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Lackluster Lolla lineup

Mike Hopkinson | Monday, April 19, 2010

Summer means music festivals, and festivals mean fun. Opening Wednesday’s Observer, I noticed an article regarding my favorite sonic celebration, Lollapalooza (“Lollapalooza lineup revealed,” Courtney Cox). Being a real Chicago native and having seen two of my all-time top-five shows on the lawns adjacent to beautiful Lake Michigan (Daft Punk’s laser-pyramid and Pearl Jam in front of 100,000 in 2008), I was looking forward to solidifying the reasons why I needed to pick up a three-day pass for this year. This should not have been a difficult task (see selling a bucket of water to a man on fire), but it was surprisingly unsuccessful.

I understand you have to report the headliners by definition, and that part didn’t bother me since this year’s show has something no matter what musical niche you occupy. It was the rest of the article that got me. A paragraph about MGMT, Hot Chip, Matt & Kim and Cut Copy? Except for the obvious nod to the most well-known psychedelic group of today, I was a little shocked by this selection. Cut Copy and Hot Chip owe pitchfork.com more than they could ever pay for overhyped album coverage, and Matt & Kim? Matt & Kim? That’s my vehicle for musical salvation this summer? I am jumping ship.

Luckily, there is more to Lollapalooza than was covered by Cox. Indie rock legends Spoon and The National (Alligator is possibly indie album of the decade) are releasing new material this summer, so they’ll be on their A game in Grant Park. If you want some electro-rock, go chill with The xx, a fresh sounding group that emerged in 2009. Need some lo-fi, guitar-heavy noise explosions? Go hang 10 with Cali’s Wavves. Oh yeah, my favorite portly harmonica player John Popper is showing up with Blues Traveler. As an admitted soul child of the ‘90s, this act is a must-see.

Music writing is too often about bashing, and that’s not my intention. I’m just trying to open some new doors for any other readers who may have felt a little dissatisfied after last week’s article, that’s all. Rock on.


Mike Hopkinson


off campus

April 16