This Friday afternoon masses of New York City music fans will escape the confines of their cubicles to take the annual June journey across the Triborough Bridge to see their favorite bands perform at Governors Ball on Randall's Island. If you're one of the many who will be enduring such a quest, you've surely been CC'd on inner-office e-mail chains of your coworkers' planned itineraries. Nina in accounting is going ape-shit because she can't miss Bastille who has that "Ay-ooh" song she blasts incessantly, and Rich in IT is so stoked on Skrillex. But you know you shouldn't listen to Nina, she has a framed picture of her cat on her desk. And Rich is a condescending ass. There must be something better. Right? YES...
1. Jason Isbell
Friday, 1:30 PM @ GovBallNYC Stage
The name of this former Drive-By Trucker had circulated our office for some time, however, it wasn't until Jason Isbell opened up on Marc Maron's WTF Podcast that I truly understood what all of the hype was about. The no-bullshit representative of what country music should and could be unloaded his heart-crunching single "Elephant" from his 2013 solo LP Southeastern
, and I've since been sold. Isbell will be a perfect, ease-in intro to what's to come throughout the weekend.
2. Washed Out
Friday, 3:45 PM @ Gotham Tent
For one, you'll want to escape the teen chick craze that will be swarming the opposing stage where Bastille will be performing. Also, Washed Out's easy-to-digest Paracosm
vibes will surely lure in some sophisticated talent...you know who I'm talking about gentlemen...the hipster smoke-shows love this stuff.
3. Damon Albarn
Friday, 9:15 PM @ Honda Stage
I know what you're thinking: Damon Albarn, a sleeper?! Well, on Friday night Albarn will be playing opposite everyone's 2014 festival must-see act OutKast, but we'll be focusing our 90s nostalgic attention on the former Blur frontman whose 2014 solo release Everyday Robots
oozes with beautifully composed introspective weirdness.
4. Diarrhea Planet
Saturday, 12:45 PM @ Big Apple Stage
This Nashville six-piece will suit your Saturday morning wake-up better than any cup of New York designer Joe. I mean, for starters, four of their six pieces are electric guitars. Their latest LP I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
presents us with 13 raucous tracks and each shouts its own outrageous concoction of party-anthem influences.
Saturday, 2:15 PM @ Gotham Tent
Although they boast an atypical style for mainstream festival stages, Deafheaven's ethereal brand of black metal is incomparable to any offering at Governors Ball. The vocals and drum, both insanely volatile, contrast the remarkably atmospheric melodies of the songs on their latest LP Sunbather
. If the crowd's a bit rough, just stand in the back and watch in awe and remember to pick your jaw up off the ground before you leave.
6. The Kills
Sunday, 5:45 PM @ Big Apple Stage
The Kills are one of music's most enigmatic duos, and having not released an album since 2011's lethally toned Blood Pressures
, who knows what's to come during their Sunday evening GovBall appearance. According to a recent interview
, Alison Mosshart claims their forthcoming record will be different than anything they've ever released, and that her partner Jamie Hince has been drawing inspiration from dubstep and reggae. Wait...what?