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Entertain Your Ears: Bonnaroo Preview

I am currently enduring my third hour of Bonnaroo traffic and have thankfully switched from driver’s to passenger’s seat. Now that I can safely type without endangering myself and other drivers, I can tap out a Bonnaroo preview for you here on my phone.

2010 marks my second consecutive trip to Bonnaroo and while the traffic we are currently experiencing is far from ideal, it is giving me adequate time to consider this year’s quite stellar lineup. Unlike 2009, this year’s opening night acts are artists that I am very interested in seeing. Manchester Orchestra, Neon Indian, The Temper Trap, and The xx are all bands that I have been itching to see live. I missed my chance to see Temper Trap in Columbus, OH back in March and will thankfully have the chance to here. Their album is easily one of my favorites of the year so far and is easy to recommend.

Two early day performers on Friday are The Gaslight Anthem and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes. Gaslight’s track “’59 Sound” is the kind of tune that will get your head bobbing as soon as it starts. Kings of Leon fill in Friday’s headliner slot, but two late late-night acts are some of my most anticipated. Scott Mescudi aka “Kid Cudi” put out what I considered to be one of the freshest rap albums in recent memory with his debut Man on the Moon. Knowing that his sophomore disc is set to release later this summer has me primed to see a potentially dynamite combination of old and new material.

Saturday’s lineup is co headlined by music icon Stevie Wonder and rap superstar Jay-Z. The mere chance to see Stevie Wonder perform live all but justifies the festival’s admission cost by his inclusion. Other Saturday highlights include Mumford and Sons, Weezer, and The Dead Weather. Much like Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in 2009, I fully expect Allison Mossheart to command the stage. One of my favorite parts of this third Jack White band is that White puts himself on the drums and let others take the spotlight.

When Sunday finally arrives and the Manchester sun has all but had its way with us, there is still no shortage of great bands to see. Against Me!, Dropkick Murphys, and Rise Against anchor another solid Sunday punk lineup at the This Tent. Other artists on my personal “want to see” list include Regina Spektor, They Might Be Giants, and Phoenix. Closing out the festival will be Dave Matthews Band. While I personally don’t think that Phish’s festival closing performance can be topped, I believe that DMB will put on a spirited set.

Come Monday, with bleary eyes we will pack our tents and make the long trek back to our hometowns. I have see license plates for states much further away than humble Ohio and it let’s me know how truly special events like Bonnaroo are. Friends and strangers coming together to enjoy some of the best music this world has to offer. Bonnaroo is a lot like Las Vegas. You always want to come back even if you barely slept the entire trip and got more drunk than you care to admit. The memories of amazing performances and times spent with friends will stick with you your whole life.


Entertain Your Gamer – PAX Impressions – Split/Second

One of the games that I was fortunate enough to get some time with at PAX East in Boston this past weekend was Split/Second.  Developed by UK based Black Rock Studios, which is itself a division of Disney Interactive.  Black Rock previously developed and released the ATV stunt racer Pure in 2008.  Split/Second is an upcoming arcade-style racer set for release on May 18th, 2010.  I got to play through the single race, single track demo that was on display twice.  With the game releasing in just over a month and a half I feel pretty confident in saying that we were being shown close to final code for the game.

Those of you that follow this blog may recall that I also gave some beta impressions for another soon-to-be-released arcade racing game called Blur which is set to release on May 25th.  For those that remember the third person character action game throwdown between Prototype and Infamous in 2009, you may already be asking yourself what differentiates Split/Second from other arcade style racers such as Blur, especially considering their close proximity of release.  While Blur can easily be boiled down to Mario Kart, but with real cars, Split/Second offers us something different.

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Entertain Your Gamer – Beta Impressions – Blur

If you are at least as old as I am then you should be able to think back and remember the late 90’s with relative ease.  Release in North America in 1997, Mario Kart 64 was arguably one of the most fun kart racing games ever released.  Playing four player split-screen games with friends was some of the most fun you could have on the console.  Skip ahead 13 years.  Bizarre Creations, creators of the venerable Project Gotham series of racing games, has taken its mind to creating a power based action racer.  March 8th marked the beginning of the semi-public multiplayer beta on Xbox Live.  If you remember Mario Kart fondly, then Blur is going to be right up your alley. Continue reading