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Day Two of the Roo: Hanging out in the Dust

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Foster the People at the Which Stage

The majority of my day two of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival consisted of my hands being in the air and the myriad of lights from the stage flashing over my face while listening to some of the best music.

Three of my favorite bands played, but I only really got to see and experience Foster the People, who is really all I cared about seeing for most of the festival. However, I managed to sit and listen to the Avett Brothers show for half an hour, and they put on a

The Avett Brothers playing at the main stage of Day 2.

great set. Had it not been for Mumford & Sons, I probably would have never fell in love with the Avett Brothers. I guess I did the whole hipster music scene in the wrong order.

I also got hear a little bit of the Ludacris show at This Tent, but the portion I heard was nothing but him singing Top 40 hits and none of his own music. More people showed out for him than I ever imagined, and the crowd went as far back as one of the vendor rows, which was impressive.The best show I saw all night by far was Foster the People with the atmosphere instantly changing as soon as the band played the first note. I cannot remember the exact order of the setlist, but they performed more of their popular hits from the Torches album like “Call It What You Want,” “Helena Beat,” “Warrant” and “Don’t Stop.”

By far the best song and stage performance came when the band began the opening notes to “Pumped Up Kicks,” which is the most popular song off the Torches album and a Top 40 hit. The crowd went crazy, and so did I. Confetti showered down us, and huge inflatables began popping up on the stage. Most if not all the crowd loudly sang the lyrics, making the concert even better.

Foster the People’s Mark Foster and Mark Pontius perform their song “Call It What You Want”

However, fans of Foster were also Raidohead fans. The final note of “Pumped Up Kicks” seemed to activate a massive herd of people all trying to reach the main stage to catch the set. Radiohead brought out thousands of fans, and there was no place to even sit or stand.

Trying to listen to them presented a challenge because of all the people, but I did learn a tidbit of news for all you Radiohead and Jack White fans.During the show, Radiohead gave out a huge thank you to Jack White, but wouldn’t tell us why. I am not sure what’s going on, but I’ve heard murmurs of a collaboration between the two from some of the die-hard fans that talked to me. We will just have to see.

I am not sure what is on tap for today. I hope to hear Alice Cooper and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s going to be a good day ladies and gentlemen. There is too much music in my little town for it not to be.

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Day 1 of Bonnaroo lets the smaller acts shine

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Waiting on Yelawolf to take the That Stage.

The moon is full, and the music is coming from all angles on a 700-acre farm in my hometown of Manchester, Tenn., where four days out of the year my town becomes the hub of one of the largest musical festivals in the world.

Bonnaroo got the party started tonight with a variety of smaller artists lighting up the tents and the smaller stages while all the festival-goers continued to trickle through the gates. As of late this afternoon, Bonnaroo finally sold out for the eleventh year of the festival.

Being a local, I highly anticipate this time of year. To kick the festival off, I found my way over to the This Tent to watch Yelawolf, a white rapper from Alabama. I had never heard of him until recently and knew only of his song “Let’s Roll” that featured Kid Rock.

Out of no disrespect to him, he wasn’t exactly on my see list. However, one of my friends raved on and on for weeks before Bonnaroo even started, and blared his music anytime we were together.

Before Yelawolf even took the stage, I heard a few songs from artist Danny Brown, who is rapper from Detroit, Mich. I had never heard of this performer, but that is the fun and part of the point of going to a music festival. I am not going to know every act or heard of every band, and I definitely enjoy getting to hear new music and maybe even becoming a fan if they suit my eclectic tastes.

Finally around 8:30, Yelawolf started to play, but I was so far back from the stage Yelwolf was nothing but a dot on a straight line. Being short has no advantages at Bonnaroo unless someone taller than you allows you to sit on their shoulders. Otherwise, you can only dance and listen from where you are standing.

In simple terms, Yelwolf put on a fun show. He burst music from different genres. Being a southern Alabama boy, I guess he couldn’t totally ignore his roots as he sang a little Johnny Cash and Lynyrd Skynyrd. What’s a good concert in the south without a few chords from “Freebird”? Yelawolf finally started playing his own beats again, but not before he contributed the rest of his show to the Beastie Boys.

The rest of my evening was tame as I listened to some mellow music by Soja at That Tent around 10 o’clock. I had only heard of Soja because this band occassionally popped up on my Pandora radio. They have grown on me in the past couple of months with their folksy, yet reggae sound to songs. Their newest album “Strength to Survive” is fairly good, and I got to hear some of their new music sitting on the wet grass with tons of other listeners.

Something about their music must have made people want to dance because all sorts of people were on their feet moving to the music. A couple of different girls asked my friends and I to dance. That’s another perk of Bonnaroo: everyone is so nice. I can’t say I danced the night away or anything, but I bobbed my head from my seat on the ground.

Tomorrow is what I cannot wait to hear. I’m not sure how I will be able to sit through nine hours of work. Between Feist, Foster the People and Radiohead back-to-back, I will be all over place listening to some of the best acts the line up has to offer.

Spinning the dial

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As I have driven all over creation these past few months to and fro from Murfressboro, I have spun my radio dial a time or two, trying to find new tunes. Not only that, but I need some serious walking music. MTSU isn’t exactly a small campus when it comes to walking around.

My finger has skipped song after song in efforts to satisfy me. The over one thousand songs I have now weren’t cutting it. Something had to give. I had to find something new. Something that could keep my attention for more than ten seconds.

My ears experienced several different bands, and I think they like what they hear. I can’t study to the same tunes I did in high school all the time. If it is possible to grow bored from music, I certainly have, and I am hunting Pandora and Spotify high and low for something new.

The one perk of my newsroom is that we have all eclectic tastes. Our Pandora in the office is playing something different, and I always find my foot tapping to something I had never heard. Sometimes, the music even makes me want to dance but that is a different story.

So here are a few of my new favorite college tunes. Are you ready for this? Some how I don’t think you are.

1) Freelance Whales: I know what you are thinking. Whales? As in whales that swim in the ocean? Well yes, that is apart of the name. This quirky band got my attention last week as I awaited my editing class. My news editor introduced them to me, and we listened to them with the rest of the people in our class. The music itself has an eclectic sound with its Metrostation meets Mumford & Sons feel. This techno sound with a hint of banjo is just the right combination.

2) Explosions in the Sky: If you’ve ever seen the show or the movie “Friday Night Lights,” you are more than familiar with the instrumental song that seems to tug at your heartstrings and emotions. Months ago, I had researched to see who played the theme to the TV show, and I discovered that I liked the band as much as I the show. The instrumental sounds are soothing and are great for studying. Since most songs don’t have lyrics, I don’t sing along nor do I feel the need to dance. This is exactly why it’s perfect studying.

3) Death Cab For Cutie: Before you ask me where I have been the past few years if I am just now liking this band, hold your breath. I listened to Death Cab’s slow melodic music my freshman and sophomore years of high school. “I Will Follow You into the Dark” is one my favorite songs, and it has a beautiful meaning. However, this band just got swept under the rug, and I just let them fall off my radar screen. Until recently that is. One of my friends heard “Stay Young Go Dancing” on Pandora, and she liked it so much she played it for me. Now, I have fallen in love with the Codes and Keys, the album they produced in 2011. For the past few articles I have written, I type in Codes and Keys on my Spotify and hit play. My newest writing music muse.

4) Kate Nash: Singer songwriter Kate Nash has lifted my spirits these past few months. Here poppy sound and English accent have a way to make my bob my head along and want to sing. Except, I don’t have the English accent to sing along with her. I want to compare her to Sara Bareilles since they write about similar topics, but some of her lyrics are as bitter as Adele. However, Nash has the edge that makes my ears ever wonder why I thought she was mellow in the first place. Nonetheless, her witty music has found her way to my playlist. Not the best homework jams, but hey what’s a girl to do?

5) Foster the People: I know, I know. You are going to declare I only like them because of their hit song “Pumped Up Kicks.” Guess what? You’re right. That is what got me listening to them. That and I listened to that song so many times that I learned to play the acoustic version of the song. I don’t even know how to properly describe this band. They incorporate different elements to their music to get the right blend of beats. Call it what you want, but they made it to my list. It’s on my must buy, in fact. Hopefully, it will end up on my iTunes sooner than later.