August 2019 (2)
July 2019 (1)
June 2019 (1)
April 2019 (2)
March 2019 (9)
February 2019 (6)
January 2019 (11)
December 2018 (2)
November 2018 (5)
October 2018 (4)
September 2018 (11)
August 2018 (16)
July 2018 (12)
June 2018 (11)
May 2018 (10)
April 2018 (10)
March 2018 (11)
February 2018 (11)
January 2018 (14)
December 2017 (8)
November 2017 (14)
October 2017 (12)
September 2017 (12)
August 2017 (14)
July 2017 (22)
June 2017 (18)
May 2017 (16)
April 2017 (13)
March 2017 (11)
February 2017 (10)
January 2017 (20)
December 2016 (10)
November 2016 (11)
October 2016 (22)
September 2016 (25)
August 2016 (24)
July 2016 (27)
June 2016 (22)
May 2016 (20)
April 2016 (23)
March 2016 (24)
February 2016 (22)
January 2016 (18)
December 2015 (8)
November 2015 (16)
October 2015 (19)
September 2015 (30)
August 2015 (20)
July 2015 (24)
June 2015 (26)
May 2015 (31)
April 2015 (21)
March 2015 (25)
February 2015 (18)
January 2015 (13)
December 2014 (16)
November 2014 (13)
October 2014 (21)
September 2014 (33)
August 2014 (22)
July 2014 (32)
June 2014 (31)
May 2014 (20)
April 2014 (18)
March 2014 (14)
February 2014 (20)
January 2014 (23)
December 2013 (12)
November 2013 (16)
October 2013 (29)
September 2013 (26)
August 2013 (21)
July 2013 (23)
June 2013 (18)
May 2013 (39)
April 2013 (23)
March 2013 (33)
February 2013 (21)
January 2013 (22)
December 2012 (18)
November 2012 (17)
October 2012 (28)
September 2012 (20)
August 2012 (22)
July 2012 (38)
June 2012 (28)
May 2012 (31)
April 2012 (22)
March 2012 (33)
February 2012 (27)
January 2012 (13)
December 2011 (17)
November 2011 (15)
October 2011 (23)
September 2011 (24)
August 2011 (26)
July 2011 (33)
June 2011 (17)
May 2011 (34)
April 2011 (19)
March 2011 (18)
February 2011 (16)
January 2011 (11)
December 2010 (16)
November 2010 (12)
October 2010 (19)
September 2010 (12)
August 2010 (16)
July 2010 (16)
June 2010 (5)
May 2010 (2)
April 2010 (4)
March 2010 (3)
February 2010 (8)
January 2010 (5)
December 2009 (3)
November 2009 (3)
October 2009 (4)
September 2009 (1)
August 2009 (4)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (2)
May 2009 (4)
April 2009 (3)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (10)
January 2009 (12)
December 2008 (5)
November 2008 (4)
October 2008 (4)
September 2008 (1)
August 2008 (3)
May 2008 (4)
April 2008 (8)
March 2008 (5)
February 2008 (18)
January 2008 (3)
Further archives from 2008 and 2009 are available at the old Wordpress site. Click the logo below to break into the old apartment.

Latest Posts

Entries for August 2010

Lollapalooza 2010: Day Three and Festival Recap

I knew from the beginning that my overall opinion of this year's Lollapalooza would rely on Sunday, and the last day of the festival did not disappoint.

Set I Loved The Most: (tie) Mumford & Sons, Frightened Rabbit and The National. Total cop-out here, I am aware. I loved all three for different variations of the same reason: they all played "up" for the festival setting.

Mumford & Sons were one of my most anticipated acts as it was the first time I was seeing them live, and their energy was incredible. For a mid-afternoon set in the baking sun after some morning showers, they had most of the large crowd bouncing and clapping along with every song.

Like their fellow UKers, Frightened Rabbit also had the crowd bouncing and seemed genuinely awed by the size of their audience (this is a theme with most of the bands i liked this weekend, but take note that the operative word is "genuine", not "awe"). They told stories and bantered between songs, but also played those songs with just enough variety to make it feel like a live show and not just a performance of a CD.

The National understands the difference between a show and a performance more than most, and their penultimate set at dusk on the last day was another example of how the moody, contemptuous dirges on their albums become cathartic anthems in front of a crowd. Like the songs themselves, the set built to a crescendo when lead singer Matt Benninger walked out into the crowd to belt out "Mr. November" amidst a swirl of screaming fans. This concludes my one-paragraph impression of a music journalist (just kidding, music journalists hate everything).


Posted in: Music

Lollapalooza 2010: Day Two

I am already on a train to Day Three so yesterday's recap will be brief.

Saturday was not Friday. Does that make sense? It didn't have the ridiculous pop star headliner or the accompanying crazies, and so by proxy it didn't seem like Day Two had the same buzz (where buzz is a combination of excitement and the desperate need to be looked at). That's not a bad thing.

What Saturday did have is a collection of great sets from some grittier bands than Friday, including Against Me!, Spoon and Gogol Bordello.

Set I Loved The Most: Gogol Bordello.  I knew I needed to see them after missing their last appearance in '08 (I was seeing The Black Keys).  I also kinda figured I would enjoy the set.  On both cases, I underestimated.  I don't know how I've waited so long to see their "gypsy punk" act live.  The whole set was like a shot of adrenaline on a hot afternoon, and a sea (well, ok, I pretty big lake) of people were all bouncing, clapping and dancing to the music.  A couple of kids near me were doing that idiotic punk/ska kick-dance that has a real name that I'm not even bothering to look up on Google, but it quickly gave way to a big group of people dancing a makeshift Hora along to the beat.  The songs blended together (partially because I only know the songs off their Super Taranta! album), but it felt like one long party in the Chicago sun.  I've enjoyed a lot of sets this weekend, but Gogol Bordello was anexperience.

Set I Would Skip On Second Thought: The Morning Benders and Skybox.  All of my Saturday morning choices - MyNameIsJohnMichael, the Morning Benders, Skybox and Harlem were mildly disappointing, although the first and last of that list were definitely the best.  I might have enjoyed them more if I looked into material beyond what was sampled on the Lollapalooza website, or if I pushed up further instead of hanging near the back of the crowd, but at the same time, I could have slept longer, showed up in time for Against Me! and been none the wiser.


Posted in: Music

Lollapalooza 2010, Day One

Lollapalooza is more than just a music festival:  it's a social experiment.  You can see how 50,000 different people per day would answer the question "how would you dress yourself if 49,999 judgmental people were going to be looking at you all day?”  Music festivals are like sporting events in how they bring huge groups together, except sports give you an excuse to make poor decisions on how you leave the house as long as you’re showing a logo or a team color. 

Of course, some of day one’s ridiculous clothing choices can be attributed to Lady Gaga.  Friday was all about Gaga, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.  Her name was on everyone’s lips– she came up twice during some mid-day acts I saw, both times to mixed reactions – and the majority of the crowd was there for her. You could tell that she was the marquee act in the eyes of the promoters, too, thanks to her elaborate stage setup and the fireworks during the set – two things I noticed from across the park where I was watching a solid show from the opposing headliner, The Strokes. 

I think you go to Lollapalooza assuming the acts you want to see will be good, so as long as they don’t disappoint, your opinion of the day is determined by the acts you were unsure of going in.  By that logic, Friday was a good day.


Posted in: Music

Friday LinkFrogging - 8/6/10

Welcome to August dear reader(s).

Kids getting ready to go back to school.

The NFL is back in training camp.

And, infectious summer pop songs getting stuck in your head.

Its a tradition.  It happens every year.  Some bright poppy song transcends its inate mediocrity to become the anthem for the summer.

Katrina, I'm looking at you.

And, I'm looking at this week's cheesecake.

Say hello to Katy Perry.

Ms. Perry's hit "California Gurls" has been everywhere this summer.  Maybe its the appearance of Snoop Dogg representin' as a blunted out Willy Wonka that put that one over the top.  Maybe it was the whipped cream bra.  Maybe it was naked cloud lounging.  Whatever the reason, this one won't go away.

Or will it?

Turns out the Beach Boys aren't pleased and they were planning to sue Ms. Perry, specifically over her use of the phrase "wish they all could be California Girls."

Shit!  Now they're gonna sue us.

Mike Love, you're an asshole.

The story has been updated, and now the Beach Boys aren't planning to sue, provided they get proper "credit" (and one would assume the royalties that would follow).

Did I mention that Mike Love was an asshole?

On to the links.


Posted in: Gonzo

Heel vs. Heel - UFC 117 Predictions

I was about to lead off this preview by calling UFC 117’s main event between middleweight champion Anderson Silva and challenger Chael Sonnen “one of the most anticipated fights of the year,” but that cliché is becoming unusable when it comes to the UFC. Not every fight his been an absolute blockbuster, but they’re on such a tear that sandwiching a huge middleweight defense between the Lesnar/Carwin heavyweight clash last month and the BJ Penn/Frankie Edgar rematch in three weeks seems like par for the course.

The truth is, you can’t even call Sonnen vs. Silva the biggest middleweight fight of the year when Vitor Belfort is waiting in the wings to face the winner. This is neither the most competent threat to Silva’s title nor his last challenge before cleaning out the division. But it FEELS like a bigger fight than it is for two reasons:

  1. It’s the first cage appearance by Anderson Silva since the Abu Dhabi fight against Demian Maia that earned him heat from fans, media and officials alike.
  2. Chael Sonnen has spent the past four months building himself up as a conquering hero and antagonizing Silva to every microphone put in front of his face.

No matter the result, Sonnen deserves a bonus for his marketing efforts (and probably a ‘thank you” from Silva, whose only drawing power – his exciting, highlight-reel performances – slowly deteriorated by a series of ho-hum showings against virtual unknown challengers (Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, Maia). But for all the talk, a victory by Sonnen - a 10-loss fighter on a sudden hot streak – would pass the first Penn/Edgar matchup as THE upset of 2010 and a genuine Rocky story.

Speaking of Rocky stories, I’m trying to cue up “Gonna Fly Now” myself and rebound from last month’s 5-4 defeat to Bruce in UFC 116 picks. There’s four more big fights on UFC 117’s card, so that’s five more chances for me to even the all-time series up…or make like Anderson’s last three middleweight challengers and wilt in the shadow of greatness.


Posted in: Sports

Lollapalooza 2010: The Preview

Note: Matt is not a music expert and he will never claim to be.  He doesn’t appreciate music like you do, he doesn’t comprehend things like chord progression and his sensibilities are likely more influenced by pop than he would ever admit. So although it seems like “so-and-so sucks” is a logical, mature response to any of the below, please know in advance that your opinions mean as much to Matt as the proper application of the word “musicality.”

This weekend is the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago’s Grant Park, the city’s sixth and my third.  Besides the big-picture griping about radius clauses and such, I’ve seen some other complaints that this year’s lineup is a little weak, a complaint that is completely lost on me.  2010’s headliners (Soundgarden, The Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Lady Gaga, Green Day, Phoenix) don’t have the same across-the-board wow as 2008 (RATM, Wilco, Radiohead, Kanye West, NIN), but they also aren’t forcing me to make a “meh” decision like last year (The Killers vs. Jane’s Addiction, Kings of Leon vs. Depeche Mode, Yeah Yeah Yeahs vs. Tool).  I’ve got one headliner I’d like to see each night with no complaints.

But this year’s three-day event is more exciting to me than previous trips because the thing that Lollapalooza excels at is taking acts with pre-existing national buzz (a level or two above “indie”) and stacking them together.  I can’t say the fest has ever “made” somebody, but it offers a great opportunity to see a lot of good bands in a single weekend.

I’ll do my best to write up thoughts from each day to the best of my musical limitations as noted above.  Please remember I’m not a critic, I’m just a guy who doesn’t like stuff. 


Posted in: Music
Page 2 of 2First   Previous   1  [2]  Next   Last