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Lollapalooza 2011: a missed booking opportunity

Lollapalooza 2011: a missed booking opportunity (photo)

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This year’s Lollapalooza, slated for the first weekend of August in Chicago’s Grant Park, is being billed as a celebration of the festival’s 20th anniversary, despite a hiatus that lasted the better part of a decade. You might think that, to coronate the close of the fest’s second decade, Perry Farrell might be looking to push Lollapalooza again to its formerly conception-shattering status, back when Ministry shared bills with Seaweed, Steve Earle with Wu-Tang Clan. Maybe you even hope that Farrell would stun with a few unexpected alumni and a fleet of artists who are, in 2011, pushing buttons in the ways of their forebears.

Instead, Farrell announced a lineup Tuesday that reads mostly like an abbreviated, milquetoast Top 40 playlist, surrounded by a passé flock of buzz bands. This year’s big expansion is Perry’s Place, an all-electronic annex that gathers big name DJs, mash-up dudes, rappers and producers. According to Greg Kot, it will double in size this year. When Girl Talk and Kid Cudi are the anchors of your big bonus, you’ve got problems–namely, you look obvious, with an edge as hardened as Irish butter. And speaking of butter, Farrell also wants everyone to know how fancy this year’s food will be. That’s his gift. Well, then, Lollapalooza 2011 is a missed opportunity.

Sure, there’s plenty of decent bands playing this year’s Lollapalooza, and the variety is, as always, an apparent priority. Headliner Eminem at least has Minneapolis rapper Atmosphere and New York’s Nas (unfortunately, with Damian Marley in tow) for company, while techno–from main-stagers deadmau5 to those sequestered into Perry’s Place, which is a gross name for a stage–gets more than its share this year. The festival, of course, relies heavily on a mix of rock ‘n’ roll stripes: There’s the massive lumber of My Morning Jacket, the prematurely reunited blasts of Death from Above 1979, the limber tunes of OK Go, the hyper-referential words of the Mountain Goats, and the weepy bliss of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, just to sample. Muse, Coldplay and Foo Fighters all split headlining duties with Eminem; whoops?

The roster of Lollapalooza alumni is an astonishing blend of artists who sort of shocked the mainstream with the chances they took–see Beck, Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins–and bands just too strange or aggressive or, really, great to make a big crossover dent. This is a festival that Body Count played in 1991, Lambchop in 1994; it took its chances, and, since we’re still talking about it two decades later, mostly won.

“A lot of this music–we’ll call it festival music–it’s still not popular music,” Farrell said in a widely circulated AP story yesterday. He’s lying, frankly. Lollapalooza has never before seemed so complacent with accepting standard and assumed popular fare. It’s an insult to a legacy that has a lot to do with how well what might’ve once been limited to the indie rock ghetto has done popularly and financially in the last decade. Now, it’s another big festival in another big park in another big city. There’s nothing wrong with that; in the past, that just wasn’t Lollapalooza.

(Note: Grayson Currin curates a North Carolina music festival, Hopscotch. It is quite different from Lollapalooza, both in scope and aim.)

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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