Frontier Psychiatrist

Posts Tagged ‘2012

Bonnaroo 2012

Bonnaroo may not be real life, but that doesn’t make it any less stressful. Every year, 80,000 (approx.) crazies rage or mosey their way down to the farm in Manchester, Tennessee for an assumed relaxing period of both chill and weird. While it is a welcome vacation from commuter trains, twitter (sorry, boss), landlords and sitcom reruns, Bonnaroo is far from a beach getaway or a recharging weekend in the woods. Fortunately, the amazing performances and overall great vibes always win out in the end, and this year’s unbeatable lineup did not disappoint in the least.

The stress of Bonnaroo set in early in the week, as it mixed with the excitement and anticipation. After jamming a full week of preparation, work and writing into three days, I was already spread thin as we packed the car Wednesday evening. Our unruly 14-strong Bonna-crew (oof) was traveling from several metropolises across the country, so we decided to meet at Manchester’s Wal-Mart/Shanty Town early Thursday morning to use the back entrance together. Immediately, there was an unfamiliar feeling: we were the only ones on the road. Breezing through what once took hours in minutes, we arrived at an empty checkpoint, and welcomed by frowning, sexist and likely broke deputies. A highly intrusive drug search of our vehicles and male travelers was followed by barking of orders from inept Bonnaroo staff in our virtually open campsite (Pod #10). Things just didn’t feel right. Throughout the rest of the weekend, our group battled illness, fatigue, annoyance and dirt with varying levels of success.

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Royal Baths_Better Luck Next Life_Kanine Records

In an effort to fortify my resume and to combat the boredom resulting from hours of watching British sitcoms on Netflix Instant, I recently joined a program at my school pairing international students with American guides. I was paired with a Chinese student, and like a good American, I have spent my time with her extolling the virtues of Mexican food and Chai lattes at restaurants and coffee shops around town. Naturally, at one point our conversation turned to music. She told me that she particularly likes American country music, her favorite artist being Taylor Swift. She then asked me why Americans like rock and roll so much, surprised that people who live such laid back lives would want to listen to such loud and boisterous music.

I had this question in the back of my mind as I listened through Royal Bath’s powerful new Better Luck Next Life, out now on Kanine Records. Royal Baths are the latest from the burgeoning Brooklyn via San Francisco psychedelic garage rock scene. It’s an album drenched in violent lust and strung out on speed. The scene is always a seedy one, evoking images of back alley drug deals and ravaged motel rooms. The subject matter is undeniably dark, as singer Jigmae Baer details vampiric sex scenes and murder fantasies with an icy detachment that makes the album feel that much steamier. On occasion, Cox’s withdrawn persona crumbles and the man sounds positively demonic. Think Al Pacino in Devil’s Advocate without Keanu Reeves ruining everything.

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