Continuing what is now a three-year tradition with my brother Dan, I attended Lollapalooza in Chicago again this year. This year our sister Lexie and my lovely girlfriend Katie came along to partake in three days of music, smuggled rum, Roman Cokes, sunshine, dancing, aching legs, and too many slices of Chicago-style deep dish.
Here’s a list of the bands that, in some capacity, we saw so that you can judge how cool I am (I think I might be kinda cool.) and how good my taste in music is. (At least I think it’s pretty good.)
-Father John Misty*
-Band of Horses*
-Lana Del Rey (Kinda. Stage’s sounds was bogus.)
-Nine Inch Nails (Kinda. We watched for like 20 minutes and very little occurred.)
-Shovels & Rope*
-Family of the Year
-Charles Bradley (From a distance)
-Matt & Kim*
-HAIM (though an insanely long bathroom line prevented us from seeing much of this)
-Mumford & Sons (which was pretty tame, so we went to…)
-Steve Angello (where Dan and I had to carry an uber drunk kid to the EMT)
-Wild Nothing (From a distance)
-Tegan and Sara*
-Alt-J (which was kinda dull, so we moved on to…)
-Major Lazer (which turned out to be a bad reason to leave Vampire Weekend)
* = exceptionally good sets/enjoyable shows
Going to this festival every year, hearing music from bands I know and bands I’ve just been made aware of… Well, it’s tiring as hell, but it’s also a blast! It makes me feel extremely old, yet makes me feel young again at the same time. It’s exhausting and exhilarating. It’s fun and it’s frantic.
Fingers crossed the tradition continues next year!
Anytime I take a drive of any duration, my iPod is where I get the accompanying music for the journey. I’m a big fan of shuffling, so when I’m using my gray iPod classic that’s currently home to 30GB of tracks from numerous musical genres I’m hearing one random song after the next. When I get new music, I like to put it all in a playlist and shuffle through all of it so I can sample each recent acquisition and still have some diversity in the soundtrack of my commute.
Though I may be funky and have a whole lotta soul, I am also a white boy with little rhythmic skill—for evidence, please see the bass guitar gathering dust in my closet that I more-or-less failed at due to my inability to keep time and distinguish up beats from the down ones. Perhaps its my own shortcoming that leads to my absolute love of bass lines and any and all sorts of percussion. To be able to just go to town on the drums, or whatever item you have handy like Blue Man Group or Stomp!…(sigh) It’d be like living the dream.
A particular favorite of mine in the percussion department is a little instrument called the clave.
Their sticks made of hardwood that make a rad hollow sound when hit together.
Billy Joel’s “Don’t Ask Me Why” is a great example of some fantastic clave usage. Head to the 1:08 mark for a close up and pay attention again at 3:05, right over Mr. Joel’s shoulder.
You can’t hear the clave’s full awesome power in this concert video (check out the song on The Essential Billy Joel for more, but that should whet your appetite for more wood banging…you know what I mean! Claves!