Bonnaroo walkup

Kanye_lGreetings from Nashville, Tennessee, where I’m warming up for the biggest music festival of the summer. Hard to believe it’s been a year already, but Bonnaroo starts today — and I need your help! Seven stages/tents, plus comedy, plus movies… there’s no way one little girl and her camera can cover it alone. So if you’re not making it to the festival this year, let me know which acts you’d especially like to hear about (you can find the full schedule here); I’ll try to cover things that interest you guys, if they don’t interfere with the Drive By Truckers, Chris Rock, Willie Nelson, My Morning Jacket, Pearl Jam, Cat Power, etc. And if you’re stuck at home and bored, why not pitch in? You can hear/watch most things in the AT&T Blue Room — barring any unfortunate censorship scandals, that is, and did I mention Pearl Jam are on the bill this year? — so why not write up what you’re seeing in the comments? If we all work together, it’ll seem like there’s a lot more than one of me out in the fields of Manchester. Go team us!

And finally, I need your help with a prickly issue. Everyone’s favorite egomaniac-with-the-skills-to-back-it-up, Kanye West (pictured), is playing the ‘Roo in a Saturday slot that has recently been moved to (deep breath) 2:45-4:15 AM. That is AM, people, essentially a Sunday sunrise service. Now. I like Mr. West as much as the next person. I’m also a very highly functioning insomniac. But I find myself cringing at the thought of pushing through Phil Lesh, Sigur Ros, Ghostland Observatory, Lupe Fiasco, and like 15 minutes of Talib Kweli to get to this event, especially since every additional act I see has to be blogged about before Sunday morning dawns. So, PopWatchers: Given that Kanye has recently told my colleage Chris Willman to kill himself (and the rest of us on the EW staff to "f— off")… do I stick around or not?

addCredit(“Kanye West; Lester Cohen/WireImage.com”)


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  • t3hdow

    Personally, I wouldn’t do it out of spite. After years of EW giving West mostly positive cover story and decent reviews, it’s appalling that he has the gull to make such a petty rant. I’d at least understand if his thoughts had any legitimacy behind it, but he just sounds like he’s crying over it half the time without recognizing the praise Chris Willman gave him, in spite of stating he’s an egomaniac and a nut (which he is). The ironic part is that his complaints exacerbated those qualities instead of remedy them.
    Still, I lost all respect for him after that. Getting mad over a B- for Graduation is one thing (which wasn’t that stellar to me, so I agree with the grade). This took it to ridiculous lengths. The fact that most of his fanbase support his whining with ignorant rebuttals toward the naysayers pretty much turned me off to West completely.
    I’d say don’t give the idiot anymore attention, but if you really want to go in spite of West’s opinion of you, go and enjoy yourself.

  • coco

    Looking forward to your PEARL JAM coverage.
    About Kanye, I think that he is a great artist and his ego and rants are all part of his show. Don’t stay up just to cover him. That will sent him on another delicious public rant, which is far better than his music. (Make sure he knows that you purposely ignored him!!!)
    Have fun Whitney!

  • Nancy

    On Friday, you must see and report incessantly on The Swell Season, then swing over and catch the last of The Raconteurs. Skip Kanye — that show’s been overly hyped already. Thanks, Whittlz!

  • JK

    You have to see Kanye, he really is an incredible performer. And though I absolutely find it appaling that he said “go kill yourself” to an EW reporter, he did shed some light on that at the Atlanta concert. He said that after his mother died he created this concert as a response to everything he was feeling, and the “fair” review felt like an attack that he took to heart because the concert was so directly tied to his mother. He acknowledged he went too far with his words, but knowing the context makes it a littel easier to swallow, in my opinion anyways.
    You can do it! Load up on Red Bulls and coffee. I am jealous that you have that opportunity, can you imagine the electifying energy the crowd will have?

  • Nancy

    Would love to get a report on Sunday’s Robert Plant/Alison Krauss show, too!

  • Dave

    O.T.: Has anybody else had trouble getting Popwatch Blog to load properly in the past 2-3 weeks or is it just me?

  • amah

    West isn’t worth it. You wanna see a giant egomaniac demand god-worship, go for it. However, you should be so lucky to have to “push through” such amazing acts as Sigur Ros and Talib Kweli.

  • h

    Death Cab for Cutie

  • Martha

    I’d be interested in What Made Milwaukee Famous, Rilo Kiley, MMJ (12-3 AM, whoo hoo!), Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, and my favorite mopesters, Death Cab. I don’t think they’ll conflict with any of your favorites, though you probably won’t get much of a break. As for Kanye, I’d try to go despite all the hateration – when else are you going to see him at Bonnaroo?!? Have a great time, Whittlz!

  • Heather Wixson

    I know that JK explained what Kanye has gone on to say, putting his comments within the context he meant them…and as someone who saw his show here in Chicago a few weeks back, I would say that it would be worth it…I know he’s egomaniacal, and he sometimes says stupid things out of an emotional place, but the dude puts on a killer show and he’s got legitimate talent. And in fairness, I don’t think I have ever seen a concert where I was so mesmerized by just one guy on a stage so I probably would have graded the tour a bit higher too (and the album, which easily made me forget about Late Registration, which I just didn’t love like College Dropout)…so it’s a tough call. But I say it’s worth staying up late for. Hey, we all talk a lot of garbage I am sure- Kanye’s talk just gets noticed more than ours does, I am sure.

  • adri

    ignore west, he isn`t worth it

  • Stef

    I wouldn’t read the Kanye review if you wrote it, even though I read most of what you write.
    Dave, yes I’ve had trouble loading Popwatch the last couple of weeks also, I have to scroll down as what used to be the ‘center’ now loads below the lefthand frame.

  • Amasea

    honestly? f— him. I’m not a big Kanye fan to begin with, and hearing how he treats people has made me dislike him that much more. Write about how you DIDN’T go see him.

  • Jannie

    I would do as he asked—f&*k off. Not one more photo, mention (neg or pos), review—not one dot of ink should be spent on this egotistical, ungrateful, illiterate slob. See how he likes it.

  • daisyj

    I’d love it if you were able to report back on the sets from Iron & Wine and Aimee Mann. And how confusing are those stage names going to be?

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