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Lollapalooza 2011 – Day 1

Who schedules outdoor festivals during the hottest part of the year? The heat was excruciating today at Grant Park where Lollapalooza 2011 kicked off. I guess if there was any sort of relief, it was that clouds blocked some of the sunlight by late afternoon but it still wasn’t much of a reprieve.

If you check out bands that you’re truly interested in seeing, chances are you won’t walk away disappointed and while I’m not a superfan of any of the bands I checked out today, I didn’t stray far from what I knew so therefore I had a great day.

Started off at high noon with Merge Records duo Wye Oak. Poor Jenn Wasner was plagued with guitar pedal problems almost from the get-go and at one point stopped midsong saying, “I can’t do this. I’m sorry.” You had to feel for her as she was playing in front of a large and eager crowd ready to get their Lollapalooza weekend started. Wasner is a completely amazing guitarist and she battled back from the problems early in the set to wow those hanging out at the Sony stage.


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Ten songs I want to hear at Lollapalooza this weekend

Feels a little weird to be calling this the 20th anniversary of Lollapalooza even though the festival did make it’s debut in 1991. There was a period of inactivity and the reformatting of the concept, going from a traveling alternative rock circus to an annual 3-day festival in Chicago that features many mainstream acts.

That being said, there’s plenty to see this coming weekend at Grant Park. Last week I spotlighted two lesser known acts performing this year – Midnight Conspiracy and Kyle Lucas & Captain Midnite over on Lollapalooza.com.

Here are ten songs I want to hear at Lollapalooza this weekend.

My Morning Jacket – “Victory Dance” (performing Saturday, 8pm, Bud Light stage)

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Chip Midnight’s Favorite Albums of 2010

I have no interest in listening to anything by Kanye West. I’m probably missing the boat on The Black Keys. Surfer Blood, Sleigh Bells, Best Coast, The National, Arcade Fire all got cursory plays on the iPod but not enough to land them a spot on this list. I’d love to say that Superchunk made one of the most welcomed comebacks of 2010 but every time I hit the local indie record store, they were out of the CD and I never downloaded it from iTunes.

The following 10 albums (+15 honorable mentions + 10 local releases) were absorbed the most through my earbuds in 2010.

1. The Dollyrots, A Little Messed Up
Watch: “Rock Control!” (unofficial version featuring my 5-year-old)

Sweet-and-sassy POP-punk-ROCK. “Rock Control!” was 2010′s “Volcano Girls” (Veruca Salt) minus the radio airplay and flashy MTV video.


2. Blood Red Shoes, Fire Like This
Watch: “Don’t Ask”

Remember The Subways? No worries, Blood Red Shoes do post-Nirvana boy/girl bash-and-rock as well, if not better. Continue reading