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The end of Bon Iver? Frontman Justin Vernon says he's 'winding down'

Bon Iver: What’s up with that?

Even though Music Mix just saw Justin Vernon’s Grammy-winning group play not only the vaunted Radio City Hall this week but also the haunted (okay, not really, but wouldn’t that be cool?) synagogue last night, the man himself claims that the venerable indie-rock brand is in its final throes.

When asked about the status of Bon Iver during an interview with Minnesota’s left-of-the-dial radio station 89.3 (a.k.a. The Current), the hipster fitness guru said the following:


Bon Iver at Radio City Music Hall: On the scene

Image Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC

Last night, Bedford Ave. awoke to find itself in the heart of midtown.

Radio City Music Hall, that gilded palace of pop, teemed with flannel and fitted jeans, nose rings and horn-rimmed glasses, as Brooklyn’s poster children amassed to see their ambassador to planet earth: Bon Iver.

Anaïs Mitchell, whose 2010 folk opera Hadestown featured Iver’s Justin Vernon as the mythical bard Orpheus, opened the night with a short set that was pleasant but unremarkable. Her voice, a perennially youthful coo, lacks emotional range; happy or sad, every song sounds like it’s sung by your perky younger sister. It makes for an endearing stage presence—she totally pulls off phrases like “super rad”—but isn’t particularly affecting. Only when she closed with Hadestown’s funereal “Why We Build the Wall” did the material reach beyond typical indie folk.

Bon Iver’s set, the second of a multi-night stand at Radio City, began with the sound of wind chimes – a suitable entrance, given For Emma Forever Ago’s front-porch intimacy. But this tour isn’t supporting that record; it’s supporting last year’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver, an album whose approach to folk is decidedly maximalist and layered. As such, Vernon took the stage accompanied by eight other musicians: two drummers, two guitarists, a bassist, a violinist, and three horn players. To recreate the album’s grandeur apparently requires a small army. READ FULL STORY

Coachella 2012: Five questions going into this weekend

It’s April, and that means that it’s time to head to the desert for this year’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (or simply Coachella, if you’re nasty). This year’s festival takes place over two separate weekends. Starting today, the lineup will run through Sunday, and then next Friday (April 20), the same lineup will do it again.

This year’s top-liners include Radiohead, the Black Keys, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg, Bon Iver, At the Drive-In, Florence + the Machine, Pulp, and a ton of dance-music folk like Swedish House Mafia and AVICII. If you’re headed out to the desert or are just curious about the first big event of the summer festival season, here are the five questions that most need answering.

Is Eminem going to crash another party like he did at SXSW? READ FULL STORY

Bonnaroo lineup announced: Radiohead, Bon Iver, Skrillex heading to Tennessee

South by Southwest is right around the corner, and Coachella’s already prepping its polo grounds for a two-weekend extravaganza, which means it’s time to look forward to that third major warm-climate festival: Bonnaroo.

Manchester, Tenn.’s second most exciting tourist attraction (we see you, Old Stone Fort!) will take place June 7-10 this year, and its newly announced lineup is as impressive as ever. Perhaps the biggest headliner are Radiohead (who are also doing Coachella); also on the top of the masthead are the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Phish, who are no strangers to Bonnaroo’s muddy festivities.

Some of the fest’s bigger acts — many of which you may remember from the Grammys — include Skrillex, the Shins, Bon Iver, Bad Brains, the Civil Wars, comedian Aziz Ansari, and the reunited Beach Boys (hopefully without Foster the People, though they will be there too).

Of course, there’s many, many more. Check out the full list of artists below:


Backstage at the Grammys: Winners Adele, Bon Iver, Lady Antebellum, and more talk awards, Houston's legacy

About an hour after the Grammys were over, it was still unclear whether Adele was going to come backstage and talk to reporters, but suddenly the unmistakable a cappella strains of “Rolling in the Deep” came floating down the hall outside the press room and the woman of the hour appeared.

When asked how being silenced by throat surgery affected her this year, Adele was open and honest. “It’s been really, really peaceful. I’ve never been happier. I found great happiness when I was ill.” And as for that ex-boyfriend? “I think he’d be very happy for me.” Winning all six categories she was nominated in, Adele was humble but not modest. “I’m very, very proud of myself. It’s incredible.” READ FULL STORY

Bon Iver scores upset victory for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards

Unlike past years, the 2012 version of the Grammy Awards was not a particularly shock-filled show. Most of the awards went to Adele, so it’s telling that the one big left-field selection came in a category that did not feature the big-voiced Brit.

When it came time to announce the winner for Best New Artist (awarded by the charming tag team of Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood), any one of the five names nominated could have walked away with the award. (Well, OK, everybody except J. Cole.)

But while many, including Las Vegas bookies, thought that Nicki Minaj would walk away with the gold, the name in the envelope ended up being Bon Iver.

It was clearly an uncomfortable moment for Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon, who had already won a prize earlier in the night for Best Alternative Album. In the weeks leading up to the Grammys, he had said dismissive things about the show, noting that he was not interested in winning awards nor did he want to perform unless he was allowed to play his own songs. Would his victory turn into a Fiona Apple moment?

When he finally stepped up to the microphone, Vernon did mention that the joy of making music was reward enough, but he was also gracious in thanking the voters, other nominees, and musicians who would never be nominated. He also gave a shout-out to his label Jagjaguwar, in what is almost certainly the first time that tiny indie shingle has been called out on the Grammy stage.

What did you think of Vernon’s victory and speech? Did you notice that Minaj looked super upset when they announced Bon Iver’s name? Drop your best new thoughts in the comments.

Grammys 2012: The Winners
Jennifer Hudson pays tribute to Whitney Houston
Grammys 2012: Complete Coverage
Adele makes triumphant post-surgery return at Grammys

The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg to headline Coachella fest


The Black Keys and Radiohead, plus a double bill of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg lead the lineup for this spring’s annual Coachella Music and Arts festival in Indio, Calif. The event spans two weekends this year, April 13-15 and April 20-22. In addition to the headliners, dozens of buzzworthy bands, both new and old, will perform, including Bon Iver, the Arctic Monkeys, M83, Florence + the Machine, and punk icons the Buzzcocks. The full lineup was posted on the festival’s Facebook page today.

The festival will run two identical weekends this year for the first time ever, with all of the acts signed on to perform both weekends. Rumors ranging about who would play the festival had been running rampant around the Web practically since last year’s festival ended.

Who are you most excited to see at Coachella?

Read more:
Black Keys dismiss Nickelback as ‘watered-down, post-grunge crap’
Snoop Dogg arrested for marijuana possession

Grammy nominees list 2012


Kanye West’s seven nominations leads the pack of 54th Annual Grammy Award nominees — announced  with great fanfare at Wednesday night’s now-traditional Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! (read our on-the-scene report) — though he was nearly shut out in all major categories other than Song of the Year. Adele, Foo Fighters, and Bruno Mars follow with six, and Lil Wayne and Skrillex each earned five.

The awards ceremony will air live on CBS on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET.

Record of the Year
Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
Bon Iver, “Holocene”
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave”
Katy Perry, “Firework”

Song of the Year
Kanye West, “All of the Lights”
Mumford & Sons, “The Cave”
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Bon Iver, “Holocene”
Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”

Best New Artist
The Band Perry
Bon Iver
J. Cole
Nicki Minaj

Album of the Year
Adele, 21
The Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
Lady Gaga, Born This Way
Bruno Mars, Doo-wops and Hooligans
Rihanna, Loud

For the full list of nominees beyond those announced tonight on the live Grammy concert telecast, go the Academy’s official site here.

ALSO: On the scene at the 2012 Grammy Nominations Concert: Best and worst moments

Kanye West mesmerizes tiny NYC club with 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy': On the scene

kanye-westImage Credit: Walik Goshorn/Retna Ltd.The hundreds of people crammed awkwardly onto the sidewalk outside NYC’s Bowery Ballroom around midnight last night were there for one reason. It wasn’t to hear Kanye West deliver a free-associative monologue about the media, George W. Bush, and Taylor Swift, though maybe that wasn’t a complete surprise when it happened almost three hours later. No, most of us were there for the music. On Monday, West released My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, an album that just might be his best ever. Yesterday morning he announced a surprise show at the Bowery, a storied little club on Manhattan’s Lower East Side that fits 550 people, tops. Chances to see the day’s most talked-about star in such an intimate venue don’t come along every day, so downtown we flocked. READ FULL STORY

'Dark Was the Night' at Radio City Music Hall: Bon Iver steals the show

Boniver_lThe National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Red Hot Organization’s John Carlin have plenty to be proud of. Their years of hard work not only produced Dark Was the Night, a 31-track double album featuring brand-new songs from some of the biggest names in indie rock (including Bon Iver, pictured), but also a terrific benefit concert last night at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. (At the show, Carlin said they have collectively raised over $10 million benefitting HIV/AIDS awareness and research.) So, how was last night’s concert? In a word: fantastic. In another word: collaborative. Click through the jump for an artist-by-artist breakdown of the night’s festivities.


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