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Angora Holly Polo

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Snobs in Hippieville: Our Guide to the 38th Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Posted: 06/ 3/11 06:27 PM ET

Music festivals are much like the Boy Scouts in that it's very important to be prepared. Being virgins to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival June 16th-19th, here's how representatives from the Donnybrook Writing Academy have prepared ourselves:

1.) Angora scored several frilly frocks from a clothing swap with a bunch of pretty, earthy girls who like song lyrics. You know the type. She thinks she will fit in nicely.

2.) Festival flags. These are items we have never previously come in contact with, but apparently "hippies" stake their territory at outdoor concerts with "festival flags" so they can find their way back to the group when they've taken too many "magic mushrooms."

3.) We received a hot tip that if you want to do said "magic mushrooms," just ride the Gondola around till you find some. We've only heard of these "magic mushrooms," but they sound delightful.

4.) Perhaps most importantly, we've made a list of bands to see. Said list is below. See you in the most gorgeous place ever!

Thursday, June 16th @ 12:15 - 1:30 PM: The Head and the Heart


Remember those pretty, earthy girls who like song lyrics and wear frilly frocks? Well, they've been going crazy for the Head and the Heart for a minute. We won't even get into how crazy. And while we thought the Pitchfork review about the two lead singers trying to out-earnest each other was funny, we still have an earnest desire to see them live to see what all the fuss is about.


Thursday, June 16th @ 5:15 - 6:30 PM: Steve Earle


Our coworker Miles is obsessed with Steve Earle, and we think he's pretty special too. He's a novelist, activist, he was on The Wire, and as far as storytelling songwriters go, this ex-addict, Townes van Zandt-obsessed old dude is probably one of the best. Produced by T Bone Burnett, his newest album, I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive, was released April 26th to favorable reviews.


Thursday, June 16th @ 7:00 - 8:30 PM: Sarah McLachlan


Nowadays, her music reminds us of sad animal rights videos. But we predict this show will take us back to our adolescence, which was steeped in sweet Sarah. She whispered to our hearts on a daily basis. And now we're whispering back: SARAHHH. SARRRRAHHH. Remember sitting in your living room, blasting Sarah and singing along to "Possession" with your older sister? Me neither. I wouldn't do that. Can someone please hold me?


Friday, June 17th @ 10 - 11am: Joe Pug


DREAMBOAT ALERT! We appreciate any man who can sing songs with a wisdom far beyond his years, all while looking like James Dean.


Friday, June 17th @ 4:30 - 5:45pm: Trampled by Turtles


Holy shit! These dudes are so badass! Watch these guys for two minutes and your jaw will be on the floor from the sheer display of hillbilly virtuosity, or what they call "thrash-grass." TBT are positively taking off in their career. Also, they're recurring tour buddies with the band we work with, These United States. Great taste! We hear their live show is not to be missed.


Saturday, June 18th @ 6:15 - 7:30pm: The Decemberists


Being wordsmiths, we've always been fans of Colin Meloy's clever lyrical verbosity, and enjoyed the band in the first year of Monolith. We're hoping for some crazy crowd involvement this time around, like maybe they'll make us scream like we're being consumed by a whale or something.


Saturday, June 18th @ 10:30 - Midnight: Old Crow Medicine Show


How could you go to Telluride Bluegrass and not see an old-timey string band from Nashville, Tennessee? Old Crow Medicine show finished up the coolest tour ever: the Railroad Revival Tour with Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. "Traveling exclusively in vintage railcars, the three bands will journey across the American Southwest over the course of a week." Someone give these bands an award to old-timey commitment! You can read their tour diaries here. They also have an excellent resume, playing Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, and Telluride, naturally.

Also, they appear to be dumpster-diving in their press photo. Can someone please feed these poor fellows?


Sunday, June 18th @ 7:15 - 8:30pm: Mumford & Sons


These four West Londoners shouldn't be news to anyone, having recently exploded on the national scene (stealing the show at the Grammys, fer chrissakes) with their brand of old-time charm mixed with youthfulness and great energy. They also hold the acclaimed status of being the first band in a decade to be booked two consecutive years for this here bluegrass festival.

Their common goal is "to make music that matters, without taking themselves too seriously" -- which seems to be what they're busy at right now, as they've recently made a request to Londoners on their blog saying they need ten pianos, without explaining why. This pleases us greatly. We can only hope they are shipping the pianos out to Telluride for some spectacular surprise. Doable, yes?

 

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