I’m not huge into Lollapalooza. That might be a weird thing to admit in an issue that’s, you know, about Lollapalooza, but it’s true. It’s too expensive, the lineup is basically the same as every other big-name festival in the country, and—despite being in-shape and good at dressing for the weather—I seem to sweat way more than the average person. But, if there’s one thing I do like about Lolla, it’s the choices it forces you to make. Though innocuous on the surface, these questions actually make you consider deep questions about what’s important to you about culture. In 2011, I chose to see Lady Gaga instead of The Strokes. Gaga was the biggest thing in music that year, and though The Strokes are one of my all-time favorite bands, it seemed somehow more important to see the Fame Monster in her moment. I don’t have enough space to try and unpack the psychology behind this decision, but suffice it to say, I really kind of regret this now.
The So So Glos
See a punk show as early as possible that first day. Gets the blood pumpin’.
Bands that identify as neo-psychedelia usually bum me out—by and large, these groups are comprised of foul-smelling men who wear sandals and don’t hate Pink Floyd. But I dug Temples’ recent debut, “Sun Structures”—there’s some muscle beneath the trippiness, and they don’t seem like they’re trying to be something they’re not.
This is a tough one—highly reminiscent of that aforementioned controversial decision I made in 2011 to see an artist I found fun and interesting over an artist I actually deeply love. This time, I compromise. Iggy, all questions of appreciation vs. appropriation aside, is fun to listen to, and it’s her moment. I was so obsessed with “Turn on the Bright Lights” in high school that a girlfriend of that era gave me an Interpol-themed teddy bear for Valentine’s Day, but everything they’ve released since “Antics” has been boring as shit. So here’s what I’ll do: I’ll see the beginning of Iggy, knowing she’ll probably do “Fancy” early, and the second-half of Interpol, when they transition from aforementioned boring new stuff to their mid-2000s classics.
While we’d all probably rather have seen her six-to-ten months ago when “Royals” and “Team” weren’t playing on every radio station at exactly the same time forty-six times per day, it’d still be cool to see her. Though my love of James Mercer might draw me to Broken Bells or my love of British frontmen whose singing is indecipherable might draw me to The Kooks.
Shady’s most recent album, “The Marshall Mathers LP2,” was basically just a less-good rehash of 2010’s cathartic “Recovery” (though rhyming Rumpelstiltskin with Russell Wilson is pretty clever). Still, there are probably eleven Eminem songs I’d love to hear, another seven I’d like to hear, and an entire catalog of Arctic Monkeys music I’d like to continue to ignore.
I’ve heard exactly three songs by this dude, and each one rocks fucking hard.
If I made a movie about high school, Parquet Courts would play during the scene where we drink vodka out of water bottles in someone’s basement.
Random Wandering Around, Avoiding Fitz and the Tantrums
Far From the Samsung Galaxy Stage
Drinking beer, eating burritos, suffering from debilitating sunstroke, etc.
Nas is one of the greatest rappers of all time, and the fact that he’s not star enough to headline this festival is ridiculous.
Three predictions: 1) Some other prominent musician will make a cameo, probably on “Acid Tongue.” 2) She wears a profoundly idiotic outfit. 3) J-Lew closes with a Rilo Kiley song, probably “Portions for Foxes,” and it sounds better than the original.
“Hey Ya!” is the most important pop song released between 2000 and 2010—the one song that is, technically-speaking, overplayed—even eleven years after its release—that I have not grown tired of. But my hope is that the duo does as much early stuff, preferably off “ATLiens” (1996) and “Southernplayalist…” (1994), as possible.
The first shows on Sunday are tough—two days of beer and unmitigated, ninety-degree sunshine take their toll on a person—and there’s no way I’m showing up early to have Kongos yell in my face to come with them now. And my deep, unyielding hatred of the group fun also makes me hate Bleachers. So, I’ll take my time, show up in the afternoon, and begin my day with the soothing Americana-rocker Delta Rae.
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
The bearded sad sack from “Once” could either be amazing or amazingly bad. Being an unkempt sad sack myself, I’ll take my chances.
The Airborne Toxic Event
Two reasons: “Sometime Around Midnight” is one of the one-hundred-best break-up songs of all-time, and more bands should look to Don DeLillo novels when deciding on a name.
Everyone knows Donald Glover’s artistic pursuits are ranked acting, stand-up, rapping. However, he does all three better than most people, and “Because the Internet” was underrated.
Chance The Rapper
This is maybe the most obvious selection on this list. Chance is one of the best young rappers out there. This is his hometown. Will anyone actually see Kings of Leon instead? That’d be like being from New Jersey and passing on seeing Springsteen in Newark to see Mumford and Sons.