Music Journal: April Recap – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Turns 10 And Woody Guthrie Turns 100

Oh yeah, and the Lollapalooza 2012 lineup was announced….nothing big.

Happy 10th Birthday Yankee Hotel Foxtrot!

Ten years ago in April, Wilco’s seminal 4th album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was released after a long battle against their record label that wouldn’t release the damn thing.  It’s a great story (click here to see a brief summary), but the real reason we’re celebrating  is because the music has aged very well.  This is one of my favorite albums that I highly recommend to anyone.

 

Happy 100th Birthday Woody Guthrie!

April held another special birthday, which also had something to do with Wilco.  Woody Guthrie would have turned 100 this April, and if you don’t know who he is, he’s (arguably) the most influential American folk musician ever.  His influence on musicians such as a young Bob Dylan was crazy, and he wrote “This Land Is Your Land”, a song that has been seriously debated to replace “The Star Spangled Banner” as America’s national anthem.

Now back in the late 90s Wilco and British folk singer Billy Bragg collaborated on Mermaid Avenue, a tribute album in a sense that took old Guthrie lyrics and updated the music to reintroduce the folk singer to a new generation.  In April, to celebrate Woody’s birthday, the entire Mermaid Avenue sessions were released, with the original albums and new material.  This is a terrific collection and a high recommendation for anyone who wants to get into folk music.

 

Lollapalooza 2012 Lineup Announced

Lollapalooza, one of America’s most commercially successful music festivals, announced its lineup for this year.  The three day festival will happen in Chicago August 3-5.  Click here to see the full lineup and click here to see my reaction to this year’s lineup.

 

Album Of The Month: Jack White – Blunderbuss

One of rock & roll’s most dependable figures finally released his first solo album, and it doesn’t disappoint.  White dabbles in different genres which he puts together coherently, yet everything is grounded in rock & roll tradition.  The album successfully both pumps you up and slows you down.

 

Song I Listened To The Most This Month: M. Ward – “Clean Slate”

M. Ward has always been one of those artist I knew I would probably like but did not know what album to start with.  I think now I’ve finally found that album.  A Wasteland Companion, which was also released this April, is a very appealing introduction to the indie-folkie.  The album opener “Clean Slate” is a magic slow jam of a song, and has been on repeat all month.

Continue Reading

Music Journal: The Lollapalooza 2012 Lineup, One Day Later

I gotta be honest folks, I’m not a huge fan of this year’s lineup for Lollapalooza.  I was really tempted to include some personal attacks against the famed Chicago festival in yesterday’s post, but with these kinds of things I’ve learned from experience that it’s always best to wait a day to think about the situation and not say something I’ll regret later.

Well it’s been a day.

My feelings are still the same – I’m not planning on attention Lolla this year.  However, those who are going are in for a treat not for the main attractions but for the hidden treats.  This year has a great middle-teir section, including a handful of bands I would pay to see if they were the headliners.  These acts include M83, Dawes, Guy Clark Jr., The Gaslight Anthem, and Washed Out.  It’s a shame these guys aren’t in a more prominent spot, but at least they’ll be playing.

As for the headliners I’m not as thrilled.  As much as I love the Chili Peppers they seem to be out of their prime, and it doesn’t help that their latest album I’m With You isn’t superb (though I will say it’s growing on me).  I love the Black Keys, but their music is not meant to headline Lollapalooza.  Black Sabbath is just going to be awkward, and it’s not for certain how good they will sound.  Jack White has the potential to be really good, but I can also see him being extremely weird on stage, and don’t get your hopes up for a lot of White Stripes material.

Well there’s my two cents.  This year is an ok mix of music that isn’t worth over $200 to see.  Agree or disagree with what I have to say, this is still Lollapalooza, and it is always a good time.  We’ll see how well they pull it off this year when August comes around.

Continue Reading

And The Lollapalooza 2012 Lineup Is….

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you this year’s Lolla lineup!

The top acts are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, Black Sabbath, and Jack White.  The other major acts include Florence and the Machine, The Shins, M83, Sigur Ros, Frank Ocean, Wale, J. Cole, and Guy Clark Jr.  Some hidden gems include Sharon Van Etten, Washed Out, The Weeknd, and plenty of other up and coming acts.

To see the full list, click here.

Continue Reading