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Festivus: Lollapalooza

Ask anyone, the music community is a buzz this week in anticipation for Lollapalooza. Many a fan’s favorite festival, the 3 day event kicks off tomorrow (August 6th) and goes til Sunday, offering over 130 bands up on a silver platter in Chicago’s historical Grant Park. Like most festivals, Lollapalooza has seen its share of heartache. It started in 1991 born to Jane’s Addiction in the hopes of creating an truly awesome farewell tour for the band. That initial lineup in 1991 was comprised of artists spanning across various rock genres, from the post-punk Siouxsie and the Banshees to industrial Nine InchNails and even dabbling in a little Ice-T. The rock culture expanded past just music to include tents housing alternative freak shows, Shaolin monks, art displays, virtual reality games and of course, booths promoting political and environmental awareness.

An explosion of grunge rock in that early ’90s propelled Lollapalooza to the big time and became the birth place of “Alternative Nation” as coined by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell.  Stages were added in the coming years and fans became more engaged, mosh pits and crowd surfing exploded, boothes popped up for open mic readings, television-smashing pits evolved, and tattoo and piercing parlors prevailed. But attendees began to complain about high ticket costs as well as escalating food and water prices. Soon fans began rioting and in 1992 chunks of sod and grass were ripped up and hurled at each other and other bands resulting in crazy costs for the venue.

Courtney Love at Lollapalooza in 1995 ©Heather Faulkner

In 1994, Nirvana pulled out of their scheduled Lollapalooza headlining spot. The day after the announcement was made, Kurt Cobain was found dead in Seattle. Courtney Love would go on to make surprise guest appearances at several shows. Since she wasn’t on the bill, The Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan would graciously lend her set time to speak to the crowds about the loss and perform a couple songs. Two years later in 1996, Farrell (consumed with a new festival project, ENIT) decided not to be involved in the production of Lollapalooza. Metallica was booked and fans cried sell out. The powers that be worked at keeping the festival relevant, expanding genres to country and electronica but it was too late. When a headliner was no where to be found in 1998, Lollapalooza, along with alternative rock, was declared DOA.

In 2003, Farrell revived Jane’s Addiction and attempted to bring Lollapalooza with them, bringing the festival to 30 cities. However high prices still plagued sales and the 2004 tour was cancelled at the beginning of the summer because no one was buying. Farrell smartened up in 2005 and partnered with Capital Sports & Entertainment (now C3 Presents, co-owners and producers of Austin City Limits) and transformed the train-wreck into a destination festival in Chicago’s Grant Park. Seventy acts performed on 5 stages that year, and Lollapalooza inked itself a deal in 2008 making Chicago its home through 2018.

Now gearing up for its 19th year, Lollapalooza is a testament to the versatility of festivals and rock and roll itself. Lighter fare such as Weezer, Death Cab For Cutie, Wilco and Ben Folds have made their way to Chicago in the last 5 years, and the evolution of rock from grunge to indie has solidified (as much as something as transitory as rock and roll can be solidified).

Just to be safe though, let’s throw some punk into the mix (See this year’s headliner Greenday) and add a helping of grunge (See the thousands of kids wearing flannel in the audience. See also: Soundgarden.) Chris Cornell and Co. will be reuniting Sunday night on the South Stage for the first time since 1997 (the last year of the traveling Lollapalooza, mind you. It all comes together….).

Other acts to be seen at this weekend’s Lollapalooza include Arcade Fire, The Strokes, The Black Keys, The National, The New Pornographers, Gogol Bordello, MUTEMATH, Metric, Against Me!, the xx…basically every band and artist that we’ve discussed on the festival circuit this summer. And one that we haven’t. The queen of the pop-culture universe, Lady Gaga. The festival is rumored to be preparing for the Fame Monster with a $250K stage set up. A far cry from the afternoon side stage performance she did as a brunette back in 2007.

Tickets are still available for this weekend ($90 for a day pass or $215 for all 3 days). Check out all the info and acts over at Lollapalooza’s site.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Ryan Adams to release two new albums

Ryan Adams

What’s better than one new Ryan Adam’s album? Two—duh! This week Adam’s posted a message on his Facebook page to announce he’ll start recording part one of a new solo album, what he dubs “West Coast Sessions.” Fans can expect something like the “evil twin” of Cold Roses, minus all the noodling. And if that doesn’t set you adrift on memory bliss, remember that there’s a double album with his backing band, the Cardinals, called III/IV that’s coming down the pipe, too. How d’ya like them roses?

The Bad

Big Star bassist passes away

Big Star

What a rough year for Big Star. First singer Alex Chilton dies of a sudden heart attack in March. Now, four months after playing a tribute show to Chilton at SXSW, bassist Andy Hummel has succumbed to cancer. Chilton, Hummel and drummer Jody Stephens formed the band in Memphis in the ‘70s to modest renown. But bands like R.E.M. and Paul Westerberg, who cited Big Star as an influence, garnered the band a cult following in the ‘90s. Hummel, who was a longtime employee of Lockheed Martin, quit the band in 1974 before recording their most influential record, Third/Sister Lovers.

Pink suffers fall on stage in Germany

In what definitely left a mark, Pink fell into a barricade minutes into her concert in Nuremberg Germany and was immediately rushed to the hospital. After reassuring fans she was OK with Twitter updates, the singer explained that she had not been clipped into her harness correctly. Upside: “I made that barricade my bitch,” she cheerfully tweeted (cheeweeted?).

The Ugly

Gaga warns fans about Westboro Baptist Church protest

Lady Gaga

After the fundamentalist, and—ok let’s face it—batshit crazy Westboro Baptist Church members (the same class acts who protested soldier’s funerals with the signs that read “God hates fags”) announced they would be in attendance outside of Lady Gaga’s concert in St. Louis, Gaga headed to her Twitter page to warn her little monsters. “Pay these hate criminals no mind. Do not respond to their provocation,” she advised. “Feel gratitude in your heart that you are not burdened or addicted to hate, as they are.” Only a handful of Westboro church members ended up showing up.

Score: Love, 1, Hate, 0.

Enrique Iglesias uses fan’s camera to snap pic down his pants

Ew. And gross. And why? And … how did it turn out?


This Week On

Check it! Every Friday on the OurStage Blog, we will be featuring exclusive content from the one-and-only Stay tuned for weekly photos, music, news and reviews coming straight from the source that’s redefining hip hop.

Rookie Watch: Far East Movement Advances From Coffee Runs To World Tours With Lady Gaga

When you think of Asians in Hip-Hop, the first names that usually come to mind are former 106 & Park battle rap champ Jin or more recently the Jabbawockeez dance troupe who took the nation by storm on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. But a Hip-Hop quartet Far East Movement, hailing from Koreatown, Los Angeles, is about to change all that. Continue reading on…

Affion Crockett On LeBron James Signing: ‘Get Off That Man’s Nuts’

I hate the way that they’re trying to criminalize him as if he really committed a crime. He didn’t murder anybody. He didn’t make promises and turn his back on people. First of all, LeBron James is not the mayor or governor of Ohio. So them wanting him to stay to save the city of Cleveland—he gave his heart to Cleveland and Akron since he was a kid in high school. He’s been there his whole life. He’s 25 years old, he’s still young, he’s the hottest athlete in the world. If he wants to go to Miami and live it up with his friends—who are also in their prime and killing the basketball court—by all means do it. He didn’t do anything wrong. We all knew the decision was coming. Get off that man’s nuts. Let him play, let him live. Continue reading on…

Dawn Speaks On Que’s Twitter Proposal: ‘I Didn’t Know He Was Gonna Do That’

Popping the question to your love is hard enough, but former Day 26 singer Que (Qwanell Mosley) managed to do it in less than 140 characters. The bold Fourth of July proposal to girlfriend Dawn Richard read: “I want tha hole world 2 kno ur mind forever…. Will u Marry Me……..I love you.” But did she say yes? Continue reading on…

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Jewel performs undercover karaoke

So, just for kicks and because Funny Or Die told her to, Jewel dressed up as a sheepish business woman with glasses and a fake nose and hit up the Gas Light karaoke bar for some good old fashioned pranking. After being coaxed to the stage by her fake co-workers, Jewel belted out a bunch of her own material. Spoiler alert: She sounds just like herself. Check out the video below.

Carlos Santana proposes to girlfriend onstage

It’s not often that a rock legend pops the question to his drummer in the middle of a concert. This Monday at a concert in Chicago, Carlos Santana boldly went where few have gone before, and proposed to his girlfriend and band member, Cindy Blackman, after her drum solo on “Corazon Espinado.” Must have been some solo.

The Bad

Lady Gaga sullies John Lennon’s piano

Lady and the Piano

Oh no she di’int! Sean Lennon posted pics of Lady Gaga in her usual studs and fishnets uniform playing his father’s iconic Steinway piano. “With gaga at mom’s house, she’s belting on the white piano,” Lennon tweeted. Well, Beatles fans weren’t having that, and unleashed a torrent of protestations, e.g. “WHY WOULD YOU LET LADY GAGA PLAY ON JOHN’S PIANO?” Lennon responded with, “What should we do, lock it away in a dusty room? So judgmental…Come on, lighten up.” Yeah guys, lighten up. Remember, purple tear drops she cries … you don’t want that getting on a white piano.

The Ugly

Edward Cullen gives Courtney Love the what-for

Robert Pattinson

After rumors circulated that Twilight star Robert Pattinson might be cast as Kurt Cobain in a biopic, Courtney Love, of course, had to vent her spleen in a public way. And when you start talking smack about a vampire, the fangs come out. R-Patz lashed back in an interview with the Daily Mirror, calling Love “a dick,” which makes him sound less like Cobain and more like his Love-hating Nirvana bandmates David Grohl and Chris Novoselic. Isn’t Pattinson amazing?


Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Prince and Smashing Pumpkins go pro-bono

Prince's 20TEN

Claiming “the internet is completely dead,” Prince announced he will release his new album, 20TEN, for free in the Saturday edition of the U.K.’s Daily Mirror. Two things: Does this mean he hasn’t been getting the e-cards we’ve been sending him? Also: WTF Europe?!? No fair! Luckily we who live stateside have another song from Smashing Pumpkins to soothe our ruffled feathers. This week the band released “Freak,” the fifth free download from their 44-song project Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. Download it on the band’s website. Yeah, that’s right Prince, on the INTERNET.

The Bad

Liz Phair + Rap + Bollywood = Exile in Blahville

Liz Phair

While the rest of us were eating burgers and watermelon, Liz Phair was busy debuting her first album in 5 years. It’s called FUNSTYLE and it was released on Saturday, meaning she must have created the album art late Friday night. The first track is called “Bollywood” and consists of Phair rapping about being signed to a major label over tablas. Considering that she released a wildly unpopular pop record, Somebody’s Miracle in 2005, FUNSTYLE seems like a desperate attempt to reclaim her long-lost edginess. Avant-garde or just plain dumb —you be the judge.

Justin Bieber not going to tour North Korea

This is pretty funny— apparently a spoof site called held a contest letting Bieber fans vote on where the teenage pop phenom should play. Mischievous imps got wind of it and gamed the site, voting North Korea into the Number 1 spot. Alas, our little Biebekins will not be headed over to the Communist nation for a concert. Sorry, Kim Jong-il. Maybe next tour.

The Ugly

George Michael crashes SUV into one-hour photo shop

George Michael

George Michael was arrested and released after he drove his Range Rover into a one-hour photo store in London on Sunday. British police say the 47-year-old singer was clearly under the influence at the time. Maybe he should go back to performing under the name WHAM! Folks.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Lourdes Leon launches Material Girl blog

Madonna and Lourdes Leon

Lourdes Leon and her somewhat famous mother are launching a fashion line together. It’s called Material Girl, naturally. Leon introduced the line with a blog entry that is as adorable as one might expect from an excited 13-year-old. “I am totally obsessivo [sic] about ‘80s shorts … you know the kind that makes your butt look kinda big,” she says. Look out Women’s Wear Dailywe’ve got a fashion writer on our hands. Leon goes on to extol the greatness of My Chemical Romance (“They are so awesome it hurts”) and reveal that come October and her 14th birthday, she’ll finally get to dye her hair (“THANK YOU MOTHER!!”) The blog entry is richly rewarding – take a look at it here.

The Bad

Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas subject of badly-timed Teen Vogue cover

Lovato and Jonas

Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas’s cover for this month’s Teen Vogue is a mix of denim and awkward. Lovato and Jonas shot the cover and inside photo spread whilst still dating. Alas, their chaste love ended but two days later. Teen scandal! Read the issue and remember the way they were.

The Ugly

Woman buys MJ’s star-studded glove for $190,000

Marking the year anniversary of the King of Pop’s death, $1 million worth of memorabilia went up for auction, including the iconic Swarovski-studded glove Jackson wore on his 1984 Victory Tour. That item alone was expected to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000, but ultimately sold for $190,000 to Wanda Kelly of Los Angeles. Her hand must have looked fierce waving goodbye to all that dough. Hope it was worth it.

Chris Brown cries through MJ tribute performance

Chris Brown

During his four-minute dance tribute to Michael Jackson for Sunday night’s BET Awards, Chris Brown broke down in tears and was unable to finish performing his set. And it wasn’t because he lost the auction for the glove. So which song reduced the troubled performer to a sobbing wreck and delivered a big dose of schadenfreude to his haters? Was it (A) “The Way You Make Me Feel,” (B) “Billie Jean” or (C) “Man in the Mirror”? We’ll give you a hint it’s C.


Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Weezer go World Cup crazy in new video

The song may sound a tad like Rob Thomas “Lonely No More,” but the video for Weezer’s “Represent” is a rousing homage to the U.S. Men’s soccer team. Consisting of mostly action shots from various matches and intense profiles of Landon Donovan, “Represent” will have you singing louder than a vuvuzela.

Eminem and Jay Z tear the roof off Ed Sullivan Theater

Two kingpins of rap united this week on top of the Ed Sullivan Theater for a concert for 100 lucky fans. Jay-Z, who was slated to perform on the same rooftop a week earlier, but whose show was cancelled due to crowd safety concerns, returned for a surprise rescheduled performance. With him this time was Eminem, who has just performed a surprise show of his own at the Bowery Ballroom. The performance will air tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman.

The Bad

Michael Jackson’s estate earns $1 billion in past year

Michael Jackson

Proving he was indeed worth more dead than alive, it was reported this week that Michael Jackson’s estate earned $1 billion in the year since his death. A sizable chunk of the income came from Sony Music, who inked a $250 million recording deal, giving them exclusive rights to the singer’s music. It’s great news for the Jackson clan, but a sad realization that the only way Jackson could relieve himself of the bankruptcy looming over him in his final years would be through his own death.

The Ugly

Seinfeld wonders what’s the deal with “jerk” Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

One would think that an unruly woman in a studded bra, swilling beer and flipping the bird, would give be a source of unlimited entertainment. Not so for Mets fans, who were turned off by Lady Gaga’s front-row antics during a game last week. And, when the finger-flipping singer was moved to Jerry Seinfeld’s unoccupied private box to avoid the flash of photographers, the comedian was, shall we say, nonplussed. During a WFAN radio interview Seinfeld let loose, calling Lady Gaga a “jerk” and declaring, “I hate her.” “You give people the finger and you get upgraded?” he continued. “Is that the world we’re living in now?” If so, we’re going to be exercising our middle digit a lot more frequently.


Viewer Discretion Advised: Low Budget-High Impact

We all know the importance of “going viral”. Last week Lady Gaga’s website all but crashed due to the premiere of her newest music video for “Alejandro”, a multi-MILLION dollar Goliath of a production. But we can’t all be the Gaga, and sometimes as a struggling musician less is more. It’s all about working with what you got, and here on OurStage plenty of artists put out awesome music videos for a fraction of Lady Gaga’s budget. I’ve showcased some fantastic examples below. Hopefully you get inspired to create your own DIY video. We’ll see you on YouTube!

Lion of Ido – Hard To Love

Sidney York – Stalker

Crash Romeo – Popular

This Week on

Check it! Every Friday on the OurStage Blog, we will be featuring exclusive content from the one-and-only Stay tuned for weekly photos, music, news and reviews coming straight from the source that’s redefining hip hop.

Nick Cannon Talks Business, Mariah Pregnancy Rumors & Being Mr. Carey

Go ahead. Nick Cannon dares you to bet against him. After all, he’s used to being the underdog. There were the naysayers who claimed that he would become another washed up child star after blowing up as a tween sensation on the long-running Nickelodeon staple All That and its successful spin-off The Nick Cannon Show. Continue reading on…

Bow Wow On Diggy’s Diss: ‘It’s Flattering Because It Lets Me Know How Much Of A Prince I [Am]‘

VIBE got on the jack with Cash Money’s newest recruit to chat infrequent talks with DrakeDiggy‘s diss, visiting Wayne and catching his mom at the club. Continue reading on…

Kid Fury’s Blog: Lady Gaga… WTF?

Latex, Lace, Lube, and a hint of sin — it sounds like a glimpse into Bow Wow and Omarion’s past, but this is about pop music’s new icon, Lady Gaga! I appreciate this woman’s talent along with her perception of music, life, and even her dingbat sense of fashion. Continue reading on…

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Christian Bale dances to Gaga

Don’t know about you, but all that oil spill footage had us in a deep, greasy funk this week. So it’s nice to get some levity, especially when it comes from an unexpected source such as the perpetually cranky Christian Bale. Watch this clever mash-up of Bale circa the 1992 Disney musical Newsies dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Yes, it’s another Gaga video. We promise we’ll stop. Right after we tell you about this one starring babies dancing to “Telephone.” There, done.

The Bad

Chris Brown denied visa to UK

Chris Brown

Days before his UK tour was set to begin, Chris Brown was notified this week that his application for a visa had been rejected due to his February assault conviction stemming from a fight with ex-girlfriend Rihanna. The UK Home Office reserves the right to deny entry to anyone guilty of a criminal offense. Brown indulged in a little pity party in the Twitterverse after hearing the news, writing, “U ever feel like the storm clouds are too thick for any sunshine to get through?” [sic]. We would feel sorry for him if not for, you know, that whole oil spill thing going on. And every other thing happening in the world.

Gorillaz and Pixies pull out of Tel Aviv music festival

First it was Elvis Costello, now Gorillaz and Pixies have canceled their appearances at a Tel Aviv music festival after Israeli forces attacked ships bringing aid to Gaza, resulting in nine deaths. Costello’s wife, chanteuse Diana Krall, is still scheduled to perform this summer.

The Ugly

Lady Gaga debuts “Alejandro” video, ruffles feathers across America

Remember that time we said were done with Lady Gaga videos? Kidding! This one is the latest from the woman herself, and it’s a doozey. The concept is sort of all over the place, but in a nutshell it’s about gay men in fishnets and bowl cuts simulating sex with Gaga. Oh, and she wears a nun’s habit and eats a rosary, too. If you listen closely, you can hear the message boards on Fox News screaming.

Kanye West’s car stolen, totaled

Kanye West

Looks like Kanye West’s black Porsche Panamera was stolen in Honolulu and crashed into a house shortly thereafter. We anticipate an explosion of caps on West’s blog in 3 … 2 … 1 …



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