2012 Bonnaroo to feature Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish and the Beach Boys

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Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish and the Beach Boys are among the headliners for the 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, as the event’s lineup was announced today.

The festival, held June 7-10 on a sprawling 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn., will also include performances by Bon Iver, The Shins, The Roots, Alice Cooper, the reunited Ben Folds Five, Flogging Molly, Dispatch, The Avett Brothers, Foster The People, Skrillex, Feist, Black Star, Ludacris, Childish Gambino, tUnE-yArDs, St. Vincent, Young The Giant, Two Door Cinema Club, The Joy Formidable, The Kooks, Kathleen Edwards and comedian Aziz Ansari, among others.

The Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary reunion tour, which got underway with a Sunday appearance at the Grammys, finds Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks performing together for the first time in decades.

Tickets go on sale Saturday, February 18, at noon Eastern. The complete lineup can be found at www.bonnaroo.com; there is also a Bonnaroo 2012 playlist on Spotify. Check it out here: http://spoti.fi/b0nnar00-2012.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on some of the participants in Bonnaroo 2012, and the festival’s namesake song from Dr. John and the Meters. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

ONE TRACK MIND: BEN FOLDS FIVE, “HOUSE” (2011): The difference between this tune and “Brick” is in the band’s musical ambitions. “House” begins with a plaintive piano figure that recalls that earlier triumph, but then quickly moves into a more musically complex arc — adding soaring strings, this jagged guitar and a vocal that goes from sweet melancholy to a howling recrimination: “I’m not sorry for what I’m feeling — blow the walls out, and bring the ceiling to the ground.” If “Brick” ended with a crushing desolation, “House” imagines what would happen if you could push back against your own greatest hurts.

SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: THE BEACH BOYS: As the Beach Boys prepared to celebrate their 50th anniversary with the 2011 release of The SMiLE Sessions, an updated version of the 1968 track “Do It Again” and a proposed world tour, we took a look back at some fun, fun, fun old favorites — including tracks from Surfer Girl, Pet Sounds, Holland, Smiley Smile and Sunflower.

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – I’M WITH YOU (2011): Though they often play with a familiar steely aggression, the Red Hot Chili Peppers seem nevertheless to be rounding the corner into middle age. I’m With You, the band’s first project since the 2006 double-album Stadium Arcadium, is often focused on departures — of youth and of old friends, perhaps a direct reaction to the exit of guitarist John Frusciante. The longest layover in band history, clearly, gave them time to think. Still, this being the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and thunderous bassist Flea being, well, thunderous on the bass, you’d expect most of these ideas to be buried deep in the group’s trademark whomping frat-boy funk, right? Not so fast. This Rick Rubin-produced efforts ends up as the most layered, complex offering in a Peppers’ catalog dating back almost three decades.

RADIOHEAD – HAIL TO THE THIEF (2003): I wanted to love this. I originally heard the “pre-release” mp3s that slipped out, and I was enthused at what appeared to be a return to the “classic” Radiohead sound of OK Computer and The Bends. As much as I loved Kid A, I couldn’t lie and say I wouldn’t like to hear more of what they’d already done. They did it so well. I listened to only bits of the songs one time, less out of curiosity than purely to see if this album would be more substantial than the uneven Amnesiac was — and it was. So it was a surprise when I finally got my hands on the real thing a couple months later that I found myself somewhat bored by Hail to the Thief.

DR. JOHN WITH THE METERS – DESITIVELY BONNAROO (1974): Dr. John further defines an ass-shaking new synthesis on Desitively Bonnaroo. Even today, there’s really no roadmap for the crazy-eyed co-mingling of R&B, jazz, island beats, blues, boogie funk and hoodoo whackadoo splashed across this LP, recorded alongside fellow New Orleans legends Allen Toussaint and the Meters more than 35 years ago. At the same time, the grooves here are so sleekly ingratiating as to be therapeutic. Bonnaroo doesn’t aspire to the brash, edgy soul of contemporaries like George Clinton or the Ohio Players. No, it’s too sophisticated, too mysterious, for that.

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The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
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