Lollapalooza's three days of ten hours of music on eight stages is more than any one person could completely experience all by themselves. It all comes down to key decision-making and planning. We've spent the last week running down all of our picks for some of the hardest match-ups over the weekend, and what follows is a full list of our picks for who to see and who to miss. " />

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« Lollapalooza 2011 - Stage Clash, Round 3 Alkaline Trio Sweat it Out @ the Metro »

Feature Fri Aug 05 2011

Lollapalooza 2011 - Your Guide to the Weekend

Lollapalooza's three days of ten hours of music on eight stages is more than any one person could completely experience all by themselves. It all comes down to key decision-making and planning. We've spent the last week running down all of our picks for some of the hardest match-ups over the weekend, and what follows is a full list of our picks for who to see and who to miss. Keep an eye on Transmission all weekend and next week as we review choice sets and after-parties around town.

lollapalooza2011.jpg

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5th

12 noon - 1pm TAB The Band vs. Wye Oak
You may want to ease into what will be an epic festival weekend in Chicago this weekend, but that doesn't mean you necessarily want to start out quietly. While grabbing some (yet untrampled) grass by the Sony stage and enjoying Lollapalooza opener Wye Oak would garner you some sweet songs by this dreamy duo, that may or may not be how you want to go. The Baltimore band (whose name, incidentally, comes from the official state tree of Maryland) has occasional fuzz and drums and powerful lyrics, but at the end of the day they are pretty (often very pretty) but not rock n' roll dirty. TAB The Band, on the other hand, might just be the drink of choice as you're psyching yourself up for what's a marathon, not a sprint. While their lead singer/bassist is a member of a royal rock family (Adrian Perry is Aerosmith Joe Perry's kid), he's also got a backup career option that has nothing to do with his ability to play bass &mdash he's an attorney. Adrian's brother, Tony Perry, is also in TAB The Band and the group's 2010 release, Zoo Noises, brings a kind of Southern Rock sensibility to the stage, with some loud harmonies and amplified jangly lyrics. It's likely to be the stage where you first feel the bass in your collarbones this weekend, and that goes a long way to making you wake up, now doesn't it?
- Anne Holub


3 - 4:30pm - Smith Westerns vs. Le Butcherettes vs. Foster The People
Hometown buzz band Smith Westerns have found some mix reaction to their sophomore release Dye It Blonde which was released back in January by Fat Possum, and found the very young trio stepping into a professional studio for an established label. The end result was a much more polished sound that has turned off the fans of the raw basement-surf that they present on 2009 self-titled debut for the local label HoZac Records. Say what you will, but when the opening of "Weekend" kicks in I can't help smile and start nodding my head. Yes, the sound is more polished, and the young trio is still experimenting with different influences and sound, but the Smith Westerns still rock. They have now toured all over the place and will also bring a more polished live set.

Now if you just can't get past the polish on the Smith Western sound then your alternative is raw energy and fierceness of Le Butcherettes. This garage-punk trio original from Guadalajara, Mexico, and now based in LA is led by the wild Teri Gender Bender. The band released their debut full-length, Sin Sin Sin, back in May through Sargent House and have opened Mike Watt, The Flaming Lips, Jane's Addiction, The Deftones, The Dead Weather, Omar Rodriguez Lopez and others. The band has become as much known for the sound as they are for their live performances. It is onstage the Bender seems to transform into a mad women captivating sold out crowds where every so goes. That is not says her songs can't speak for themselves though. My favorite line from the track "Henry Don't Got Love" is "Henry Miller goes in deeper, deep like scab and rich like a knife".

If garage rock and raw primal energy is not what you are looking for then you might want head over to Foster The People. This band is also based in L.A., and released their debut album, Torches, in May. However, their sound is very different than that of Le Butcherettes. Foster The People perform live dance-pop that is filled with catchy beats and lyrics. The big is "Pumped Up Kicks" and it is track that will haunt your thoughts and you will like it. This is a set that is sure to bring on wild fits of dancing, smiles, and a few giggles. Say what you will about Foster The People, but when you find yourself performing on Jimmy Kimmel the night your album is released you know you're doing something right.

My pick for this clash has to be Le Butcherettes.
- Jason Behrends


4:30 - 5:30pm - The Kills vs. Cults
The Kills is Alison and Jaime. Cults is Madeline and Brian. Yes, two bands that sport two band members, and both with a boy-girl dynamic. The Kills deliver a great live show — Alison is a wildcat onstage, and Jaime is cooler than you'll ever be. Musically, while I'd normally argue that Cults' single, "Go Outside," was far lighter fare than anything the Kills could dish out, their video for the track certainly gives me pause. It's sunshine pop, to be sure, but it's filmed to appear as if the band is performing at a Jim Jones church service. That's a little effed up, y'all.

Go Outside, by Cults

So there you go. Personally, I love The Kills' dark 'n dirty animal magnetism, so that's where I'd head. But if you check out Cults instead, well, I wouldn't blame you.
- Kara Luger


5:30 - 6:30pm - The Mountain Goats vs. Black Cards
As much as some might disown him, Petey Wentz is a Chicago boy. Fall Out Boy is a thing of the past, the Prairie Cartel never became the next big thing, and he did kinda say he was done with music and just planning to be a family man. Instead, Wentz apparently got bit by a reggae/ska bug, and decided to amp those styles up with some '80s via '00s electro-schmaltz, and created something not unlike a zombie version of No Doubt sans the punk energy. Behold: Black Cards. Frontwoman Bebe Rexha might look like a supermodel and have some fine pipes, but a Stefani she ain't. So is it awful? An impressive new experiment for the pop world? If you're a lovelorn acoustic-guitar-loving English major Mountain Goats fan, you probably couldn't care less. Unless of course, they write the next Ignition (Remix), in which case John Darnielle will proselytize so hard you'll forget what ironic enjoyment is.
- Dan Morgridge


6 - 7:30pm - Bright Eyes vs. Skrillex vs. A Perfect Circle
My original choice for this matching was Bright Eyes, but after speaking to several friends who have seen them in the past, I started to have my doubts. I've heard nothing but negative things about Conor Oberst's live show, from him being so drunk he could not remember his own lyrics to the show just being plain boring. Bright Eyes and A Perfect Circle are two acts that reached their peak almost a decade ago, so their biggest appeal would be if you loved them back when. However, I have a feeling the crowd at Skrillex will be filled with drug-addled early twenty-somethings, and that's not really my scene. Your best bet would be to catch A Perfect Circle at the Music Unlimited stage, if only by default.
- Stephanie Griffin


7:15 - 8:15pm - OK Go! vs. Crystal Castles
If you don't know who OK Go! is by now, then you clearly don't have the Internet (and thus aren't reading this article — but I digress). Originally hailing from our fair city, the band left for sunnier climes and continue to build their reputation as one of America's most popular video bands. Crystal Castles is a Canuck duo that has mastered the art of low-fi dance music accompanied by breathy female vocals. This choice boils down to your mood at this time in the evening: Do you feel like upbeat indie pop or noisy electro dance? Do you want choreographed dance moves or throngs of hipsters bopping with their bangs in their eyes? Choose wisely, friend.
- Kara Luger


8:30 - 10pm - Coldplay vs. Ratatat vs. Muse vs. Girl Talk
If, for some reason, a person liked all four of these acts, it might actually be feasible for all of them to be seen during this time slot. But first, when and why did Muse blow up to a point where they had a bigger stage than Coldplay? Sure, the last couple Coldplay albums have been a complete bore, but would you say anything different about Muse? Anyway, start with Muse at the Music Unlimited stage and stick around for a half-hour. Then walk over to Perry's for Girl Talk. The thing with Girl Talk is it's a party, but it's always the same party and you've seen/heard it all if you've seen/heard 10 minutes. Once you've had your fill of song clips (oh, a hip-hop beat underneath a lyric I heard on "120 Minutes" in 1994?), walk up Columbus to the Google+ stage for the loud and abrasive instrumental electro-rock of Ratatat. And cap off the evening with Coldplay on a beer sponsor's stage for their finale, which is sure to include songs that feature the best that wuss-rock offered in the last decade.
- James Ziegenfus


SATURDAY, AUGUST 6TH

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


SUNDAY, AUGUST 7

12:45 - 1:45pm - The Joy Formidable vs. Titus Andronicus
You've got to hand it to the Joy Formidable — even if their name was a little bit jarring for singles like the Bukowski-mauling "My Beerdrunk Soul Is Sadder Than A Hundred Dead Christmas Trees," they certainly found their sunshine for breakthrough single "Whirring", which was released in 2009 but found traction just this past year. If the Welsh rockers won't get onto quite as many mixtapes as their predecessors Super Furry Animals, then it'd be hard to hold up Titus Andronicus to their Jersey counterpart. (But who on earth dares stand up to The Boss?) Unlike JF, the Titus boys (and girl) aren't quite scoring commercials yet, but their hungry rock is gaining critical acclaim, and last year's The Monitor offers some blazing guitars and vocals somewhere between McClusky and...Springsteen? Alright, too soon, but Andronicus will provide if you want to rock out with a cheap can of beer and some Jersey pride.
- Dan Morgridge


2:30 - 3:15pm - Noah & The Whale vs. Lia Ices
When Noah & The Whale first landed back in 2008 with Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down I was excited and bought into the Neutral Milk Hotel-light sound of tracks like "5 Years Time" and "2 Bodies 1 Heart". The band, led by the vocals and writing or Charlie Fink, had promise. However, if you hadn't listen to a track outside of those two gems let me catch you up to speed. The released their third album, Last Night on Earth, back in March and it is a huge departure for where the band began. Instead of building on folkish-pop sound they possessed on "5 Years Time" they adopted a suburban Top 40s, near adult contemporary sound with a slightly southern tinge. Fink has nothing to write about and delivers this nothing in a bland and unoriginal way. Here is the opening line to "Give It All Back" from the new album. "Oh, well, the world never seemed bigger than the summer of '98. Living out in the suburbs plotting my escape. I grew my hair to my shoulder, formed a band with a couple of friends." What is surprising is that this is the band's first album to chart in the US which leads me to think that there is a fan base out there for Noah & The Whale. There may be a crowd around the stage to hear Fink lament the late '90s when his hair was longer.

Lia Ices released her latest album Grown Unknown back in January through Jagjaguwar. Where Noah & The Whale have become more ordinary, Lia Ices has become more extraordinary. She has managed to create an album that sounds both traditional or classic, and genre-busting or experimental. Lia plays with texture and sound while delivering consistent and graceful vocals. On a track like "Ice Wine", she takes very understated instrumentation and lets it simmer and build around her breathy angelic vocals. The question is will this type of music translate to the outdoor stage, and I think it will. True,there are a lot of quiet and very subtle moment on Grown Unknown, and she will not have Justin Vernon to sing her hit "Daphne" with her. However, I do feel her voice and presence will be strong enough to deliver something amazing this weekend.

Lia Ices - Grown Unknown from Ravenhouse LTD.

My pick for this round has to be Lia Ices.
- Jason Behrends


2:15 - 3pm - Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses vs. Keller Williams
Keller Williams has a vast songbook to draw from, but his performance this afternoon at the Kidz stage will probably not include songs like "Environmental Song" (which includes the refrain "We're all gonna die...someday") or "Doobie In My Pocket", but his stuff has been known to still entertain moms and pops and younguns. Mostly a one-man band of acoustic guitar and electronic pedals for loops, his style of jammy singer-songwriter (occasionally goofball) riffs are great for a summer day out with the family (and don't include a load of Raffi garbage about toes). Williams actually has a whole repertoire for kids including songs about car seats and (see this special website to that effect).

On the other hand, Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses may not sound like an ideal set to bring your kids and baby daddy to, but it might surprise you. This Texas native is rich with bluesy Americana acoustic goodness of the sort that I desperately wish got booked at Lollapalooza more often. You might have unknowingly been hooked on his music while watching Crazy Heart (he wrote "The Weary Kind"). His work with backing group The Dead Horses has the added heft that will make the songs pop out of the speakers versus fading into the background like a Potbelly's act. Fans of Robert Earl Keen, Steve Earle, and The Jayhawks will have a good time. Check out their Daytrotter sessions from last December. (Oh and did I mention their latest album, Junky Star, was produced by T. Bone Burnett? Pure. Gold.) This might be a great set for mom and dad to recharge with an adult beverage and enjoy some shaded blanket time with the kids. Or hey, it's just about nap time, now isn't it?
- Anne Holub


3 - 4:15pm - City and Colour vs. Dale Jr Jr vs. Cool Kids vs. Pains of Being Pure at Heart
City and Colour is the solo project of Dallas Green (the former Alexisonfire singer, not the former MLB player/manager) and is simply him doing a Bob Dylan impersonation. It's safe and relatively unchallenging, perhaps a perfect way to followup Noah & the Whale on a nice warm afternoon sitting in the field near the Playstation stage. At the same time on the Google+ stage, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr do their folky electro-pop thing. (If you're on the fence, DEJJ also have aftershows on Thursday and Friday.) Across the way, Chicago's Cool Kids will light up Perry's with an undoubtedly animated hip hop set. If you haven't seen them, they're the Transmission-recommended pick. If you have, though, you may want to check out the twee-pop of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart on the Sony stage. Their new album Belong is a big step up from their debut album — more punch, more variety, better confidence.
- James Ziegenfus


4 - 5:15pm - Flogging Molly vs. the Cars
This choice should be easy, as these are two bands with a canon of work that you are likely at least somewhat familiar with, and with such distinctive sounds, already know which you'd prefer. New wave or Celtic punk? After a long Lollapalooza weekend in the sun, I'll pass on the punk music stylings of Flogging Molly and head over for a more relaxing afternoon on the lawn over at the Music Unlimited stage for The Cars. Besides, Flogging Molly stops through Chicago pretty frequently, but how often do you get the chance to see The Cars?
- Stephanie Griffin


5 - 6:15pm - Portugal. The Man vs. Cage the Elephant
This is one of those matchups where it might depend on your mood when the hour hits: are you feeling laid back or do you need a little aggression? If it's the former, Portugal. The Man is your band. Their Seventies-flecked rock is heavy on reverb and falsetto but keeps the groove steady and sort of chill. Cage the Elephant, on the other hand, should help wake you up for the rest of the night's shows. In concert, Matthew Schultz adds a little Black Francis to his G. Love-y delivery, putting a decidedly different edge on Cage's already high energy live act.
- Andrew Huff


6 - 7:30pm - Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and NAS vs. Arctic Monkeys
If this is even close, you've got pretty interesting taste. Hip hop legend Nas teamed up with son of a legend Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, the youngest child of Bob, for an album of dub-backed rap, 2010's Distant Relatives. The blend works well -- the rhymes are solid (if a bit message-y at times), the beats are fine, and both should translate well to the festival setting. Meanwhile, the Arctic Monkeys are on the other end of the spectrum: jangly Brit-pop with no overarching message at all. The Monkeys' latest stuff isn't as raw as their early work (age tends to take some of the urgency away), but hey, they'll play everything, so it should still be a good time. Personally, I'm more intrigued by Nas and young Marley; we'll have to see if either artist will play from their back catalog, but even if they don't it should be a good and rousing show. Just don't scream out for "Buffalo Soldier."
- Andrew Huff


7 - 8pm - Manchester Orchestra vs. Modeselektor vs. Explosions in the Sky
Manchester Orchestra is a touring machine. They just played Metro in May and they'll swing through Chicagoland with Blink 182 later in August. Unless you're a big fan, you can probably rest easy with skipping them because there'll be chances to see them again. Modeselektor hasn't played Chicago in nearly two years, but the big hook with the Berlin-based electronic duo has been their visual performance. And anyone who went to Pitchfork knows that a great visual performance doesn't really come off so well at 7:15pm. Not that their music is bad at all, but the show does have a little more oomph with the lighting. So let's talk about Explosions in the Sky. Anyone who's seen them, especially those who saw their last Lollapalooza appearance in '09, will gush over their live show. The Austin instrumental rock band weaves intricate guitaring and looks spastic while building thrilling crescendos. They're highly recommended.
- James Ziegenfus


8:30 - 10pm - Kid Cudi (dj set) vs. Deadmau5
Kid Cudi's 2010 sophomore effort Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager was easily one of last year's best hip-hop records. Mescudi himself was quoted as saying that he was doing things like learning to play guitar, and it is clear that the record draws from a deep exploratory well that covers a lot of sonic territory. A Mescudi DJ set could provide an extremely interesting window into some of the music that is ricocheting around in the head of one of the most creative artists in the genre. Deadmau5 is the nom de guerre of electronic producer (don't call him a DJ) Joel Thomas Zimmerman. Sort of like a silly Daft Punk, Deadmau5's shows feature huge light up mouse head helmets and increasingly extravagant stage set ups incorporating lit up platforms and elaborate visual effects. Stage gimmicks aside, however, Deadmau5 has garnered a huge and loyal following with dance music that cuts to the chase and makes you, well, dance. Though Kid Cudi's DJ set could provide interesting insight into his creative palette, better to just shut up and dance, advantage Deadmau5.
- Dan Snedigar

 
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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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Editor: Sarah Brooks, sarah@gapersblock.com
Transmission staff inbox: transmission@gapersblock.com

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