Lollapalooza 2006

Yesterday I went to Lollapalooza here in Chicago, at Grant park. It was a three day festival including something like 150 bands - totally gigantic. Sunday was the final day and had most of the bands I wanted to see. I had a blast, perhaps as good as the first Lollapalooza I went to back in high school in Waterloo, NJ (starring Rage Against the Machine, Alice in Chains, Primus, Tool, and way too much moshing).

The first band I saw (and the band that was the deciding factor in me going) was Nickel Creek. They were awesome - just four folks, mandolin, upright bass, violin, acoustic guitar. The highlight came when they covered Britney Spear’s Toxic (happens to be Dan’s favorite). It was incredible. And I just downloaded one of their albums - I highly recommend you do the same. Right now.

Then I walked to another stage to see Andrew Bird - holy cow can this guy whistle. I promise you’ve never heard someone whistle like that. Pure.

Up next was The Shins. They are a great band, introduced to me by Dan, and listened to lots by Dan, Pat Urda, and me during our times. The sound from the speaker system was the worst - totally disappointing. Arg. Their lead singer is Kevin Spacey. Have a look. I’m serious.

The last band I watched was Wilco (check the site, that’s a picture from yesterday, I was there dude!). I’ve not been into Wilco in the past and so I was hoping to see the hype and maybe be converted. I like them a lot and they were very good. I admit it though, I just don’t get why so many people (Dan) think they are gods. I like their style more now. But it’s still a case of me thinking, “am I missing something?” Maybe.

And then I didn’t get to see The Red Hot Chili Peppers because I had to leave for a date/set-up deal. Good decision.

DavidNews08/07/06 7 comments


Patrick • 08/07/06 10:25 PM:

You mean you didn’t see Broken Social Scene? Check out their video for Fireeyed Boy featuring my man Geddy Lee. Notice the bass player in his “audition” doing the patented Geddy-Lee kick. Geddy seems impressed.

Dan • 08/08/06 12:34 AM:

You know what you missed by skipping out on RHCP? Broken ears. They play WAY too loud and Anthony Kiedis cannot sing. He’s awful. They’re not particularly good live. And John Frusciante’s creeky-cracky high-note harmonies go on and on and on and never stop hurting your ears.

Now, Toxic is an awesome song. Stop hating. It’s got two melodies that knock your socks off.

I’m really not sure how The Shins aren’t the world’s biggest band. I’m serious about this. They are ultra-catchy, they have short songs, they could all be singles, cool album artwork, a great live show, and, most importantly, they were mentioned in the very popular (and mighty awful) movie Garden State where Natalie Portman said that their song New Slang will change your life. The soundtrack to that album is, like, the greatest soundtrack of all time or something and everybody I know owns it. The Shins have two songs on there, including (Woah! I just accidentally typed “inclooding”!!) Caring is Creepy, which I think is one of the best songs ever recorded.

Now on to Wilco. I talked to my friend Jon, World’s Biggest Wilco Fan, who was at the show. He said that they played a lot of obscure stuff that probably wouldn’t attract a new audience. Oh well. Wilco can be like that. But they did play a couple money songs, Jesus, Etc. and Heavy Metal Drummer. If you don’t like those songs then you are mental. Via Chicago, while pretty cozy most of the time, turns the tide when the band simulates the sound a plane would make if it flew into a stadium in slow motion. I just found the setlist and I’m sure you dug their closer, Hummingbird, yes?

Dan • 08/08/06 12:38 AM:

Oh, and Broken Social Scene is one of my favorite bands these days. I need to get their new album. Their first album is basically all instrumental, hence their comment, “Can’t we just make it an instrumental?” in their video. And they’re Canadian. All Canadians love Rush. But most Indie-lovers hate Rush. Oh well. BSS’s second album is superb. And it’s got a great title: You Forgot it in People. Not sure what it really means, but it’s cool. The Fireeyed Boy song doesn’t seem as good as most on the 2nd album, but I’ve only heard it once. Here’s some random dude’s video for one of my fav BSS songs, KC Accidental. Ignore the video.

Dad • 08/09/06 4:18 PM:

David, you haven’t heard whistling ‘till you’ve heard Elmo Tanner. He sung and whistled with the Ted Weems Orchestra in the 30’s. Listen to this recording of Heartaches recorded in 1938. (Go to the bottom of the page under “Golden Favorites.”) His whistle has an instrumental quality that makes it hard to believe that he’s really whistling.

There have been many other whistlers but I don’t think any of them reached the heights of Mr. Tanner. When asked, my Dad would tell you that Bing Crosby (who also whistled well) was the best singer in the world and Elmo Tanner was the best whistler.

Patrick • 08/10/06 10:49 AM:

That “Heartaches” song is pretty good, but you should mention that the whistling doesn’t start until halfway through. I was listening to it, waiting for the whistling, then, given your comment that “His whistle has an instrumental quality that makes it hard to believe that he’s really whistling,” I started straining to hear of some of that saxophone-sounding music was really a guy whistling, or if he was doing a kind of percussive whistling of some sort. That was an unintentional dirty trick, Dad.

It was good whistling, nonetheless. But does anybody else suspect that maybe Elmo Tanner’s primacy is helped by the fact that there is no competition? Maybe if anybody cared about whistling today, there’d be whistling training facilities, whistling programs in the schools, high-paying careers for whistlers, and even the kids who normally turn to basketball or football would be whistling instead.

David • 08/11/06 10:56 PM:

I too was thinking - man, that guy’s whistling sure does sound like a real instrument, say the clarinet.

As for your argument on whistling competition, Pat, I’ve got news for you, great whistlers are born, not made.

The whistling in “Glow Worm” isn’t so hot.

Wilco - yeah, I liked those songs a lot. I do remember the last song and it was excellent. I’m pretty sure that I remember Heavy Metal Drummer (the one with totally out of place heavy metal drumming? - good one). And the lead singer did say they were playing some new songs and obsure ones. The second to last song was also excellent.

As for missing RHCP - they are still the kind of band that you should see once in your life. So that you can say you saw them. I don’t think the Shins are dynamic enough to be the best band in the world. I like them a lot, but they aren’t deep enough. And part of me thinks that their crummy sound wasn’t 100% the speakers’ fault. But perhaps you mean “biggest band” in the same way that some folks have refered to Cold Play as the biggest band.

Best soundtrack?!? Are you crazy? How about Singles(soundtrack_album) Get real! Or The 100 Best Soundtracks. I like “The Harder They Come” - seriously, old reggae style, from Rustin. Or what about Braveheart?

David • 08/12/06 10:29 PM:

Here is Nickel Creek’s TOXIC - mp3 and video clip. Awesome!

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