Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Releases: Tuesday, Sept 2

- Brian Wilson, That Lucky Old Sun
- Giant Sand, Provisions

Recommended shows: Sept 1-8 (RNC edition)

Monday, Sept 1
- 'Take Back Labor Day' featuring Steve Earle, Tom Morello, Billy Bragg, Mos Def, Atmosphere, et al. @ Harriet Island

Tuesday, Sept 2
- 'ProVention Concert for Peace' featuring Haley Bonar, Dan Wilson, The Honeydogs, et al. @ Midway Stadium Fitzgerald Theater

Wednesday, Sept 3
- Rage Against the Machine @ Target Center

Thursday, Sept 4
- GZA w/ P.O.S. @ Cabooze

Friday, Sept 5
- The Roots @ Epic
- Nas @ First Avenue

Saturday, Sept 6
- Xiu Xiu @ Triple Rock

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Walkmen video - 'In The New Year'

Another new cut from TVOTR's Dear Science

Me very excited. 

Eight is Enough - Protest concert featuring Low tonight at Turf Club

I somehow missed this on my weekly recommended concert posting. Tonight The Turf Club is hosting the first of many local protest concerts over the next two weeks. Titled 'Eight is Enough,' tonight's gig will feature Low, Dosh, members of Tapes 'n Tapes, P.O.S., STNNNG and many more acts. Doors open at 7:30pm, 21+ show, advance tickets are apparently sold-out but there will be tickets sold at the door this evening.

I can't make it but for good reason. I'm going to see my bro-in-law Johnny Blaze's show with The Rez tonight at Trocaderos. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What I'm listening to...

I was posting one new review a week for a while there, but I couldn't keep it up. Instead, I'll run through some quick one-liner reviews for several recent releases/leaks from the last few weeks. This will catch you all up on what's good and what's not.

Beck - Modern Guilt
Most consistent collection of tunes since Sea Change and the Danger Mouse production is a nice fit, but ultimately I was left with little to no lasting impact. The set is so consistent in sound and theme that each song sounds like the next. Luckily, it's a pretty decent song.
JTM Grade: 70%

David Vandervelde - Waiting for the Sunrise
Last time we heard from Vandervelde, he was Marc Bolan reincarnated. This go-round, we're still grounded firmly in the 70s, only now more Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young worn on our sleeves, rather than T. Rex. I prefer glam but it's a decent set nonetheless. Songs tend to meander on too long.
JTM Grade: 75%

The Walkmen - You & Me
I'd kinda lost interest in The Walkmen after the underwhelming A Hundred Miles Off but this new album delivers on all fronts. Even though there's nothing as immediate as 'The Rat' to be found here, the album may very well be more complete and satisfying from beginning to end than Bows + Arrows. Contender for AOTY.
JTM Grade: 90%

Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
Disco's dead and maybe it should stay that way. Even as camp, this doesn't work. Big disappointment from Kevin Barnes coming off career high Hissing Fauna.
JTM Grade: 45%

Okkervil River - The Stand-ins
Culled from the same session that produced last year's The Stage Names. I'm not sure if Will Sheff can write a bad song, but it's hard not to think of this as leftovers that didn't make the cut (i.e. Black Sheep Boy Appendix). For most bands, you'd think this would mean subpar material but that's not the case. Like I said, bad songs he cannot write. Welcome guest appearance by former bandmate and current Shearwater mainman Jonathan Meiburg.
JTM Grade: 75%

Mogwai - Hawk is Howling
Just leaked. Still absorbing. Initial impression has me thinking it could be their best in years. Bonus points for the best cover art and song titles of the year doesn't hurt either. And by best, I mean worst.
JTM Grade: pending

Bloc Party - Intimacy
Chaotic, borderline cheesy, only occasionally thrilling. For better or worse, there's a heavy Chemical Brothers influence going on. Mostly for worse unfortunately and I'm beginning to wonder if Silent Alarm was a beautiful fluke. As always, it's hard to take Kele seriously, but oh how he tries so hard.
JTM Grade: 55%

David Byrne & Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
My expectations were high considering the two geniuses involved here and admittedly, I was surprised with the results. Far less experimental than Bush of Ghosts but that also means much more listenable. I'd even call these accessible, MOR pop songs, but man, these are some damn good songs. In a time where every other band swipes from The Talking Heads playbook, Byrne/Eno have delivered a decidedly untrendy set of songs. It's refreshing. I've had this almost on continuous repeat since I downloaded it last week.
JTM Grade: 90%

The Verve - Forth
The beloved UK act will never be able to re-create 'Bittersweet Symphony' but I that's what I keep hoping they'll do. The Verve are one of those bands I desperately want to love but can never really fall for. Forth is a pretty album (and so is the cover art), but even now, I can't think of a single memorable track other than single 'Love Is Noise.' And again with the long songs. Unless you're post-rock or a brilliant wordsmith, I see no reason for this kind of excess.
JTM Grade: 60%

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Recommended shows: Aug 25-31

Wednesday, August 27
- Gnarls Barkley w/ Cloud Cult @ MN State Fair
- The Rez @ Trocaderos

Friday, August 29
- Ruby Isle @ Kitty Cat Club

Saturday, August 30
- The Black Crowes w/ The Black Keys @ MN State Fair

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fun Fun Fun Fest tickets on sale tomorrow

I think it's fair to say that Austin, TX has an inordinate number of music festivals, probably more than any other US city save NYC. Austin's a fantastic city and my hometown, but I don't live there so I'm sticking calling it inordinate. In March there's the industry catered, hipster haven of SXSW. September has the populist ACL Fest in all its sweaty glory. And the new pup is the overly-excitable Fun Fun Fun Fest. Now in its third year, FFFF has carved out its own little niche, with a focus on punk, indie and hip-hop. This year's event is held on Nov. 8-9 at Waterloo Park and tickets go on sale tomorrow. November is the ideal month for an outdoor Austin fest. If only ACL could snag such a late date.

Anyway, here are some highlights from the FFFF 2008 lineup.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The National
Minus The Bear
St. Vincent
Trail of Dead
The Annuals
Bishop Allen
Frightened Rabbit
Parts and Labor
Magnetic Morning
Bad Brains
Dead Milkmen
Dan Deacon
Kool Keith/Dr. Octagon
Dengue Fever

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Golden Age" - First single from new TVOTR album

Here's our first taste from the new TVOTR record. Funky bass, Prince/MJ vocals, glorious production by Sitek. Yes, this song is awesome and yes, I'm psyched for Dear Science to be released on 9/23 or leaked even sooner. On "Golden Age" Kyp Malone sings lead instead of the usual Tunde Adebimpe.

Monday, August 18, 2008

David Byrne & Brian Eno - "Strange Overtones"

This is a seriously catchy song and now can say with confidence that the entire new album is really, really good.

My Morning Jacket video - "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream, Pt 2"

Neil Young opens fall tour in St. Paul on Oct 14

Neil Young, who I was lucky enough to see last November at his sold-out Northrop show, is embarking on another sizable tour less than a year later. This time he starts things off in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center. Death Cab for Cutie open up for the first half of the tour (including St. Paul show), with Wilco picking up the reins as opener during the latter half.

Complete tour as follows:
10/14 - Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul *
10/16 - MTS Centre, Winnipeg *
10/18 - Brandt Centre, Regina *
10/19 - Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary *
10/21 - Comcast Arena, Everett *
10/22 - GM Place, Vancouver *
10/29 - Cox Arena, San Diego *
10/30 - The Forum, Los Angeles *
11/1 - Events Center, Reno *
11/4 - Sprint Center, Kansas City *
11/5 - Qwest Center, Omaha *
11/29 - Metro Centre, Halifax #
12/1 - Bell Centre, Montreal #
12/2 - Scotia Bank Place, Ottawa #
12/4 - Air Canada Centre, Toronto #
12/7 - Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit #
12/9 - Allstate Arena, Chicago #
12/12 - Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia #
12/15 - Madison Square Garden, New York #

Opening acts:
* Death Cab for Cutie
# Wilco

Bloc Party surprise with digital release of new LP in three days time

Today Bloc Party unexpectedly announced the release of their new album Intimacy on August 21st via digital download, more than three months in advance of the physical release set for Oct 28.

Byrne/Eno album now available

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is the new LP from David Byrne and Brian Eno and it is now available for purchase or streaming right here. I've been streaming it this morning and it's surprisingly accessible considering the avant-garde nature of their last collaboration, 1981's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. I like what I'm hearing.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Recommended shows: Aug 18-24

Monday, August 18
- Califone @ The Walker Art Center

Wednesday, August 20
- Great Lake Swimmers @ The Entry

Sunday, August 24
- Buddy Guy w/ Jonny Lang, Big Head Todd & the Monsters @ MN State Fair

New Releases : Tuesday, August 19

- The Dandy Warhols, Earth to the Dandy Warhols
- The Fiery Furnaces, Remember (Live album)
- GZA, Pro Tools
- Lykke Li, Youth Novels
- Stereolab, Chemical Chords
- The Verve, Forth
- The Walkmen, You & Me

New Deerhunter, Atlas Sound full-length LPs leaked unintentionally by Bradford Cox

Not a good weekend for Bradford Cox. Cox posted some new Atlas Sound material as a virtual 7" but the download link unintentionally sent you to his private Mediafire directory containing a treasure chest of demos and unreleased material, including the new Atlas Sound album Logos in unmastered form, not anticipated to be released until 2009. Even more surprising, looters found a new Deerhunter full-length (not Microcastle but something entirely new) titled Weird Era Continued and a horde of other miscellaneous covers, mixes and demoes. It amounted to Bradford Cox accidentally opening up his personal hard drive for the masses and as I've mentioned before, this guy is prolific.

The mistaken link didn't last for long, but long enough of course. All of the material is now readily available if you have the urge. It's unfair to give a judgment on the new songs, but I'm definitely impressed by what I've heard so far and the sound quality excellent.

Later, Gorilla vs. Bear discovered that Bradford Cox, angry about the invasion, posted the following on his blog, along with a deliberate link to the Logos album. This post has since been removed:
"Logos (R.I.P.) 2007-2008"
Fuck this shit. I can just make another album. It's not finished and now it never will be."

Sheesh. I feel sorry for the dude but I guess blogging can have its risks. Bradford is a volatile guy so I hope this doesn't cause him to shut down the blog and truly abandon some fantastic future material.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fujiya & Miyagi video - "Knickerbocker"

Fujiya and Miyagi - Knickerbocker

A book about Babyshambles?!

I don't know why this silly insignificant story bugged me so much but it has, so you're gonna hear about it. Music-tabloid NME (a publication I have harsh feelings for anyway) has reported that Pete Doherty's post-Libertines band Babyshambles is soon to have an "official" book published about their exploits, "charting the euphoric highs and the depressing lows of the band."

I'm going to be sick. Couple things of note. First, Pete Doherty is the only reason this is a story. The UK is obsessed with the crazy dude. Yes, the Libertines were a fantastic, influential band that burned too bright before fizzling out in a drug-riddled crash. Pete's now less a musician and more of a tabloid mockery (competing closely with his pal Amy Winehouse).

You'll also note that according to the drummer, the book will include "a lot of stuff regarding him and Kate (Moss)'s relationship...including Pete's surely profound "views on the no-shows, his view on drugs, his view on the arrests and persecution, relationships with band members."

As awful as it sounds, that angle is at least understandable from a marketing point-of-view. So it's tabloid fluff obviously and I'm sure it will sell for the intended audience. What pisses me off most is that the book is about Babyshambles...why would anyone deem the band Babyshambles worthy of permanent ink, bound pages, an entire freakin' book. Their music is sub-par, they have existed for all of 4 years or so. What is their to write about except for Pete's antics? They've made little to no impact on anyone as far as I can tell. Granted, I'm not from the UK so maybe I just don't get it, but this just blows me away. Anyway, yes, it's a dumb thing to get worked up about but I just had to share.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beijing Olympics 2008 - What's going on here?

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I've always been rather bored by the Olympics. Winter, summer, either way. Dream Team, Schmeam Team.  It baffles me that folks can be so passionate for Olympic sports.  Me? It's always been a bit bland.  Something changed this go-round for me.  For some odd reason, the current Olympics has me paying attention. Maybe I'm just caught up in Michael Phelps mania, and I am.  More peculiar is how I've found myself watching and enjoying (gasp!) gymnastics, volleyball, non-Phelps swimming races even. There's some serious drama going on in these things that just don't exist in other sporting forums. Amazing athletes playing for country, honor, pride, all that bullshit rather than the almighty dollar.  Is that it?  I don't know.  But seriously, Michael Phelps is the shit. Anyway, I just need to say how shocked I am by this development. Even the opening ceremonies were unusually impressive and engaging.  I blame my wife. She is the one who forced me to sit down and watch a Phelps race.  Now I'm hooked.

ACL aftershows announced

The ACL Fest official aftershows were announced today.

Here's a quick rundown...
- Manu Chao
- Gnarls Barkley and CSS
- Mike Farris featuring the Roseland Rhythm Revue
- Return of the Butthole Surfers w/ The Kills
- Mugison
- The Black Keys w/ The Black Angels & Jessica Lea Mayfield
- G. Love & Special Sauce
- Conor Oberst w/ Special Guests Jenny Lewis and M. Ward
- Jamie Lidell w/ Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears
- David Byrne - Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno
- The Swell Season w/ Bill Callahan
- Drive-By Truckers w/ Shooter Jennings
- Heartless Bastards w/ Dead Confederate & Wax Fang
- Car Stereo Wars
- Okkervil River w/ Man Man & Crooked Fingers
- Jose Gonzalez w/ Neva Dinova & McCarthy Trenching
- Jakob Dylan and The Gold Mountain Rebels w/ Back Door Slam

Nothing jaw-dropping but some interesting options. I'd definitely be game for David Byrne, the Okkervil River/Man Man pairing or the surprise inclusion of Butthole Surfers! But alas, I'm not planning to attend any aftershows this year since 1) I know how exhausted I'll be after each day of the sweatfest and 2) I'll have my baby boy with me on the trip.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In concert - She & Him @ First Avenue, 8/7/08

Gotta love all ages shows. Doors open at 6pm, first act at 7, main act at 8-8:30 and out the door by 10pm. Truly an ideal scenario for the working-week event. And this was the setup on last Thursday evening at First Avenue for She & Him, aka Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward.

Johnny Blaze was my concert buddy for the evening and we were both fans of their debut release Volume One. M. Ward is always fantastic but Zooey really stood out as a gifted songwriter and unique vocal presence. But let's be candid here. Zooey is a movie star and based on the surprisingly packed crowd, I have to believe there's an added celebrity-whoring curiosity mixed in with your average She & Him audience. So that added an interesting vibe right from the get-go. No judgment. We were as complicit as the next person.

The night opened up by Becky Stark, alone on stage. Becky is the lead singer from Lavendar Diamond and later we discover her to be Zooey's back-up singer. Best I can tell, she's a eco-obsessed hippy with an operatic, Kate Bush-like voice. Started off a little dull, with the audience noise almost drowning her out. Eventually and just in the nice of time, a new guest musician would join her on stage with each new song until eventually both M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel herself were backing her up on some more flushed out tunes. Turned into a good set by the end. She also had this semi-improvised comedy routine going on as filler between dreadfully depressing songs which made for an entertaining contrast.

Next came the main event. I've read that the pairing of Matt and Zooey had proved to be awkward on stage more often than not, primarily due to some adorable stage fright on the part of Zooey. I could see a little of that. She's surely worked out most of the kinks since SXSW, but there remained a bit of initial hesitance. Once she sat down on the piano and rang off the chorus of "Sentimental Heart" she started to respond to the crowd's enthusiasm, loosened up and appeared to be in her element. M. Ward? He's a rock. Always fantastic. He's the consummate musician and modest as hell. As is his style, he prefers to hang out in the corner, in the shadows and often with his back facing the audience. It's clear he doesn't want the performance to be about him, despite the crowd wooing and cheering every time he comes up to the microphone or lets out a solo from his guitar. He's like a big brother, wanting to help out little sis. He doesn't want to take away any attention, just wants to be there for her. The spotlight is on Zooey and her songs and by the end of the night she earned it with a set including nearly every track from the album. Better yet, I counted three new ones from what I hope will be Volume Two. All in all, a good night. Nothing revelatory but very good. We saw a movie star, listened to some great live music, and best of all I was home by 10:30.

Monday, August 11, 2008

More fall concert announcements - Yeasayer, Fleet Foxes

Both Yeasayer and Fleet Foxes have been touring tirelessly, including numerous stops in the Twin Cities. Unlike some bands, The Black Kids to name one example, these two groups are very deserving of their substantial hype and acclaim. Lucky for you, we'll have yet another chance this October to catch both live acts on higher profile headlining tours.

Fleet Foxes were here maybe a month ago at The Entry and are coming back to town and upgrading to the Cedar Cultural Center in which they'll perform on October 11.

Brooklyn's Yeasayer will be coming to Minneapolis for an Oct 30th show at The Triple Rock. Word is that they'll be featuring many new tracks this go-round after touring for well over a year on the coattails of the excellent All Hour Cymbals.

Creepy new Mogwai video - 'Batcat'


Saturday, August 09, 2008

BeatMaker - Best music app for iPhone

Here's a demo of BeatMaker, hands down the best music-related app for the iPhone thus far. I haven't mastered this type of skill yet, but a guy can try. Or if you don't give a damn about the iPhone but you're interested in listening to a nice ambient groove, give it a lookie.

LEGO video of Radiohead's "House of Cards"

Thursday, August 07, 2008

RNC protest shows gaining traction: Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, Atmosphere, et al.

'Take Back Labor Day,' is the St. Paul protest concert (on Harriet Island) orchestrated to coincide with the RNC, about which I posted a while back. The line-up already had some politically charged umph with the likes of Tom Morello and Steve Earle playing hosts. Now the event's official site has confirmed series of additional acts including Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, local heroes Atmosphere, Billy Bragg and Allison Moorer. Tickets go for a mere $10. Who would have ever thought it was a good thing to live in the city of the RNC? 

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bonnie "Prince" Billy at Walker Art Center in March 2009

Wow, now that's planning ahead. I just happened across this random date on the Walker Art Center calendar and was shocked. First, I'm shocked that Bonne "Prince" Billy is going to be in town for a live show. But even more shocking is scheduling the show for 7 months from now on March 19, 2009. Looks like he'll play two shows, one early and one late. I don't know about you but I can't plan that far ahead.

Here's the alluring description from the Walker's calendar:
Spend an evening with one of the most enigmatic and celebrated singer-songwriters of the last decade. Oldham’s atmospheric art-folk is borne of an Appalachian netherworld finding its glimmer and glow through gentle guitars, lush harmonies, shimmering folk-tronics, and elegies that slide between spare and sly, lovely and lonely, beautiful and bucolic. A rare live performance by one of today’s most prolific and fiercely creative artists.

Deerhunter tour announced, including Mpls date in Nov

Is it just me or have there been a slew of tour announcements recently? This fall is really shaping up to offer an array of great shows in the Twin Cities. Too many for my life as a parent, so I have to be very selective. The latest announcement is Deerhunter. After they finish up on their stint as openers for NIN, they will embark on a headlining U.S. tour in support of their new album Microcastle.

Headlining schedule below including Nov 17 Mpls show at The Triple Rock, which is probably my favorite local venue if you were curious. If at all possible, this gig will be on my calendar.

10/31 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
11/1 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
11/2 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
11/3 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
11/4 Washington, DC - Black Cat
11/5 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
11/6 Princeton, NJ - Terrace F. Club
11/7 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
11/8 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11/10 Boston, MA - Paradise
11/11 Montreal, Quebec - Theatre Plaza
11/12 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace
11/13 Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom
11/14 Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
11/15 Chicago, IL - Metro
11/16 Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
11/17 Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
11/20 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
11/21 Seattle, WA - Neumos
11/22 Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
11/24 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
11/25 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
11/28 San Diego, CA - Casbah
11/29 Phoenix, AZ - Modified Arts
12/1 Dallas, TX - Palladium Loft
12/2 Austin, TX - Emo's Alternative Lounge Outside
12/3 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
12/4 Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
12/5 New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
12/6 Birmingham, AL - Bottletree

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

David Byrne & Brian Eno release first single from new album

David Byrne's own blog directs readers to the first single from his new collaboration with Brian Eno Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The song is titled 'Strange Overtones' and it's available at the album's website. In other Byrne/Eno news, a full tour in support of the new album, sans Eno, has also been revealed. Byrne will be in Minneapolis on Oct 14th at the State Theater.

Full tour dates:

9/16 - Bethlehem, PA - Zoellner Arts Center - Baker Hall
9/17 - Baltimore, MD - Lyric
9/18 - Newport News, VA - Ferguson Center for the Arts
9/20 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheater
9/21 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
9/22 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
9/23 - Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre
9/25 - Austin, TX - Paramount
9/26 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits (Zilker Park)
9/28 - Alburquerque, NM - Kiva Auditorium
9/30 - Phoenix, AZ - Orpheum
10/2 - San Diego, CA - Humphreys
10/3 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
10/4 - Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theater
10/6 - San Francisco, CA - Davies Symphony Hall
10/8 - Santa Rosa, CA - Wells Fargo Center For the Arts
10/9 - Saratoga, CA - Mountain Winery
10/11 - Park City, UT - Eccles Center for the Performing Arts
10/12 - Denver, CO - Buell Theater
10/14 - Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre
10/15 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst
10/17 - Omaha, NE - Kiewit Concert Hall
10/18 - St. Louis, MO - Fox Theatre
10/19 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theatre (Reserved)
10/21 - Lousiville, KY - Louisville Palace Theater
10/23 - Cleveland, OH - Allen Theatre
10/24 - Ann Arbor, MI - Michigan Theatre
10/25 - Indianapolis, IN - Clowes Memorial Hall
10/26 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Opera House
10/29 - Toronto, ONT - Massey Hall
10/30 - Montreal, QUE - Metropolis
10/31 - Boston, MA - Wang Center
11/1 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata
11/3 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre
11/5 - Albany, NY - Empire State Plaza
11/7 - Pittsburgh, PA - Carnegie Music Hall
11/8 - Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theatre

Rage Against the Machine coming to Mpls on Sept 3 to coincide with RNC

It was announced yesterday that Rage Against the Machine (fresh off their raucous Lolla show) are coming to the Target Center in Minneapolis on Sept 3. This just so happens to time perfectly with the Republican National Convention across town in St. Paul. What a bizarre coincidence.

Rage guitarist Tom Morello was already scheduled to be in town for a solo performance (along w/ Steve Earle) on Sept 1st, so the timing works out nicely for the guys.

I doubt the show will end up like their infamous 2000 DNC protest concert in Los Angeles, if for no other reason than it ain't for free. In fact, you'll have to fork over $60 for admittance. Tickets go on sale 10am on this Saturday.

Monday, August 04, 2008

My belated coverage of Lollapalooza 2008

Despite my best intentions, blogging during Lollapalooza didn't quite work out. I had neither the resources nor the time, and iPhone blogging just isn't practical. Sorry 'bout that but better late than never. So here's a quick photographic rundown of the fest.

Other comments, highlights, notes...

Other than those mentioned in the slide show, I also saw/heard:
- Gogol Bordello (listened to during eating, resting)
- Battles (kick ass)
- Toadies (not very good but did sing Backslider!!)
- White Lies (first I'd heard of 'em)
- The Whigs (decent)
- Iron & Wine (perfect soundtrack to my afternoon chill)
- Flogging Molly
- Love & Rockets (Keith Richards look-alike, otherwise blah)
- About half of the NIN set. The band was tight but the sound was too low and I could hear Kanye calling all the way from the other side of Grant Park. The NIN light show was the best of the fest, and so were Trent's arms. Damn, he is definitely on the juice. I did get to hear a nostalgic rendition of 'Closer,' so I went away satisfied.

Random memories...
- Playing bean bag toss with a couple of Tennessee kids in the shade.
- The perfect weather and the perfect environment. Conditions are much better than ACL.
- Buses running all day with A/C on full blast for those requiring some refuge.
- Three kids jumping into Buckingham Fountain at the end of Day 3. A huge crowd gathered to cheer 'em on. Around ten cops eventually coerced them off the fountain, put the poor schmucks in handcuffs and walked them to the paddy wagon. Ridiculous.
- On Sunday morning, I enjoyed one of the best breakfast experiences of my life. So if you're ever in Chicago, I beg you, go to the Eleventh Street Diner, 1100 S. Wabash.
- I somehow did not get sunburned. It's a miracle.

- Couldn't make it to the aftershow with Broken Social Scene and Yeasayer. If I had known that would happen, I would have made sure to catch the BSS set at Lolla. Oh well, they are coming to the Twin Cities in October.
- In a perfect world, I would have liked to have seen Grizzly Bear, Girl Talk and BSS but really, I can't say there were any real regrets on bands choices.

Other Lolla coverage worth a read...
Check this out for details on the Rage Against the Machine mayhem up in the front.

Final thoughts...
Radiohead is my painfully obvious choice for best show of fest. The trippy LED light show was mesmerizing, but the most memorable moment was pure serendipity; a coincidental firework display went off behind the stage for an unrelated Chicago event. Fireworks started going off during 'Everything in its Right Place' and the grand finale seemed to sync right up with the climax of 'Fake Plastic Trees.' It was surreal. All in all, a nice setlist. They played the entirety of In Rainbows and some choice cuts from back catalog. Highlights included a new jazzier take on 'The Gloaming' and the 2nd Encore killer combo of '2+2=5' and 'Idioteque.' It was an exhausting but wonderful show.

Here is the complete setlist.

01. 15 Step
02. Airbag
03. There There
04. All I Need
05. Nude
06. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
07. The Gloaming
08. The National Anthem
09. Faust Arp
10. No Surprises
11. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
12. Reckoner
13. Lucky
14. The Bends
15. Everything In Its Right Place (Fireworks going off)
16. Fake Plastic Trees
17. Bodysnatchers

Encore 1
18. Videotape
19. Paranoid Android
20. Dollars and Cents
21. House of Cards
22. Optimistic (Thom, “You are quiet Chicago.”)

Encore 2
23. 2+2=5
24. Idioteque

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Update from Lollapalooza, Day 1

No wireless at my hotel so I am doing this from my phone. That means this will be brief. Day 1 was great...perfect weather, hot & humid, but compared to ACL conditions, paradise. The space is larger than I expected, so hopping between stages not too practical. After an hour in line,we were inside and headed to watch Black Lips. Then came Go! Team, who put on an energetic set to an enormous crowd. Sought refuge for a bit, and Lolla has loads of leisure options, and shade. More later...