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August 07, 2006

A fortunate afterthought...

We have received confirmation that Joe Callahan's shades were not injured in the unpleasantness during Tool's Set at the Street Scene.

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For full coverage, check out Cat Dirt, who has rounded up tons of info about the festival.

August 02, 2006

More Street Scene Blowage

I feel kind of like a curmudgeon every time I post something like the Street Scene/Lollapalooza comparison, so I promise I'll post some positive things later this week about some great San Diego bands. But for now, it's nice to see that many of my points are being echoed in the Union Tribune and the CityBeat of all places. Thanks to Cat Dirt for alerting me to the CityBeat's cover story, which reprints editor Troy Johnson's myspace comments regarding the fest. Most people focus on the lineup suckitude and the unjustifiably high price, while also addressing the Parking Lot move (something I still don't really care about that much. Good music in a parking lot would be much better than bad music down town.)

Finally, a tipster who wanted to remain anonymous alerted us to the Cat Dirt mentioned Troy Johnson banning from the VIP area, and claims that promoter Rob Hagey has a reputation for wildly overpaying acts to play at Street Scene. This is interesting, as one of the reasons I was wary to compare Street Scene to other festivals was uncertainty about how level the financial playing field was. If it's the case, and the underperforming lineup is overpayed, (kind of like a Dan Snyder Redskins team) it only makes it all the more disappointing.

A sampling of the City Beat comments:


Do not ever allow such people to make financial decisions for you. First of all, unless you recently outbid Jesus for that killer "omniscience kit" on eBay, you'll only see eight bands, max.

Austin City Limits, held Sept. 15 through 17, has a phenomenal lineup that includes Tom Petty, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Flaming Lips, The Shins, Ween, The Raconteurs, Muse and 120 other killer indie bands like Jose Gonzalez and Iron and Wine. Single-day tickets are $20 cheaper than Street Scene.

Street Scene is among the most expensive of music festivals in the U.S. This year's Coachella cost $10 more, although they did get Madonna to show up a half-hour late and play four songs.

I wanted to die when I looked at the price.

In my informal Myspace poll, I asked, "How do you feel about the price?" Most considered it very, very steep. One colorfully replied: "GOOD!! I like being bent over and getting screwed."

Friday's lineup blows!

August 01, 2006

The Street Scene Blows

Two and a half months ago, I was trying to figure out any advance information about the then-unrevealed Street Scene lineup. While speculating that a performance by a reunited Replacements, fresh off their two newly recorded tracks, might be an event worth getting excited about, I got called "retarded" and "a joke" by this guy:


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Would you rather be a joke or a douchebag?

Street Scene organizer Joe Callahan. I'll be honest, the insults bother me a whole lot less after seeing that picture.

It was, however, the first sign that the Street Scene people might not be down with making friends with the little guy. Over the past few months, I asked if I could give away tickets to some of my readers through an fun little San Diego-wide scavenger hunt. I offered to interview the guys putting it on, since the interviews in the UT came across as pretty much re-printing their press releases (the god damn ferris wheel!) Then last week, I applied for and was turned down for a press pass to go and take pictures of the show. This was the unkindest cut of all, since it means that I won't be going to the festival for the first time in the four years I've lived here. But once it became a reality, I got to take a step back, and wonder if really this was such a bad thing.

So let's break down the Street Scene next to the other major festival going on this weekend, Chicago's Lollapalooza. It seems like a legitimate thing to do. Both festivals take place on the same weekend in major American cities, both have evolved a great deal from previous iterations, and both are of large enough scale to be talked about in articles like Rolling Stone's summer festival preview. But do the two really measure up upon closer inspection? Let's find out:

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HISTORY:
Street Scene has been taking place in San Diego for over two decades, but has undergone great changes since 2003, the first one I went to. Notable changes include lineup focus and location. Lollapalooza was a historical travelling festival, (THE travelling festival for a flannel wearing 7th grader), but is only in its second year as a multi-day festival. So while Lollapalooza has by far the more recognizable name, Street Scene is more of a fixture. However, the aforementioned Lord Douche-In-Shades did say to the UT that they had considered moving the festival last year, so it's true roots in San Diego may be in doubt.
EDGE: Street Scene - You can't argue with history, but people, especially people in both festivals target age groups, have very short memories.

LOCATION

Lollapalooza takes place in Chicago's Grant Park, complete with fountains and grass. Street Scene takes place in Qualcomm Stadiums parking lot. I have not been among the ones disparaging the parking lot in past years, to me it's about the music. But you have to agree that at an all day concert, when you want to sit down and take a break, it would be nice if there were some trees or water around.
EDGE: Lollapalooza - No contest, as long as it's easy to get around once you're inside.


COST

Street Scene costs $125, including service charges, for a 2 day pass. Lollapalooza costs $167, including service charges, for a three day pass. So for Street Scene that's $62.50 per day and Lollapalooza, $56. Both festivals offer more expensive single day passes, and both offered passes for much cheaper earlier on in the summer. Why the ticket prices must increase is unknown to me . Why do tickets cost more at the door? What has changed? Why did Street Scene tickets go on sale for $80 before the lineup was announced? This method of ticket sales only serves to alienate people who might have been making last minute plans based on ticket prices. If there is a real reason, I'm curious to know it.
EDGE: Lollapalooza - Both festivals are pretty expensive, but if you were considering both festivals, the price is close enough that it would not be a deciding factor. Lollapalooza advertises its ticket price as "almost $1 per band", which as anyone who has been to a large festival can tell you, is ridiculous. It's impossible to see every band, an compromises are always necessary. Lollapalooza also complicates this matter by starting ridiculously early in the morning, pre-noon. So it is much bigger, but I know that I would personally have to miss a good deal of what was going on due to exhaustion, laziness and hangovers. However, their per day ticket price is cheaper, and it really boils down to bang for your buck, which we will address below.


OTHER STUFF TO DO

Street Scene has the god damn ferris wheel, inflatable land and burlesque shows. Lollapalooza has karaoke contests, improv comedy and VH1 confessional booths.
EDGE: Draw - Who cares? The only non-musical thing I can think that might actually strike me as worthwhile at a festival might be an enormous swimming pool. When the focus is not on the music, everyone loses.

So that brings us to....

MUSIC
This is what it all comes down to. If both festivals were going on in town at the same time, with no difference in price, (since it's not really that great a difference), which one would you go to? I think that the only way to look at this is to break the line up down, day by day, hour by hour, declaring a winner and keeping score. Points only are awarded during times when the lineup overlaps, unless the band is too awesome not to award a point for.

Let's begin on FRIDAY.

11:45
Lollapalooza: Deadboy & The Elephantmen, Sound Team
Street Scene: Greasing the ferris wheel axels
Points: Probably wouldn't be there yet, but the Deadboy's song "Stop, I'm Already Dead" kicks ass.

12:30
Lollapalooza: The Subways
Street Scene: Inflating inflatable land
Points: The Subways play from 6 to 7 on Saturday at the Street Scene, and garbage time at Lollapalooza. I choose to award no points.

1:30
Lollapalooza: Aqualung, Cursive
Street Scene: Joe Callahan practices leering over his shades
Points: This 12:30 to 2:30 gap would only further confirm my late arrival to Lollapalooza. No points.

2:30
Lollapalooza: Eels
Street Scene: Fish tacos
Points: The Eels are a nice early day surprise here before the festival kicks into full gear, but not great enough to award uncontested points.

3:30
Lollapalooza: Stars, Editors
Street Scene: The Colour
Points: +1 Street Scene. Brent, who works at the Colour's label sounds is a pretty nice guy, and the band is no slouch either. STARS are ok and the Editors are our second double dip band, playing at Street Scene on Saturday at 6. I give the edge to The Colour, even though I probably wouldn't have show up to the Street Scene by now.

I'm going to start listing just the bands I would go to see, since I'll typically just pick one at big festivals like this.

4:30
Lollapalooza: Ryan Adams
Street Scene: Reeve Oliver
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. At times I can't stand Ryan Adams, but some of his songs I absolutely love. Reeve Oliver was the guy who got banned from one San Diego radio station that's about the music after he played another radio station that is about the music's concert. That makes me want to like him. But it's not a contest, as Street Scene is still in its garbage time and Lollapalooza is gearing up for the big names

5:30
Lollapalooza: Secret Macines/Iron and Wine
Street Scene: I would not have arrived at Street Scene for the likes of Lupe Fiasco
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. Lollapalooza has the first tough call for who to go see, the guy who sings like a pussy but I know more of his songs, or the spacey band with the potential for rocking out. Either one reading from the cars operating manual would be better than the Street Scenes offering during this time.

6:30
Lollapalooza: My Morning Jacket
Street Scene: Steel Pulse
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. Sorry Steel Pulse, the token "legitimate reggae" status can't stack up against My Morning Jacket, who I think may be the best live band there is out there, and who are unfortunately stacked up against the Raconteurs. MMJ is easily worth half a days ticket price in itself, and them not playing at Street Scene made it a hell of a lot easier for me to pass on the festival.

7:30
Lollapalooza: Violent Femmes
Street Scene: Wolfmother
Points: +1 Street Scene. The Violent Femmes have played for free at the racetrack every year I've been here. People always react the same way when I tell them that: "The Violent Femmes are still around?" Wolfmother, I think rocks, and could be really fun to see. They also play Lollapalooza later on in the weekend.

8:30
Lollapalooza: Ween
Street Scene: Wu-Tang Clan
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. I love the Wu. I have two Wu-Wear shirts, visited the Wu-Wear store on Staten Island, saw them live in Southeast DC in 2001 and engaged in vicious debates all throughout high school about which of my friends was equivilent to which member of the Wu. But nothing will change the fact that the chances that a hip hop live event does not suck are inversely proportional to the number of guys on stage with water bottles and towels over their shoulder. It would pain me to do it, and the number of drinks I'd have had could play a major role in a decision reversal, but picking outright between Ween's insane rocking and rumored to be awesome live show and any live hip hop act is a no brainer for me.

10:00
Lollapalooza: Done for the night
Street Scene: Kanye or Social D, Bra
Points: +1 Street Scene. Despite the above "famous hip hop artists suck live" reasoning I'll give them Kanye. Social Distortion has played at every Street Scene that I've been to, like G Love, and I guess people love that tradition. But find a better band to headline the rock stage on Friday night, one with a new album, a hit song from the past decade, a reunited Replacements, anything!

Score after Friday: Lollapalooza 5, Street Scene 2

On to SATURDAY

11:45
Lollapalooza: Be Your Own Pet
Street Scene: Still asleep
Points: None. I'm sure this band is terrible.

12:30
Lollapalooza: Nada Surf
Street Scene: First bloody mary of the day. Three girls leave Joe Callahan's apartment, wondering how they thought that look-over-the-sunglasses was cool the night before
Points: None. I don't buy into Nada Surf actually being good, especially because Weezer was the band I most frequently saw tossed around in comparisons to them.

1:30
Lollapalooza: The Go! Team
Street Scene: Fourth Bloody Mary
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. The Go Team provides a strong reason to start Saturday early. Their energy will hopefully provide an early highlight.

2:30
Lollapalooza: Built To Spill
Street Scene: Waiting for the trolley
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. I'm not as familiar with Built To Spill as I'd like to be, but feel like I might really enjoy checking them out in a nice outdoor setting.

3:30
Lollapalooza: Wolfmother
Street Scene: Margot & The Nuclear So and So's
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. Wolfmother is just a damn good idea: try to sound exactly like an energetic Black Sabbath at their peak. Well done.

4:30
Lollapalooza: Gnarls Barkley
Street Scene: The Futureheads, Tapes 'n Tapes
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. Gnarls Barkley not bringing their crazy ass costumes out to San Diego this summer is a pretty big regret of mine. They will undoubtedly bring the heat. For those of you keeping track, "Crazy" has somehow become my top played song on my last.fm charts. The Futureheads on the other hand, are one of like 5 bands whose CDs I have actually deleted off of my iTunes, and I don't delete anything. But I may make another exception for Tapes 'n Tapes one of these days.

5:30
Lollapalooza: Blackalicious
Street Scene: Subways or Editors
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. I could care less about either Street Scene band, and nobody will remember them in a years time. Blackalicious on the other hand, I saw at Street Scene two years ago, and they feature a hype man named Lateef the Truth Speaka. Credit goes to Street Scene here for organizing the best live hip-hop show I've ever seen, A Tribe Called Quest back in 2004. They proved all the bold claims I have made earlier in the article very wrong, although I can attribute most of their ass-kicking to the fact that they didn't rely on hype-men, instead deciding to shockingly let the guys rap who people came to see rap.

6:30
Lollapalooza: The Flaming Lips
Street Scene: Editors and Subways finish, G Love starts
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. One thing I didn't notice is that Lollapalooza has a lot more flow between stages. These dismal acts are still performing at Street Scene as the greatest experience you will ever have at a concert takes place up in Chicago. More than one point should be awarded.

7:30
Lollapalooza: Thievery Corporation
Street Scene: The Shins
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. A tough call. I'll go with the Thievery Corporation despite an aversion to electronic music because A) I've never seen them before, B) It will be the perfect come down after the insanity the Lips and C) unlike The Shins, it won't sound exactly like their record.

8:30
Lollapalooza: Kanye West
Street Scene: Bloc Party
Points: +1 Lollapalooza. This was up for Street Scene to run away with, but Bloc Party just doesn't do it for me.

10:00
Lollapalooza: Done til tomorrow
Street Scene: Snoop Dogg
Points: +1 Street Scene. I've seen Snoop twice, and he is no exception to the live performance sucking rule. But he's by far the most fun thing going on now. I've had several different people tell me that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Indy Jam performance was the worst thing they've ever seen in their lives, and Tool blows. As long as Snoop touches on more than one song from Doggystyle, then Drops it Like It's Hot and in the end all the Homies Have Some, it will be a good way to close out a day.

Final Score:Lollapalooza 12, Street Scene 4

It looks like Lollapalooza wins in a landslide, and that's not even factoring in Sunday, which features The Hold Steady, who are one of the few bands that have enough power to single handedly influence my festival attendence decisions. The day as a whole is weaker than the first two though. Kudos to the Street Scene organizers for reisisting the inexplicable urge that people are having to book Matisyahu these days. Day three of Lollapalooza is less inspired, with less must see live acts, and you'll certainly be tired by then. Like all good double albums, it's a three day festival that could have been condensed down to two in this mans opinion.

So after going through and scoring the lineup, which resulted in an astonishing Lollapalooza landslide, I have a few questions for the Street Scene organizers.

-Do you consider the Street Scene to be on similar status to major festivals like Lollapalooza or Coachella? If not, is it your goal to reach that status? What is preventing the Street Scene from being that kind of national festival that out of towners will fly to San Diego for?

-On a similar note, do you feel it is unfair for me to compare the two festivals? Why or why not?

-Did you try to book any of the bands that are playing at Lollapalooza, but were unable to because they were already committed? Did any bands waver before signing on to the Street Scene hoping that Lollapalooza would call?

-How would you score the lineups that I came up with?

-The "ticket prices increasing" gradually thing...What's the reasoning behind that? Also, what do you see as being a cap to a 2 day festival pass in the foreseeable future? Do ticket prices increase because bands have more bargaining power with so many festivals taking place? Does focusing on a much younger audience make you have to focus more on keeping ticket prices lower?

Thus concludes another exhausting piece, undoubtedly rife with errors and exaggerations. I appreciate all feedback, criticisms and offers to buy me plane tickets to Chicago.

June 22, 2006

Shins and Wolfmother added to Street Scene

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The Shins are playing Street Scene on Friday, Wolfmother on Saturday. Two quality bands. Well done. The Shins seem like they could seriously suffer some Coldplay, too big for their britches, backlash on their third album. Let's hope they avoid it.

June 08, 2006

More Street Scene Bands + Lineups on each day

Bands have been added to the Street Scene Lineup, which still takes place two months from now: She Wants Revenge, Nine Black Alps, Karsh Kale, and Reeve Oliver. The lineup has also been broken out per day, so you can decide if you only want to go to Friday or Saturday, which will cost you $75 for a single day ticket. Rolling Stone recently listed a few summer festivals, and included Street Scene in the mix with Lollapalooza, Pitchfork fest and a few others. I believe they called it "Worth a Road Trip." The article also mentioned the ferris wheel as one of the festivals highlights, as did the UT's piece about the festival lineup, which leads me to believe that it has a prominent place in the promotional materials for some reason.

The lineup for Friday, August 4th:

Kanye West
AFI
Social Distortion
Wu Tang Clan
Queens of the Stone Age
Bad Religion
Yellowcard
Slightly Stoopid
Matchbook Romance
Rock Kills Kid
Lupe Fiasco
Particle
Nine Black Alps
Cheb I Sabbah & 1002 Nights
Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited
What Made Milwaukee Famous
Reeve Oliver
The Shys
The Colour

The Lineup for Saturday, August 5th:

Tool
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Snoop Dogg
Modest Mouse
My Chemical Romance
Sean Paul
Bloc Party
G. Love & Special Sauce
Donavon Frankenreiter
Tricky
The Subways
Editors
Ska Cubano
The Futureheads
Tapes 'n Tapes
Bedouin Soundclash
West Indian Girl
Karsh Kale
Margot & The Nuclear So & So's
Dirty On Purpose

May 22, 2006

Interview With Street Scene Founder

The UT interviews Street Scene founder Rob Hagey, who does not call him retarded: check it out.

May 20, 2006

Street Scene '06 Lineup

Thanks to reader Peter D Lai, (who is certainly "D" Man), for finding this Street Scene lineup graphic on the Street Scene website while they were updating. Looks like the lineup has hit a few days early, so no more rumors, here's the real deal. What does everybody think? The Wu is an nice surprise...But it's surprising that with half of Snoop Dogg's lyrics being instructions how to spell his name that one could possibly leave the Double G off the poster.

Presale tickets are available for $100, up $15 from last year, plus the $10 convenience fee. They also say the price will increase on Monday. How much more than $110 can the price possibly increase to? Looks like they will go up $10 dollars on Monday, to $110 probably also with a $10 charge. Buy em here.

The website files also indicate that there will be four stages this year, which I believe is one more than last year.

What do people think?


streetscenelineup.jpg


Transcribed it looks like this, click the link to go someplace to hear the artists. For the first half it takes you to their Hype Machine page, where you can download or stream their music, and about halfway through it goes to myspace sites:

Tool
Kanye West
Social Distortion
Snoop Dogg
Sean Paul
AFI
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Modest Mouse
Queens of the Stone Age
My Chemical Romance
Wu Tang Clan
Bad Religion
G Love & Special Sauce
Yellowcard
Slightly Stoopid
Bloc Party
Tricky
The Subways
Matchbook Romance
Donavon Frankenreiter
The Futureheads
Editors
Rock Kills Kid
Bedouin Soundclash
West Indian Girl
Tapes 'N Tapes
Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited
What Made Milwaukee Famous
Cheb I Sabbah & 1002 Nights
Margot & The Nuclear So & So's
Dirty On Purpose
The Shys
The Colour
Particle
Lydia
Yard Dogs Road Show
Ska Cubano
The Mutaytor
Lupe Fiasco

May 19, 2006

Friday Charts - 5/19/06

conorandcorky.jpg


You can't make stuff up like the comments a few entries below. For the past three weeks or so I emailed a few different people at the Street Scene, hoping to hear some tips on bands that were playing or maybe even get some tickets to give away to readers of this website. I didn't hear anything until today when the design and media director of the Street Scene read my blog and called me "retarted" and "a joke" for suggesting that a Replacements reunion at the Street Scene might be an event worth getting excited about. I don't imagine that this kind of confrontation happened before the rise of the internet, and I think that we're all better for the chance to be randomly insulted by a grown man.

Intimate Secretary - Maybe my favorite song on the album (It's better live)

Secondly, tickets for the Raconteurs July 19th show at Soma go on sale tomorrow at 10 AM...technically...They are also available right now at the Raconteurs presale site. You need a password to get in, but I'll spare you the 10 seconds that took to obtain - it is "brokenboy". Tickets are a slightly pricey meat-a ball, at $30 a pop, especially for an album that didn't particularly distinguish itself the first couple of times you listen to it, but check out the ridiculous solos in the above video. I'm not one to doubt Jack White's powers. Bad things happen to the last guy who did that.

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Thirdly, I saw the above image on BoingBoing today. I'm not sure what it was specifically referencing, but it made me think about the recent lawsuit filed by the RIAA against XM radio. It's broken down very well here, but basically the RIAA has decided to sue XM for making devices like the XM radio I have, that essentially act as Tivo's for your radio, allowing you to record 5 hours of music. You can't take the music off, you can't give it to a friend, five hours is a pretty short amount of music to record, and it's not CD quality. But that doesn't stop the RIAA, whose next logical plan would have to be to seek out and sue all the widows of Gulf War veterans, just in case there are people out there who they haven't alienated yet. It's one thing when the poor guy who opens up the Authentic Kazakhstan Restaurant in Pacific Beach's business fails, you kind of feel sorry for that poor guy. When its a bunch of dicks like the RIAA who seem completely unwilling to seize upon the advances and goodwill exhibted by the public towards the exciting future of music and music technology, there's just no sympathy to be had. XM has a good rebuttal of their own right here, they come across as 100% pro consumer. I wonder what the RIAA's message to their consumers would be...

Fourthly, we arrive at the Charts. Some major releases have been hapening lately. Let's see what the ten most seeded albums are at a certain file sharing portal. Links go someplace with album samples, live bootlegs, crazy remixes, criticism, maybe ALL FOUR!

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
2. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
3. Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
4. Tool - 10,000 Days
5. Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
6. The Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off
7. The Streets - The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living
8. The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
9. Neil Young - Living With War
10. Angels & Airwaves - We Don't Need To Whisper

No real comments, many of these albums have been around for a while. What's more interesting to me is what didn't turn up on the list. Pitchfork has given out a few highly touted reviews lately, giving Shogun Kunitoki, Beirut and the Futureheads "recommended" status and Scott Walker and Danielson "Best New Music" status. These are usually enough to catapault something into the top ten, like has happened to Band of Horses, or Tapes 'n Tapes. I don't know if it necessarily signifies a decline in the influence of Pitchfork on peoples downloading habits, but it is interesting to note.

Finally, three of these bands are rumored to be playing the Street Scene, #s 2, 4 and 10. I didn't even realize that Angels & Airwaves was a Blink 182 related project until I looked for MP3s to link to. I guess when you are retarded, you tend to be fuzzy on the details.

May 17, 2006

The Hits Keep On Coming - Fifty On Their Heels

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UPDATE: I've posted the Street Scene lineup, with MP3 links, here.

You know the feeling you get as you sit in an airport waiting for you flight to take off when you have a connecting flight you have to make? You're there an hour early, sitting in the terminal waiting. You notice the airplane hasn't arrived yet. No matter, you've still got plenty of time. As long as you take off no less than an hour late, you'll still be fine for your connection. But it gradually become a battle between optimism and reality, and as the clock starts ticking down, you come to the grim realization ten minutes before your deadline that the plane's not coming, you're going to miss your connection, and your vacation is ruined.

Well that's what this past week has been like watching the Street Scene rumors trickle in. The latest, collected nicely for us at the UT's Liner Notes, indicate that She Wants Revenge, My Chemical Romance, Yellowcard and possibly Tool are added to the lineup. The possibility of pulling off an event to rival Lollapalooza that same August weekend appears to have evaporated almost laughably quickly, and as the clock ticks down towards the Monday lineup annoucement, one can only hope that whoever is piloting the Street Scene plane pulls off some Chuck Yeager style heroics to bring the bird in safely. What is most unsettling about the whole thing is not the lack fo indie buzz bands, or major headliners, but rather that the Street Scene seems completely focused in the absolute nadir of shitty genres: the emo/punk bands.

The problem with these bands, none of which I have ever listened to and could not name a song or album by, is that they forgot something about the very basics of punk. Though the Sex Pistols were angry, and the Ramones could only play three chords, both of these bands were essentially pop music gone horribly awry. If you take away the sneering vocals, some of the distortion and slow it all down a wee bit, you've got a sixties pop song. Maybe take out the abortion and glue sniffing subject matter, but anyways. Bands like The Clash would further expound upon the inherent poppiness in early punk music, creating songs that build, segue, flow, you know, songs that behave like Beatles songs. I remember in 8th grade when Green Day came out with Dookie, and all the magazines talked about was the "return of punk." I was confused then, and only now realize that what they meant was the return of punk that you can actually listen to. Nobody's saying you have to puss out to make a pop-esque punk album. But at some point in time, I imagine that artists get a bit tired of playing unpleasant music, and decide that more ambitious goals (the long rumored fourth chord!) are worth a shot.

So as an antidote for the shitty punk/emo that the Street Scene is offering up, I present to you San Diego's own Fifty On Their Heels. Listening to these guys the past couple days has really made me aware of the fact that a record does't have to go by at 120 mph and be shoved down your throat to be punk. The singer has a voice that you'll feel like you've heard many times before, sort of snotty, faux British. But where the band really shines is the music, which manages to never sound the same, and even accomplishes the ultimate punk coup of incorporating different musical passages and even different instruments into the same song. You know how on American Idiot, Green Day had a couple nine minute song "suites" that sounded like 6 different songs put together? Well my favorite song on the album, Occupation, pulls off a similar trick in just three and a half minutes. I hear traces of Rancid in the beginning, and Sex Pistols in the vocals, with a Strokes kind of guitar lick for the chorus and a Clash style breakdown all before it builds to an utterly triumphant, cut off too brief finale.

The guys sound like they're having fun. Which is important. But more important, they sound like the kind of band that you could have fun going to see. Fortunately for you, they're playing two shows in San Diego in June, and will be playing lots more all summer long. Check out the myspace page for dates, a few more streaming songs as well as info on where to get their new CD. San Diego has been on a roll with local bands lately. It's too bad that the major summer festival looks headed in the opposite direction.

Dowload MP3 of Fifty On Their Heels - Occupation
http://www.myspace.com/fiftyontheirheels
June 13th @ The Casbah

Snoop @ The Street Scene

UPDATE: I've posted the Street Scene lineup, with MP3 links, here.

Pollstar has added Snoop Dogg and Steel Pulse to the lineup. Snoop was there last year, I don't know who Steel Pulse is. CityBeat also came out today, with some speculation:

In the pure rumor department, we’ve heard strong “chatter” about Tom Petty, Tool, Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Angels & Airwaves. And Vegas odds favor Wilco, Matisyahu, Kanye West and Gnarls Barkley also showing up.

All four of those "Vegas Odds" guys are already at Lollapalooza that weekend, so maybe they will share a plane. There's still nobody on there that's got me excited. Trying to pick who the "headliner" would be is difficult, there's nobody that is "Brag worthy" so to speak. Tom Petty in particular screams mediocrity. One thing that did hit me at some point in time was the fact that The Replacements are releasing two new songs on a new greatest hits album soon. You figure that them playing a live show isn't out of the question, and a huge summer festival would probably be the place to do it...

May 16, 2006

Street Scene Lineup!!! is coming on May 22nd

UPDATE: I've posted the Street Scene lineup, with MP3 links, here.

An announcement on the Street Scene myspace page says that the line up will be announced on May 22nd, which is Monday. No other surprised have reared their heads lately, but the Raconteurs won't be part of the mix. They announced tour dates today, and will be in scenic Michigan and Cleveland during the Street Scene.

You know how at the end of the Wizard of Oz, after the Wizard has given the other three guys their things, Dorothy says something to the effect of "I don't think you can fit what I want in that bag"? Well unless they're pulling some serious strings, or entering into Frankenstein-esque resurrection territory with the line up, I'm not quite sure what they're gonna pull out of that bag on Monday is going to prove to be that exciting. Guns n' Roses would be sweet though...

More info on bands that we know about here, here, here, and here.

May 12, 2006

Another Street Scene Band = Bloc Party

UPDATE: I've posted the Street Scene lineup, with MP3 links, here.

The Street Scene lineup continues to be revealed, piece by piece. Still waiting for something huge to drop, but Brooklyn Vegan posts that Bloc Party has the Street Scene on their tour itinerary.

May 11, 2006

More Street Scene Rumors - Tapes 'n Tapes?

Street Scene Red

UPDATE: I've posted the Street Scene lineup, with MP3 links, here.

The rumor mill for Street Scene 2k6 keeps chugging along. Lots of talk about Tapes 'n Tapes joining the festivities, based on their touring with The Futureheads, who are already showing up as playing on Pollstar. This was reported in a Pitchfork news article, like a week ago, but as of now is not yet showing up on Tapes 'n Tapes myspace page. I'm not a fan of the band, but posted a live show from SXSW they did a month or so ago that you can check out here.

Modest Mouse is also a name lots of people are tossing around. They play in Santa Barbara on August 6th, the day after Street Scene, so that doesn't sound illogical, but the band hasn't been up to anything in a while , has nothing to promote, and isn't on a big tour, so I don't know...

I also didn't realize that Street Scene is on the same weekend as Lollapalooza, the 3 day festival in Chicago, which has an impressive lineup, featuring just to name a few, The Raconteurs, The Shins, The Flaming Lips, Ween, Ryan Adams, Built to Spill, Eels, Gnarls Barkley... I guess it is unlikely that a band will play both of the shows in a weekend, which is bad when talking about the Raconteurs, who I hoped the Street Scene could snag, but good when it comes to the Chili Peppers, who have somehow managed to maintain the status of "Acceptable band to be the headliner at a huge festival" since the mid 90s despite the fact that their career paths really should have mirrored some of the best 80s hair metal bands and be playing at a state fair or a pig roast that weekend. If Lollapalooza means that they aren't an option as Street Scene headliner, I'm all for that.

Typing about Ween made me realize that I've probably never mentione Ween on here. Well The Blarney Stone and Waving My Dick In The Wind are both on my Itunes "50 Most Played List" and have been mix cd staples for a long time, so please check them out. Waving My Dick in the Wind is the rare cleverly titled song that lives up to how good its title is, and The Blarney Stone rivals the Pogues best Irish drinking songs in terms of it making you want to join in with the red nosed chap next to you when the chorus hits.

Both of these songs are on The Mollusk

May 06, 2006

More Street Scene Bands

UPDATE: I've posted the Street Scene lineup, with MP3 links, here.

If you're trying to keep an eye on Street Scene bands and rumors, you can check out the listings at Pollstar where bands have started to pop up as playing the Street Scene. The CityBeat has already reported that The Futureheads, The Editors, Bad Religion, G Love, Matchbox Romance and Michael Franti & Spearhead are all playing this years festival, and right now Pollstar shows two other bands, neither of which I am familiar with: Bedouin Soundclash and Rock Kills Kid. I will leave it up to you to decide if they are worth it, please report back to me if they blow you away. 100% based on the myspace page, however, it is obvious that Rock Kills Kid opts to blow, rather than blow away.

I've also emailed the good people at Street Scene, hoping for some inside scoops on bands they have lined up and maybe for some tickets to give away to you readers. We shall see if that works out.

May 03, 2006

San Diego Summer Festivals: The Good, The Bad and The Unannounced Lineups

streetscene06.jpg

UPDATE: I've posted the Street Scene lineup, with MP3 links, here.

The Independence Jam full lineup has been announced, as have the ticket prices. A ticket, with fees, will cost you 45 dollars. I was wavering, because contrary to my drunken source's reports, Spoon was not involved, so the Flaming Lips are the only band I would particularly want to see. $45 dollars also seems like it should be better applied towards more than half of your Street Scene ticket. But then I saw on the FM 94.9 homepage that the show "Benefits FM 94.9's 'About The Music' Fund." In that case, I will take 12 tickets. Nameless, purposeless funds are always a great way to rally the masses around your cause. It would be even cooler if they just lopped off the second 2/3rds of that quote to make it just "Benefits FM 94.9"

Moving on to Street Scene, the festival has a myspace page, where a large number of people are currently speculating or suggesting acts they would like to see. Kicking this about with some friends last weekend in the Mission Bay Hilton hot tub, we were at a loss for how to put together a solid, unique festival this year. Obviously, you want to have a band like The White Stripes was last year, a huge name with credibility. The candidate for this position we thought of was Radiohead, since they are touring this year, but they are coming to San Diego in June, so an August reprise would be unlikely. The Strokes also probably fit this position in a lot of people's minds, but are pretty boring live and aren't particularly a great outdoor festival band.

Then you have reunion acts, like the Pixies last year as well. Who is out there that I'd like to see play a comeback show, and who would choose the Street Scene as the place to do it? Credibility acts like Spoon or the Flaming Lips are for most festivalgoers to ignore while 311 or Social D plays. The Flaming Lips playing at the above Indy Jam means this is unlikely as well. You can always count on some interchangable rap and punk acts to fill things out, and it seems like you could probably count on Damian Marley being there this year.

I'm not really sure how I'd go about assembling my ideal line up. There seem to be so many festivals these days that it's important to try and do something unique from the others, but there's always bound to be some overlap. In the years that I've lived out in San Diego, the festival has moved from downtown, rapidly reduced in size and scope, and abandoned all pretense of being about diversity or home grown talent and instead opted to feature Wyclef, Jack Johnson and the Black Eyed Peas. Of course, as far as I'm concerned these all balanced out just fine if you can convince The White Stripes or The Flaming Lips or Radiohead to come play, the acts always overlap anyways. But what haven't I mentioned that could potentially be the highlight of this years show?

The multiple Radiohead mentions probably got you excited, so over at The Rawking Refuses To Stop are three new songs that they debuted at their last concert. Go nuts.

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