Monday, August 27, 2007

Ugh, Billy Corgan is Still an Asshole

Idolator reports (via NME):

Midway through the set stage [at Reading] cameras panned the crowd, which included a scantily clad young woman, about whom Corgan commented "There's something about a girl who's willing to take her top off so quickly.""American girls are sluts too," he added. "See - isn't it great to be alternative - You can say all those things."

Oh Billy! You know, after three days of Lollapalooza, I had *had it* with the drunken barefoot floozies in their sundresses, but regardless, I don't think it's right for him to be maligning that girl from onstage, nor for him to classify every female in the United States as "a slut." If he's had a lot of experience with "sluts" in his life, he should be asking himself where HIS pants were at the time. I just have no patience for that double standard/virgin-whore complex bullshit.

Some people are saying his comments were misogynistic...I just see him as overly bitter.

And I still haven't bought that fucker's latest album.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Checking in with Trent, Part 4

It figures that right after we decided to put WTC on hiatus, shit starts happening.

Okay so I'm a little behind this morning but thanks to a tip from reader, Persephone, we see some new live performance pictures surfacing. Now I am severely torn by these photos. Half of me wants to say "yes, Yes, YES take me Trent and we can play helpless prisoner/naughty security guard all. night. long.", and the other half wants to seem detached and oh so cool in front of the other hipster bitches here and say "RECYCLED."

But you know what? Fuck being cool. I own half this blog so I can be however I want to be.

Trent, the gloves are still HAWT! Pfffttt...I didn't even make it to the other pictures without 'em. Matter of fact I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they look better now than they did then. I'm not saying I wasn't intrigued by your kinky little fetish getup back's just that skinny guys who look like I could take them out don't "really" do it for me. But you look like you can play the way I like it. And I’m sorry I said I hated you the other day. You know I didn’t mean it! You just sounded like shit. But I bet you brought the fucking house down on this night. -sigh-

I wonder if he consciously picked this prison guard shirt and tie combo out knowing how many Year Zero DIY designed panties he would moisten. I can already hear Dierdre saying, "Well, of course he did, Iris. Trent Reznor is always Asking For It!"

Now bring on the hate. I'm waiting...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Checking in with Trent, Part 3

Is it sad that the best part of this performance is when the noise kicks in towards the middle? Trent, honey, you sound way too out of breath, the pitch is all off, you're screechy/screamy in all the wrong places (really the best part of this song is how smooth and controlled your voice is...was...whatever), and are you fucking making a shadow puppet bird in the beginning?

For any of those who want to start shit and say “well NIN live has never completely sounded like the album versions. That’s part of what Trent loves about touring is how the songs get changed up”, just hold up. Some of my favorite songs are the live versions. See pretty much anything off the And All That Could Have Been DVD. Even with all the love in the world for this man, I still have to call it like I see it this time. Goddammit Trent, this was a highly anticipated song to hear live for me too. Dammit, dammit, dammit.

Thanks to Rob for trying to get a closer shot of the stage...even if it didn’t quite work either.

I will say you look cute here, Trent. Short, but cute.

Grumpy Iris out.

Edit: So if you're one of the ones wondering what the fuck I'm complaining about and can't see the embedded video, check the new live performance video on of The Great Destroyer.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Uneasy Lies The Head

Hey bitches.

So I know you've all been salivating lately, wondering just what has the guy that writes Gabriel been doing since WTC closed, other than being totally annoying to Maise and Iris?

Okay, maybe not salivating per se, but you've definitely not needed any help in the mastication department.

In any case, the answer is: Uneasy Lies The Head.

Please check out the MySpace page and give a listen or an add. I hope you dig. More content to come shortly.

(Oh, and Angelman will be joining me for live shows, JR, so you're really gonna be missing out on this one.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We Interrupt This Rock Blog for a Little Ella Worship...

I remember the first time I heard Ella Fitzgerald. I was in college, it was Christmas vacation, and I was at the home of my friend Padraig's parents, sitting in their sunny living room, surrounded by green leafy houseplants and African art. Padraig was debuting a new mix tape (and yes, our medium was mix *tapes* even in the late '90s), and we were only half paying attention as we chatted...until I heard Ella's lovely voice sing these words:

"I'll sing to him, each spring to him/And worship the trousers that cling to him/Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I/When he talks, he is seeking/Words to get, off his chest/Horizontally speaking, he's at his very best..."

I remember laughing out loud because this very classy-sounding jazz song, performed so bittersweetly, had hilariously dirty lyrics for its day. Not only that, but it perfectly summed up almost all of my experience with love (aside from Mr. Maise, of course): wild infatuation leading only to disillusionment and coldness:

"Lost my heart, but what of it/He is cold, I agree/He can laugh, but I love it/Although the laugh's on me..."

"Wise at last, my eyes at last,/ Are cutting you down to your size at last/Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - no more..."

Girls, whether you're hopelessly in love or whether the thought of your ex makes you cringe, you should have "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" in heavy rotation.

Anyway, that was the beginning of my love affair with Ella Fitzgerald, and she has never disappointed. Now apparently, she's back on the U.S. pop charts for the first time in 38 years with the album, Love Letters from Ella. And to celebrate that fact, here are some YouTube clips of some of my favorite Ella songs.

Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra: "The Lady Is a Tramp"--although I prefer the version on my "Best of the Songbooks" album, how can you argue with adding Sinatra? This is one of my absolute favorite songs matter how dumpy and stuck in a rut I feel, this song always makes me happy. Instead of commuting back and forth to work, I feel as though I'm hanging out in a nightclub in New York with Truman Capote and his friends.

Ella singing "Mack the Knife." I have a version at home where she's singing live in Berlin and forgets the lyrics; then she improvises hilariously and saves the song. You can hear some of that in this version, when she says, "Ella and her fellas/are making a wreck of/Mack the Knife." Anyway, this version is just as awesome.

Oh, and I had to link to this one for Gabriel, Iris, and Dierdre, if she's out there.

If you've never really listened to Ella before, I hope you'll give her a chance. Even if you're just cleaning the house with her singing in the background, you'll feel just a little more fabulous. As though you're doing something more fun, with a martini in your hand.

Thursday, August 9, 2007 conclusion

So now that we've recovered from Lollapalooza, here are some afterthoughts and post-concert reviews. I know it's a week later but hey, this girl's been busy, and it's better late than never, right?

Pearl Jam
I've never really listened to PJ all that much. I know their hits from my high school days, but powerhouse vocalist Chris Cornell of Soundgarden was more my cup o' tea. Now it seems that Eddie uses his vocals to bring attention to world problems, which not all corporate sponsors are pleased with. During "Daughter," the band slid into a cover of "Another Brick in the Wall," where Eddie changed up the lyrics to "George Bush leave this world alone / George Bush find yourself another home." But curiously this section was missing from the AT&T webcast. AT&T has said that the censorship was done in error, and they are currently working to rebroadcast the performance yadda, yadda yadda, which actually means some poor editing schlub got fired because he did what he was told at the time, but when the backlash rolled in, he became the scapegoat. Lucky for you fine readers, I was there to capture the whole thing live! Click here for the complete unedited version. Oh and who knew Dennis Rodman would show up?

Daft Punk
Amazing set (for what we saw). Although I was okay with leaving early that night because it had been a full day, now I'm completely kicking myself for not staying longer. Obviously some were anticipating this act more than others. Check out this guy--100% commitment, people. For those of you not familiar with this getup, check out Daft Punk's video for "One More Time".

Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
I only caught a couple of songs, due to having to hike about a mile to get from one end of the park to the other. Karen O was...interesting. Clad in a black leotard, crisscrossed pattern pantyhose, mid-arm-length latex gloves, and white sneakers, she was a sight to see. She also seemed to be channeling a bit of Marilyn Manson, sporting a bright blue forehead, which you could see when she wasn't singing under her sparkly Micheal Jackson-esque towel. I was so entertained by her outfit and onstage antics and flirting with the crowd that I really didn't listen to their songs until after getting home and reviewing the clips. Not sure if that makes them good, bad, or indifferent.

!!! (chk, chk, chk)
Oh where do I even begin with this fucking band? After seeing a rousing clip of their act at Coachella on YouTube, I was really pumped to see this group. They seemed like a fun, dorked-out dancing, super group (there's seriously like 10 people on stage), and I was more than willing to completely bust a move along with them when they came on. What I was not expecting was the singer's dorky dance moves to be paired with lyrics / spoken word / pseudo rap crap such as "I DON'T GIVE A FUCK", and "SUCK MY DICK" (or perhaps "cock"--I've tried to block it from memory) delivered as though he were some street-hardened thug. Dude, you failed, Failed, FAILED to pull this off. By the fourth song, I was making my way out of the crowd, shaking my head in disappointment. I probably could have written this off as a bad act and forgotten about it fairly quickly, but the fact that I had left Iggy and The Stooges right as the onstage riot was beginning just so I wouldn't miss any of !!! is like salt in an open wound. Especially since Gabriel had also given them a poor review prior to this. (maise says: I HATE it when he's right!)

Juliette & The Licks
These guys were awesome and so much fun! After their set, we got a bite to eat and casually made our way down to see who was on the list to sign autographs that day. Lo and behold, their names were taped to the schedule. Apparently they weren't initially scheduled, but Juliette had decided that since it was such a good set that they wanted to stick around to sign some autographs too. I had to have a CD to get in line, so I ran in the music store tent: sold out. The shady-looking guy selling them outside the tent: sold out. The people already standing in line: not willing to sell. But fortunately another case was found, and hubby snagged one for me. Up close, Juliette is just a tiny little thing but still full of so much energy. She'd let people come around behind their table to take silly pictures with her and the band and would really ham it up for the camera. Here's the face I got for my picture with her.

Of course I cut myself out because if the saying goes "the camera adds 5lbs," then it should be said that standing next to Juliette Lewis adds 20lbs. And then of course, my signed CD. HELLZ YEAH!

Other tidbits:
*LCD Soundsystem = perfection. Fabulous performance, even though the drummer was under the weather, and it seemed uncertain in a couple of songs as to whether he was going to make it.

*Interpol's bassist can keep the ash on his cigarette from the start of a song to the finish while still playing and moving around. Impressive. While admiring this with Ro's friend, I was hit on by a guy who had clearly stolen his look from Seth Green in "Can't Hardly Wait". I'm talking right down to the goggles.

*As we were walking to the Bud Light stage, Rodrigo y Gabriela played out a few minutes of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" on their acoustic guitars, which gave me chills. Described as a "Mexican-born, Ireland-based, heavy-metal-obsessed instrumental acoustic guitar duo," even if they don't sound like your kind of thing, they still are worth a listen because they're that good.

*Angelman will also be happy to know that I purchased some hippie-dippie Vegan sandals due to poor judgment that morning in festival-going footwear. They were more than I would ever normally pay for sandals, but then again I don't think my tire-tread sole will wear out anytime soon.

You can check out some of our other pictures here or click the link on the sidebar. They're organized by day 1, 2, & 3 for easier perusing. There are loads of them! I think they turned out pretty good considering this was about our average distance from the stages.

This was probably inevitable, I guess...

But it's still sad news.

Amy Winehouse has been hospitalized for "severe exhaustion" in London...and we all know what that PR euphemism means. She wasn't looking terribly well last Sunday, truth be told. She is an incredibly talented lady, and we wish her nothing but the best. I personally hope that she takes some time off, gets her curves back, slows down on the drinking and drugs, and enjoys life a little so that she can enjoy performing again. It was clear last weekend how not fun for her this all is.
I also wouldn't mind a return to the above hairstyle, but first things first.
Get well, Amy!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Checking in with Trent, Part 2

Hi everyone!

So while we were at Lollapalooza, our old friend Trent Reznor was posting really shitty pictures to his photoblog.

Like this:

Or this:

And I mean, I get that life on the road can be kind of boring and the areas around airports are hardly scenic, but really, you're in Finland, and THIS is the best you can show us?

If Trent Reznor and the NIN crew came to my house, this is totally how they would blog the experience.

august 08, 2007: maise's house
posted by trent reznor comments

august 08, 2007: heh heh, maise has a toilet!

posted by rob comments

Also, the Artist Known As Trent Reznor has apparently been replaced by a five-year-old. Or at least, he's delegated his blogging to a five-year-old with captions like "st. peepeesburg soundcheck" and "the poop deck."

Step it up, boys. Jesus Christ. Just because the people commenting on your posts are illiterate morons doesn't mean you have to match them.

Also, I see a lot of bitching about food going on.

Such as this pic, entitled "'nuff said" by Rob:

You're getting no sympathy from me as you gallavant around Europe, Trent. So bust out your Frommer's and find a decent restaurant. I happen to know a lovely lady who could direct you to some scrumptious food in Prague. And if you're not keen on Scandinavian/Eastern European cuisine, then I happen to know that there are about 10,000 pizza joints and at least one "authentic Irish pub" in every European city. Hell, the NIN crew could eat every meal at McDonald's, and it would be better than having to read Rob snark petulantly about a country's food where I'm sure you can find some awesome meals.

Where has the intelligence gone???

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Progress Report

Hmm...videos here...cut, paste, and upload over...oh hiya guys! Iris here. I've been busting ass since I got home trying to sort through everything I digitally captured this weekend and let me tell you it's a LOT of stuff. I still can't believe this was only three days. But since I'm starting to sound like a broken record with all the "I'm working on it, I'm working on it" comments I've made I thought I'd give you a heads up to some actual progress. If you look over to the right you'll notice a link to our new YouTube account or you can stay right here and watch videos via the video bar. There aren't many there as of yet but as you can guess, I'm working on it. So enjoy what we have for now and check back for more updates.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Lollapalooza--Day 3

Oh man, I'm back at the office, and I strongly feel that I need a vacation from my vacation, especially because yesterday was a veritable MARATHON of rock. I'm 30 with a soul-sucking day's almost more than I can take! But over here at Places Parallel, we give our readers nothing but 100% committment, so we were in it for the long haul, from around 11:30 a.m. til 10:10 or so that night.

On Day 3 of Lollapalooza, the normally charming Grant Park was turned into a giant, muddy cesspool that smelled like the large mammal house in the zoo. Did people even bother using the port-o-lets? Any of those drunken barefoot floozies in sundresses were likely to catch dysentery or cholera in the rain-beer-vomit-soaked field in front of the Bud Light stage on the north end of the park. I mean, it was fucking nasty. I don't remember things being so unsavory in 2006, but then, it didn't rain at all that weekend. Fortunately, the strong lineup that day more than made up for the hazardous waste conditions at the park.

Iris and I arrived just in time to see Juliette and the Licks, the band fronted by charmingly psycho actress, Juliette Lewis. I was originally hesitant to catch their set, especially because it was scheduled so early on what was going to be a very long day. But I'm very glad I did. Juliette Lewis, wearing an inexplicable Indian feather and war paint under her eyes, gave the audience a lot more energy than many of the more critically acclaimed super-serious artists there. She and her band specialize in a classic bar rock style--black leather pants and high kicks and extended drum solos. Juliette's performing style is somewhere between Joan Jett and David Lee Roth. She howls and writhes on the stage, and it's just really fucking fun. She kicks sand in the face of detached hipster irony. Then she kind of shouts spoken word at it. And maybe takes off her shoes and screams. They were a really energizing way to start the day. Afterwards, Juliette and the Licks signed some albums, and our own Iris got to meet Juliette Lewis up close and personal, in all her freakish glory. I'll let Iris fill you in on how that encounter went.
Waiting to get Iris' album signed and extracting our husbands from the Playstation tent took up some time, so the next show we saw was Amy Winehouse, of whom I'm a huge fan. Back to Black is a solid, rich-sounding album--at times heartbreaking, at times mischievously witty, but infused with a grown-up sexiness. Her voice is reminiscent of '60s girl groups and Shirley Bassey, and she can make a morning commute feel pretty swank. Her "I don't give a fuck" attitude with regard to her notorious boozing and brawling makes for interesting gossip reading, but I'm thinking it's bound to be affecting her performance. On Sunday, she appeared to be half asleep. There were a couple of standout songs, such as "Me and Mr. Jones" and maybe "Tears Dry On Their Own." But she just kind of mumbled the rest of the set and displayed no passion whatsoever. She had a haunted look during "Rehab," and I just wonder if it's getting to the point where it's not fun for her any more. We pondered whether she was just overheated in the August sun, hungover or whether she hadn't eaten in three days, or a combination of all of the above. I really do admire her as an artist and would rather see her enjoying herself onstage than wasting away. Her songs are great, but it was a disappointing set.

After an air conditioning break in the AT&T Digital Oasis (still waiting for my product placement check), we went to see Iggy and the Stooges, which was absolutely the highlight of the weekend, in my opinion. Iggy was long-haired and shirtless and still feral after all of these years. Jumping around, climbing up on the amps, getting on all fours and humping the air (he could dislocate a hip at his age), Iggy and the Stooges played a blazing set that included favorites such as "1969," "I Wanna Be Your Dog" (shouldn't that be my theme song?) and "TV Eye." I was hoping to hear some "Nightclubbing" or "Lust for Life" or "The Passenger," but Iggy wasn't giving it up for Trainspotting fans. That's okay, though, because midway through his set, Iggy invited just about everyone in the near vicinity up on stage, and many many drunk fans took him up on the offer. Delightful chaos ensued. Security was overwhelmed, concert organizers had to be hyperventilating, and Iggy tried to coax people off the stage after the song saying, "Okay, everyone calm down...calm cool, everyone, or things might get weird." They had to shut things down for a few minutes until they fired up again. The spirit of punk rock was alive that hour--not the safe, corporate-sponsored, family-friendly version of punk rock, but rather "Is the stage going to collapse and are people going to riot over there?" punk rock. A must-see set.

During dinner, we got to listen to a bit of the Wailers and witnessed a hilariously thick cloud of smoke rising above the crowd. Pot was EVERYWHERE this weekend, and I'm not a big fan of the smell. I'm not a pot-smoker myself and have never even tried it, but normally I'm very "live and let live" where that's concerned. If college kids and adults want to smoke up, fine. I've spent enough time in smoke-filled dorm rooms with my friends. But I hope I don't sound like a prude when I say that things were a teensy bit out of hand. My friends said they saw people smoking pot near the kids' stage, where three-year-olds were running around. I personally witnessed some kid who absolutely could not have been older than 11 smoking up...I mean, that's just ridiculous. That kid was holding the bag for the slightly older group he was with (no older than 16). All I know is, he's got the worst older sibling on the planet. As they said on South Park, "There's a time and place for everything, and it's called college." Or at least high school? Jesus Christ, I don't think that's asking too much. Anyway, I kind of wished there was just a bit more of a police presence to discourage that kind of thing. Not to sound like some kind of fascist, but people obviously can't keep it cool on their own. I mean, the kids' stage???

Prudery over. On to Modest Mouse! Unfortunately, due to the outdoor venue, we didn't get the shipwreck stage production, but I've never heard them sound better. They played quite a bit from Good News for People Who Love Bad News and We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. "Float On," "Bury Me With It," "Bukowski," "Black Cadillacs," "Dashboard," "Fire It Up," "Missed the Boat" and "We Got Everything"--those were the ones I remember off the top of my head, and they all sounded great. Johnny Marr is obviously a great addition to the lineup. The only problem was that I was kind of distracted by the pot-smoking 10-year-old and his stupid drunk 15-year-old friends and some floozie in a yellow sundress who was barfing on the lawn. Ugh, I hate the youth.

I didn't get to see a lot of TV on the Radio because they were playing on the complete opposite side of the park, and they only played a 45-minute set, but I can see why Trent Reznor picked them as an opening band. I'm also not terribly familiar with them, so I can't give you song titles, but I really enjoyed their energy. I'll let Iris review them if she happened to see more of their set.

Finally...thank God, for I was so tired at this point, and now I'm tired out again just writing all this out...Pearl Jam! I really enjoyed this set a lot more than I thought I was going to. I wasn't a huge Pearl Jam fan back in the day because my feeling on Pearl Jam has always been this--I love their fast songs, but their slow songs are dirge-like and boring, and I hate them. Fortunately, this set was fast-paced and filled with everyone's greatest hits. My favorites from this set included "Worldwide Suicide," "Do the Evolution," "Alive," and "Evenflow." Eddie Vedder seemed to really enjoy himself on stage, praising other bands that played in the festival and remembering his days of riding the El in his Evanston childhood and listening to Patti Smith and Iggy Pop. There was a fun moment when he cited a group at Lollapalooza who were distributing information about BP Amoco's proposal to dispose of new waste in Lake Michigan. So Eddie wrote an amusing and catchy little ditty for us to remember not to frequent BP, entitled "Don't Go BP Amoco." Unfortunately, there was no "Jeremy" or "Black," which would be my favorite PJ songs. We were expecting those two as the final encore, but Eddie instead gave us a well-intentioned but excruciatingly boring and preachy antiwar folk song and a lively "Keep On Rocking in the Free World" to end the show. A small number of people were allowed up on stage, as a nod to Iggy Pop, but it wasn't nearly as much of a free-for-all. Oh, and bonus! We also got to watch a fireworks display! It looked like it was coming from Soldier Field, so I don't even think it was related to Lollapalooza. Anyway, it was a great way to end the fun, but exhausting, weekend.

I'm already looking forward to Lolla '08, and although it is an extremely well-run and organized festival, I do have some recommendations for the future.

1) Distribute the acts a little better. Sunday was jam-packed with excellent artists, whereas the only reason I even bothered showing up on Saturday was Interpol. There seems to be a *lot* of bland hipster filler; I could do without some of that, even if that means 90 bands performing instead of 130 or whatever.

2) I don't mean to hate on the kids, but I think more should be done to keep them from getting beer wristbands, and maybe if a kid who is obviously 12 years old does happen to get a beer wristband, maybe he/she shouldn't be served??? There's a reason why I don't want to be surrounded by drunk and high prepubescents...they are AMATEURS, and they wind up barfing on the lawn. Yuck.

3) Stock up on more nonalcoholic beverages. It's HOT and HUMID in Chicago in August, and we want to be hydrated. By the time Pearl Jam came on, the only type of beverage not sold out was beer, which sounds great, unless you're actually really thirsty and need *water*.

Any other suggestions, Ro and Iris???

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Lollapalooza, Day 2


My dog is so awesome, guys. If she's not THE most awesome dog out there, she's totally in the top ten. I mean, just look at her! Here she is, sleeping with her stuffed bunny.

See? Awesome.

What was that? Oh, you wanted to hear about the second day of Lollapalooza? Well, sadly, boys and girls, yesterday's lineup (with one notable exception) really put the "snooze" in Lollapalooza.
Let's see...

By the time we got to Grant Park, got some food, made bathroom and bar trips, and got ourselves ready to actually pay attention to the music, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was playing. Meh. They sound like every other hipster band playing this festival, only the lead singer's voice is really off-putting to me. We left their set early because a friend wanted to see Regina Spektor.

Oh, Regina! She seems like such a sweet lady, nooding on her piano in a quiet, heartfelt way. She's like Tori Amos on Prozac. She even *looks* a lot like Tori Amos. Unfortunately, she's way too soft spoken and mellow for such a loud festival...she was completely drowned out by everything else going on, and although I enjoyed her music, I also took a nap to it. At one point, she noticed one of her fans passing out in the crowd, so she stopped playing and softly called out, "Security?" Regina, hon, you need to be more assertive. More assertive about everything. Last year, Mr. Maise and I saw the Dresden Dolls on this very same stage...when Amanda Palmer inadvertently flashed the entire city of Chicago. Now *that* was a lively show!

(Iris) Now I really enjoyed Regina's show even though I'd never heard any of her songs before. She's cute as a button and has a lovely voice, just not one for crowd control. Her most adorable moments for me were when she simultaneously played the piano and a chair, not the same way Amanda Palmer plays her piano chair by rocking like a loon but an actual chair set up next to her and tapping away at it with a drum stick. Her other moment was when she sang a cover of The Beatles "Real Love". Mr. Iris and I were on our way to go check out the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs but when I heard the familiar chords I had to stop and watch (and also record). You couldn't help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

For some reason, the side of Grant Park containing the Adidas and Bud Light stages was absolutely packed. (Although the lineup was pretty shitty that day and the weather drizzly, it was significantly more crowded Saturday than Friday.) So our little group decided to camp out near the Bud Light stage in anticipation for Interpol later that night. This meant that most of us were subjected to Snow Patrol next. But Iris did make an expedition to go see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and I'll let her fill you in on that.

Review coming but right now it's time to get on outta here so we don't miss Juliette and the Licks who I am ridiculously excited to see! I can't wait!

Ugh, Snow Patrol. The lead singer seems so good-natured and affable with a charming Irish's really too bad his band really sucks. Actually, most of their music is inoffensive in that "I don't really like it, but it's not the worst thing I've ever heard" kind of way. For the most part, if you have to be stuck listening to a mediocre band that is more popular than it should be, you could do worse. EXCEPT they are responsible for that fucking horrible "If I lay here...if I just lay here..." song. BARF! This band is really popular with the floozies wearing sundresses who dance around barefoot with a beer in their hands. They were all singing that song at the top of their lungs, and it was just like nails on the chalkboard of my soul. This was where we made bathroom trips, bar trips, food court trips, and in general just endured.

Patti Smith was up next, and she did a fine job, although the crowd was smaller than she deserved, due to the fact that it was raining at this point and that the crowd was filled with 19-year-old drunk and barefoot floozies wearing sundresses with their drunk frat boy boyfriends who probably have never even heard of her. Me personally, I'm not a huge Patti Smith fan, but I respect her. I wish her set had been more "Rock and Roll N*gger" and less "Because the Night," but you know...she's like 60 years old, so I'll give her a break. She was also a surprise guest on the kids' stage earlier in the day, but we weren't there, so I can't tell you if she frightened the children or not. (Apparently in 2006, she sang them some song about Lebanon and Israel with descriptions of body parts.) Some douchebag DJ from Q101 tried to cut her off by announcing Interpol on the stage across the field, but Interpol respectfully waited until she was finished.

And then finally, in a pouring of the most anticipated acts for me of this entire festival...Interpol! This dark and moody band was well served by playing outdoors at night in the pouring rain, and they did a fantastic job. Sure, they owe a LOT to Joy Division, but I have always loved Interpol for creating a certain atmosphere...every time I hear them, whether I'm in the car on my morning commute or at a music festival surrounded by thousands of drunk 19-year-olds, I feel as though I'm in some smoky bar, watching a hopeless love walk out the door with someone else. Their music is urgent and dour and yearning, and even though I was happy to get out of the rain and mud, I wish they had played that extra five minutes to take us to 10 p.m. On the other hand, I wouldn't want them to get electrocuted either, so I look forward to seeing them again live as soon as possible.

And that, my friends, was Day 2 of Lollapalooza. I probably could have skipped the entire day if it weren't for Interpol. However, Day 3 is going to be PACKED with good and/or interesting acts, and we will be there all day, starting at 11:30 with Juliette and the Licks. (We're hoping that Juliette Lewis busts out the spandex.) We'll be running back and forth to see Amy Winehouse (if the little lush shows), Iggy and the Stooges, Modest Mouse (who I am VERY psyched to see), and Pearl Jam, among others. More updates to come!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Lollapalooza, Day One, continued...

Okay, so there's LOTS to tell, and sadly, not a lot of time to do that this morning.

Iris is working on uploading some pics, and I really can't wait til we can share these videos with you!

So here's a quick rundown on the rest of the bands we saw last night.

Blonde Redhead--you know, I really wanted to like these guys. The critics love them, my cool friends in the know love them, but they did not engage me *at all*. They're like Interpol or Ladytron without the hooks. I also suspect that a large outdoor festival is just not the best venue for them. One would need to listen to their album or see them in a small club. They just couldn't hold my attention in Grant Park. In fact, the Blonde Redhead set was where I learned that my camera phone has "fun tools," so I spent that time taking silly pictures of Mr. Maise. Also, Kazu Makino's vocals really just border on screechy at times. During the last song, Mr. Maise asked, "Is she practicing her sperm whale calls?" So yeah, everyone loves this Italian-Japanese indie trio, but I died a little inside.

Fortunately, Satellite Party, Perry Farrell's new band came up next, and they played a solid, fun set. Perry Farrell looks the same, sounds the same, and he doesn't give a shit what band he's in, he'll play the Jane's Addiction and Porno for Pyro's favorites. He twirls like a whirling dervish and has little drunken/high conversations with the audience that turn into interesting little segueways to the next song. "My darlings, I just want to get down there and pet all of you," he announced before playing "Pets." "Are you...kinky?" he asked before playing a song that must have been entitled "Kinky." "The forecast was going to call for rain today, but since it's not raining, I dub this day INSANITY RAIN DAY!" he decreed, before playing..."Insanity Rain." And so on. Interestingly enough, at one point, he claimed that the Chicago Sun Times did not want Lollapalooza to return to Chicago. Now Jim Derogatis, the music critic for the Sun Times, has been especially cranky about Lollapalooza this year, but I wouldn't say that he's called for an outright ban of the festival. All the old favorites, like "Been Caught Stealing" and "Jane Says" sounded great, and Farrell was accompanied by a swimsuit-clad dancer/backup vocalist who may be his wife. I just really enjoyed this was nice to hear some songs I knew, and Farrell did start this whole festival to begin with.

LCD Soundsystem--what can I say? This was clearly the best performance of the night. Who would ever believe that these schlumpy-looking guys would produce this infectious dancepunk??? They had all the hipsters dancing like dorks in the park. I'm not terribly familiar with a lot of their music, but standouts included "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" (ha ha), "North American Scum" and "Yeah." The latter, in particular, was stretched out to about 15 minutes, but it never lost its energy. James Murphy really won me over with his witty average guy commentary. "I don't really know what to say. Usually when bands don't know what to say, they'll shout, ARE YOU READY??? Which doesn't make any sense. Why should you be ready? We're the ones playing..." He praised the guys dancing in the audience for not scaring the girls away. It was just a great set, and I can't wait til Iris gets her videos up for this because I feel like those will say it all. I highly recommend this band to anyone, anytime.

Daft Punk--okay, this band is legendary, influential, visionary, and produce an astounding show. But we could only take about 30 minutes of it. It's very repetitive techno, and as Mr. Maise said, we forgot our ecstasy and our glowsticks in our other pants. Their set is remiscent of $25,000 Pyramid, and they sit inside the pyramid, wearing these eerie-looking motorcycle helmets. Lights and lasers are flashing and there's a LOT of lead up to songs like "Around the World." Honestly, I can't imagine that we would have gotten any more out of it staying for the full 90 minutes, and the chick with the pigtails in front of me was threatening to clock me in the head with her fancy moves.

And that is that for the first day, kids. I'll try to fill this in a little better later on, but we're late for brunch at Ro's...more to come!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Lollapalooza, Day One, 4:26 CST

Hi everyone! I'm writing to you live from the AT&T Digital Oasis at Lollapalooza 2007 in Chicago, IL. (I'm going to get paid for that corporate plug, right?)

Okay, unlike the people sitting at laptops for what seems like hours, seemingly doing nothing, I'm not going to hog this device. So this will be a short update, and then Iris and I can post more detailed reviews and updates later tonight at Chez Maise. Plus, Iris, as always, has some multimedia goodies for us all!

Okay, so to start, it's really fucking hot out here, and I feel filthy and know, in a general way. So far, we have seen half of the Fratellis set (due to a slightly late start and traffic),
about five minutes of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (whose good-natured rock stylings we abandoned after a friend announced that he felt like he was listening to a concert "at the county fair"). We mostly ignored Son Volt for the same reason, but after that I was totally converted to the Polyphonic Spree. They totally remind me of some sort of religious cult. With their white robes, harps, flutes, charismatic lead vocalist, and dancing backup singers, they could very well call themselves the Jim Jones Singers. Well, pass me the Kool-Aid.
I have no idea what they're singing about beyond "love" and "trees growing" and shit like that, but it's all very invigorating. I was concerned that it was all going to be too hippy-trippy for Mr. Maise, especially when they did a rousing cover of Nirvana's "Lithium," which was a huge crowd-pleaser. But he enjoyed them, and I was pleased to witness probably one of the more unique and interesting bands here today.

Coming up in about an hour or so...Blonde Redhead, LCD Soundsystem, and Daft Punk! And, yes, there will be more from us soon...maybe even some VIEWPOINTS.

Jesus Fucking Christ

Okay, so we made the PAINFUL and CONTENTIOUS decision to put WTC on hiatus. Then what happens? Trent Fucking Reznor decides to make about 7 gazillion updates to his home page. While I'm on vacation and can't see any of it, of course. And it's a good thing that we're carrying the torch of greyhound rescue on our page because apparently he's decided that he doesn't need "Resources" anymore.

But Iris sent me this infinitely helpful link that shows all of the recent updates, and of course, I have some comments.

August 1st--pics from bus. Trent is not the best photographer.

August 1st--Russian "Survivalism" video. Didn't that lead singer guy show up in some Danny Boyle movie at some point? He kind of looks like Trainspotting's "Spud." In addition, I'm sure those Russians could tell Trent a thing or two about secret surveillance and having the police bust down your door . Bless 'em. Plus, I'm especially proud because I'm part Russian. (The HIGHLY DYSFUNCTIONAL part of the family, but no matter.)

August 2nd--Rob's toilet pic. Yeah. I still hate him.

After that...a bunch of hipsters taking tourist photos. Zzzzzzzz...

Also, while I was away, Iris had sent me a pic of the band looking very staged in their boredom while being stuck at the airport. Cute shoes, Trent!

So in this thread, post your thoughts and any new updates! You didn't think we were going to get THAT far away from Nine Inch Nails, did you?

If I were ambitious, I'd steal a pic for this post, but I'm feeling kind of crabby and tired at the moment. Ah, vacation!

Okay, so I changed my mind after getting some rest. This one is it just me or is Trent really channeling Jason Lee in this pic?

Lollapalooza TOMORROW!!!!