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Lolla Wrap-Up: FRIDAY

August 3, 2010

Well, the plan to blog a band a day didn’t quite pan out – from the beginning, I had my doubts about my ability to be consistent.  In the remaining time, though, I’m going to run down the shows I’m going to see by day, also noting a few bands that might be game-time decisions and a few clunkers that deserve to be called out for their level of suck.

So, on Friday:

These United States (if we get there in time)

Foxy Shazam — Still the best act I discovered through Lollapalooza.  I need to replace the T-shirt I bought the last time I saw them, which turned out to be so small I had to pass it on to Steph.  Er, I mean, I bought Steph a t-shirt, and now I want one.  They have, for some reason, the shortest set on the bill, but I’m looking for a pretty great 30 minutes.  Blow off work.  Go see Foxy Shazam.

The Ettes or BBU – The latter, a last-minute discovery: BBU (Bin Laden Blowin’ Up; alternatively, Black, Brown and Ugly), are a Chicago hip-hop act with a mixtape out called “Fear of a Clear Channel Planet” which is even more awesome than its name suggests.  Only possible reservation is that they are, uh…rougher than any rap act I’ve seen live: not just relentlessly critical of The Man, but insistent on pointing out that, not to put too fine point on it, He looks an awful lot like me.  In one song one of them calls what they’re doing “borderline hate-rap.”  It’s not a question of being offended — “it wasn’t my idea” — it’s a question of how well the South Side can rock the suburbs, which is where the Lollapalooza crowd comes from (look at all those white arms!)  But they know what they’re doing — one of the best lines on that mixtape: “Chicago I love you, but you’re bringing me down.”

The Walkmen – The Walkmen are one of those bands always on the periphery of my interest.  “The Rat” is, without exaggeration, one of my favorite songs, but I’ve never cared as much for anything else I’ve heard from them.  They just keep kind of hanging around there, though, on the strength of that one song; maybe seeing them live will make the difference for me.

Jukebox the Ghost – Will be seeing them during the day, possibly lining up in the autograph tent after that, and seeing them again Saturday at the free after show at Bottom Lounge.

Drive-by Truckers — After you listen to them long enough, you realize they don’t have any more songs written on the level of “Outfit” and that their sound is actually….kind of tired.  I’ve never seen them, though, and I think they would be fun to see live.

Cymbals Eat Guitars

The New Pornographers — This is one of those stalwarts I am lukewarm to, because their lyrics make no sense.  However, they have pop hooks and energy to spare, and should blow the doors off live, lyrics be damned.

Matt & Kim — You know them from that Bacardi ad that played all spring.  Short, punchy songs, tons of energy — Matt threw his back out during a show a few months ago.  That’s the kind of thing I’m up for.

NEON TREES – A last-minute addition to my schedule: from Utah, band name comes “from the lighted trees outside of In N Out Burger restaurants,” sounds like…well, they sound maybe just the slightest bit too slickly produced, but I’m taking a chance.  They have a girl drummer, which you don’t see that often.

Hot Chip – Sort of an inside joke, but mostly because “Krap Kraft Dinner” is a perfect classic of a song.  A mellow way to lead into

Lady Gaga – Don’t call it a guilty pleasure: there is no guilt.  In a quiet corner of my mind sits a sulking child who didn’t get to know Michael Jackson or Madonna in the eighties.  When he first heard Lady Gaga, that child got up and kicked the PBR-sipping hipster who runs my musical tastes square in the skinny jeans, and danced.

So that’s my Friday…

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