Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I spent this past weekend at that grandaddy behemoth of alt-fests: Lollapolooza. Not being as sardonic as some bloggers, I was in great anticipation of this weekend of concerts, having not attended this jubilee since 1994. The lineup sounded stupendous and there was just the right mix of bands; those I was avidly anticipating and those I was quite curious to experience... a good show being an easy way for an unknown band to wheedle their way into my prodigious CD collection. Without further buildup, my take!


The Warlocks: This was the first show I hung around, and over-all it was not too bad, (they were in essence, an opening band) but while their songs started nice and trippy, they quickly transformed into a long, navel-examining treatise. This just didn't sync with my high level of early energy!

M83: Caught a smidge of this show too, after I became bored of the Warlocks....they were pretty spiffy, and I think they deserve more of a chance than an open-air festivalallows...very French, ethereal and transcendental; not something that a quick listen would give credit to. If Air is the Franco-version of fast-food, than this is a 12-course meal that needs time for appropriate digestion.

Trail of the Dead.... This Austin band had me finally thinking "Hey, now we're getting somewhere!", it was quite short lived as the intense and multi-layered primal rhythms were quickly supplanted by cheesy pop licks and they were transformed into a potential TRL contender...word from my chum “S” is they used to have some cajones and to stick with their earlier work for any CD additions.

Kasier Chiefs:
I had been told by several people this was a 'must see' band. But, as my morning was still in 2nd gear tried to not let the hype sell it. They rocked. And rolled. This is my new "Big Find of '05" and their disc 'Employment' is whisking to my doorstep from Amazon as I type! It's catchy and poppy and yet, dare I say it...? There's a little bit of Clash-essence in there?! Punky, with a rosy -cheeked smile? (I passed up Liz Phair and gladly so for this show, while I will always love Exile in Guyville and Supernova, her new stuff it just too mainstream for my tastebuds!)

Brian Jonestown Massacre:
This was also a highly-toted show from several friends with a highly-tuned sense of musicosity. It was another HUGE disappointment. While might be quite liberal, that does not make me a Happy Hippy Commune Friend; it's never a good sign when the extremely stoned singer starts the set off with a manifesto.....I quickly agreed to some random wandering to find cohorts than to stay and sway to more self-involved navel melodies!

Cake: I adore this band! Saw them back in October; they were amazing then and nothing short of that now. Great tunes, great lyrics, hilarious tongue-in-cheek pokes at our everyday culture; John McCrea makes fun of bucket car seats, cell-phones and traffic...having a band 'agenda' doesn't mean you have to be a stuffed shirt environmentalist!

ANKLE BREAK (My flat feet finally rose up to protest at this point, despite very comfort and arch-loving sandals. Up next was Billy Idol, who I had no desire to see; he was great once...WAS, and the idea of seeing him as a washed-up star was not appealing! So, Bosco and I checked out Blonde Redhead instead from a nearby hill...this is another band that definitely has my pique, but something to soak in and luxuriate to before rendering a final opinion.

Primus: 30ft Yellow Duckies! When I saw these go up, it might as well been the equivalent of a giant flare "Why yes, Primus IS playing this stage!" I'm not a typical Primus fan, but have always held "My Name is Mud" in great esteem...these guys are just a little chocolate wasabi instead of mayo; awesome fretless bass-lines with quirky humorous's as fun as a poodle in a prom dress!

Pixies: This was an extraordinary show, and was only slightly less lustrous for me, having seen them for the very first time this past November at the Aragon (super show, horrid sound). Thus, some of the surprise was gone, but I could actually hear the melody instead of it echoing endlessly in the cavernous once, then quite tiring! Kim once again gave an awe-inspiring performance of "Gigantic" which curled my toes...they also did "Here Comes Your Man" which was not at my earlier viewing. Here’s hoping they continue to get along enough to do another surface-shaking album!

Weezer: They were the last show of the day, and I had always wanted to see them despite having lost track of their sound since the Green album. My party of commrades had assembled and though the music was not anything exceptional it was a grand old time. In affront to my ankle complaint, I insisted on dancing and jiving…doing the monkey, frug and 'tater to the hits.
In the fade of the dimming stage lights and dissipating colored fog, we headed back North for bed. My ankle was in such bad sorts, having swollen over my sandal, I had to use Bosco as a human crutch. Thankfully, the city had buses awaiting the crowds and it was a quick jaunt up Michigan Avenue to icebags, Advil and attempt a recovery before the next day’s lineup.

Sunday’s band reviews to follow tomorrow!


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