face it, if I hear their song Need You Now one more time I am going to buy a pair of ear plugs. Consider the incredible depth of these profound Lady Antebellum lyrics:

“It's a quarter after one

I'm a little drunk

And I need you now

Said I wouldn't call

But I've lost all control

And I need you now…”

A female friend of mine says the song is an embarrassment for women. “It’s about a bitch getting drunk and horny and being desperate enough to call up an ex and beg for sex.”

Call me old-fashioned, but if Bonnaroo Music Festival wants to send me first-class air tickets and backstage passes, I’d be happy to attend because some classic musicians are also in the Bonnaroo line-up along with the youngsters, rappers and misfits.

Put Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Joe Vitale and Richie Furay together and you have the Bonnaroo reunion of Buffalo Springfield- a band that broke up in 1965. Or how about Robert Plant, who instead of creating 2 million audience members showing up at Bonnaroo if he would just tour with Led Zeppelin (with the late drummer John Bonham’s son filling in for dad), is touring with a semi-replica of the Band of Joy, which is the band he had in 1966 before Led Zeppelin ever existed.

I have no idea why Plant would rather be crooning country-folk-blues songs instead of Dazed & Confused, and I’d guess Jimmy Paige doesn’t understand it either. Although it’s true that many Led Zeppelin songs were rockin’ versions of folk and blues. Regardless, Plant and his Band of Joy are at Bonnaroo, along with other “old-timers” such as Gregg Allman, Bela Fleck and Dr. John.

The road to Bonnaroo is long and hot, and Tennessee is not my favorite place in humid June. But if you want to see and hear rap, classic rock, folk-rock, Grammy winners, hip-hop, ex-cons and other entertainers outdoors with a lot of other people, then by all means join Eminem, Arcade Fire, Neil Young, Lil Wayne and Robert Plant at Bonnaroo Music Festival. I myself am staying home to laugh at the X-rated version of Justin Beaver’s homoerotic 3-D movie “Never Say Quiver.”

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Last modified on Thursday, 20 September 2012 18:25

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