Having recently acquired my ticket to this year's Bonnaroo Arts and Music festival I have begun preliminary planning of which artists I will be attending. Of course the schedule has yet to come out so if some of these shows overlap I'll be quite upset. This is why there is the need to mentally prepare and rank which shows are most important to you. While most people swoon over the shows that Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Beach Boys are going to put on there are many more artists worth checking out besides the headlines.
1) Black Star - a huge name to most hip hop heads but outside of those people plugged into the hip hop world a duo that may be overlooked. Black Star consists of Mos Def and Talib Kweli and bring some of the most poignant and socially conscious rhymes you will ever hear. What is the purpose of a giant music festival besides opening up your mind to new ideas and thinking about the music you're listening to? Black Star will deliver lyrics that tell a story that you won't soon forget. Rarely do you get to see a show that exemplifies what some of the true roots of hip hop are and if you take the time to check out these two MCs you will get a glimpse of what the culture is all about.
2) Big Gigantic - This duo of Boudler Colorado based music producers are at the heart of the Colorado electro music scene that is helping push American electro to a global stage. You have Dominic Lalli who plays the sax and Jeremy Salken playing drums and they use these instruments to create music that they then transform into an electronic masterpiece. The two incorporate their live music into a DJ set which is unlike anything else happening in that genre right now. When nearly all of the electro music in the world is made using computers it is innovative to see these two use real instruments. The music has a mellow, melodic vibe that create a chill environment for a show. i personally want to see how they incorporate the live music with the DJ equipment.
3) Mac Miller - While Mac isn't the underground superstar he was about a year ago I am expecting big things from his show at Bonnaroo. He has had two singles go gold as an independent artists which is a rarity in today's music industry controlled by the big 4 record labels. In all honesty I haven't given his new CD enough of a listen but that is mainly because I love his old stuff so much. His mixtapes K.I.D.S and Best Day Ever have such original flow and rhyme scheme that it's all I listen to. Hopefully he has a late night show giving him ample time to play all the undergroud hits along with all his more commercial sucesses like Donald Trump or Knock Knock.