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Category: lollapalooza 2010

Album Review: The Black Keys – Brothers [Nonesuch]

We are quickly approaching the 10 year anniversary of the birth of The Black Keys as a band, and during that time they’ve been remarkably productive. The duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have together released 6 albums if you include their new one “Brothers”, and that’s coming off a year-long break from the band where both guys went off and did their own things. Auerbach released a solo album that was basically another Black Keys record in disguise, while Carney got together with a group of fellow percussionists and created the beat-centric band Drummer. Back from their brief separation, despite essentially working the entire time, The Black Keys are returning a refreshed and reinvigorated band looking to reclaim the loose and fun blues revivalist sound that made their first few records so compelling.

With their 2008 album “Attack & Release”,. Auerbach and Carney practically admitted their sound had grown stale after four albums, so they hired Danger Mouse to shake things up a little bit and bring some of that edge back. The experiment wasn’t an unmitigated failure by most standards, and it did take the band away from their heavy blues influences for a moment to incorporate some psychedelic elements. Danger Mouse isn’t helping out with “Brothers”, but The Black Keys haven’t entirely forgotten a few of the tricks they learned from him. They continue to incorporate some hazy, drug-fueled bits on this new record, though the overall sound is far more easygoing and old school than anything else. Auerbach continues to stir up some seriously fierce guitar work while Carney’s rhythms remain some of the best around these days. The small innovations they have made for “Brothers” include an increased reliance on organ and piano, as well as the incorporation of harpsichord for “Too Afraid To Love You”. Auerbach also breaks out a brand new secret weapon in the form of a falsetto that he’s apparently been hiding all this time, which is surprisingly strong and compelling. It adds a new dimension to songs like “Everlasting Light” and “The Only One”. Where that really shines though is on their cover of Jerry Butler’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”, which becomes nearly indistinguishable from the original. They were smart to avoid trying to make the song their own or improving upon it, as you don’t mess with perfection. And that the song passes by and fits in so perfectly with the rest of the album is just another sign of how The Black Keys aren’t so much ripping off past records but instead making music that’s of no particular time and place – it sounds good in any era.

The real tragedy with “Brothers”, if you can call it a tragedy, is that it once again shows that The Black Keys aren’t exactly interested in taking many chances. If you pick up any Black Keys album, there are certain markers you expect them to hit, and they almost always do. Their fuzzed out, swampy blues sound has carried them across these 6 records and they don’t appear to want to do a whole lot to change that. Given that most of those albums have turned out quite well though makes their lack of ambition more respectable, because you don’t always need to mess with success. “Brothers” may not be the best record The Black Keys have ever done, but it is more of a return to form after their last couple albums took much darker and more serious tones. Hell, if the cover art announcing “This is an album by The Black Keys. The name of this album is Brothers.” doesn’t make you crack at least a little bit of a smile, perhaps the music video for “Next Girl” which features Frank the Dinosaur puppet will. The album thankfully maintains that looser and goofier vibe and is better for it. For those familiar with previous Black Keys albums, “Brothers” won’t change your opinion of them either way, but it just might attract some new fans to the fold. That’s about all they can ask for this far along in their careers, though you have to start wondering exactly when the bottom is going to drop out on these guys and they become just another band settling for being average rather than continuing to try and expand upon what they’ve already done.

Buy “Brothers” from Amazon

Vote For Faronheit!

Dear friends and faithful readers,

First I want to thank you for your love and support these past few years that Faronheit has been in existence. It wouldn’t exist as it does today without your presence (silent or not), so I do appreciate you stopping by and reading, downloading, commenting, etc. I try not to ask for much, but when I do I’m always grateful to those who lend a hand. If you can help me out here I’d really appreciate it.

The wonderful Lollapalooza organizers have asked the general public (YOU) to help point out some of the best music blogs in Chicago. As you may or may not know (or if you haven’t looked at my banner at the top of the page), Faronheit is a Chicago-based music blog. I’ve lived in and around this city my entire life and I love it here (despite the weather). Since Faronheit started in 2006, I’ve worked hard to bring you the best and most complete Lollapalooza coverage this side of the official festival website. If you’re a regular follower of my Twitter, you also may have seen that I revealed bits and pieces of this year’s Lollapalooza lineup before the official announcement. And when that official announcement did happen, it was my very first post on the brand new after moving away from the old Blogspot location. Really I want this site to interact with Lollapalooza as much as possible, so I can continue to provide the festival coverage this city deserves.

That said, please vote for me. Follow the link, type in my web address into an open slot, and press submit. Your email address is NOT required (unless you want on to their mailing list). Whether you’re going to Lollapalooza this year or not, I’d still appreciate it if you’d help me out on this. Thanks again for your support!

Vote for Faronheit as one of the “Can’t Miss Chicago Blogs”

Album Review: The National – High Violet [4AD]

The National are what I like to call a “tapeworm” band. Tapeworms start out innocently enough, and you may accidentally ingest one through some piece of improperly treated food. What follows from there is the slow and steady build of a hunger that is seemingly never satisfied. One day you’re eating normally, and the next you’ve shoved three times the normal amount of food into your body and are somehow still craving more. That tapeworm will kill you if you don’t go to the doctor and get properly diagnosed. The National will certainly not kill you if you feed them, but in this analogy their music becomes that slow burn addiction that you can’t seem to get enough of. I first fell victim to this blessing/curse in 2005, when the band’s “Alligator” album showed up on my doorstep. At first, I didn’t give it much regard, finding the band’s somewhat somber songs a little boring and without much payoff. After a handful of listens I still didn’t get it and put the CD on a shelf while I dove into some other new and potentially great music. Fast forward to 6 months later, at which point a friend of mine whose musical opinions I highly respect told me that “Alligator” was a jaw-droppingly great record. It prompted me to pull the album off the shelf where I had left it and give it another try. It took another few times through, but after that, I was hooked like an addict to a drug of choice. I learned every lyric and sang along with every single song. It’s something I still do from time to time.

When “Boxer” came out in 2007, I was salivating with anticipation wondering if it’d be nearly as good as “Alligator” was. Again, I was disappointed. There weren’t any songs on “Boxer” that could match up to the highlights of songs like “Lit Up” and “Abel” and “Mr. November”, and my thinking was that it was a step backwards for the band. This was the snap judgment I made after a half-dozen or so listens. My review of the record at the time echoed that disappointment while remaining what I thought was exceptionally kind towards the band. Fast forward again another 6 months and listening to “Boxer” was nearly a daily event for me as I once again picked up all the lyrics and was singing along with every song. That December it wound up in my Top 5 albums of the year. With The National’s new album “High Violet” coming out today, I’ll now preface it by saying that I still listen to both “Alligator” and “Boxer” on a regular basis, and that’s more than I can say about almost any other band. Both records mean so very much to me, and yet again I’ve been aching with anticipation. As I’m writing this, I’ve listened to the album a half-dozen times.

Now that I’ve recounted my intense history with the last couple National albums, you should have some idea where I’m going to stand in relation to “High Violet”. Learning from my past mistakes, this review isn’t going to say a whole lot worthwhile except to recommend that you give the album awhile to win you over. From all indications, this looks to be another incredible notch in The National’s already strong belt of records, and while I’m still waiting for the obsession to kick in, the first thing I noticed was that “High Violet” didn’t turn me off initially as much as “Alligator” and “Boxer” first did. Of course I’ve also learned my lesson by now and am extremely familiar with what to expect from this band. If I have one gripe about The National, it’s that they have become just a little predictable in terms of their sound, not taking enough sonic risks. You’ve got your slow songs, a string section here, a brass section there, nonsensical lyrics, and anchoring it all is Matt Berninger’s seductive baritone. Ah, but that’s breaking it down into its crudest and simplest form, ignoring the end result, which are songs that though they often wind up sad and depressing, contain a surprising amount of beauty and compassion.

My favorite thing about “High Violet” at this point in time is how delicately crafted it sounds. Every note sounds austere, and when you have friends like Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon assisting you with compositions, that’s the sort of results you get. In many ways it’s a refining of the sound from their last two albums, not so much moving forwards as it is enriching what’s already there. This is especially apparent in the second half of the record, where songs like “England” and “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” are dramatically orchestrated , probably more than anything they’ve done previously. The sound is also largely built around Matt Berninger’s voice, which is so smooth and distinctive that coupling it with the darker tones of the instrumentals is like the meeting of Jack Daniels and Coke. And one of my absolute favorite things to do with any National album is to dissect the lyrics, because Berninger chooses such interesting words to string together. There’s typically no sense in trying to find any meaning in these songs, but there are themes and ideas you can sniff out through the careful examination of some phrases. “Sorrow” takes the titular emotion and personifies it to display how it permeates our lives. “Bloodbuzz Ohio” is at least in part about the financial problems most of us face on a daily basis, while “Lemonworld” goes on the offensive against high society. What “Conversation 16” is about is still somewhat lost on me, though my interpretation is that it’s a song from the perspective of a man worried about his own sanity in a relationship with a girl he clearly cares for. Either way, it’s probably my favorite track on the album so far. Really what’s most interesting to me when talking about the lyrics on not just “High Violet” but any National album, is that despite the challenges of trying to understand these strung together phrases, once you learn all the words, they SEEM like they suddenly make sense. Matt Berninger has gone on record saying that he writes these songs piece by piece, scribbling down words and phrases that he finds interesting, then pasting them together in whatever order he feels works best. That may be a foolish way of doing it, but honestly I find Berninger’s lyrics to be among the best that modern songwriting has to offer, sensible or not.

It should go without question that I am recommending “High Violet”. I’m still very much digesting this album, and it’ll probably be another few months before it fully sinks in as to exactly how good it is to me, but at the very least after a few listens I can confirm that The National continue to make compelling and gorgeous music, even if it is undeniably sad. In other words, nice job boys, keep up the great work. As this band’s popularity continues to increase with each record and people discover the power of this music, I want to encourage people listening to this band for the first time to hold steadfast and not give up on them if you don’t like what you hear right away. Give it some time, hopefully you don’t think the album is too painful to listen to a bunch of times, and I can almost promise you there will be rewards after a little while. That said, don’t be surprised if “High Violet” makes an extremely strong appearance among my favorite records of 2010. No promises, but this band tends to do it for me, and if you let them, hopefully they’ll do the same for you as well.

The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio
The National – Afraid of Everyone

Buy “High Violet” from Amazon

Album Review: The New Pornographers – Together [Matador]

As a genre of music, indie pop is so immediately likeable that if you can’t find a band to love that plays this style of music, chances are there’s something wrong with you. Between The Shins and Phoenix, there’s a fair share of “crossover” indie pop acts too, working their way onto the radio and the general public’s consciousness. Despite being around for 10 years, The New Pornographers, for some reason, have yet to break through that wall. They’re now on their fifth long player, and not a single one of their songs has gotten airplay on a Chicago radio station. Considering at the very least their first three albums were critically acclaimed slices of sugary pop that stuck with you for days and weeks on end, it’s even more perplexing. That’s before you consider the roster of great talents that make up this supergroup, from formidable band “leader” A.C. Newman to Destroyer’s Dan Bejar and siren songstress Neko Case. What is it going to take to get this great band to finally break through? Or are many people scared away by the band name itself, not wanting to be caught searching the internet or talking to their friends about “pornographers”? This mystery is beyond my own comprehension, but the hope is that this new album “Together” might finally earn them the sort of attention they so richly deserve from the right kind of people.

Coming off the somewhat disappointing slow player that was 2007’s “Challengers”, The New Pornographers appear to be feeling better these days, because the quicker and more upbeat tunes of their earlier albums are back on “Together”. Granted, we’re not talking about the high speed sugar-fueled pop of songs like “From Blown Speakers” and “Letter from An Occupant”, but the tempo is definitely faster than most of what was on the last album. So you can’t quite call it a full return to form, but there are a few differemt elements that come into play and add a different dimension to this well-established band.

First is the instrumentation. It feels like The New Pornographers have graduated from the rank and file of other groups in a similar vein and moved into new territory with their sound. Guitars still form the basis for their sound, but for the first time we’re really hearing a full string section and/or horns present through most of the songs. They’ve dabbled in these sorts of arrangements before, just not with the breadth and depth they are now. It was mainly hinted at on their third album “Twin Cinema” and now that transition appears complete.

Secondly, though the vocals have always been shared relatively equally between Newman, Bejar and Case, “Together” truly is the first record where every single band member seems like they’re on the exact same page. There’s a cohesiveness present that takes away the glaring differences between tracks written by the band’s three principal members. Largely helping to create this impression is that they all sing on virtually every song, whether that means taking on a verse or simply adding vocal harmonies. In other words, even a Dan Bejar-fronted song doesn’t always stay that way, and the added vocal diversity does some great work in helping this album to gel from start to finish.

It’s the small things that don’t change which give me the most pause on “Together”. Problems mainly stem from the lyrics, which in typical A.C. Newman fashion, appear to be written from the heart and then colored in with shades of grey. It’s clear that many of the stories he tells are personal, sometimes intensely so, but the wordplay is so hazy and unclear, you’re never entirely sure what exactly he’s getting at. The same goes for Bejar, who’s basically been doing that for his entire career. By keeping the audience at a lyrical distance, an emotional connection to these songs is increasingly difficult to establish, forcing you to settle for the general upbeat fun the music and not the words are offering up.

Despite those minor quibbles, “Together” is a very strong effort from The New Pornographers. They do much more right than they do wrong here, and compared to their last album this one’s a treat. In terms of where this might stand amid their critically acclaimed catalogue, I’m still not entirely sure. What I can tell you with confidence is that “Together” isn’t first or even the second best thing they’ve done to date. The most important thing you need to know is that this album is essentially a return to form for the band, while at the same time taking some of the necessary steps they need for progression’s sake. It marks one of the better indie pop records I’ve heard so far this year, and naturally I would recommend you get a copy should you feel up to it. Now if only more radio stations would give this band a chance.

The New Pornographers – Your Hands (Together)

Buy “Together” from Amazon

Album Review: Freelance Whales – Weathervanes [Frenchkiss]

Let me talk to you for a brief moment about the band Owl City. Surely you’ve heard at least one Owl City song if you’ve turned on the radio in the last several months, be it number one single “Fireflies” or the breakout hit “Hey Seattle”. Please be aware that you may not KNOW you heard an Owl City song if you’ve not been exposed to the record “Ocean Eyes” or heard a keen DJ mention it on the air, I could understand where you’d say there was no way you’ve heard a track by this one man digital band. The point I’m trying to get across is that Owl City is immensely popular right now, and amidst a community of more respected artists and music fans, this guy is nothing short of a joke. Yes, he knows how to write a compelling song, but the way he so blatantly rips off so many other artists to do it is what gets arrows shot in his direction. I mean, he’s basically said in interviews that he was “inspired” by The Postal Service and wanted to make an album in the vein of “Give Up,” and his attempt at imitation has turned into flat-out mainstream pandering. Why am I talking about this? Because the debut album by the band Freelance Whales seems to work on a similar concept. Pick one, two or five respected indie artists, and then do your best to imitate them. This seems to be the modus operandi behind the Freelance Whales album “Weathervanes”.

You know that cutesy indie pop band you love – you know, the one that creates bouncy songs with gleeful synths, handclaps and xylophones? This sort of music can come from any number of indie pop bands, and at some point on “Weathervanes,” Freelance Whales do that too. Remember that time when that one intricately orchestrated Sufjan Stevens song was played for you and it blew your mind? I guess Freelance Whales remember as well, because they’ve got a couple songs that eerily creep with that sort of orchestral pop joy. Let’s not forget about shooting for that epic anthem sort of song, the kind The Arcade Fire seem to specialize in. Apparently Freelance Whales also have a garage full of instruments and a soaring melody, so this next song is for all you fans of Win Butler and Co. This shit’s great, to the point where maybe even Apple will want some for their next iPad commercial or they’ll want a track to use on that movie soundtrack where the quirky Michael Cera stumbles his way into a romance with that hot-to-trot indie chick.

So despite all the figurative hate I’ve been spewing all over Freelance Whales in the past two paragraphs, I do want to go on the record as saying that I don’t dislike “Weathervanes”. The thing is, I absolutely know that I should, but the album seems like such harmless fun that being overly harsh on it feels like shooting a newborn puppy in the face. Freelance Whales mean well, I hope, and the songs on this record, while mostly poor imitations, actually sound good. The production is clean as a whistle and I suppose if I had a friend with a love of pop music who was having trouble getting into indie rock, I’d hand them “Weathervanes” as a way to bridge a gap and pave a path towards something more dignified like Belle & Sebastian. What I’m trying to say is that Freelance Whales are a necessary evil (not to call the band evil). They’re filling a void and I legitimately hope it works out for them. Plus, between the multitude of instruments and group-sung choruses, most of these songs are tough to resist. If you take a brief glance at the album cover, you’ll notice it’s a cloth landscape that’s stitched together with a button in the middle. It’s completely appropriate given the patchwork quilt of influences you’re able to pick out across the album’s 13 tracks and 45 minutes. Now imagine trying to wear a piece of clothing that was stitched together in such a manner. Between the random colors and awkwardly large stitches, you’d probably get a lot of stares – and not in a positive way. The reviews for “Weathervanes” may be scathing, but Freelance Whales are a band that deserves and will find a wider audience outside of professional critics and bloggers. So screw what I’m saying, and screw what some person from a major publication has written. If you like this band, good for you. I may not be able to recommend “Weathervanes” in good conscience, but take the mp3 below and go with your gut on this one.

Freelance Whales- Generator^2nd Floor (ZIP)

Buy “Weathervanes” from Amazon

Album Review: MGMT – Congratulations [Columbia]

Before I officially begin to review the new MGMT album “Congratulations,” I feel that I should outline my history with the band, so you’re fully aware of my perspective and understand a little better as to why I’m saying the things I am. At its most basic, I despise MGMT. The first time I ever heard them was in 2005, when they were touring as the opening act for Of Montreal. While they were appropriately paired with Of Montreal, their live shows couldn’t have been more different. Compared to the showy spectacle that Kevin Barnes and the rest of Of Montreal put on, MGMT was like watching a poor man’s version of karaoke. Their set essentially was karaoke actually, because they had a boombox and would play the instrumental versions of their songs and then sing over them. No matter how compelling the songs might have been, the memory of those two guys singing with a boombox has stuck with me. Still, a friend of mine was inspired enough to buy one of their early CDs after the show, and as I was working in radio at the time, the band’s music was forced upon me as I was pressured to play them on the air. So the first MGMT song I ever played on the radio was “Time to Pretend,” and this was back in 2005. Honestly, it kind of grew on me. That and their song “Kids” was pretty solid too. Imagine my surprise then, 2 years later, when I found out that not only was MGMT putting out a new album, but that they were now signed to a major record label. What followed was a series of promotional efforts, where MGMT songs were licensed out to TV shows and movie soundtracks, and pushed for radio airplay. The thing about it though was that whenever I’d hear MGMT on a soundtrack or on the radio, it’d be the same 3 songs over and over and OVER again. “Time to Pretend” and “Kids” and “Electric Feel”. Upon hearing their last album (and official label debut) 2008’s “Oracular Spectacular”, not only did I note that a majority of the songs on it were from 2005, but that there were only 3 really good tracks on the album, each of which I just mentioned. The rest of it was largely psych-pop crap that unfortunately a lot of people were sucked into buying. The small coalition of MGMT supporters grew to the masses as those 3 good songs got more and more exposure and the band played summer festivals around the world. Throw in the fact that at some point in all this they actually recruited people who could play instruments on stage instead of a boombox, and suddenly these guys have really become an indie band crossing over into mainstream success. Yet here I am holding that against them.

So now we’re up to date. People have been chomping at the bit for this new MGMT record “Congratulations,” and given the success from the last album, I can understand why. Personally, given my stance on the band as outlined above, I’ve been actively rooting for these guys to fail. I sincerely don’t do that often and for many artists, and when I heard the new album’s first single “Flash Delirium,” a gigantic smile spread across my face. They’re playing it on the radio now, and I fail to understand exactly why, because it quite frankly sucks. Now before you stop reading, thinking this is going to be a full-on slamming of MGMT and the extension of an “unjustified” vendetta I’ve carried against this band for years, I want to tell you that is by no means the case. See, much of the grand purpose in spewing all this anger towards the band is to explain that sometimes there are life lessons to be learned from these experiences. That said, I was also pleased to read that many fans of the band were upset with not only “Flash Delirium,” but also the entirety of “Congratulations” once they’d heard it via leaks and/or online streaming. All of this built me up and got me excited to hear the album, analyze it, and most likely write an angry review further denouncing the band. But much to my surprise, and ultimate disappointment, that turned out to be not the case at all.

See, “Congratulations” is not a horrible album. Hell, it’s not even outright bad. Nor is it a triumph, but it’s certainly better than it needs or deserves to be. The surprise the band pulls, and it’s something nearly no band in their right minds would do, is that they spit directly in the face of assured commercial success in favor of doing basically whatever the fuck they want. For that reason, and for that reason alone, I stopped in my tracks and forgot about how much I dislike these guys. It takes serious balls to break convention with such ease, and for all I know it’s going to talk them straight out of their major label record deal, but good for them for sticking to their guns. For all my wondering as to exactly why MGMT would choose a song so strange and uncommercial as “Flash Delirium”, I didn’t stop to think that maybe it’s because that’s one of the more straightforward cuts on the album. Compare it to the 12 minute collage that is “Siberian Breaks” or the instrumental of “Lady Dada’s Nightmare,” and you understand why “Flash Delirium” might get chosen.

As much as I’m impressed with MGMT’s “devil may care” attitude with this new record, it’s something that becomes both a strength and a weakness. Listening to “Congratulations” from start to finish in one sitting, there’s definitely a trippy, highly psychedelic vibe that permeates most every aspect of the album and lends it a cohesiveness you just don’t get by listening to a single song. It’s part of the reason why, on the surface, a glancing blow like “Flash Delirium” can come off as crass and completely out of its element on the radio, but one of the more brilliant moments when sandwiched in with the rest of the record. So if you’re able to take in the entire album as one long acid trip and an open mind, there’s the very real possibility new doors will be opened for you and you’ll come away with positive vibes. Taken from a different viewpoint however, the way this record plays out can be a bit annoying. Does “Siberian Breaks” really need to be 12 minutes long when it sounds like sketches of 4 separate songs? The short answer is no, and that goes for many of the tracks on this album as they flutter from piece to piece with little or no regard towards when one song begins and another ends. Yes, the tracks don’t bleed into one another, but like a pair of children with severe ADD, there will often be pieces of multiple songs contained within one singular track, be it 4 minutes or 12 minutes. Just when you start getting into a certain groove, suddenly the rug is yanked out beneath you in favor of a new direction and just like that you’re lost again. It works well in some cases, as with the obviously-titled opening track “It’s Working”, but gets more mixed reaction in others, such as “Brian Eno”. This is, in fact, pretty much the same exact problem I had with the last Of Montreal album and its similarly skewed take on unfocused psych-pop. I’d like to think that MGMT do them one better here though, mostly because their constant paradigm shifts feel more tempered and even-handed.

Earlier in this review, as I was cursing MGMT for their poor live shows and use of recycled songs, I said that there was a lesson to be learned from it. For me, that was to never judge a band by their past. Sometimes, they might just come back and surprise the hell out of you, as was the case here. With “Congratulations,” these guys proved to me that not only can they write an album’s worth of decent material that doesn’t date back to their pre-label days, but also that they really don’t give a shit about what you or their label might want. Certainly the majority of their fans would have preferred a full album’s worth of gems like “Time to Pretend” and “Electric Feel,” and that they didn’t even try to repeat that success shows me their interest is in artistic integrity rather than a quick cash grab. So this record alone is enough to convert me into not so much a supporter of MGMT, but more like a distant admirer. I can honestly say with conviction that they have made their strongest and most consistent effort to date, and though it doesn’t blow minds like some hoped it would, I’m okay with that if you are. If you fell in love with this band thanks to a couple strong singles on their first album, I might warn you away from “Congratulations,” but for the rest of us, it might be worth picking up if you can buy it for under $10 (hint: it’s on sale most everywhere this week for $8).

MGMT- Flash Delirium

Buy “Congratulations” from Amazon

Lollapalooza 2010 Lineup!

Yes my friends, it’s that time of year again. Winter has ended and we’re getting into the nice thaw of spring. Soon enough, summer will officially be here, and with that comes music festival season. It’s one of my favorite times of year, being able to hang out in some large park area and listen to bands upon bands at stage upon stage. And in my hometown of Chicago, we’re privileged to have two of the world’s most predominant summer music festivals when you’re talking about rock music. Far smaller and with a distinct emphasis on the independent and up-and-coming artists, the Pitchfork Music Festival is a “boutique” version of larger fests like Coachella and Bonnaroo. Of course Chicago also has their large fest to compete with those other two American institutions, and that comes in the form of Lollapalooza. As a one sentence history of all you need to know, Lollapalooza was a traveling festival for much of the 90s and featured a large number of big-name artists all performing under one roof. Since 2005, Lollapalooza has called Grant Park its home, and it will continue to do so for at least the next 8 years. I’m happy and proud to have both these festivals become mainstays in Chicago, and if you’re a resident or merely a frequent visitor, you know that its a great music city.

Now then, enough with the stalling. At midnight, the lineup for Lollapalooza 2010 will be published on the festival’s official site. I’ve been talking it up, as I do every year, for the last couple weeks (especially on Twitter) in anticipation of this announcement. If you’ve been paying attention there, you’ll already know much of the lineup. For the rest of you, feast your eyes on this:

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