Monday, June 23, 2014

Lollapalooza: 10 Helpful Tips

• Always check your pockets. Wallets and phones can easily fall out when you sit on the ground.
• Bring alternative identification and emergency cash if you lose anything.
• Do not get completely hammered as something bad will happen without a doubt.
• Stay away from spicy food then you will not have to use the porta potty. Related to that try to hold off breaking the seal as long as possible because the lines will get enormous for the bathroom.
• Do not count on your cell phone working pretty much at all. Always have a non cell phone way to meet up.
• Plan on at least 20 minutes between ends of Grant Park. The park is huge and takes that long for the end stages.
• If you leave early then you have a much greater chance to actually catch a cab but if you wait until the very end you probably will have to take the train or walk.
• Bring a battery operated charger for your phone because they will die over the course of a long day.
• Wear sunglasses, suntan lotion, hats, and white clothing because it gets really hot there.
• Write down important information on a piece of paper just in case your cell phone dies including your hotel room number, your hotel address, the address to any place that you would like to go afterwards.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Jukebox Is America

One of the reasons I loved going to this bar in the first place was the jukebox. I put in dollar after dollar after dollar after dollar into that machine. I am insane about music and I would drive people crazy with my domination of the jukebox. People would complain again and again about my selections, but I did not care. Sometimes, I'd play new music that I really liked, while other times I would just play guilty pleasures. A major complaint against me was that I too often played sad and depressing music. Yet, I never thought of things that way. I look at a song and say, I like it. I don't think of whether it is fast or slow. I think of whether the song is good or not. Yet, guilty pleasures were the fun nights. Do you know how fun it is to hear Hall and Oates in a pool hall at midnight? Boy, did it piss people off, but sometimes you would see people dancing to it. After a while, people would just ask me how many songs I played because they wanted to know whether it was even worth popping any money in the damn thing. I usually played a few Strokes songs a week and it would drive people crazy. Quit playing the fucking Strokes, no Strokes! They would yell at me. I even got into a fight with a waitress once over the jukebox and I had to run to the bartender for officiating. Sometimes, my love of music on the jukebox got me in trouble and I felt bad. I simply could not see through my thick glasses that the way I hate their selections is the way people felt about my selections. I don't even want to think about how much money I put into that jukebox over the time I spent there. The amount was probably biblical. Yet, the one thing I could not play was rap. This jukebox filtered out all hip-hop, which was fine by me because I only liked probably 3 rap artists anyway, Kanye, Jay-Z, and the Beasties. The Beastie Boys were originally a punk rock band, anyway. If I was in the house, you would hear almost every popular movement in music over the past 50 years, except country. I played it all. The owner did not want any fights started over rap, which always seemed to happen at other places. I didn't care that much. Too bad they could not put a filter on Country music. That would have made my year. Take that ya Tim McGraw loving bastard. I think in the end many people respected my love for the jukebox and the fact that I was willing to pay and play dj on nights when eerie silence would have filled the place. Why would they always give me money when the place was quiet to pop in some tunes? Man, I used to love and play that jukebox. The other place I went to down the street only played the radio. The owner did not want the wrong type of music playing because he wanted to control the atmosphere. Only God can control atmosphere. To me, this may sound crazy, but the jukebox symbolized a kind of freedom. Play whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want to and if somebody complains, fuck 'em. Tell them if they don't like the music, go play their own fucking music. The jukebox is America!

Kanye West: The Man or the Music?

I am here to talk to you today about one Kanye West. He is probably one of the biggest douche bags on the planet. I do not deny this fact. I will not try to refute this fact. All of the names and Internet jokes out there do you have an element of truth to them. He is egotistical and self-centered and only in it for himself but there's the rub. The rub is he is a musical genius. I do not take the word musical genius lightly and and do not bestow the term on anyone easily. The man has taken wrap to new levels with his ability to be both producer and rapper and singer at the same time. Have you ever noticed like I said before that Jay-Z has crappy songs when Kanye does not produce them. Tis true, tis true. Now I will not go into the elements of why Kanye's Music is so much better and for that he has my utmost respect. I did so in another post. Here I would like to ask the question if you do not like I musician as a person can you still like their music? This is a tough question to define and to answer simply because some will take the lyrics very seriously while others will not. So I'm simply will turn off a person's Music because of their personality or their previous actions. I don't know if this is an ethical thing or if it is just completely pointless to turn off someone's music simply because you do not like the person. People will say oh Kanye I hate his music he's an asshole. I will always argue wait a second is his music bad because he's an asshole how can that be? I guess the question comes down to can you separate the person from the music. Now if you argue that Kanye the person and his lyrics are completely related that I can see your point. But most people I talk to about this really have no idea about the content of his lyrics. I just say is the world of rap and hip-hop a better place with or without Kanye? I would say with Kanye simply because his musical contributions transcend any part of his personality. He not only defines the cutting edge the trends in hip-hop today, he is hip-hop. Kanye is telling everyone where to go as far as music goes but as a person he needs a little work.

Bell of the Governor's Ball

I recently returned from governors Ball in New York City. In this article I would like to compare that particular concert festival with lollapalooza. At this festival the focus was on Music not electronic music. Not to say lollapalooza does not have its share of regular in the rock folk music but increasingly lollapalooza has become a haven for all the DJs in the entire world. One of the first things that struck me during the music festival was the fact that you were in fucking New York City. The location was on an island which made it 10 times cooler then lollapalooza has grown to be. It was not as huge as lollapalooza, but that could turn out to be a blessing. You did not have as many miles and I mean miles to walk to see one headlining band versus another headlining band. Yet, as the crowds got larger over the weekend, that fact it was a smaller venue did come back to bite you. There seemed to be less and less space available as the days went by and on Sunday at night you could barely even move. Maybe I am biased,  but there was a stronger emphasis on indie music which some of this EDM stuff actually is, but you are not overwhelmed by it as at lollapalooza. You got the sense that the crowd was a little bit more intellectual and savvy towards music as well. Lollapalooza in contrast has become a place for these bratty douche bag tools who are into DJs that are 14 years old and annoying as fucking possible. Another thing that I liked was the fact that this festival brought a couple of hometown acts back, Interpol and the Strokes. This made for an awesome show because the crowds were going nuts while in contrast lollapalooza has never catered to the Chicago music scene. They are so inconsistent as to who plays and when and on what day. VH1 might as well put on lollapalooza and you would never think that perry Farrell is the promoter of lollapalooza. I will talk about the Strokes at this festival in another post because it pretty much deserves it's own post. Yet, I will ask over and over again the question why doesn't lollapalooza try to bring in some of these hometown heroes. where are the smashing pumpkins? where is Kanye West?where is Wilco?. Now you get a slightly lesser amount of bands to go see at Governor's Ball but you do not get the sense that it is one huge cash grab like lollapalooza is. The tickets are cheaper and they do allow for a payment plan while lollapalooza tickets or at least $75-$80 more and you have to pay it all at once. So is lollapalooza still worth going to? Yes I think it is still worth going to simply because it is the only festival in America where you are not completely isolated from the city. Even at this music festival you were on an island and had to take a bus to get off the island. You get on the bus back into the city, then you're in the middle of not a very nice part of Manhattan. New York City can be very problematic because the damn town is so fucking spread out. The other bonus for lollapalooza is the fact that they have after shows all over the city. Hypothetically you could skip all the festival and still have a great experience going to three different clubs or bars every night. Yet in the end what I think it came down to was when I looked at the New York festival lineup I said to myself holy shit that is probably one of the best lineups I have ever seen. In contrast,  lollapalooza lineups almost every year seem to disappoint even worse than the year before. There just has not been one must see experience at lollapalooza since probably 2010 maybe. And finally one of the things that I noticed about the New York festival was the fact that the bands and musicians that I had no idea who they were seemed completely awesome. At the airport I was on iTunes downloading 4 to 5 new artists which has never really happened at lollapalooza. Lolla will give you maybe 1 to 2 new artists that you would be interested in but for the most part I was amazed at how good the people on the under cards were. Yet that's just my opinion and somebody probably out there thinks I'm wrong.