Governors Ball 2012: Saturday Vs. Sunday In The World Series Of "Can New York Host A Music Festival"?

Jillian Mapes
Fiona Apple at Governors Ball on Sunday. Check out our gallery of pictures from the festival.
This weekend, Governors Ball took over Randall's Island for the latest installment of "Can New York City Host Its Own Major Music Festival?" Founders Entertainment, organizers of the second annual fest (that's what All Points West said, too), decided to go the "diverse" route, but at least they were nice enough to not get too mix-and-match, splitting up the lineup roughly day-by-day. Saturday could have been called the dance-y day, or the spring break day; its lineup included Passion Pit, Chromeo, Kid Cudi, Major Lazer, Santigold and Duck Sauce. Sunday, meanwhile, was a bit of a late '90s alt-rock time warp, with Beck, Fiona Apple, Modest Mouse and Built to Spill headlining amidst guitar-based indie bands from this era.

Sunday was visibly more well-attended—but does that mean it "won" the weekend? Taste is subjective—that much we can all agree on—so if you're a rave kid, you'd probably say Saturday won, whereas pretty much everyone else would say Sunday won (Beck's first NYC show in four years!). Since music festivals are often about the overall experience anyway, Sound of the City decided to measure the other ways that festival can satisfy—or annoy—attendees, using a 10-point rating system to score certain intangibles head-to-head (as well as a few bonus categories). Like golf, the goal is to have the lowest score in order to win. Which day emerged victorious? The answer below.

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Kid Cudi Gets Emo On WZRD

Last week, as projections of blinking eyeballs danced across the wall of Soho's W.i.P. during the album preview of WZRD (Wicked Awesome/HeadBanga Muzik/Universal Republic), one couldn't help but draw parallels between the distressed protagonist of Vladimir Nabokov's The Eye, Smurov, and Kid Cudi, who makes up one half of the record's titular duo. The perception and nebulousness of identity is at the heart of Nabokov's novel, and WZRD will inevitably inspire people to scratch their heads (and, in some cases, jeer) at the idea of who, exactly, Kid Cudi is. At last week's session, the man who helped make skinny jeans and backpacks fashionable in certain hip-hop circles was a sight to behold, wearing a fantastic bedazzled Prada shirt (it shimmered under the dim pink lights), Balmain jeans and Converse. His short 'fro was traded in for a smooth, pressed look somewhat reminiscent of soul singers of yore. "He's rock 'n' roll now," noted a confused onlooker.

WZRD isn't the next chapter in Cudi's Man on the Moon trifecta, nor is it really a hip-hop album at all. alt-rock stalwarts like Nirvana and The Pixies, it's a confusing and depressing—but, like Cudi himself, ultimately engaging—record.

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Oddsmaker: Do Beyoncé And André 3000 Have Enough Swagu To Beat Kanye And His Dozens Of Friends At The Grammys?

The Grammys created the awkwardly named Best Rap/Sung Collaboration category ten years ago, around the time Ja Rule's various "thug love" duets were dominating the airwaves. The award recognized a growing sector of popular music that didn't quite fit into the preexisting rap, R&B or pop song awards, and its creation was a prescient move. In 2001, 13% of Billboard's Year-End Hot 100 Songs featured at least one rapper and one singer; in 2011 that number had doubled to 26% (after peaking at 33% in 2010). The category's a little more unpredictable this year, as NARAS snubbed the biggest dancefloor-friendly rapped-and-sung hits of the year ("Give Me Everything," "Party Rock Anthem," "On The Floor," "E.T.") in favor of more urban radio fare.

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Live: Kid Cudi Is The Nightcap At Terminal 5

Bacardi "Like It Live" With Kid Cudi
Terminal 5
Monday, June 13

Better than: Sleeping. Just kidding!

The thought behind Bacardi's "Like It Live" marketing campaign is simple: if people "like" something on Facebook, they must love it in real life. So as soon as you put a bunch of "like"-able things in one big room—say, one the size of Terminal 5 —that event automatically becomes one to remember, a night that will never be topped.

But that's not true at all. You throw a bunch of shit together and you get a Turducken.

You "like" Playboy bunnies? They're having a pillow fight (sort of) in the middle of the crowd. You "like" video games? Here's an arcade in the entryway. You "like" basketball? The very-retired Allan Houston and Ron Harper are going to go on the roof and teach you how to hoop (assuming they remember)!

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Live: Kanye West's Big And Loud And Secret Show

Kanye West w/Pusha T, CyHi Da Prince, Mr. Hudson, Big Sean, and Kid Cudi
Skylight One Hanson
Thursday, June 9

Better than: Not being let in.

Thunder shook Brooklyn, drops of rain fell, and over a thousand people took refuge in Skylight One Hanson, inside the old Williamsburg Savings Bank, for a much whispered-about Kanye West show. We were the chosen ones. If the world was going to end, at least we would be safe behind a velvet rope.

Every recent Kanye concert in New York has been an exercise in power and validation. There was last summer's early-hours secret show at The Box, last November's hundred-dollar VIP scramble at the Bowery Ballroom, and now this. Details, few and far between, had been saved for but a few "influencers." Couldn't get a ticket? You probably didn't deserve one.

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Live: The Preposterous Supergroup That Is Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, Kid Cudi, and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij


Bethany Cosentino, Kid Cudi, and Rostam Batmanglij
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Tuesday, July 20

It was just two weeks ago that Converse attempted to answer the "Hey, What if Kid Cudi, Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij Made a Song Together??" question, hosting the three disparate musicians on one jovial, summer-themed track. Next up? Seeing whether the three sometime-stoners had any chance at all of recreating the song, "All Summer," live, in front of an audience. Thus last night's private Music Hall of Williamsburg showcase: DJ set by Batmangili, rock show by Best Coast, rap concert by Kid Cudi, and a surprise grand finale. In theory, it was an excellent idea; in real life, not so much. As Kid Cudi said, later in the night: "You take advantage of my kindness." We kind of know the feeling.

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Kid Cudi + Japanther + "Brooklyn" + "Hipsters" = How To Make It In America

Can a show have an identity crisis before it's even on air? HBO's How To Make It In America debuts on February 14, not that you'd necessary know from its anemic promotion. There's a reason for that--sources say that the show is casting around desperately for a marketing angle that will appeal both to kids living on the LES and the middle of the country. That's a tall task. So what is How To Make It In America? Originally pitched as the East Coast version of Entourage, complete with executive production by Mark Wahlberg, the HBO show aimed to chronicle "two enterprising Brooklyn twenty-somethings who hustle their way through New York City, determined to make a name for themselves in New York's competitive fashion scene." But in New York, the douchbags are different, though the makers of this show evidently don't know exactly how.

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Jay-Z Is Still Very Much #1; Whitney Takes #2; Kid Cudi Breaks 100K

Still news in 2009, even when we're talking about a Jay-Z record: The Blueprint 3 is almost definitely going platinum. After selling close to 500K his first week out, Jay-Z sold something in the ballpark of 300K this week, good for an easy encore at the top of the charts. That means Blueprint 3 is gold now and will likely be platinum by this time next week. He's made himself so easy to love! In other chart news, Whitney Houston held onto the #2 spot, selling around 160K copies of I Look To You, just good enough to knock off Muse and Kid Cudi, whose charmless Man on the Moon debuted at 4,000 records above the 100K mark. Now if only someone could explain to us what this whole "rap music" thing is about. [Singers Room]

Live: The Second Annual Roots Picnic, Featuring Public Enemy, Asher Roth, and a Whole Lot of Excited 16-Year-Olds

Yeah, it was Philly, but so what--SOTC special correspondent Christopher R. Weingarten reports.

The Roots, mid-jam

The Roots, Public Enemy, Asher Roth, Kid Cudi, TV on the Radio, and More
Festival Pier, Philadelphia
June 6, 2009

The second annual Roots Picnic, an eclectic fete held on the Illadelph side of the Delaware River, was hopefully the only time Public Enemy will have to play before Asher Roth. But the whole event was such a damn good party--who really cared? On the main stage Public Enemy, the Roots, and legendary Philly DJ Cash Money exemplified the old model, prizing the "respect your elders" axiom of with an array of covers, samples and bangers. In the air-conditioned second stage tent, Kid Cudi and Asher Roth bowed to the new digital movement, posing for 100 camera phone photos that are tearing up Flickr as we speak. But whatever side you stood on, the event couldn't have happened without both camps.

While P.E. and the Roots brought the credibility, Cudi and Roth brought the energy--it was hip-hop Beatlemania for their appearances, shrieking girls and pumped dudes in tight jeans wearing sunglasses indoors, camera phones blinking in adoring unison. Meanwhile outside, calm, heavyset dudes rapped along to "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos." The disconnect was most obvious when ex-Floetry songstress Amanda Diva tried to pump up the pre-Kudi crowd with some Public Enemy lyrics, shouting, "Elvis was a hero to most, but he never meant..." She held out the mic to a tepid response. "Y'all don't know Public Enemy?" she whined sadly, seriously sounding like a little something died inside her. She tried to invite someone--anyone!--on stage to please not embarrass this entire audience and rap the third verse from "Fight The Power" for her. After a bunch of sad tries and false starts, some bearded dude who looks like he builds guitar pedals finally got it right.

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Reason Number 358 To Sort Of Dislike KiD CuDi


We're going to go ahead and say we can't at this moment think of a worse, more painfully graphic song title in the history of dumb, brain-punning song titles than "I Poke Her Face." Kanye can't save this. [h/t 2DopeBoyz]