February 21, 2012


10 Reasons to Go to NYC Fest Governors Ball

Jonathan Wood
Jonathan Wood

What are you doing June 23 and 24? If you're in New York (or feel like road trippin'), Beck, Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, Duck Sauce and Chromeo will be among 25 bands to appear at the Governors Ball Music Festival at Randall's Island. Now in its second year (making it a veteran by New York festival standards), we're excited for a slew of reasons. Here's our top 10.

And feel free to vibe out to our Governors Ball playlist on our Spotify app, featuring tracks from all 25 acts.

1. It’s Beck’s first New York show in four years: Minus his contributions to the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack and some productions for other artists, our favorite troubadour has been pretty silent since 2008's Modern Guilt. Does this mean a new album is on the way?

2. It’s expanded to two days: The festival will now take place over the course of a weekend. And while you can't camp out on Randall's Island (and you really wouldn't want to if you could, trust me), organizers can now space out performances to avoid overlapping acts.

3. It’s more diverse: Last year's inaugural festival went pretty hard on dance and hip hop, but more days means more diversity. As the organizers themselves noted, "There will be a distinct vibe to each day, with Saturday mirroring the lineup featured at Governors Ball 2011, and Sunday's bill focusing primarily on the expanded genres [of indie rock, americana and pop]."

4. LCD Soundsystem is sortakindaalittle Back!: Fine, James Murphy retired his band last year, but Special Disco Version, his DJ set with fellow LCDer Pat Mahoney, remains in full effect.

5. They spent a lot of work on the preview video: Please welcome The Dancebulance (which we assume is a real thing in Brooklyn), soundtracked by Chromeo, Beck, Duck Sauce and Penguin Prison.

6. Duck Sauce (and their face crotches) will be there: We'll assume you've seen the "Big Bad Wolf" video, featuring Duck Sauce members Armand Van Helden and A-Trak as other, uh, members. Imagine what they'll do live.

7. They'll be lots of non-music stuff: Organizers will feature art installations throughout the festival and "highly regarded" NYC food trucks (read: those that won't give you food poisoning). There will also be "high-end beer, wine and spirits," so you can daintily sip on your Chateau Le Pin Pomerol 1999 while nodding maturely to Major Lazer.

8. Explosions in the Sky's live sets: If you haven't seen this Austin quartet's live show, think epic, orchestral three-guitar assaults; the bombast of Godspeed You! Black Emperor meets the aggressiveness of Metallica. Always mind-numbing.

9. Shuttle bus service direct from Williamsburg: Because the organizers know their audience.

10. An unannounced special guest: Check the lineup, specifically the part that says "????? ?????." Is that code for a two-word artist with five letters in each name?  Fleet Foxes? James Blake? Atlas Sound?! We don't know, but all the more reason to go to find out (at least until it leaks on Brooklyn Vegan next week). [UPDATE: It's Fiona Apple. YESSSS!!]