Lollapalooza’s experiment as a four day festival needs to end. Aside from the obvious burden the festival puts on Grant Park and the residents of Chicago, the addition of a fourth day compounds the issue that all festival-goers know very well… the bands we want to see are now spread out even more than they were before. Fuck you Perry Farrell. I don’t know if you are responsible for this but as the creator of Lollapalooza, you deserve the blame. Do you think I want to drag myself through hordes of drunken teenagers in 90 degree heat for another day just to see one good band at 3pm and another at 8pm? No. There is only so much of that any sane human can handle.
This issue is trivial compared to the affliction that “rock festivals” everywhere are suffering from. Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza. All of their rock lineups are garbage. Rock music is not dead but festivals like these are accomplices in murdering it. Lollapalooza’s 2017 lineup has marginally improved from last year’s disgrace but all three festivals are trending in the wrong direction. I have attended Lollapalooza five out of the last six years but I have little intention of going this year. Sure, I like Arcade Fire and the Shins and even Cage the Elephant (even though they’ve sold out) but they are not worth spending roughly $400 to see. I’ll preserve what hope I have for Lollapalooza and wait for another year.
I truly hope that the Black Lips’ recently released single, Can’t Hold On, is not an accurate representation of what the rest of their upcoming album will sound like. Their last album, Underneath the Rainbow was mediocre at best and a huge disappointment following their awesome 2011 release, Arabia Mountain. There is not a distinctly good or bad feature of this new single. It simple sounds substanceless. It is as though it may have been a recording the Black Lips disregarded from one of their previous sessions. Can’t Hold On is five minutes of unremarkable noise and will likely let down any Black Lips fans.
“My War” is so much more genuine than the Green Day/Blink 182 teenage bullshit you listened to when you were crying in your room in middle school (not speaking from experience). It transcends basic teenage angst with raw, unthrottled emotion. Henry Rollins’ voice is haunting and the straightforward lyrics cut to the bone. Rollins sings, “I might not know what a friend is / All I know is what you’re not / ‘Cause you’re one of them.” The feelings of betrayal, alienation and rage are all palpable. I’ll admit that I am a relative neophyte in the world of Black Flag fandom so I cannot appreciate this song as a part of Black Flag’s entire body of work. However, the raw emotion of “My War” speaks for itself.
– Jake Golbus
Although I love Grimes, I think I’ve listened to Art Angels and Visions a bit too much. As a result, I’ve been listening to Grimes’ older music recently. “Weregild” is off of her 2010 release Halfaxa. Pieces of Art Angels, however, are reminiscent in this song especially in her sound looping throughout the track, a technique she has kept consistent throughout her work. The song as a whole seems a bit darker than her newer releases. In addition, the song is much more experimental, something I hope she doesn’t’ lose with her rise to fame.
This song has been coming on my shuffle lately. Its funky beats and simple lyrics keep me listening and its a love song for Yoko so what more could you ask for? But I think this track off of Plastic Ono (1970) also appeals to me as fourth week in my impossible math class and spring break approach. It’s not too much of an commitment, over in less than 2 minutes, so go ahead and give it a listen. John also gets away with growling “cookie” halfway through.
For some reason Neil Young’s piano riffs are often a kind of muted cornflower blue. That, combined with the rhythm and his cream-colored voice, makes this song wonderfully soothing (and, since it’s Neil Young, melancholic). It makes me feel like I’m rocking back and forth in a hammock. Listen before you go to bed for peaceful, restorative, Neil Young-filled sleep.
Future Islands’ new single, “Ran”, off their upcoming album, “The Far Field”, is pretty sweet. In standard Future Islands form the song revolves around lead singer Sam Herring’s rather unique voice. Backed by a hazy synth and bass but rather crisp drum beats, this song fits in with previous albums of Future Islands. I’m fairly confident that this new album will seem more like a continuation of their progression as a band rather than an evolution of their sound and I’m perfectly happy with that. I’ve come to love Future Islands, especially their last album, “Singles”, and I’d be bummed to see that sound go. They’re a distinctive sound in a sea of indistinct indie bands (due in part to Sam Herring’s voice) and for that I’m thankful.
Although Alex G’s last full album, Beach Music, was released in 2015, he’s picked up a fair amount of steam this past year, mostly through collaborating with Frank Ocean on both Blonde (he played guitar on “White Ferrari” and “Self Control”) and Endless. While it was extremely gratifying to hear his contribution to both of those beautiful albums, I’ve been hoping to hear some of his own new work, and it seems as though I am in luck –– Alex just announced a new album, Rocket, that’s supposed to come out on May 19th. Here is a beautiful new country-ish single from the album to tide you over for now; prepare your ears for some gorgeous fiddle.
“Orange Blossom” is a precursor to Destiny Frasqueri’s (Princess Nokia) album, 1992. The song itself is reminiscent of Frasqueri’s Afro Futurist style. “Orange Blossom” was released after Frasqueri’s experimental hip-hop album Metallic Butterfly. The song serves as a segway between Metallic Butterfly and 1992 as she departs from the experimental and recalls a soulful R&B influence instead.
If you’re looking to add a little healthy competition to your and your (other music nerd) friends’ day, look no further. Esquire has made a quiz that ranks your “music IQ” by seeing if you can match a song with its album cover, and it’s definitely worth fifteen minutes of your time. Check it out here: