Our Lollapalooza 2011 Wish List

A few weeks ago, there was a leak that Muse, the Foo Fighters and Eminem would headline Lollapalooza this year. In previous years, when band names have been leaked well before the official announcement, they’ve been accurate, so let’s assume that those are your headliners. Pretty cool and eclectic group, if you ask us. We’ve seen some dyed-in-the-wool alt rockers scoff at the idea of Marshall Mathers playing Lolla, but why the hell not? Snoop Dogg did it two years ago, and no one complained about that.

The festival’s organizers are a good month away from unveiling their lineup, so while we’re in the lull between the leak and the formal announcement, we decided to have a little fun. Here are some bands that we’d love to see take the stage in Grant Park this summer.


Don’t laugh – this makes more sense than the decision to invite Metallica in 1996. They rock harder and faster than anyone alive today, and courtesy of their appearance on “The Young Ones,” they were instantly grandfathered as alt rock forefathers (Ministry’s Psalm 69, anyone?). Still think it’s a long shot? Consider this: Head Foo Fighter Dave Grohl loves Lemmy and has recorded with him, plus the band just released a new record (The World Is Yours), which means a tour is sure to follow. Come on, Perry. You know this would be awesome. Lemmy shows up, drinks all the other bands under the table, and wipes the floor with them onstage. That’s the way we like it, baby.

Franz Ferdinand

Of the big UK bands of the last five years, only Franz Ferdinand and Coldplay have yet to play Lolla, and we’re not sure why. It looked as though the stars were aligned for them to play when the band released Tonight, Franz Ferdinand in 2009, but for whatever reason, it never happened. Considering the heavy nature of the three headliners, both musically and lyrically, the festival could use a party band. The only catch is that the band is not working on a new record, and therefore will not likely be on tour this year. Pity.

Read the rest after the jump...

Quintessential Songs of the ’00s: #2 “Take Me Out”

Franz Ferdinand burst on the scene in 2004 with the second single from their self-titled debut.

The meaning of the song has long been debated. Some believe it to be about a sniper that’s about to kill his target while others believe it’s about romantic love.

Whatever it’s about — it’s a great, rocking tune. I love the guitar throughout and the shifts in tempo. The latter is tough to pull off, but the band does it well.

More Quintessential Songs of the ’00s.


21st Century Breakdown: Jim Washington’s Best Albums of the 2000s

As I compiled my list of the best music of the decade (a much, much longer list than you see here) one inescapable conclusion reared its shaggy head: the last 10 years pretty much belonged to Jack White.

How many other artists produced five stellar albums in the aughts, not to mention a couple of killer side projects and (that old rock critic standby) incendiary live shows?

No one, that’s who.

So, the best album of the decade really came down to which White Stripes album did you like more, White Blood Cells or Elephant.

Thankfully there’s no wrong answer. I first became enamored of “Fell in Love With a Girl,” totally fell for “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground,” became quite close to “We Are Going to Be Friends” and spent a lot of time in “Hotel Yorba” and “Little Room.”

On the other hand, Elephant had “Seven Nation Army.”

“Seven Nation Army,” motherfuckers. How could a song released in 2003 sound like it invented the bass line? Not just that bass line, but the whole concept of bass lines.

So as we recap our favorites of the decade, rock lives on into the new century in various forms, from low down and dirty to high and arty to pulsating and poppy, while what was once the cutting-edge hip-hop has devolved into auto-tuned disco synth. No doubt something new will emerge in the next decade to take our minds off it.

1. The White Stripes: White Blood Cells (or Elephant)
2. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
3. Outkast: Stankonia (or Speakerboxx/The Love Below)
4. Green Day: American Idiot
5. The New Pornographers: Electric Version (or maybe Mass Romantic)
6. The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
7. LCD SoundsystemL Sounds of Silver
8. TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain
9. Jay-Z: The Blueprint
10. The Strokes: Is This It?

Just a few of the runner-ups:

Queens of the Stone Age: Songs for the Deaf, Rated R
Belle & Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Drive By Truckers: Southern Rock Opera, Dirty South
Sufjan Stevens: Come On Feel the Illinoise
Arcade Fire: Funeral
Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand
Decemberists: Picaresque, Crane Wife
Radiohead: In Rainbows
Ben Folds: Rockin’ the Suburbs
Missy Elliott: Miss E…So Addictive
The Roots: Phrenology


Mobile: Tales from the City

The Juno Award-winning “Best New Artist” of 2007, Toronto-by-way-of-Montreal rockers Mobile step up their game on their second album. Not content to follow the lead of their critically acclaimed contemporaries back in Montreal, the band’s tack is decidedly mainstream, with Killers producer Jeff Saltzman (not to be confused with Portland, Oregon producer Jeff Stuart Saltzman) in tow. In reality, though, their sound hasn’t changed all that significantly – if anything, the precise, danceable rock beats typical of the band (and of Franz Ferdinand, and, naturally, the Killers too) are even more firmly in place, and the dark dramatic sweep of their productions are more pronounced. Some of the album’s most successful moments are when drummer Pierre-Marc Hamelin gets to breathe with some fills (especially on “No Tomorrow” and in the midst of the ‘80s pop synth beats of “Gravity”), though to their credit, the band does manage to humanize dance rock with just enough dark moods to keep it interesting without devolving into self-parody. They’re at their best, however, when they buck the formula – “All is Forgiven” is a surprisingly unpretentious, low-key three-part epic (who knew such a thing existed?) that bridges the gap between Muse and ‘80s Genesis. Tales from the City may not be earth-shattering, but it does continue to provide evidence that the musical grounds up in the Great White North are still fertile. (Universal Music Canada 2008)

Mobile MySpace page


We can’t have it much better than this

In support of their latest album, You Could Have It So Much Better, Franz Ferdinand delivered one spectacular live performance after another, including an October show at The Greek Theater in LA. John Paulsen from Bullz-Eye.com was there:

“Live and in person, the new album played quite well. The first single, “Do You Want To,” garnered a considerable reaction from the crowd, while their energetic live performance of “What You Meant” has subsequently made it my favorite track from the new disc. Kapranos introduced one song in the middle of the set by saying “it’s an old one that we don’t play very often.” The track? Just the monster 2004 hit, “Take Me Out,” which the band still seems to enjoy playing, even for the billionth time.”

Click here for the full review. Also, don’t miss John’s review of You Could Have It So Much Better:

“They could have kept touring. They could have stayed out on the road for another year, hitting the same cities over and over, continuing to push their self-titled debut while making loads of cash. Instead, they avoided the usual post-tour extended vacation and moved into a country house just South of Glasgow, to write and record their sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better. It was a risky move – the debut was just a year old and continues to sell like hot cakes (assuming that hot cakes still sell well). While the band still likes their first disc, they wanted to move on, and after listening to YCHISMB, most fans will be grateful they did.”