After the lineup release I noticed that the inclusion or exclusion of certain artists bred a visceral response on the internet. No one was more polarizing than Bjork. Let me paraphrase a few comments:
- She is too avant garde for Bonnaroo
- Who the *** is Bjork? Is that the Swan dress woman?
- Why is ranked so high on the lineup? She hasn’t been relevant since the 90’s.
- Why aren’t there more jam bands?
In reality the comments were way more virulent or eloquent than that. And to be honest, I’m not sure how many people I can convert to team Bjork. But I will try to give you 4 reasons why she deserves to be on the lineup.
Bjork has consistently released music, toured, and landed television appearances on the international stage for 25+ years. Her strongest advocates will be the 14-24 year olds from 1993- 1997 where she released her biggest commerical successes (Post, Debut, Homogenic). Those are Bonnaroo’s heavily represented Gen X (and older Gen Y) crowds. This is the Music Video generation, the same people who were chomping at the bit over last year’s Radiohead.
She is not a reunion or revival act. She has continued to evolve and remain at a steady pace of relevance.
For those unfamilair with her discography, how can I describe her sound? Well, her sound may not be as consistent. You always know that her work will be strongly emotional, her piercing vocals create an animalistic story, and often each song is a smaller part on overall artistic aesthetic. To break it down in simpler genres influences:
- pop rock
- gregorian chant
- ??? - she created instruments specifically for work on Biophilia SEE BELOW
There is always something new to discover. Which is the essence of Bonnaroo.
The Live Experience
Admittedly, I’ve never seen her live. Please pretend that I’m credible on this front based on my excitement. Through her tv appearances and other reviews I have gathered that she puts on an aurally and visually compelling show. If you saw the Flaming Lips in 2010 at Bonnaroo, think on that level. Sometimes a heavily visual show will distract you from the lacking showmanship of an artist. I feel that Bjork’s staging only adds to the environment she is creating through her music.
Conversely, she can continue to compell you in stripped down staging.
The above are reasons why she should elicit buzz just landing on the lineup. But her thick resume is why she should be ranked at #4.
- 13 Grammy nominations, 2 Golden Globe nominations, 1 Academy Award nomination
- Over 15 million albums sold
- Creating more than just an album-Biophilia interacts with the Ipad
- Continues to be politically active- supporting independence for Kosovo to Tibet
- Internationally recognizable- once punched a paparazzi
- She keeps creating even if a project isn’t commercially successful
- And she won at Cannes for her performance in “Dancer in the Dark”. This makes me hurt so bad inside: