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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.)


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


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…