Ten Bands To Check Out On NPR’s Bonnaroo Stream

Colin Jones :: Monday, June 7th, 2010 7:00 pm

Taking a page from their impressive live concert streams and in-studio performances, NPR, the place where everything from things to songs are considered, announced that they will be streaming performances from this year’s Bonnaroo. Starting this weekend, will feature over 25 shows from the prominent festival. In addition to the live streams, select concerts will be archived for on-demand listening.
Here are 10 streams you should check out if you, like us, can’t make it to Manchester, TN.

The National
2010 is officially The National’s year to break out. I know that 2007 and Boxer was supposed to be their year but High Violet has proven them to be something else entirely. It digs a little deeper than their previous release and shakes with the gloom that has come to define the Brooklyn-based band. The group just recently embarked on a massive tour and looking at ticket sales this stream might be your only shot at catching them.

She and Him
Or actors that become musicians (Russell Crowe, Keanu Reeves) Yeah, Zooey Deschanel has surpassed our expectations and turned out to be something of a soulful singer. Backed by M. Ward on their newly released Volume 2, Deschanel croons with a delightful touch of sixties pop. Deschanel may have even broken my prejudice about actors singing.

The Black Keys
Some people like to lump Akron-garage thumpers The Black Keys in with The White Stripes. It’s not hard to imagine why. The limitation of guitar and drums, the infatuation with the blues, the the names. But while both started in similar places, The Black Keys have taken a different direction by exploring the dark thump of their spectrum. On their new release, Brothers, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have smoothed out the production while retaining their swampy roots and creating a new evolution in their career.

Dan Deacon Ensemble
Ok, turn off the lights, crack the glow sticks and get ready to dance. It may be in your living room with this stream but master of Baltimore’s electro scene Deacon knows how to throw a party. Known for his high energy shows, Deacon is sure to whip up something strange for his late night set at Bonnaroo.

LCD Soundsystem
Sadly, this may be the last time you get to hear from James Murphy and company as they tour behind their fantastic album This Is Happening. Before the album was released last month, Murphy said he and the group are calling it quits following the tour. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet for his shows then the stream is the best bet for catching LCD’s last act.

The xx
This act swims in the melodic melancholia of post-punk but are putting out some of the most astounding music of the past few years. Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft bounce nearly whispered lyrics off of each other while staccato plucks of guitar and bass surround them. While known for their stoic live show, this stream is a must for the music alone.

The Melvins
An unusual act for the fields of Bonnaroo, The Melvins will destroy your ears with their chugging, dirt covered riffs. Sprouting from the Seattle scene of the late eighties and early nineties, The Melvins have influenced the likes of Cobain and the Screaming Trees. This is a must if the Dave Matthews and Michael Franti stream just isn’t your thing.

The Flaming Lips performing Dark Side of The Moon
I’m going to say this: Dark Side of The Moon is an entirely overrated album. I don’t know why but I could just never get into Floyd’s masterpiece Deal with it and we’ll move on. Now, The Flaming Lips have become the modern psychedelic masters and their performing Pink Floyd’s “classic” at the very least. They put on one of the more impressive live shows so flip on the dark lights you hippie and get rocking.

Neon Indian
Chillwave is a fickle thing. And if their is any true definition of the newly minted genre, Neon Indian’s Alan Palermo’s picture would be right next to it. Pumping out reverbed beats with nearly incomprehensive lyrics surprisingly sounds good. It shocked me too. Palermo’s Neon Indian should either get you in the mood to dance like hell or fall asleep. Either way, you’ll be satisfied.

Kid Cudi
There’s something about Cleveland born rapper Kid Cudi that intrigues me to listen to this stream. His songs like “Pursuit of Happiness ” have found him collaborating with groups like Ratatat and MGMT which makes him an enigma of sorts. He is a hip-hop artist willing to step out of the box when so many artists aren’t willing to. That exploration alone makes me curious to what his live show will provide.