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The [Wednesday] Papers

"As predictably as the first blossoms of Spring, the lineup for the 25th anniversary edition of Lollapalooza has arrived, though the connection between what will happen in Grant Park from July 28 to 31 and the scrappy, daylong touring alternative-rock festival that started a quarter of a century ago is merely a matter of corporate branding at these points," Jim DeRogatis writes for WBEZ.

"This year, 170 bands will somehow squeeze into Grant Park between the countless companies tirelessly marketing themselves to the snookered demographic of (mostly) young, privileged, and horny drunks for an expanded four days of Walmart on the Lake. The headliners - and you're forgiven for thinking you've heard this before, because you have, today and in years past- include Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction, LCD Soundsystem (back after a brief five-year "retirement"), and Lana Del Rey, to which I respond with a resounding: YAWN."

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DeRogatis notes in his post that "the New York Times' ace team of music critics - Jon Pareles, Ben Ratliff, and Jon Caramancia - announced that this year, they're opting out of covering the big festivals. They specifically cited Coachella and Bonnaroo, not even deigning to mention Lollapalooza, though the paper has covered it in the past."

From the Times:

Each year, shortly after New Year's Day, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival announces the lineup for its late-April dates. In response, the pop-music critics of The New York Times look at the names on the list - last year's Grammy winners, makers of breakthrough records two years ago, slow-boiling Spotify stars whose rise has been deeply commented on by us and hundreds of others - and we rub our foreheads. A few weeks later comes Bonnaroo's announcement, for early June, and we have still not sorted out Coachella.

We delay putting our hands up because we are trying to figure out intelligent ways to cover the big, cross-genre, medium-cool outdoor pop festivals, which look increasingly alike in their vision of a codified, consensual, safe and purchasable bohemia. Eventually one of us goes, at least to Coachella - because it's the first of the season - and often to Bonnaroo. We come back with some complaints that boil down to our area of greatest knowledge: music. Some clever person reminds us that these festivals aren't about music. And because we are nobody's fools, we say sure, right, of course, but then we still feel short-handed. We have lots of dialogues, internal and otherwise, about what music critics are for. They're for, among other things, registering seismic pop events. But they're also for not registering them, as a critical gesture.

This year we are not registering them.

I get the objections, but I don't know if refusing to cover the festivals is the answer - after all, you're still journalists with a duty to report on how massive amounts of people (spending gobs of money) are entertaining themselves. Maybe hate-cover them? You know, like we all sometimes hate-watch a TV show?

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This, on the other hand, I like:

Instead of covering the biggest festivals reflexively, we'll cover a number of smaller festivals with purpose.

But then, you should have been doing that all along.

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I know, I know, there's only so many hours in a day, so many days in a year. Idea: A festival beat with a dedicated reporter (or three).

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"Want to see LCD Soundsystem? You can catch them at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Panorama and Way Home. Major Lazer? Coachella, Sasquatch, Firefly and Panorama. ASAP Rocky? Coachella, Firefly and Panorama. Gary Clark Jr.? Coachella, New Orleans Jazzfest, Governor's Ball and Way Home."

I would submit that there's a festival bubble. In a few years it will burst and something else will break through, as music-lovers seek a new kind of experience. Only those festivals with distinct styles/brands/vibes will survive. (I would have pegged Pitchfork as a long-term survivor, but now that it's owned by Conde Nast - I assume Conde Nast gets the festival along with the site - its days as a cool destination could be numbered, if it hasn't become passe already.)

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Trump's Cubs
Another Beachwood thought experiment.

Stanley Fish, Enfant Terrible
"One of the 20th century's most original and influential literary theorists, Stanley Fish, dean emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is also known as a fascinatingly atypical, polarizing public intellectual; a loud, cigar-smoking contrarian; and a lightning rod for both the political right and left."

Flint Water Team: The Cost Of Good Science
"It can mean burning bridges to potential funding, and damage to your name and professional reputation. There also are emotional costs associated with distinguishing right from wrong in moral and ethical gray areas, and personal costs when you begin to question yourself, your motives and your ability to make a difference."

Proviso West Grad To Serve Aboard USS Paul Hamilton
"Homeported in Pearl Harbor, Paul Hamilton is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy."

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BeachBook

My guess is No.

Posted by The Beachwood Reporter on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Spacey.



Permalink

Posted on March 23, 2016


MUSIC - Blues Fest 2017.
TV - 'The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen.'
POLITICS - Minimum Wage Hikes Work.
SPORTS - On Joe Louis, Race And Sports Heroes.

BOOKS - The Blood Of Emmett Till.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Artist As Alchemist.


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