Bonnaroo Preview – The Up and Comers


And here ‘tis boys and girls our final installment of the Bonnaroo preview. These are the lesser known bands or up and comers. These are the bands that could sell out the Whiskey, Troubadour, Independent, but still aren’t at the level where they’re touring arenas yet. Give it time, though.

  • Two Gallants – I saw them play a couple weeks back and they’re so good. After quite a few albums they’re finally starting to get their due. These native San Franciscans will not disappoint.
  • Calexico – Most people know them, but they’ve purposely kept themselves at a manageable level. They’re last album was great and they did minimal touring last year. This year should be a big one for them.
  • Japandroids – I get a royal Canadian chub when I talk about his band. They are the greatest thing to come out of Canada since Wayne Gretzky (his daughter is American so…). I saw them last year with my bro-lo and it was probably top three show of the year (Bruce was number one, obviously).
  • Death Grips – Basically told their record company (Sony) to go fuck themselves last year, released a brilliant album for free, showed a cock on the cover and blew everyone away with a “we don’t give a fuck” attitude. They would be one of those bands that uses Kickstarter and raises a million. Something crazy will happen during their set, guaranteed.
  • Django Django – Another band I saw last year at the Independent. This British rock group is really good live and fun. They’re definitely a must see.
  • Haim – Three talented Jewish girls from Los Angeles have crafted a style that is at the forefront of the reemergence of the LA music scene. They played on the Gentleman of the Road Tour with Mumford and Sons and were the surprise hit of the entire tour.
  • Milo Greene – A solid pop-indie group from LA starting to garner themselves a huge following in the Hollywood region and looking to expand that to places like Manchester, Tennessee. Let’s see if Tenn. can handle Cinematic Rock.
  • Lord Huron – We wrote about him the other day. I like his music quite a bit, but have only heard a few songs. I imagine people will be eager to see what he has to offer.
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Formerly of Drive-By Truckers Jason Isbell took the Jay Farrar route, from when he left Uncle Tupelo, and went straight country with his new band. They’ll fit in amazingly well there, but should be more of a mid-level band. They’re great.
  • Sea Wolf – He’s ridiculously talented and every time he comes to SF I’m covering another band. It’s super frustrating. I’m desperately hoping on this next time through I get to see him live because I hear nothing but good things.
  • Patrick Watson – What little I’ve heard of him (another Canadian import) I really enjoyed. I’d describe him as someone similar to Edward Sharpe.
  • Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers – Another great artist, but not only is she super talented, she’s super smart. She marketed herself with her “Van Sessions” on You Tube and really got her music into the conversation by playing other peoples. She’s a fantastic singer and brilliant performer. Pure 1970s California country-rock goodness. Think Sheryl Crow, but younger and having nothing to do with Lance Armstrong.




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