Ah, Bonnaroo, that festival of revisionist music history where Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Phish are on the same plane (the exact sort of revisionist music history you get if you measure solely by number of people willing to schlep their way out.) That institution, much like Coachella, where a big ol’ lineup JPG hits the Internet for the world to parse. And so it was in 2012:
The big story here is that Bonnaroo’s one of the big stops on the Beach Boys’ reunion tour, a tour that so far includes a date at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a bunch of TBA dates, and, oh, y’know, some thing called the Grammy Awards. That last performance, as you probably have the misfortune of knowing, was burdened by a bunch of albatrosses: Foster the People and Maroon 5, who did better than you’d expect (i.e. better than nothing) but harmonized much less than called for (i.e. almost nothing).
Now then. Instead of doing another “what does it meeeeean?” post about Bonnaroo, One Day Later, and what it says about The State of Music, we got to thinking. On this lineup are dozens of folkies and rockers who’d love to sing with the Beach Boys, plus a couple guys–all of whom are in Foster the People–who already have. So if the Beach Boys also got to thinking, the day after the Grammys, that it wasn’t so bad to hitch themselves to the “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Moves Like Jagger” kids, and maybe every concert should have a teamup. And our thinking being what it is, we honed in first not on the best choices, nor the worst choices per se, but the ones we found most hilarious. And with that, you already know the first entry on the list:
SKRILLEX: Obviously. The half-shorn elephant in the Grammy auditorium, the unspoken un-presence during every award televised and not, every supposedly seminal dance music how-do-you-do. He’s now played two bills with the Beach Boys. The last Beach Boys reunion had hangers-on. I mean, you can follow our twisted logic, right? You’re picking up what we’re putting down. You’d agree with us when we say this is half-preordained, even if you wouldn’t agree with us when we say anything involving Skrillex is automatically a little hilarious. (He’s dating Ellie Goulding! LAFF RIOT!)
BON IVER: Bon Iver’s not on this list because of musical incongruity; he’s probably best positioned among the lineup to sing, oh, descant or second soprano or something. No, Bon Iver is on this list because of his noted resistance to performing with those who aren’t Bon Iver. The convoluted reasoning or coercing behind such a team-up would be a joy to read Justin Vernon carp about, like so. Bon: we cannot speak for Pitchfork wanting or not wanting you to raise hell, but we want you to raise hell! Actually, no, I can’t speak for my fellow writers either, so: I want you to raise hell. (To be fair to Justin Vernon, this really looks like an entirely respectable “no gimmicks, thanks” stance that he’s just spectacularly failing to express properly.)
AZIZ ANSARI AND/OR CHILDISH GAMBINO: Whether you’ve fully processed and are entirely OK with Donald Glover getting a rap career, or whether your take is closer to Ian Cohen’s, and regardless of whether you know that Aziz is awesome, it’d make us very sad for a Beach Boys reunion to be pegged–because come on, it would be pegged–to a non-musical TV show. Community and Parks and Recreation are non-musical TV shows. Good ones, and ones that feature music from time to time, but non-musical TV shows. Oh, and Childish Gambino’s music sounds nothing like the Beach Boys, but you knew that already.
ALICE COOPER: Did you know Alice Cooper is actually afraid of Brian Wilson? (No. He’s not. The headline is misleading.) While we’re not as surprised by his inclusion as some–dude’s got an album to push–but there’s only one way this pairing could turn out: a “veterans attract” coup gone horribly wrong.
BIG FREEDIA: We cannot say this would be a good team-up. We will say, however, that it would be the most interesting teamup possible out of this slate of people. Why? Watch the below video. You’ll probably end up watching it ten times.