My friend Isaac and I used to go to the Smokin’ Grooves tour every year. It was fuckin’ rowdy; we saw Cypress, Tribe, Busta, Badu, ’Cyde, and many other hip-hop-ish acts that only need be called by their first or last name. We’d go with Isaac’s girlfriend and some single friend of hers. The ‘single friend’ would always think we were weird because we’d listen to Wyclef’s "Guantanamera" and totally flip out. Then we’d get to the show and settle in and Isaac would be like, "Dude, ‘Single Girl’ totally wants you to go grooooooove with her." But I’d never go groove with her because I was too shy and I thought Maybe Isaac’s lying, maybe she DOESN’T wanna grooooove with me.
Besides, she was dancing along to Eryka Badu and I hate her. Seriously, she sucks iced-out ass. My woman thinks I’m a bad person because of it, but man, I think Badu is just plain Badd. And you are what you like, you know? Like, I was on a date once and this girl kept talking about Dave Matthews. At some point I said "I’d like to force-feed Dave Matthews his own shit," and she presented me with an ultimatum: Either admit Dave Matthews is talented or I [girl] leave. TRUE STORY!! Keep in mind, I didn’t even have to say he carries artistic merit or is a quality artist; all I had to do was admit he’s talented and the bone candy gets thrown my way. Well, I refused and never saw the girl again. Fuck her.
Anyway, Isaac got tired of Smokin’ Grooves. Now he asks me to go to Bonnaroo with him every year. Even when the festival was all dirty and exclusively hippie-laden — much like the Sasquatch Festival, Bonnaroo has cleaned up over the years — he’d show me a flyer and get all tickled pink over the shit. What’s even funnier was the way he’d present it. He’d be like, "Hey bud, fuckin’ Booooonaroo bud, it’s alllllll about Bonnaroo this year bud, bud-bud-bud, bud, bud-bud-bud-bud-bud..." and so on... basically it would all dissolve into an endless chain of ‘bud’s. I was used to hearing ‘dude’ every few seconds, but in Colorado people say ‘bud’ and ‘bro.’
Even funnier, Isaac would never end up going. He’d always come up with an excuse and talk about his friend Bob, or as I like to call him, Buffalo Bob. He’d be like, "Shit, turns out I can’t go this year bud, but next year... OOH bud, it’s gonna be baaaad ass. My bud Bob’s goin’ though. Man he’s fuckin’ lucky, he quit his job and sold a bunch of stuff just to go. He’s homeless and penniless but hey, he’s goin’ to Bonnaroo bud!" And so on. I always thought Bob was burnt-out-hippie-loser scum, but hey, I think a lot of things. For instance, I once thought this waiter at Olive Garden was stalking me. Every time I’d go to eat there he’d peep at me and then duck behind a wall right when I looked over. Isn’t that fucking crazy? And another time, I’m pretty sure this cook at Denny’s undercooked my eggs on purpose. I mean, undercooked eggs don’t just... happen.
Anyhoo, this year Bonnaroo appears to be taking another step toward total Budness. Sure, the traditional Rat Pack of hippie scum will be force-feeding everyone their ‘unique’ brands of jam-cum-funk (String Cheese Incident, Bob Weir, and Ratdog). Sure, some of these bands are just-plain bad (Kings Of Leon, Gov’t Mule, Fountains Of Wayne). Sure, you’ll probably hear a lot of terrible white-guy rapping. Sure, hippies will pester you for a ‘drag’ off your cigarette all-the-live-long-day, but HEY, they’re trying...
So hey, let’s go to Bonnaroo this year, bud! When? June 14-17, bud! Where? Manchester, Tennessee, bud! How much? $184.50 (then when the first allotment run out they go up to $199.50... then when that allotment runs out they go up to $214.50). Why? Well... aww, you almost got me, bud! I can’t tell you WHY... that’s yer own trip brogurt. But I’ll tell you what, bud; you’d better start selling that hemp oil quick or you won’t be able to afford tickets! Of course each ticket gets you in all four days, so at least the head honchos at Bonnaroo are raping your ass with slightly less vigilance than the Coachella people. Slightly.
This Band List is Totally, Like, Buddage:
The Police • Tool • Widespread Panic • The White Stripes • Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals • Wilco • The Flaming Lips • MANU CHAO Radio Bemba Sound System • The String Cheese Incident • Franz Ferdinand • Bob Weir & Ratdog • Damien Rice • Ween • Gov't Mule • Ziggy Marley • The Decemberists • Kings of Leon • Michael Franti & Spearhead • Wolfmother • Regina Spektor • The Black Keys • Galactic • DJ Shadow • Gillian Welch • Spoon • Keller Williams (WMD'S) • Sasha & John Digweed • STS9 • Old Crow Medicine Show • The Hold Steady • Lily Allen • North Mississippi Allstars • Fountains Of Wayne • Hot Tuna • Feist • Hot Chip • John Butler Trio • Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys • Aesop Rock • The Richard Thompson Band • Dierks Bentley • James Blood Ulmer • Xavier Rudd • Gogol Bordello • Junior Brown • Tortoise • T-Bone Burnett • Mavis Staples • Clutch • Cold War Kids • Dr. Dog • Paolo Nutini • Brazilian Girls • RX Bandits • The Nightwatchman • The Slip • Girl Talk • Railroad Earth • Martha Wainwright • Rodrigo y Gabriela • Annuals • Tea Leaf Green • Sam Roberts Band • Elvis Perkins in Dearland • Charlie Louvin • Sonya Kitchell • Mute Math • Apollo Sunshine • Uncle Earl • The National • The Little Ones • Black Angels • Ryan Shaw • Lewis Black & Friends • Dave Attell • David Cross •
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Illustration: Carolina Suarez