My favorite time of the year

November 27, 2009

Who doesn’t love a good indie Christmas song?

1. Christmas Party – The Walkmen
2. It’s Only Christmas – As Tall As Lions
3. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – Damien Rice
4. Splitting up Christmas – Kevin Devine
5. Christmas Time is Here Again (Bring Out the Joy!) – My Morning Jacket
6. Did I Make You Cry on Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved it!) – Sufjan Stevens
7. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – Thrice
8. White Christmas – Bright Eyes
9. Jinglebell Rock – Arcade Fire
10. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – The Polyphonic Spree
11. It’s Christmas Time – Yo La Tengo
12. Holly Jolly Christmas – The Format
13. The First Noel – Bright Eyes
14. Get Behind Me, Santa! – Sufjan Stevens
15. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Death Cab for Cutie
16. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Daphne Loves Derby
17. The Christmas Song – The Raveonettes
18. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Bright Eyes





August 11, 2009

Day One: Friday, 8/7.

It was a rainy, rainy, Friday, but I arrived at the festival with Dylan before noon and immediately went in the (larger than I expected) crowd for Manchester Orchestra.

12:15. They opened with Shake It Out, and proceeded to play mostly songs off of their new album. I love Mean Everything To Nothing, but I was still hoping to hear more songs off of I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child. They continued the set with Pride, In My Teeth, Now That You’re Home, My Friend Marcus, I’ve Got FriendsMean Everything to Nothing, and to my surprise, ended with The River. They were on a headlining stage, and handled the large audience well and played a great set; most people were definitely into it, though there wasn’t a lot of moving around (maybe due to the rain). It was the perfect way to start off day one of the three day event.

3:00. Headed over to BMI, the smallest stage and by far the most conveniently located, as it was towards the middle of the park, and provided the luxury of shade (though that particular day, shade was certainly not what people were looking for), as well as a little bit of shelter from the constant drizzling rain.


Kevin Devine was playing, accompanied by the Goddamn Band, as usual. Yr Husband was first, followed by Carnival, Another Bag of Bones, No Time Flat, and I Could Be With Anyone.

There was so much energy on stage, even through the rain, that it was hard to make myself leave after only 25 minutes in order to catch the second half of Bon Iver’s set at the PlayStation Stage.


3:30. The Bon Iver crowd was not at all what I expected it to be, since even in the 10th row, people were conversing as if there was no music being played. It was especially frustrating seeing as Bon Iver’s music is on the quieter side. Cutting straight through the crowd to the front, Dylan and I made it just in time for the end of Flume, and happened to end up right behind two of our friends from back home. Wolves, Re: Stacks, For Emma, and Creature Fear/Team brought an end to the set. I only wish the rest of the crowd had been more attentive; I imagine seeing Bon Iver in a more intimate setting would be much more enjoyable.

5:00. Ended up staying in the crowd after Bon Iver, since we were in the 4th row and Fleet Foxes were playing on that same stage in an hour (Being up front for them was an opportunity I was not willing to pass up, so STS9 and Thievery Corporation had to be skipped). The hour of waiting went by quickly, as we had a hilarious encounter with a drunk girl and her boyfriend, who ended up having to leave before Fleet Foxes even came on. Sun Giant was the first song, and their vocal harmonies were even more beautiful in person than on CD- something I did not think was possible. As the set continued, I became more and more mesmerized with each song; Sun It Rises, Drops in the River, English House, White Winter Hymnal, Ragged Wood, Your Protector, Tiger Mountain Peasant Song, He Doesn’t Know Why, Mykonos, and of course, Blue Ridge Mountains.

They made fun of the fact that they were one of the few bands at the festival who completely lacked a rock edge, and talked about the density of their beards. I was delighted to discover each of them had a great sense of humor as well as extraordinary musical ability. 


6:00. Caught half of the Decemberists’ set across the way at the Budweiser stage. They decided to play all of The Hazards of Love, as they did when I saw them at Radio City in June. It wasn’t nearly as impressive without the lights show that usually makes the set more dramatic, but the vocals of Colin and the two female vocalists sounded flawless.

6:30. At this point, we were beginning to realize how cold we were; it hadn’t stopped drizzling all day. We headed over to Perry’s, the all day/all night electronica stage where it was always a party, to warm up in the A-Trak crowd. We only stayed for a few songs.

7:00. Returned to the PlayStation stage to see Andrew Bird, and made our way through the crowd toward the front with little difficulty. Fiery Crash was the first song, and I knew right away it was going to be a fantastic set. Masterswarm, Opposite Day, Fitz and the Dizzyspells, Oh No, Effigy, Not A Robot But A Ghost, Anonanimal, Imitosis, Scythian Empires, Tables and Chairs, and Fake Palindromes made up the rest of the set. Like the Decemberists, I was much more impressed by his performance at Radio City in June, but he still sounded wonderful.

Day one was sick, though I had no idea at the time what I was in store for the next day..