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Tuesday, September 26

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« Your Lollapalooza Party Guide Heat Up The Night With The Cool Kids »

Lollapalooza Wed Aug 03 2011

Lollapalooza 2011 - Stage Clash, Round 2

lolla2011.jpg The weather this weekend looks pretty manageable for once during Lollapalooza, and you'll have a whole two more days to enjoy it when you wake up Saturday morning. Here are our picks for sets during the day that might require you to make some hard choices. See the full Saturday lineup.


12:45 - 1:30pm - Disappears vs. Walk The Moon
Chicago's Disappears bring a reassuring psych/garage/punk sound to the Bud Light stage early Saturday afternoon. Their latest release, 2011's Guider, opens up with an echoing vocal stretch overtop droning guitars and cymbal crashes. It's the kind of music I make sure to buy on vinyl and have on hand for sunny afternoon. If you need a solid set of music while you chill out and connect with friends before all the cell phone power gets sucked out of Grant Park, this might just be your jam. By contrast, Walk The Moon (who also play a sold out Lincoln Hall show with Local Natives Friday night), is much more of a dance-tastic rock band with influences by Phoenix, Happy Mondays, or Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. and loads of gnarly keyboard action, they come straight at you with clubby sing-alongs like "Anna Sun" (stream or download their album i want! i want!). The Music Unlimited stage where Walk The Moon will perform is likely where the club kids and loads of teeny tiny backpacks in the shape of teddy bears can be found. If you'd like to get your bounce on, maybe apply a little facepaint before you get all sweaty, head to their stage when you get to the park.
- Anne Holub

1 - 2pm - An Horse vs. Typhoon
The Australian duo An Horse released their sophomore album, Walls, back in April. The duo play a blazing brand of indie rock, and produce a surprisingly full sound from just guitar and drums. They are touring this fall with Manchester Orchestra, but are coming to Lollapalooza to perform a set. What is great about this duo is the interplay between Kate Cooper's playful vocals and the fierce drumming of Damon Cox. This is high energy punk-pop. I would most closely compare it a punk version of Tegan and Sara.

Typhoon is a fascinating folk orchestra out of Portland who have been slowly building momentum over the last year. They have also been slowly been adding members. They are currently a 12 piece ensemble that create an ominous and massive sound. Last year the band released their debut Hunger and Thirst through Tender Loving Empire, and this Spring they released a follow-up EP called A New Kind of House. The have won over fans and critics with tracks like "The Honest Truth" and "Claws Pt. 1". Typhoon takes intimate and raw lyrics and adds multiple levels of sounds. The result is breathtaking. This is a live performance that you will not want to miss. Since the release of their EP in March the band has performed at SXSW, Newport Folk Fest, and will appear on Letterman on August 4th.

My pick for this clash is Typhoon.
- Jason Behrends

2:30 - 3:45pm - Fitz & the Tantrums vs. Super Mash Bros.
Fitz & the Tantrums are purveyors of that white-boy soul made popular by Misters Hall and Oates. Okay, it's more like they're soul-ridin' white boys with a smack of indie pop and a beautiful African-American lady vocalist. Hall actually invited the group to appear on his web series, Live from Daryl's House, further lending them the "Man Eater" seal of approval. Super Smash Bros. arrive pretty much exactly as advertised. As their name would suggest, they scramble crowd-pleasing songs and audio oddities to concoct crowd-pleasing mash-ups. Between the two bands, I'd suggest checking Super Mash Bros. out — at this early in the day, a little fun and mindless booty-shakin' is just what you need.
- Kara Luger

3 - 4:15pm - Black Lips vs. DOM
Black Lips are the kind of band for people who want to hear music in the style of the '60s, but would rather not actually visit the '60s, but would rather hear people of their own age tell them what it was like, kind of the way Danielle Dax and Captain Sensible did for '80s kids in the throes of the first issue of the Beatles on CD. Like Wavves, Black Lips get my ire not for ripping off the past, but for being inferior to bands in the present who can still pull actual nuggets of understanding from the mouth of the Mod corpse. DOM, meanwhile, eke out some mildly tweaked smart-pop, sounding less like Lady Gaga (who they claim to want to be "the rock version of") than early '90s ethereal pop like The Darling Buds, and their refrain of "It's so sexy/living in America" strikes such a precise note of hedonistic, clueless youth that I felt for a moment like I did 15 years ago, ignorant just for a moment of society's current dire slide into bullshit. And that's all you can ask for from escapist pop music.
- Chris Sienko

3:45 - 5pm - Death From Above 1979 vs. Chain Gang of 1974
With such similar names, these two acts might be easily confused. For the unfamiliar, Chain Gang of 1974 is actually just one guy, Kamtin Mohager, an electropop artist out of Colorado. Death From Above 1979 is the reunited duo of Sebastian Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler, who disbanded in 2006 after releasing just one album (but it was one hell of an album) and a few EPs. While typically I would recommend a current artist rather than a reunion act, there's nothing like the energy at a Death From Above 1979 show. Chain Gang of 1974 seems promising, but he has the unfortunate luck of playing against DFA1979. In fact, pair other act at Lollapalooza this year up against DFA1979, and they would still be the hands-down winner. Death From Above's Lollapalooza pre-show at Metro sold out almost instantly, so if you weren't one of the lucky few to score tickets, their set at the Bud Light stage Saturday afternoon is unmissable. Unless you don't mind getting pummeled, I'd recommend finding a spot toward the outskirts of the stage — their set at SXSW turned riotous.
- Stephanie Griffin

4:30 - 6pm - Deftones vs. Big Audio Dynamite
Most music festivals these days tend to cater to the "indie" crowd, and as such often have lineups packed with the precious and twee. Most of these festivals sorely need something a little heavier to mix things up, and at Lollapalooza this year, The Deftones are playing the role of a metallic chaser to other oh so fragile acts on the bill. These California survivors have made a twenty year career out of dishing out brutal metal chops and a robust, almost prog-rocky approach to songwriting and composition. Big Audio Dynamite, formed in 1984 by a collaboration of punk filmmaker and general luminary Don Letts and former Clash guitarist Mick Jones, is arguably one of the more interesting nostalgia acts appearing at the festival this year. Unfortunately, B.A.D's music generally sounds a little dated, and reviews of this year's earlier shows have been mixed. The advantage here goes to the Deftones, who are peddling substance over pomp, something generally lacking in this year's lineup.
- Dan Snedigar

6 - 7:30pm - Ween vs. Cee-Lo
Choosing between these seemingly dissimilar acts gets harder once you start reading off their respective characteristics. Both are comfortable re-creating classic soul stylings in a modern context, both know their way around a cover song, and both know the power of a well-timed curse word in an incongruous context. Ultimately, I think you need to consider two factors: your preference of inebriants (sipping high-end liquor or huffing Scotchguard) and the sensitivity of your olfactory glands (having seen Ween at the Aragon last summer, I'd recommend bringing along a nosegay to prevent an attack of the vapors).
- Chris Sienko

7:15 - 8:30pm - Atmosphere vs. Likki Li
Atmosphere's got the duration - active since 1989, but really hitting public notice with 1997's Overcast!, rapper Slug and producer Ant created Atmosphere during the height of the ascendant "alternative hip hop" era, when experiments in unconventional flow and abstract lyrical concepts helped bring prominence to acts like Company Flow, Aesop Rock, cLOUDDEAD, Mr. Lif, and Sole. (If only they had broke open soon enough to save New Kingdom from premature retirement.) Atmosphere can spin sad, strange narratives like "Your Glass House" (about waking up with a bad hangover in a stranger's bed) to comparatively upbeat, loving raps like "She's Enough." It's thoughtful, literary, "quality" rap, and Slug knows how to rock a crowd. Lykke Li, by comparison, is a relative newcomer — 2008 saw her debut, Youth Novels, and on her latest, 2011's Wounded Rhymes Sweden's Li brandishes a big voice (made bigger by Spector-esque pop orchestrations and reverbus maximus on the pipes) on songs like "Sadness is a Blessing," with an appropriately cinematic video to match. Both are emotional, "quality" music that aims to make you think and sigh. For me, Slug and Atmosphere spill more real blood, so if you're looking for actual naked confessional with bangin' beats, Slug's your guy. Li will no doubt get her huge following someday, and the advantages of being here now are the advantages of believing in someone before their wings have fully spread.
- Chris Sienko

8:30 - 10pm - Eminem vs. Beirut
Eminem has in many ways become so ubiquitous that it's hard to remember what he really represents. Before he became shopworn tabloid material and Chrysler pitchman, Marshall Mathers was arguably the first white rapper who wasn't cashing in on some gimmick, but on raw talent. These days, Eminem has settled in as one of raps elder statesmen, and one of the few true music business superstars in a fragmented music industry. Beirut began as the solo project of New Mexico native Zachary Condon, and made a critical splash with the debut album Gulag Orkestar, and Condon's project has evolved into a full-fledged touring production. Touring in advance of their upcoming release The Rip Tide, expect carefully crafted songs with a hint of the old world sound found in Condon's early work. Go for the headlines here, Eminem is in most ways a deserving living legend, and this festival appearance promises to provide him with an audience that may be out of his comfort zone in a motivational way.
- Dan Snedigar

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
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Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
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