Monday, July 28, 2008

Lolla Lineup Cliff Notes - Saturday

Continuing our preview of Lollapalooza, here are the acts playing on Saturday at the six main stages in chronological order - along with my gut-check synopsis of each one and a rating from 1-10 of how interested I am in seeing them. Feel free to add your own enlightening comments!

The Schedule

Krista - 0 Worse than anything all day on Friday. Major pro-tools implemented on horrendous diva tunes. Meredith Brooks meets Evanescence, but without their collective talent.
De Novo Dahl - 2 Better than Krista at least. But extremely reminiscient of New Radicals. Hence the 2.
Witchcraft - 4 Sabbath-esque fuzz-rock from Sweden. Except it's more Kansas than Sabbath, alas.
Margot & the Nuclear So and So's - 4 A bit like Travis, but with less of an edge. Very sing-songy.
Does It Offend You, Yeah? - 7 Kind of all over the map in terms of genre, but at their best when they fire up the boops, beeps, and buzzers in an aggressive manner.
The Postelles - 4 Directly halfway between The Replacements and Vampire Weekend.
The Ting Tings - 5 I shared a flight to Amsterdam with these guys (or, their gear at least). But that's neither here nor there. With a four-on-the-floor dance beat with, they're as close to disco as indie music can get. I hate disco, but this isn't so bad.
Ferras - 1 It's like Billy Joel crossed with Billy Joel and some Rob Thomas sprinkled on top. What the christ is this guy doing here???
Mason Jennings - 2 A mix of Dylan-esque folk and Ben Harper-esque crap. Saturday is really beginning to look extremely disappointing. Just hashing through this pap is disenheartening.
Dr. Dog - 6 Soulful, relaxed, southern indie rock... from Philadelphia. They're a bit too poppy and the vocals are a bit too Bright Eysey for me, but I can see why they're getting so much attention.
Innerpartysystem - 2 The songs each start out with some promise of decent industrual rock until the cheeseball vocal assault (complete with protools overlay). Likely to show up on the soundtrack of a romantic comedy someday... starring Julia Stiles.
Foals - 5 Rhythmic, almost chanted vocals with minimal guitar and drums. I wish it were the other way around.
Dierks Bentley - 1 The worst kind of country music. Case in point: "Girl that's kiiiind of the waaaay I'm feelin'. Tryyyyin' to stoooop your leavin'." Somebody shoot me.
The Gutter Twins - 7 Mark Lanegan of The Screaming Trees and Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs combine forces to make dark, creeping tunes. The songs are good and have their emotional peaks, but I wonder how well this will play at a festival.
Steel Train - 3 At moments, they sound a bit like a cheerier Wolf Parade. But in others they sound like a bar band.
DeVotchKa - 5 The easiest way for me to describe them would be to say that they're a more earnest version of Gogol Bordello. It's not as intense, and certainly prettier. I'd actually rate them higher, but a set at the Wicker Park Fest last year was just too unintense to work.
Booka Shade - 2 Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier play tedious German techno. Just like you'd expect them to. I just don't know why they're not on Perry's stage.
MGMT - 7 What Beck should be doing. Squawky, white boy pseudo-soul with a slick, electronic beat. Closer to TV On The Radio than anything else.
Serena Ryder - 4 Not sure if you'd call this folk or country, so let's go with Americana. Only the voice is Stevie Nicks meets Katherine Hepburn. Click on the myspace and you'll see what I mean.
Explosions in the Sky - 9 If you read this space regularly, you know how much I appreciate them. Major symphonic compositions played by a four-piece rock band. Clearly, this ain't the right venue, but they've played enough festivals by now, maybe they have this thing down.
Brand New - 2 More cheese. Practically a blink 182 cover band except they break into Dashboard Confessional screaming. They even have a song called "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad." I don't know who booked Saturday, but they suck.
Spank Rock - 5 Excited booty rap. The dude's vocally agile. I'm afraid I don't have much more to add to that. Anyone seen him live before?
DJ Bald Eagle - 6 Really aggressive electronic beats with various characters rapping over them.
Okkervil River - 9 I've been dying to see these guys ever since I had to miss their Schubas show two years ago for overseas business meetings. I once called them halfway between Tom Petty and Arcade Fire. Obviously this is a good thing. I stand by that assertion.
Jamie Lidell - 5 He played Pitchfork last summer. Of his performance, I said, "He basically has two types of songs. On some, he beatboxes and does all kinds of electronic mixing and theremin playing behind a table. On others, he gets out in front and sings Motown-fashioned whiteboy soul with a backing track." I remember thinking he was all right.
Uffie - 2 French electronic female hip-hop. I don't like the major effects being put on the vocals. It's very pedestrian, except the lyrics are raunchy. I think if I knew a hot chick, I could create this band on my PC. Yes, she's pretty hot. That's why 'cause she got a 2.
Broken Social Scene - 10 I have attended seven Lollapaloozas in my life. I don't know how many performances I've taken in across all of those fests. But I know what the top two of them are. #1 (by a nose) was Arcade Fire in 108 degree heat at the initial reincarnation of the festival here in Chicago. #2 was Broken Social Scene two years ago in a completely stunning 45 minute set. #3 would be well behind those two. Lolla has been owing them those extra fifteen minutes since that time. There's no way I'm missing this.
Battles - 8.5 Largely instrumental, mathy, in-your-face rock centered around former Helmet drummer Jon Stanier. I was a bit disappointed by their Pitchfork set last year, but others were raving about it.
Lupe Fiasco - 7 Creative, adroit hip-hop from Chicago. Worth seeing. They really screwed us with this time slot.
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - 5 Soul with a pretty tight band, but the vocals are nothing special, which basically means the soul is nothing special. Could be good live, though.
Toadies - 6 Stompin' Texas Rock reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age. Had a big hit in 1994 with "Possum Kingdom," but have evolved a bit since then. They'll lead very well into the headlining act.
Wilco - 7 It often seems weird that these Chicago roots rockers became as huge as they did. Their songs are overly catchy, and they never had a megahit with any of them. But they certainly have plenty of great ones.
Rage Against the Machine - 10 Last time I saw this fiery, politicized, angry rock-rap act, it was at Lollapalooza - in 1993. They kind of stole the whole show. Their current incarnation is being mocked as all reunion tours are, but I think they're going to burn the whole damn place down. I can't wait.

Sunday's Cliff Notes Preview will be up tomorrow morning. Again, please feel free to add your two cents...

No comments: