Thursday, April 12th, 2007

Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night

The official lineup for Lollapalooza 2007 wasn’t supposed to be announced till this morning, but like all things on the internet, it leaked early yesterday afternoon and though everyone’s got it, I’ll direct you to Muzzle Of Bees’ nicely-formatted list to have a boo. The big names are Pearl Jam, Daft Punk, Iggy & The Stooges, Modest Mouse, Interpol, etc etc. Billboard talks to the Lollapalooza organizers about assembling the talent for the festival.

It’s an undeniably massive lineup with a blend of veteran acts (some might say TOO veteran) and up-and-comers but as I scan the list, I don’t see a lot of names that get me especially excited. Lots of acts that, were I already there or if I lived in the midwest I’d happily check out, but to actually plan a trip around? Lollapalooza 2006 was easily the best music festival experience I’ve ever had and I was looking forward to this year’s edition from pretty much the minute I got back last year, but now that I’m weighing who I’d get to see versus what it’d cost me, I’m uncertain if I’ll be in Chicago this August after all.

Almost all the bands that will be in attendance that I’d want to see, I’ve already seen and the ones I haven’t are almost certain to come through town sooner or later. Sure, that’s dismissing the fun of the rock’n’roll road trip and festival experience, but I’ve done it. On the one hand, I’m pretty sure I’d be able to get media access again and I’ve already got a hotel room booked not five minutes from Grant Park (told you I was anticipating this year’s fest) but on the other hand, I’m already in the hole for vacation days from work and would just as happily keep the cash I would have been spending for other frivolousness and my festival joneses can probably be satiated closer to home with Hillside, Virgin Fest and Pop Montreal, even if it means giving up the chance to see the inevitable Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Yeah Yeahs supergroup. Now my mind isn’t made up yet, but I’m definitely reconsidering.

And it’s also raised the question in my mind, who WOULD have to be in the lineup to make the trek worthwhile? Who’s out there that I haven’t seen that I want to? Is there a reunion that would be so improbable and so unbelievable that I would get on a plane to anywhere to witness it? You know, I don’t think there is. And that kinda makes me sad.

Almost certainly timed to coincide with the announcement of this year’s lineup, eMusic is now offering many of the sets from last year’s Lolla for download – I grabbed The Hold Steady set – Craig Finn’s voice sounds wrecked, moreso than I remember from being in the audience (and from where the photo above was taken), but the sound quality is great. They’re one of the few acts to be back from last year’s lineup.

It’s also a shame that Wilco isn’t in the lineup – not just because I’m always excited to see them live, but because with Son Volt in the lineup, rumours of an Uncle Tupelo reunion/street fight would be RAMPANT. But alas, not to be. But I did do pretty well at the Massey Hall presale yesterday – fourth row seats for their June 30 Toronto show. Nice. Australia’s X-Press talked to Glenn Kotche, The Herald Sun to Jeff Tweedy and Beat to John Stirratt about Sky Blue Sky, out May 20 and City Pages and Express talked to Low, who are opening the show and the whole tour. You can also download their recent show in DC, along with that of Loney, Dear (who are themselves at Lee’s Palace on June 3) at NPR. As for Son Volt, they’re at the Mod Club tonight. NOW asks five questions of Jay Farrar.

Nashville Scene talks to TV On The Radio’s David Sitek.

The Riverfront Times and Houston Chronicle ask Yo La Tengo about their fountain of youth.

USA Today, JAM!, The Georgia Straight and City Pages introduce their readers to Elvis Perkins. He’s at the Kool Haus opening for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on Saturday night.

And to maintain my Lolla meme today, I should note that one of the bands I was able to cross off my “must see” list at last year’s fest, Built To Spill, are FINALLY coming to Toronto. I have no idea when the last time they were here was, but it’s been at least a half decade and almost certainly longer. But at long last, they’re coming and for two nights, no less. Lee’s Palace is the place to be on July 10 and 11, tickets are $26.50 and go on sale April 19.

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists had originally been mentioned as very probable on the Lolla lineup rumour mill, but lo and behold – he’s not there. Update: According to the official website, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists are indeed playing Lollapalooza. Glad I’ll be seeing him May 2 at the Mod Club. Seattle Weekly talked to Leo about some of the background that went into Living With The Living.

And finally, sadly, Kurt Vonnegut, RIP.

By : Frank Yang at 8:24 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Rick says:

    Thats fantastic news about Built to Spill. THey are one of the best live bands I have ever seen. I was wondering where you saw that they were coming around. Is it posted on another website? I heard they are playing a bunch of shows around Canada this fall and it would be great to see them multiple times!

  2. Frank says:

    Rick – the info came from the booker’s press release last night. definitely excited to see them and in such a cozy venue, no less. Guitar orgies!

  3. distopian_dreamer says:

    I had heard rumours of a Winnipeg Folk Festival appearance, so I guess this clinches it. BTS are indeed one of the best live bands around and playing Lee’s is fantastic news! The last time BTS came to Toronto was for the Keep It Like A Secret tour, around ’99 I think.

    Guitar orgies is an understatement! I smell road trip…

  4. Jon says:

    This is the best news I’ve heard since I found out about the Do Make Say Think show tonight. I hope I can make it to both shows.

  5. rc says:

    yeah Built to Spill!!!!

    but I am 99.9% sure they have NEVER played Toronto – I have been a fan since "there’s nothing wrong with love" and have been waiting for them to play here….so unless they came before that album at some really small venue opening for some other band..they have never been.

  6. Kevin says:

    organizers for the bluesfest here in Ottawa are supposedly working on making built to spill part of this year’s festival in July. makes sense if they’re gonna be down the road in TO for a couple of dates. For anyone else out there who cares, other rumoured acts believed to be performing at bluesfest this year include white stripes, modest mouse, los lobos, bob dylan, jerry lee lewis, manu chao, etc…lineup will be announced in a couple weeks. looks like joel plaskett emergency and final fantasy are definitely a go. judging by the last couple of years i’m looking forward to seeing who’s playing on the side stages.

  7. mike says:

    If Maureen, John and Lou could get together again, I would love to see a Velvet Underground reunion. That could possibly make me want to go to Lollapalooza this year. Also, a Smiths reunion, although that’s even less likely to happen. I had the same reaction about this year’s Lolla lineup when I read it – a very decent lineup, but nobody I’m absolutely dying to see. If I go at all(I’m not planning to go, but anything’s possible since I have a lot of vacation time), it’d be more for the rock n’ roll experience.

  8. Tony says:

    Well, I’ll make a deal with you. If you can get me an additional press pass, you can crash on my couch. I’m an El ride away to downtown.