Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Who's Your Daddy?

OK, so you've seen me ramble on and on about my Top 10 Tours (see Favorite Sites list at the top right of this journal). Tell me about yours!

It doesn't have to be a list of 10. It doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't have to be funny. But maybe I'll learn something about some bands I should be checking out next time they're in town. Or maybe you'll find that long-lost someone you left on the beach blanket at the Buffett show who agrees it was the best concert ever. Sound off!

Don't Dismay! Lolla Artists On Tour

If you had your heart set on seeing your favorite artists on the Lollapalooza bill this year, don't give up all hope. Many are filling their recently emptied calendars with solo tours. Here's a handy list:

Ex-Day 1 Performers:  Sonic Youth -- Modest Mouse -- The Walkmen

Ex-Day 2 Performers:  String Cheese Incident -- Pixies -- Gomez -- The Polyphonic Spree -- Sound Tribe Sector 9

Personally, I wish Morrissey would hit DC this summer. After reading the glowing review of his show at the Apollo in NY in the June 10th issue of Rolling Stone, anyone would be a fool not to catch him. RS are more than happy to dole out 2 and 3-star ratings to live performances, but are notoriously stingy with a 4-star rating... and Morrissey Ranked 4 stars (sorry for the pun). This bit was the clincher for me: "Old classics such as 'Every Day Is Like Sunday' and 'I Know It's Going to Happen Someday' were amazing, but he zoomed past all expectations by dusting off a few Smiths tunes."  Smiths tunes?!  Please please please, Morrissey, come to DC! 

Breaking News: Lolla & Other Tour Cancellations

Lollapalooza: Yes, fellow music fans, it's true. Lollapalooza 2004 has been canceled. I am shocked and dismayed! Get the full story.

Wearing my "music industry" hat, on some levels I suppose I can understand. I think a 2-day traveling fest is a tough sell in the first place. Most folks will probably pick whichever day has the greatest percentage of their fave artists, rather than investing time & cash in both days. Second -- and you indie music purists will want to shoot me for saying this -- I don't think the lineups had any A-List artists capable of really roping in the $$$.  While any one of the bands on the lineup could easily support a solo tour, somehow their combined draw wasn't enough to support a 2-day fest.

Wearing my "music fan" hat, however, I was definitely seduced by the lineup -- particularly Morrissey and the Pixies. And I was looking forward to seeing what all the hubbub is about with several of the other bands on the lineup -- particularly Modest Mouse.

Why do you think Lolla couldn't make it this year? Give us your 2 cents worth.

Lollapalooza has a big place in my heart, being the source of an abnormally high number of my Top 10 concert experiences ever. (1st place, 4th place, honorable mentions, & more honorable mentions) I am saddened to see that it is having such a hard time sustaining itself in this decade. I hope Perry doesn't give up entirely next year. I'll keep my fingers crossed that he'll hit on a better concept that will prove irresistible to others besides just me.

Other Cancellations: News of Lolla 2004's demise comes hot on the heels of announcements of a slew of other A-List cancellations. First Ms. Dirrty herself, Xtina Aguilera backed out of her tour due to strained vocal chords. Next Marc Anthony (A-List status debatable) backs out, as well. Then (Ms. My-Last-Name-is-Superfluous) Britney cancels her tour due to knee surgery. With a dramatic lack of divas on tour, it's no small wonder Cher has stepped in to fill the void with her Farewell Tour muttering, "quitters!" all the way to the bank. The irony kills me.

Last year was a banner year for tours, leaving the industry wondering what the heck is happening this year?!  Tell us what you think.

Monday, June 7, 2004

Louisiana Swamp Romp

In the words of the immortal Maurice Sendak in Where the Wild Things Are, "Let the wild rumpus start!"

True to my words about fave local fests, I decided last-minute to ante up and head out to the Louisiana Swamp Romp at Wolf Trap on Sunday. First allow me to say how nice it is that Wolf Trap is one of the lone remaining amphitheatres that allows its patrons to bring food and beverages. A Louisiana Swamp Romp would certainly be less of a romp without the requisite bevvies, not to mention the Mardi Gras beads. Mass drunkenness aside, the highlight of the afternoon was the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. About them I will say just this: they can bring the funk. Hallelujah, brother.

As an aside: For those of you in the metro DC area who are curious about the cicada situation at an outdoor amphitheatre show, don't stress too much. I am NOT a fan of insects, and can think of few things I like less than cicadas dive-bombing my head. So I went to Wolf Trap with much trepidation. I'm pleased to report that it really wasn't that bad!  It wasn't a swarm of biblical proportions. Nor would I use the word "infestation". In fact, the cicadas really weren't that much of an issue. So don't let the cicadas get you down. Get thee to an outdoor show immediately and soak up the summer while it lasts.