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Published: 2009/09/29

Bon Iver and Megafaun Collaborate in Hollywood Cemetery

Above: DeYarmond Edison

Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon reunited with his former bandmates Megafaun early Sunday morning. It was one of the oddest backdrops for any rock show: Vernon hosted an all-night party at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Forever Cemetery—the final resting place of Charlie Chaplin, John Huston and Johnny Ramone, among others. The concert began at 12:30 AM Sunday morning with a DJ set from the members of Bon Iver that referenced everything from the Rolling Stones’ “No Use in Crying” to The Bad Plus’ “Flim” to Dr. John’s “Me – You = Loneliness” and Yo La Tengo’s “Black Flowers.” At around 2 AM the feature film Bottle Rocket was shown, followed by a second DJ set that featured songs like Arthur Russell’s “A Little Lost, “Sam Cooke’s “Steal Away,” Lucinda Williams’ “Minneapolis” and Paul Westerberg’s “We May Well Be the Ones.” The focus shifted back to film at 4 AM with the documentary Planet Earth and then to music at 5:15 AM when a group of Buddhist Monks blessed the cemetery’s performance space. Finally, at 5:45 AM Bon Iver took the stage for a full set that opened with “Lump Sum” and came to a close after dawn with “The Wolves (Act I and II).” During the band’s set, the member of Megafaun took the stage for their original “Worried Mind” (a song Megafaun has played with Bon Iver on occasion).

Vernon befriended the members of Megafaun in the 1990s. The group first bonded at jazz camp and a trip to the 1997 H.O.R.D.E. festival and played together in the bands Mount Vernon and DeYarmond Edison. The musicians originally played what they described as “post-Phish music,” but eventually focused in on the Americana-indie sounds that inform both Bon Iver and Megafaun. Vernon still occasionally moonlights with the members of Megafaun in the R&B group Gayngs.

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