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Tag: lollapalooza 2010

Lollapalooza 2010: Final Thoughts and Photos

Put it in the books, yet another year of Lollapalooza is finished. If you were there, I hope you had as much fun as I did. I also hope you’re in better shape than I am, having barely slept all weekend and never stopping for more than a couple minutes each day to sit down and relax. Yeah it was painstaking, but also a very good time. As a wrap-up to this year’s coverage, I wanted to take a few moments and talk about the great and good, along with the bad and ugly, of the entire festival. Yes, music will be discussed at length, but in terms of amenities and food choices and other things unrelated to what was happening on stage, we’ll talk about that too. Oh, and I have close to 60 photos for you to stare at, chronicling the many musical performances you may have missed either because you skipped them or you skipped the entire experience. So without further adieu, let’s get started.

Lollapalooza 2010: Day 3 Quick Recap

If you made it through the entire weekend while at the same time maximizing the number of bands you saw, I have to congratulate you for surviving Lollapalooza 2010. The true festival warriors are few and far between, and though the heat and crowds and loud music technically affects us all in some way or another, those who spent 11 hours a day on their feet over this past weekend deserve some serious kudos. Well done to you and everybody else, because yet another Lollapalooza is in the books and hopefully you had a blast. I did, and will go over the best and worst of the festival for you in a separate post that will also have plenty of photos. For the momeng though, let’s continue to savor what was the final day of the festival, Day 3, with a speedy recap as we’ve done with the first two days.

I needed just a little extra sleep heading into Sunday, as I’d been seriously killing myself with all the running between stages and off-the-hook aftershows (more on those later). But I made it to Lollapalooza Day 3 at about 1:30pm, shortly after some serious rain showers threatened to put a damper on the entire day. The good news is that the sun held up. So did The Dodos, who turned in a stirring early afternoon performance. Between the three guys on stage, they sure made a lot of racket, especially since 2 of them were on percussion. A personal highlight was their rendition of “Jodi”, which was almost pitch-perfect even if the crowd didn’t quite understand that.

Johnny Marr is still playing the role of guitarist in The Cribs, whose last album “Ignore the Ignorant” was far catchier and enjoyable than anybody could have reasonably expected. But Marr generally tears things up, both on that record and live, and though the crowd might have been a little sparse, everyone that was there seemed to have a great time. Things were kept generally light and airy as potential radio hit after potential radio hit breezed past our ears.

Much credit goes to Minus the Bear for knowing their audience. You might not have known it, but they opened for Soundgarden a couple days earlier at The Vic for their pre-Lollapalooza Chicago warm-up show Thursday night (I didn’t go, but a friend of mine did). But with all the clouds disappearing and the sun beating down hotter than ever, Minus the Bear stuck with mostly their high energy, poppier songs. In other words, many of the psychedelic leanings displayed on “Planet of Ice” were held at bay, though ice would have been really nice at that point.

One of my biggest challenges headed into Sunday was whether to see Yeasayer or X Japan. X Japan has been around for decades but has never played a show in the U.S. before. As I’ve seen Yeasayer a couple times already, I chose the unfamiliar act. Their set wasn’t very crowded, but especially at the front, hardcore X Japan fans really openly displayed their love for the band by dressing in costume, or just flying in from Japan where they’re a national treasure. Now I got a little snarky on Twitter about the band’s performance, but honestly it was very entertaining. That’s about all I was looking for, and they delivered, complete with overblown leather outfits, a gong, and pyrotechnics. They’re everything a stadium rock band could ask for, playing to a crowd of a few hundred. Their takeover of North America may not be as easy as they’re hoping it will be, but should they land some success, at least they’ll have the great show to back it up.

I’ve seen Frightened Rabbit 3 times now, and the first time was before I had heard any of their music. That performance, about 3-4 years ago, sold me on the band at which point I bought all their music. The second time I saw them they had been run ragged on tour for several months with no break, all the while partying a little too hard. Singer Scott Hutchinson’s voice was shot and it wasn’t very good. For Lollapalooza this year, the band was back in shape physically, but their set still had issues – the biggest of which was a lack of energy on stage. Even some of their most energetic tunes were left feeling a little flaccid in the hot summer sun beaming down. They couldn’t have turned up the tempo just a little? At least they seemed to largely pull from their best album to date, “Midnight Organ Fight” rather than their so-so new one “The Winter of Mixed Drinks”.

MGMT drew a huge crowd for their set, and that was to be expected. Apparently most people there just wanted to hear “Time to Pretend” and “Electric Feel” and “Kids” over and over again, because most seemed turned off by the highly psychedelic nature of MGMT’s performance. There were plenty who just gave up after 15 minutes, choosing to try and find greener pastures, or just some good food nearby. I arrived late with food in hand and stuck around long enough to finish my meal, though I couldn’t hear that well. I thought the guys did some nice work.

I may enjoy the new Temper Trap album more than MGMT’s latest (but not by much), which is why I left the latter to go see the former. With the smaller crowd at the smaller stage, Temper Trap really held things down well and got the crowd engaged with sing-along choruses. Of course “Sweet Disposition” came off best, but it was clear there are more potentially big hits we could be hearing more of in the coming months.

Finally, though virtually every one of my friends went to Arcade Fire, I chose Soundgarden with the idea that this could be one of those “once in a lifetime” situations. Having missed out on their shows in the 90’s, this was a big chance to finally see those classic songs played live. And Soundgarden did deliver, playing pretty much every song you might want to hear from them, unless that song is “Pretty Noose”. No worries though, because even when they weren’t doing big radio hits like “Spoonman” and “Blow Up the Outside World”, they tackled “Searching With My Good Eye Closed” and “Gun”. To be fair, the heaviest stuff tended to sound the best, especially the non-singles, but there was something to be said for those as well. “Outshined” was taken to the next level thanks to Chris Cornell coming off the stage and interacting heavily with the crowd of rabid fans. With his hair grown back out long and curly again, Cornell also looked pretty much exactly the same as he did in the 90’s, with that same voice to match. The set wasn’t without its flaws, like how the performance of “Black Hole Sun” seemed like the equivalent of pulling teeth to Cornell as he was probably only doing it because he HAD to. His frustration is understandable, but couldn’t he at least ACT like he still kind of liked the song? Also a small issue was the general attitude the band members had towards one another, which seemed to be the equivalent of a holiday family gathering of strangers. All four guys were there and playing to the best of their abilities, but in terms of interaction or to suggest there was any love between these guys, you could forget it. The question should then be raised: how long can this reunion last? Well, should they break up again tomorrow, I no longer care – seeing a Soundgarden show gets crossed off my Bucket List. I’ll have more details on this show and others in my final impressions of Lollapalooza 2010, which will be ready to go in the next day or two.

Lollapalooza 2010: Day 2 Quick Recap

Photos are on the way Monday, but in the meantime, here’s a speedy recap of what went on (from my perspective) at Day 2 of Lollapalooza 2010.

The Morning Benders were more than a perfect way to start the day. Their lazy summer melodies just floated through the air and put smiles on faces. Closing with “Excuses”, Chris Chu builds his vocal harmonies one piece at a time via a looping pedal, and the result is exquisite to the point of singularly making it one of the festival’s highlights so far.

The Soft Pack were a little…soft when I saw them live last year, and for their big stage Lollapalooza debut they were again not very effective. The guys appear to be trying hard, and they’ve got the witty stage banter going, but somehow their songs still come off as lifeless and somewhat dull when they’re more exciting in recorded form.

The trio known as Harlem are an entertaining group of guys. Between a goofy t-shirt that features a girl in a bikini to some really funny stage banter, there’s plenty to love. And their songs are pretty damn good too, though they suffered a setback early on when a guitar string broke. No worries, they grabbed another one that apparently wasn’t prepped/tuned properly. They just kind of shrugged and kept going in delightful fashion.

Wild Beasts don’t make the most energetic songs, there’s a lot of quieter moments and a touch of psychedelia. While this should have turned off a lot of people in the band’s early afternoon set, instead there’s something about their performance that simply captivates in all the right ways. It may have been quiet, but it was nevertheless great.

Though they’ve seemed intent on becoming a mediocre band via their last two albums, Stars proves they still know how to put on a show. Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell bounce off one another easily while the other band members dance around on stage and shoot confetti into the crowd. It’s a bit exhilarating, and given that they played a generous portion of their older material, the set turns out nicer than expected.

The crowd was MASSIVE for The xx. At least it was at the start. Dressed in all black like they do, the band played mostly straight renditions of their album tracks, and on occasion the crowd would clap or dance along. Their minimalistic slow material shouldn’t have worked in this environment, but the crowd kind of forced it to. Then as the set continued people flocked out en masse. Too bad, there was a really rousing rendition of “Infinity” that included some frivolous cymbal banging.

Grizzly Bear are old pros by now. They’ve got their live sound pretty well down pat, and it’s nothing short of great. The way they handle the harmonies and balance out the set list with older and newer, lower energy and higher energy, is well played. So as nice as their set was, it met expectations but didn’t quite exceed them.

Emily Haines has always seemed destined for bigger things. Between her work in Broken Social Scene, as a solo artist and in Metric, she’s had her plate full and handled it all with style and grace. So it should come as no surprise that when Metric arrived on stage for their set, Haines went nuts on the crowd. She came out with such energy and positive vibes, backed by Metric’s upbeat and uptempo melodies. They ran through the highlights on their latest album “Fantasies”, and even slipped in their wholly incredible classic “Dead Disco” for good measure. The band seems destined for bigger and better things. This may have been the best set of the day.

Britt Daniel handles the first Spoon song all by himself with just an acoustic guitar for a friend. The band then emerges and proceeds to go through practically every one of their singles. They also pulled off a pretty dynamite cover of Wolf Parade’s “Modern World”. Normally Spoon don’t do a great job live, but this was by far the best I’ve ever seen them. Nice work.

For a total of about 5 minutes, I watched Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros perform a song. It was nice, but things were so insanely crowded over there that between the trees and people I couldn’t get a halfway good look at the stage. The one song I did hear performed was pretty decent, though it makes me think their entire set didn’t fare so well.

There are some very positive things to say about Green Day’s headlining set. There are also some very negative ones. Not getting into details here (you’ll have to wait for my final Lolla recap for that), but while it is great to hear you play the hits, must you extend every 3-minute song into an overblown epic? The chants and sing-alongs and detours are nice on occasion, but every time is a bit much. At the very least I was entertained by the sheer spectacle of it all, from the fireworks to the bringing fans up on stage, in many ways Green Day is a class act. More on this and other similar things on Monday.

Lollapalooza 2010: Day 1 Quick Recap

So at the moment I’m on very little sleep, it’s the middle of the night and I’ve just returned from an aftershow with The Walkmen. All of these factors mean I’m going to be extra quick with this recap of Lollapalooza Day 1. Try to keep up, and I’ll have more detail for you in my final writeup on the festival, tentatively set for Monday.

My day started with Wavves, and not only did Nathan Williams not freak out, but he was about 3x better than when I saw him last year at Pitchfork. Credit his new band of hilarious characters for keeping the set amazingly light and fun and mosh pit-tastic.

Oh The Walkmen. It’s early afternoon and they chose a handful of sleepier songs to play, in addition to the requisite hits of course. So “The Rat” and “In the New Year” come off exceptionally well, but everything else seems to have a little trouble inspiring the crowd. Blame the festival atmosphere more than anything, because having seen the band at an aftershow, they killed it under the guise of a small, dark club.

Mavis Staples is not only a Chicago legend, but a blues, soul and gospel music legend as well. Her new album, which was produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, is out next month, but they played new songs from it and Tweedy of course was on hand to help out for a couple. But Mavis is the one handling the spotlight, and she delivers an incredible performance that’s easily the best of the day and very much in the running for best of the festival. Among other things, she performed a cover of The Band’s “The Weight” that very much made it her own, to the point where a guy next to me asked if The Band version was a Mavis Staples cover.

As great as their album “A Brief History of Love” might be, The Big Pink chose to infuse their set with nuance and atmosphere rather than being loud and brash the entire time. Unfortunately, with the heat and the slower material, things started to stagnate and at times you wanted to check your watch to see how much time they had left. Still, “Dominos” came off well, and it wouldn’t have hurt at all for the band to say more than 2 words to the crowd.

Devo started their set with a bunch of songs from their new album. They clearly were out to keep the fans of their older stuff waiting. After “Girl U Want” and “Whip It”, I moved on to try and catch some New Pornographers. Devo’s high energy and solid performances of their songs made for one of the better things I saw all day, even if it was only half a set. I heard from some friends that things went severely downhill after “Whip It”, so maybe my leaving early was a good thing.

On approaching the large Budweiser stage as The New Pornographers were playing, I couldn’t hear what was going on until I got within about 300 yards. By comparison, walking away from Devo I could hear them all the way at Buckingham Fountain, which is at least 1000 yards. Still, I heard a few New Pornos songs, classics mostly, and they were great and delightful and I just kind of love Neko Case. A solid set from a solid band.

If you like Dirty Projectors’ obtuse melodies, then their set did not disappoint. I was surprised at how accurate they were able to recreate some of the tracks off their latest album “Bitte Orca”, and those 3-part female harmonies were nothing short of dreamy.

The Black Keys (and Dan Auerbach) have played Lollapalooza every year since 2005 except 1. Their bag of tricks is nothing new, except this time a new album and additional band members are in tow. Their set is high energy and fun, they played most of their hits, which was also nice but expected, and the couple new guys added a little something extra to the arrangements.

Apparently everyone wanted to go see Lady Gaga, because the side of the park with Jimmy Cliff and The Strokes on it has virtually cleared out. Which is upsetting mostly for the amazingly great Jimmy Cliff set. The guy may be an old reggae musician, but in no way does he act like either of those things on stage. He was always moving, dancing around, kicking up his legs, and even doing the occasional jumping splits. Combine that with a catalogue of classic reggae tunes and his superstar reputation is more than earned. This was probably the least-attended show I saw all day, and it also happened to be one of the best.

The Strokes started their headlining slot a few minutes late, and then finished it about 15 minutes early. The main reason why was a lack of material. They didn’t play every song from their catalogue of 3 albums, but they came close. All the hits were there, from “Last Nite” to “Someday” and “New York City Cops”, the only stone left unturned was “12:51”. As they breezed through their set, Julian Casablancas appeared lackadaisical and comfortable up there despite not moving around the stage at all. Albert Hammond Jr. tore up his guitar solos like it was on fire. Fabrizio Moretti held down the rhythm section with energy and aplomb. To put it simply, The Strokes put on a great show musically, even if it’s not the most exciting to watch.

Lollapalooza 2010: What To See

When preparing for your Lollapalooza weekend, unless you digest your music by the gallon, chances are you’ll wind up with at least a handful of moments where you’re not sure exactly what artist to go see. That will either result from a conflict where multiple artists you like are on at the same time, or you dislike or are completely unfamiliar with all the artists performing in a particular time slot. In this Lollapalooza preview guide, I aim to help you out with the tough decisions on each day, and hopefully inspire you enough to check out some different acts you might not think about otherwise. Please keep in mind that this is being written with zero regard for stage location, and if you want to walk from one stage to another it could take up to 15 minutes should it be on the other side of the park. So plan accordingly, and try to do yourself a favor and go see some artists you wouldn’t normally catch otherwise. Broaden your horizons a little bit – that’s sort of what a music festival is all about.

This year Lollapalooza is set to be bigger than ever before, with the festival grounds now extending across Columbus Ave. to a new section of the park, where one of the smaller stages along with the electronica stage known as Perry’s will be located. That also allows for tens of thousands of more people to attend the festival each day, which will probably go from bad traffic jams to worse traffic jams as it gets later in the day and people start to pack in for the headliners. But this is a new layout, and in its first year it’s going to be a game of trial-and-error to see what officially works and what doesn’t. On that note, I’ll have a full day-by-day report of this year’s Lollapalooza, so please check back to hear about the good, the bad and the ugly. For now though, let’s get started with this hour-by-hour preview of the must-see acts performing this year.

Lollapalooza 2010: The Songs

Welcome to the beginning of Faronheit’s Lollapalooza coverage for 2010. In previous years, I’ve spread my coverage over the course of a full week, starting on the Monday before the festival and ending the Monday after. It’s what I did for the Pitchfork Music Festival just a month ago, and while I have been covering Lollapalooza on this site since 2006, the sheer size and scale of it seems to require an even wider approach. Seeing as how it’s now Wednesday and things officially kick off on Friday, that wider approach will not be taken. Instead this year I’m scaling back my Lollapalooza coverage just a little bit. The reasons why mostly have to do with the economy, the endless amount of writing I have to do, and the fact that a number of notable albums were released this week and needed to be reviewed sooner rather than later. Don’t fear though, I like to think that this year’s coverage will pack the same punch as in year’s past, just in a more condensed form. That being said, today I’m happy to hand over what effectively amounts to a sampler of music from every artist performing at this year’s Lollapalooza. On the record, as there are plenty of copyright issues to be dealing with and Lord knows Lady Gaga’s people are just one of many who don’t want to give out free mp3s to the public, I can’t provide you with downloads for every single artist. What I can do is hand over an mp3 where it’s readily available and copyright cleared, and for the times it’s not, we have our good friend YouTube for streaming purposes. So there’s something of a visual component to this as well. If you’re curious about exploring and discovering new artists at this year’s Lollapalooza, look no further than this post before you start planning out your weekend. Enjoy, and tomorrow I’ll have a more in-depth written guide to what will hopefully be a weekend full of highlights. All the music is after the jump…

Album Review: The Arcade Fire – The Suburbs [Merge]

“If you say city to people, people have no problem thinking of the city as rife with problematic, screwed-up people, but if you say suburbs – and I’m not the first person to say this, it’s been said over and over again in literature – there’s a sense of normalcy.”Eric Bogosian

In its first couple seasons, the TV show “Weeds” had an opening credits sequence that was pure brilliance. It starts with a map of open land that quickly develops into the twisting roads of subdivisions with houses lined up right next to one another like a mouth full of teeth. Looking down those fully developed streets you notice that all the houses look similar, all the cars look similar, and even the people jogging around the neighborhood look similar. All of this backed by the Malvina Reynolds song “Little Boxes” from the 1960s which features the lyrics “Little boxes on the hillside/Little boxes made of ticky-tacky/Little boxes on the hillside/Little boxes all the same”. The song was written about the homogenization and conformity of middle-class suburbia, a place where the houses (“little boxes”) were made cheaply (“ticky-tacky”) and uniformly (“all the same”), and the people living there all followed the same life path to continue the cycle. And while that credits sequence along with Reynolds’ song wrap up in under 90 seconds, The Arcade Fire are now coming in decades later to dive headfirst into that same subject matter, but across a 64-minute album appropriately titled “The Suburbs”.

“Everybody’s youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.”F. Scott Fitzgerald

Win and Will Butler grew up in Houston, TX, a city that author Nigel Goslin once called “six suburbs in search of a center”. Calling that sort of environment home serves as a strong inspiration for much of the material on “The Suburbs”. The opening title track sets the theme and overall mood of what’s to come, sketching out ideas about “suburban war”, the follies (“we’re still screaming and running through the yard”) and perils of ADD-riddled youth (“by the time the first bombs fell/we were already bored”), along with the temporary nature of things (“all of the houses we built in the 70’s finally fall/meant nothing at all”). This suburban struggle is in stark contrast with how the band started their careers, opening their debut album “Funeral” with the exuberant “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”, in which two kids talk about breaking out of their snow-buried homes and living free among nature. The way it plays out, timeline and all, you could look at “Funeral” through the hopeful eyes of youth while “The Suburbs” serves as the sequel in which that same narrator is much older and after a hard life now views things from a darker and more pessimistic viewpoint. They may be different thematically, but they’re cut from the same relatable cloth that speaks to our times and empathizes with the good and bad moments of our lives. It’s for that same reason “Neon Bible” and its darkly-themed condemnation of religious zealots wasn’t as effective.

“Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.”Aristotle

One of the challenges that “The Suburbs” faces is the lack of massive and explosive choruses. That’s almost to be expected given the subject matter, but it does make the full album a little tougher to swallow than you might expect even though the individual songs are among their most accessible to date. The Arcade Fire don’t really do “small” songs, but the fair amount of restraint shown on tracks like “Modern Man” and “Deep Blue” is somewhat admirable. It’s about building towards something, and those calmer tracks are needed, and songs like “Wasted Hours” and “Sprawl (Flatland)” also fit that bill well without getting too bogged down in somber Neil Young-ian folk. There’s a whole segment on the second half of the album that starts to blend together if you’re not careful, and the loud and brash “Month of May” seems almost purposely inserted in there to break that up, with somewhat mixed results. But the track sequencing is actually more important than ever on “The Suburbs”, and aside from a few big highlights such as “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”, “Half Light II (No Celebration)” and “Empty Room”, the rest of the album makes the best and greatest impact when listened to from beginning to end. Within that full album context, there’s very little that seems like it could be cut while maintaining the overall thematic arc.

“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt, as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope and as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer and courage, so long are you young. When your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old.”Douglas MacArthur

In this single song obsessed society however, it’s unlikely that most of the people purchasing this album will ever hear the entire thing in one sitting more than once or twice. Our society’s impatience and constant push for instant gratification is largely tackled on “We Used to Wait”. Butler begins the song by talking about the now old school art of letter writing, and how “now our lives are changing fast/hope that something pure can last”. In the final minute, he mentions what music is like today, stating, “We used to wait for it/now we’re screaming ‘sing the chorus again'” before indicting himself as well by changing the “we” to an “I”. Funny then how the song closes out with the chant “wait for it” while the chorus never does reappear as the song fades out and is replaced by the sound of cars speeding down the highway – another reference to our fast-paced society. There are other small indications that lyrically read like Butler has a problem with hipsters as well, which is amusing considering how many of them are Arcade Fire fans. The entirety of “Rococo” seems to be a pointed insult, with lines like, “Let’s go downtown and talk to the modern kids/they will eat right out of your hand/using great big words that they don’t understand” and making light of the unending blog hype cycle by saying “They build it up just to burn it back down”. Perhaps he was just being ironic.

“To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.”Oscar Wilde

Sonically, “The Suburbs” is close to your average Arcade Fire record. There are plenty of things going on in each song to make them seem busy, but never TOO busy. You’ve got some standard big-time orchestral fare with tracks like the Owen Palett-arranged “Empty Room” and “Sprawl (Flatland)”. There’s the introspective folk of “Wasted Hours” and “Suburban War”. The plodding piano and guitars of “The Suburbs” and “We Used to Wait” are also familiar territory, as are the high energy electric guitars of “Ready to Start” and “Month of May”. Where the band switches things up are mostly on the two “sequel” songs of “Half Light II (No Celebration)” and “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”. It’s there that they get heavy with the synths and push towards an 80s vibe. You can hear bits of Depeche Mode and Blondie pushing through, and there’s little coincidence that the album’s best song “Sprawl II” comes nearly face to face with the classic “Heart of Glass”. While an album with plenty of synths might work on some level for the Arcade Fire as the pipe organ did on “Neon Bible”, they were far better and smarter to blend their various trademarks together here, as it keeps things interesting across the 16 tracks and 64 minutes.

“It is an illusion that youth is happy. An illusion of those who have lost it.”William Somerset Maugham

Those looking for The Arcade Fire to repeat their mindblowing success that was “Funeral” will more than likely come away from “The Suburbs” a little disappointed. Given that the two records are spiritual cousins however, there’s plenty to still get excited about. It’s wonderful to hear the band come out of the funk that “Neon Bible” put them in and return to something a little more basic. The concepts on “The Suburbs” are very much broad-stroked, and that’s on purpose to give you the easiest route to grasping and relating to the material. So there’s plenty of the old ideas, a touch of the new, and a maturity that’s necessary in these tough times. This may not be an album to get lost in given how steeped in reality it is, but what it lacks in escapism it more than makes up for with high, sweeping drama that reminds us, as George Bernard Shaw once said, “Youth is wasted on the young.” Living in the suburbs among the mass-produced houses and carefully planned subdivisions was never really as great as we seem to remember it. Win, Regine and the rest of the band spend “The Suburbs” trying to remind us of that, with the hope we’ll avoid making the same mistakes with our children as our parents made with us. Most of us have lived long enough to realize that life typically doesn’t go the way that we plan, and as life passes you by, so do many of your dreams. Depressing as that may be, we owe it to ourselves and to future generations to keep on trying each and every day to make this world a better place. If you’re looking for one, perhaps this record will be the wake-up call you need to avoid being drafted in yet another “suburban war”.

“Slums may well be breeding grounds of crime, but middle-class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium.”Cyril Connolly

Stream the full album at NPR for a limited time

Buy “The Suburbs” from Amazon
Buy it from Amazon MP3 for ONLY $3.99 (limited time offer)

Live Friday: 7-30-10

In the continued tradition of featuring Lollapalooza artists in the weeks leading up to the actual festival, this week’s Live Friday is a session with The Morning Benders. The band plays a handful of songs off their latest album “Big Echo” and do an interview in which they discuss working with Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear and how their sound has evolved since their last record. It’s actually pretty good all around. Of course just the songs are available for download, and if you’re interested in the interview, stream it via the link below. The songs are well done and summery, as you might expect if you’ve heard the album. The band is surprisingly adept at recreating those sounds live. Go for the downloads if you like the band, or are just interested in learning more about them. And if you’re going to Lollapalooza next weekend, be sure to catch their set!

The Morning Benders, Live on WXPN 6-15-10:
The Morning Benders – Promises (Live on WXPN)
The Morning Benders – Wet Cement (Live on WXPN)
The Morning Benders – Mason Jar (Live on WXPN) [YouSendIt] [ZShare]
The Morning Benders – All Day Daylight (Live on WXPN)

Stream the entire interview/session

Buy “Big Echo” 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”

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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