There are many reasons not to go to Lollapalooza this year (or any other year for that matter). There’s the obvious, which includes the horrible late July/early August Chicago heat and humidity, high ticket prices ($205 for the weekend!), bad and expensive beer (bud light, great job), piss poor outdoor festival sound, too many people (e.g. Len Kasper, Wrigleyville residents), and of course, the lineup itself. There’s also its function as a primary (and most disgusting) example of corporate capitalism run amok (y’all goin to see Rage Against The Machine on the AT&T stage lol).
Now of course we’re aware that any sort of coverage is its own form of promotion (whether or not we’re not going and think it sucks), but such is the uphill battle of trying to be humorous jerks. Since this feature has very little integrity, hopefully this is as snarky we get, and in the future promise to try and provide actual, thought provoking, insightful, and somewhat coherent/intelligent criticism. In the meantime, Running Downhill presents:
An Incomplete and Shallow Band Preview of Lollapalooza, Friday, August 1st
Black Lips (12:15-1:15, Bud Light Stage)
EM: Friendships with Deerhunter not withstanding, this is mediocre garage rock for mediocre people (e.g. you, not me).
The Go! Team (2:15-3:15, Bud Light Stage)
EM: Remember when this band was all the rage in 2004? Or maybe I just thought they were all the rage because I worked at a college radio station (i.e. hotbed for shitty band-of-the-minute types). But yeah, bad. Praise wasn’t deserved then, and since it took them five years to release another (bad) album, it sure as hell isn’t deserved now.
The Black Keys (4:15-5:15, Bud Light Stage)
TH: Well, I think these guys rule, and they seem like such nice boys. But I like loud blues-based shit, so, like, there’s that.
EM: My favorite things to come out of Akron, Ohio (in no particular order): Jim Jarmusch, DEVO, Gus Johnson, Liam Lynch, Ray Wise, LeBron James. Notice how you don’t see The Black Keys. Some Bonnarroo bullshit if you ask me, but you know, it’s hard, I guess, living up to the Akron standard. As Gus Johnson would say, “Rise and fire….count it!”
TH: Well, sure, those things all rule. But you clearly don’t have the blues, Eric. I bet Jarmusch loves the Black Keys. I couldn’t say for sure about Mothersbaugh.
The Raconteurs (6:15-7:45, Bud Light Stage)
EM: In my only visit to Detroit, I saw Meg White in a thrift store. She’s not in this band, right?
Cat Power (5:15-6:15, Playstation 3 Stage)
TH: Sad. Boring. Waifish. If I want to listen to music that feels like depression, I will go find my Joy Division records and my Brian Wilson records. At least I’m not totally dependent on lyrics to glean something from those guys.
EM: As insensitive as it sounds, a sober Chan Marshall means a boring Cat Power, and frankly I’m sick of all this “she’s much more professional (sober)” talk. Give me stage fright and guitar throwing freakouts please. This could only be disappointing.
TH: If she’s on the Playstation 3 stage, she should totally change her name to Dragon Power.
EM: I don’t get it.
VHS or BETA (DJ set) (6:00-8:00, Perry’s Stage)
EM: [insert obvious joke] Someone should name their band HD DVD or BLU RAY [/obvious joke]. But really? This band is still around? How … quirky.
We Go To 11 (11:15-11:45, BMI Stage)
TH: Look, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, guys, because you’re youngsters. But look: the name has to go. It’s a little egotistical (although I suppose naming your band “The Scorpions” has more or less the same effect). (And you very well might rule. I’ve never actually listened to your stuff. I’m just grumpy.) You don’t want to be referencing a movie that has been ironically referenced to death. I’m going to assume that it’s the name one of your dads suggested.
The Cool Kids (7:00-8:00, BMI Stage)
EM: I too, own a pair of sneakers from St. Alfred’s. Aside from that, this is retro-mania gone, well, maniacal. They’re not horrible, but if I would have known all I had to do was drop Nintendo and BMX references in neon throwback gear I wouldn’t still be sitting in an office building in the Loop right now.
TH: You’re just angry, because “you didn’t think of it first.”
EM: I liked EPMD first.
Louis XIV (3:15-4:00, Citi Stage)
EM: Oddly enough (or not), my introduction to lots of flash-in-the-pan indie bands (read: early to mid 2000s “dance punk”) has come by way of baseball video games. Louis XIV had one such song (in the greatest video game ever created, EA’s MVP 2004) which contained lines like “Hey brown girl” and “Hey chocolate girl” … and so on. Just because you suck doesn’t mean you get to be racist, even if you say you’re just “playing around”.
TH: Man, one year, in MVP 2003, I was playing as the Twins, and Denny Hocking totally hit like .409.
BK: When I used to work at the Metro it seemed like Bloc Party played every day in the month of June, 2006. These guys were on the 21st, I think.
Grizzly Bear (5:45-6:30, Citi Stage)
TH: Is this the bear that ate Timothy Treadwell?
EM: Woo-yip, woo, yip-woo
CSS (7:00-8:00, Citi Stage)
EM: One must wonder: if CSS stood for Cascading Style Sheet, would it make this Brazilian electro/pop band any better?
Mates of State (5:15-6:15, MySpace Stage)
EM: Aw, they’re married.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks (7:15-8:00, MySpace Stage)
EM: Kudos for creating two of my all-time favorite records, Steve, but I just can’t get down with your post-Brighten the Corners output. And if we count Terror Twilight as a non-Pavement record (and we should, since it sucks so bad), that makes as many solo records as Pavement records, which is no good. Time to call David Berman and resurrect some of that magic from American Water, since it’s the last time either of you guys put out a good record.
TH: Is Dave Berman in this band? No? Oh. Bummer.
Yeasayer (2:15-3:15, AT&T Stage)
EM: Nothing like white guys from Brooklyn getting their Middle Eastern gospel on. Alright fine, Anand Wilder isn’t white.
Gogol Bordello (4:15-5:15, AT&T Stage)
BK: Remember how when Dropkick Murphys got big, all the punk rock kids suddenly becamse Irish? Well, this band is doing their damnedest to do the same for Eastern European gypsies.
EM: Pirate music. I hate gypsies.
Bloc Party (6:15-7:15, AT&T Stage)
EM: The ultimate “no one will remember in 10 years” band.
BK: When I used to work at the Metro it seemed like Louis XIV played every day in the month of June, 2006. These guys were on the 21st, I think.
Radiohead (8:00, AT&T Stage)
TH: Radiohead. Ah, Radiohead. It’s hard to say how I even feel about this band anymore. I admire them on the one hand for experimenting with song structure and texture to a great extent. I love OK Computer, as does anyone who was 16 when it came out. But I think Thom Yorke looks like a jerk when he bounces around on stage. Just sing.
EM: No comment.
BK: Never heard of them. Next please.