Donnybrook Does Monolith….Twice!!
That’s right, kiddos. The second installment of DONNYBROOK’S MONOLITH RUNNING DIARY!!!!!
12:30: Gigantic breakfast at Sunrise Sunset.
Angora: The breakfast is amazing, but we’re kind of feeling eh. We chug coffee and then tailgate and chug screwdrivers and beer. Guido vomits. I weakly hold my PBR, and feel frail on the rocky ground in my high-heeled boots. We crawl into Red Rocks.
Ivyy: We’re tailgating next to some dudes who are writing about Monolith using an old-fashioned typewriter. Freakin’ ludites. Well I’M using pen and paper to take my blog notes, thank you very much. Check Mate, Mr. Typewriter man. Also, one of them is wearing a shirt that says “Fuck Dylan”. I can’t tell if he’s being ironic or if he really honestly doesn’t like Dylan. If it’s the latter, this would put his shirt in “double-back irony” territory, which only the most Advanced Hipster can successfully master.
(this hardcore writing session was captured by www.28deep.com)
2:00: Laylights at the New Belgium stage.
Ivyy: Confession: I never really loved Laylights all that much. I mean, I thought their big draw was that they’re four cute boys in a rock band. But hearing them today on the New Belgium stage, I understand the hype. They’re 4 solid musicians playing competent rock. They write decent music, but perform the hell out of it. Earnest conservatory rock. Every note sounds like it was thought out, debated on, and finally chosen.
Oh and also they’re four cute boys in a rock band. Never underestimate that. I grab an EP and head out.
2:30: Via Audio.
Angora: Crazy people, freaking out, fits of insanity, bossa nova, hilarity, funny faces, R & B, cute girl, weirdness and delight.
Bob Log III:
Ivyy: Bob Log III starts his next song with “Hellooooooooo San Diegoooooooo!!!!!!” Ha! Giggle giggle. I love that.
(this psychotic hillbilly spell was captured by www.28deep.com)
Angora: Bob Log is a twisted hillbilly from the future. He wears a space helmet with a telephone lodged in it. He plays abrasive electric distorted hillbilly music, and he’s quite the spectacle in black shiny spandex with rhinestones.
He has a song called "Boob Scotch" where the theme seems to be quite simple: he passes around an alcoholic beverage and girls literally put their boobs in the drink, and at the end he drinks it and talks about how great it tastes.
Then he introduces a love song. He wants to sing a love song to a special lady….and also another special lady. Two special ladies! But he needs two chick volunteers. Nicole and Fun Jen! sit on both his knees, and he bounces them around while simultaneously playing the kick drum and the guitar and singing. It’s impressive, bouncy, and highly inappropriate.
3:15: Rock room stage, Stranger Lazy.
Ivyy: HEY it’s the dude wearing the Fuck Dylan shirt, he’s the lead singer of Bloomington Indiana band Stranger Lazy! So the shirt WAS worn in true double-back irony fashion!! Well played, sir!
3:30: The Little Ones on the main stage.
Angora: They are on the main stage so they fill their floatey flutey folk music throughout the entire arena. It’s light, happy, like Abba or Swedish pop or Belle and Sebastian. But not too fruity. It’s good. Girls wearing whimsical hats dance around like little flowers. We start to notice the crazed festival fans: people wearing really weird things. Dinosaur costumes. Tiger ears. Full body suits. Bumblebees. Presumably Lips fans.
Ivyy: I just wandered into the Artist tent as if I totally belong there, and it totally worked!!! It’s empty except for one guy, who is probably totally a famous rockstar and if I were actually a music journalist I would know who he was. As it is, I don’t, which leaves me more comfortable to make awkward small talk with him while I’m digging around the cooler for a beer (Donnybrook Writing Academy Rule Number 1- never pay for drinks if there’s a way to get them for free).
4:30: Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos.
Angora: Margot’s energy is slow, alt rocky, chamber poppy, sometimes orchestral and swelling. I give Richard (the lead singer) a hard time. He has an adult contemporary voice, and plus when we stayed in the same house at South Park Music Festival we had to listen to him have sex with some girl. In that adult contemporary voice. And it was awkward.
We walk up the stairs and Laurie takes our photo while Earl Greyhound floats behind us in the picture.
Before Matt and Kim I run into awesome Westword writers Eric Eyl and Cory Casciato.
5:10: Matt and Kim.
Angora: They start and abruptly stop and tweak the fuck out!:
"Hey guys we are Matt and Kim and we’re so excited and how are you, Kim? Can you believe we made it here? I am so excited Ohmygod we were in Vegas, andwetookacarandthecarwaslate, and wetookaplaneandtheplanewaslate, and I got really sick ontheplane and got here and I breathed the air, and now I feel fucking great! Ready, Kim? Let’s go!" The crowd explodes! And they launch into raw kickin drum beat and rough synthesizer and clever lyrics and dancey-dancey hot pink boing boing, yeah yeah, yeah yeah.
(This coked-out moment was captured by www.28deep.com)
They seem like best friends having sugar-fueled fun in their mom’s living room. A skinny hipster boy in a fluorescent green shirt loses his shit on the dance floor in the row ahead of us. He has purple dancing pants!
Someone is pointing their camera back at themselves, instead of at this great band rocking out; presumably they are shooting a live Myspace photo sesh at the Matt and Kim show.
I later see Matt a couple rows behind us during the Flaming Lips, singing along blissfully to "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots." Those are good kids, Matt and Kim. You could bring them home to Mom and play Atari with them while eating Coco Puffs. Especially on cocaine.
Ivyy: Ok ok I know every blogger at Monolith is gonna talk about how happy Matt & Kim are, and they will all be right. At one point during the set, Matt actually says “I don’t know, Kim, maybe our plane crashed? Because being here, in these mountains, with all these beautiful people, this MUST be heaven!” Smile smile smile. Really, dude? It’s that great? I mean, I’m having fun and all, but c’mon!!!
4:30: Artist’s tent!
Ivyy: I’m back in the Artist tent chilling with three out of four Laylights (Donnybrook Writing Academy Rule Number 2- Never hang out with normal people if you can hang out with famous people instead). We discuss marriage and rockstardom, New York, and the fact that I’m not an Artist and possibly not even allowed in the Artist tent, and yet here I am drinking the last beer while they look on, thirsty.
5:40: Main stage, Brian Jonestown Massacre.
Ivyy: Is Anton gonna be surly? Yes? If you said yes, you were right.
(this surly tantrum was captured by www.28deep.com)
Angora: No one takes me seriously as I try to get down to the main stage for Brian Jonestown Massacre*. The people who do come are like, "Seriously? You mean you actually want to go all the way down to watch?"
Anton pretty much plays everything himself on the albums, and so there’s this low-fi rawness about it that I love. It’s just not the same live, with other musicians. Plus Anton keeps antagonizing the audience, like, "Yeah, not like YOU give a fuck about anything!" But Joel Gion is back, the tambourine man!
(These incredible sideburns were captured by www.28deep.com)
Jim from cat-a-tac* is determined to inform Joel that he’s going to have Joel’s babies. Or Joel’s going to have his babies. He and his girlfriend pose for pics and try to invoke the air of one pregnant with Joel’s babies. Where are those, 28 Deep? Yo?
Our friend Amanda informs us through a cruel twist of fate she’s had to abandon her underwear and as she put it, she’s now "free-vaggin’ it." Apparently she was using the ladies’ room, and her panties fell on the gross floor, so she’d rather throw them in the trash than get festival herpes. Look, let’s see if we can see anything:
Amanda, Ivyy, Angora, Jim at BJM. www.28deep.com
Back to BJM: Anton keeps going back stage for costume changes that the entire crowd can see. "Whooo, Beyonce!" we cheer. Three costume changes!
When Anton is just over it, he signals to a dude who gets on the mic and says a long cursing sentence in what might be Icelandic, then he grabs the amp and drags it away, tearing the plugs out of the outlets. The show is over.
7:00: Art Brut*. I’m talking music with Western Homes when Art Brut kick up the drums and launch into the greatest art punk rock show of all! I’ve seen them in close quarters, known to tear the shit out of the Hi-Dive, break glass, grab boobies, and generally sing-talk and rock the joint until it’s about to explode. But in an arena, a giant amphitheatre – it’s even better! They have a big, vibrant simple sound condusive to open spaces, and they do cool little montages of their songs, jumping between "Formed a Band" and "Brand New Girlfriend," then they all freeze like statues, then they rock back into existence and the crowd goes wild! Wild! We’re all yelling along: "I’ve seen her naked!! TWICE!! I SAW HER NAKED!! TWICE!!!!"
8:30- Main stage, Spoon SPOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!
(If you don’t know who took this photo, then GET OUT!)
Ivyy: I’m pretty much totally gay for this band, so the next hour for me is happy happy dance dance Spoooooooooooonnnnnnnnn.
9:35: Smoking and spotting Eddie.
Ivyy: On the stairs having a smoke, waiting for The Flaming Lips to come on, Eddie Freakin’ Argos from Art Brut walks right by. Angora, ever the debutante, screams “Eddie!!!!!!!” He looks over at us. I wave and smile. He waves back. At a complete loss, I for some reason yell “Thank you!!!!” He looks rightfully confused and moves on. I feel like Baby in that one scene in Dirty Dancing, “I carried a watermelon?!”
10:00: The Flaming Lips*.
While the Lips are setting up, Wayne Coyne occasionally blasts swirls of curling confetti into the crowd to work us up. I feel like someone has slipped me some uppers. I am actually anxious, feeling like my heart is going to burst. It’s kind of adorable.
When the show starts, dozens of bouncing Santas and Santa-ettes rustle on either side of the stage. The crowd is screaming, they arrange themselves into a little bridge to the crowd; Wayne emerges in his bubble and it’s AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve seen the bubble walk from afar; I’d remembered it being smooth, like Jesus walking on water. Wayne is adorable, like a little toddler or something, rolling around. It looks difficult, walking in that bubble. He falls down a lot, he rolls, but maybe he’s just sayin’ hi to the crowd. Maybe Red Rocks isn’t the best place for a bubble walk?
Hundreds of giant green balloons cascade down from the top of the arena. The night sky is filled with explosions of confetti, balloons, and fingers outstretched.
The Lips are experimental, but they know how to work it. They give us the pop stuff, the "Free Radicals," pretty early on. Seeing it live, with all the explosions, is something I’ll never forget.
Wayne stops to talk and his giant face is distorted onto an LCD screen, like he’s from the future or something. He gives us wisdom, makes us sing. You know when you’re going to a Lips show it’s going to be a little touchy-feely. A little hippie. Like the end of "When the Grinch Stole Christmas." I can’t help but feel a little sappy, misty-eyed almost, since it’s the end of the fest and I need sleep.
But my favorite Lips songs are the rockin’ ones. Like "W.A.N.D." When they play "W.A.N.D." I lose my shit. The entire festival is a blur and I’m screaming and jumping up and down like someone is dying right next to me. It doesn’t matter that people around me are discussing Tylenol and sitting down. I am a dancing idiot.
The night wraps up and everyone is feeling ill, quite frankly. We go home. I wish I could say we rested up the next day…but, dear readers, instead, we wrote this story for you.
Consumed at the festival:
3 Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
2 oz. Dry roasted almonds
4 vitamin waters
4 oz. Raspberry vodka
1 Macadamia White Chocolate Cookie
Times up and down the Red Rocks stairs: 12
Bands seen: 22
Awkward semi-drunken conversation with people whose names I didn’t remember: 3
Awkward semi-drunken conversation with people who I at one time or another had a crush on, whose names I don’t remember: 45
Smashing good times, I say.