<p>Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl</p>

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl

Credit: AP Photo

Foo Fighters finale brings Lollapalooza to a rain-soaked close

Dave Grohl, Chicago festival celebrates 'alternative' roots in its 20th anniversary closer

CHICAGO – It cannot be helped that the Foo Fighters’ Lollapalooza finale set includes, in part, a weather report.

 The 16-year-old band shined off the three-day festival with less shine and more rain, as the two-hour set featured buckets and sheets of bad weather for 20 minutes, only half an hour in.
“You stinky f*ckers finally got a bath,” Foos frontman Dave Grohl laughed. Despite the downpour, there was no interruption in the encore-less hit parade, from opener “Bridges Burning” to final “Everlong.”
Grant Park’s southernmost field had already been torn into a muddy stew by 30 minutes of rain and retreating attendees around 6 p.m. That front interrupted Arctic Monkeys’ set, which then pushed the Foos’ thunderous warm-up, Explosions In The Sky (apt, no?), to finish their set in record time. They forced “an hour-and-a-half of rock into 45 minutes,” said one Explosions guitarist, before they wordlessly pummeled through their loud-quite-loud instrumental dreamscapes and nightmares.
For Grohl & Co., it was about keeping the show upbeat and moving along with 20 songs total for those fans that stuck it out in the mud and the cooling temperatures. Skies broke in time for “Arlandria,” which the singer and guitarist noted as he riffed on the well-loved “rain, rain” rhyme: “Shame, shame go away / come again some other day.”
Grohl was chock-full of lively banter, too, and shared the spotlight on and off with Taylor Hawkins – two adept barrel beaters getting their flop-sweat on.
“It’s like Freddie Mercury is my drummer,” Grohl said.
Hawkins had his own say too.
“In 1988, Jane’s Addiction saved my life,” he said from behind the kit, in thanks to festival founder Perry Farrell. He then took the lead on “Cold Day in the Sun,” from 2005’s “In Your Honor,” Hawkins’ first Foos song to ever take lead vocals. Farrell came out on stage briefly, later in the set, to bow in thanks to the mop-haired masses.
Other highlights included intimate “Times Like These” and “These Days” from Grohl, who, earlier, threw himself into the front row of the crowd, guitar in hand, during an extended solo for “Long Road to Ruin.” The band also took on one of their well-loved covers, Mose Allison’s “Young Man Blues,” made popular by the Who.
Grohl waxed nostalgic, briefly, on this Lolla 20th anniversary weekend; remembering in the ‘90s when his old band Nirvana played to a 20,000 cap instead of the 90,000 that had tickets for this past weekend. With the Foo Fighters as one of the weekend’s tentpoles, it seems that “alternative” rock is still alive and well, and even a little bit wet.


<p>Eminem at Lollapalooza</p>

Eminem at Lollapalooza

Eminem joined by Bruno Mars, Skylar Grey, Royce da 5’9” at Lollapalooza

Recovering addict pulls a prank on party people

CHICAGO - “I couldn’t think of a better motherf*cking place to ‘Relapse,’” Eminem told Lollapalooza attendees after a brief costume change into a thick black hoodie, and invoking the name of his 2009 full-length. “Chicago, can I relapse with you tonight?”

People cheered but then the rapper insisted, “I’m not joking. I’m gonna take a drink for you.” Em’s hype-man Mr. Porter kinda started reeling around his recovering addict and cohort, like, naw man you ain’t gonna do it. Out came a handle of what looked like vodka from the wings. A couple of boos interlaced the noise. Eminem very magnificently put the bottle to his lips, and drank for four seconds.

 And that’s when water comically gushed out of a half-dozen holes poked into the sweatshirt.
“I guess I’m not built for that sh*t, am I?” he shrugged, still unsmiling and straight-man as ever. “Now I’m gonna take you back to when I used to get f*cked up.”
And he burst into his old-school medley of crazy-eyed “My Name Is,” “The Real Slim Shady” and almost all of “Without Me.”

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<p>Jonny Buckland and Chris Martin</p>

Jonny Buckland and Chris Martin

Credit: Katie Hasty

Coldplay debuts new music, honors Amy Winehouse at Lollapalooza

Several new songs make their American premiere at Chicago festival

CHICAGO – Chris Martin’s signature bounce is adjusting to a whole new setlist, if Coldplay’s show last night is a testament.

The British band made a live concert return to the U.S. headlining Lollapalooza day one (Aug. 5), and brought a graffiti-spattered pocketful of fresh tracks, many of which made their American debut.
Leaving their rustic French Revolution “Viva La Vida” days behind, the four-piece band opted instead for a slicker and, at times, more colorful stage show. Frontman Chris Martin acoustic guitar had scratches and characters etched into it’s slate façade, like a blackboard, while guitarist Jonny Buckland’s electric axe was tagged by colorful marker all over the body. The organ and piano were painted up with various geometric designs, a reflection of the multi-colored laser light pattern that shot out from the back of the stage whenever the band performed a new song. Otherwise, it was all basic and bold colors that shone in monochrome on the stage, like a bath of spray paint. The giant, high-flying balloons in the audience still abounded.
It’s right in line with what the band has said was the inspiration for their new, forthcoming album, which will likely include the single (and show-closer) “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” That track’s music video brandishes one of the biggest nods, to American graffiti and street art. And while this pop-rock band may have little urban influence about it, they nonetheless have made some new tracks that reflect the rainbow.
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<p>U2's Bono on the last night of their U2 360 tour</p>

U2's Bono on the last night of their U2 360 tour

Credit: AP Photo

U2's 'Achtung Baby' gets expansive 20th anniversary reissue

Do you like U2? Do you like U2 $630-worth?

Hey, how much do you like U2? A lot? Did you help contribute to their historic 360 touring run? Do you hope and pray to hear "One" and "Mysterious Ways" and "Acrobat" in a big way?

And, perhaps, do you have about $630 to spare?

The Irish rockers are preparing a traditional and expanded reissue on their 1991 album "Achtung Baby" for its 20th anniversary, and by "expanded" I mean death-defyingly excessive.

Or Uber Deluxe, if you're their handlers. This six-CD, four-DVD, five-7" boxed kit may not get you out of the woods when and if you get lost, but it does come with a pair of sunglasses that are guaranteed to make you look like Bono*. "Zooropa," "Achtung's" follow-up, is included, as are some previously unreleased recordings from the album's sessions, a DVD of Toronto Film Festival opener "From the Sky Down," an 84-page hardback book of photos and recounts, etc. etc., all details here.

All in all, there will be five different configurations in which you can buy this reissue, including the single-disc original album and a vinyl boxed set.

I do not have half of a thousand dollars to spare, but this release does mark a special moment in the band's history. Not only did U2 kill the Rolling Stones' previous record for highest gorssing tour in the history of the world, but 20 years on my favorite U2 album is something to celebrate. It was darker, and more sophisticated, than anything they'd ever done before; Bono's lyricism stuck out as more eloquent and centered. And the band was famously fighting all during their Berlin-based Lanois/Eno recording stint.

Twenty years later? Can you name bands that old that still have their lineup intact?

I think I'll spring for the vinyl.

*Yes on sunglasses, but no on making you look like Bono, you're not even close.

<p>Perry Farrell today at the Lollapalooza Grant Park grounds</p>

Perry Farrell today at the Lollapalooza Grant Park grounds

Credit: Katie Hasty

Lollapalooza expands into Brazil, re-ups with Chile festival

Day One at the Chicago festival starts off with expansion announcements

CHICAGO - To celebrate Lollapalooza's 20th anniversary, festival founder Perry Farrell announced today that the event's reach is spreading out further into South America.

On the heels of the first annual Lollapalooza Chile this year, the svelte Jane's Addiction frontman told a crowd of sweaty journos this morning that Sao Paulo will host a two-day fest on April 7-8 in 2012 at the Jockey Club, and that the Santiago-based Lolla will return, to O'Higgins Park on March 31 and April 1.

"If you can imagine the creativity and excitement of Mardi Gras mixed in with Lollapalooza, it may look something like the 2012 Sao Paulo Brazil Lollapalooza," he said, wearing a decided un-Mardi Gras-ish striped button-down and oversized cuffs.

The Chile edition this year boasted performances from Jane's, the Killers and Kanye West

The announcement arrives on Day One of this three-day Windy City mainstay, sold-out again this year and leading with big names like Eminem, Coldplay, Foo Fighters and deadmau5. It was velebrated with champagne, which has set my day off to a funny start.

"This is a very very big year for us," Farrell said. "We have 90,000 weirdos showing up here today in Chicago."

Farrell also introduced a new class of weirdos into the Lolla fold, with a newly formed partnership with Boston's Berklee College of Music. The conjunction will bredd new scholarships for talented students nationwide and provide a new booking element to the festival's lineup.

<p>Rosi Golan</p>

Rosi Golan

EXCLUSIVE Song Of The Day: Rosi Golan says 'I Like You' from new album

Singer-songwrier helps push the summer along

A "Lead Balloon" sounds kinda heavy, but the phrase "I Like You" is certainly light and sweet.

The first is the name of the album that yields the second: it's Rosi Golan's sophomore set, due Aug. 30, and it's easy to see why the singer-songwriter's work has shown up on TV shows like "One Tree Hill" or films like "Dear John." There's an easy, sugary ease to her vocals, a simplicity to her pop and soft-rock melodies that come off clean in time for these hot summer months.

Golan caught my ear a couple of years ago when I was still at Billboard for these very reasons. It'd be one thing to write a song that backs a Pantene commercial or in primetime drama, but every one of her songs seem to have a lasting hook. "Lead Balloon" is a testament to this, but there's also growth in Golan's musicianship and an expansion the arrangements.

The confident track "Seeing Ghosts" has already made its debut, and the Israeli artist is set to take to the road with Jason Reeves starting later this month. She has also announced today a date at New York's Bowery Ballroom on Sept. 6.

Here are Rosi Golan's tour dates:

8/21/11    3rd & Lindsley               Nashville, TN
8/22/11    Old Rock House             St Louis, MO
8/24/11    Slowdown                    Omaha, NE
8/25/11    Augustana College         Rock Island, IL
8/27/11    Shank Hall                    Milwaukee, WI
8/28/11    Space                          Evanston, IL
8/30/11    Fine Line Music Café       Minneapolis, MN
8/31/11    The Mill                        Iowa City, IA
9/1/11      State Historical Bldg       Des Moines, IA
9/2/11      The Bottleneck              Lawrence, KS
9/6/11      Bowery Ballroom         New York, NY

<p>Wayne Coyne</p>

Wayne Coyne

Listen: Flaming Lips and Lightning Bolt combine together for EP

Check out all four, long tracks; inspiration apparently stemming from NASA, drugs

It's hard to keep up with the Flaming Lips these days -- what, with their jaunting around cemeteries and releasing records inside of gummy skulls/fetuses and mobile phone sound experiments whatnot.

The latest surprise is their combination with noise outfit Lightning Bolt for the cleverly titled EP "The Flaming Lips With Lightning Bolt." And bless Warner Bros.' heart, they're the ones putting it out. Exclamation-prone Flaming Lips frontman and Immaculate Noise interviewee Wayne Coyne has been Tweeting pics of the vinyl and some art, but no word yet when physical copies will become available on large-scale.

In the meantime, all four tracks has snorted their way onto YouTube, for your pleasure below; NASA and dropping acid seem to be the recurring theme. Like Lightning Bolt songs, brevity is not their strong suit. And like Flaming Lips songs, the tracks bubble over like movements or acts, rather than behave like one, strong tune.

And like both bands, the result can be simply weird and merciless. Exhibit A: the video to "I Want to Get High But I Don't Want Brain Damage." YOU'RE WELCOME


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Beyonce calls for fans to cast her 'Best Thing I Never Had' video remake

Ladies, put back on your bridal veil: Cheap video made cheaper?

The No. 1 complaint I read about Beyonce's music video for "Best Thing I Never Had" -- my own voice included -- was that the release and result of the clip felt rushed, a half-baked idea to get Beyonce partly naked and in tip-top position to look beautiful beyond any substance.

Now, the singer seems to be taking a tack that makes the bare minimum concept even thriftier, though it may have fans clamoring to further wear emotions on their sleeves.

"Beyoncé is making an alternate fan video for her hit single 'Best Thing I Never Had,' and she wants home videos and photos from her fans joyous wedding day, or from a prom they’d rather forget," reads a release. "Fans can upload their wedding or prom video to YouTube and their wedding or prom photos to Flickr, and tag them with the following tag: #BeyonceBestThing."

In a partnership with Celebuzz and BeyonceOnline, a crowd-sourced fan video will ultimately surface after submissions have been culled and fawned-over by Team Bey.

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<p>Laura Marling</p>

Laura Marling

Credit: AP Photo

Song Of The Day: Laura Marling debuts 'Sophia' from new album

British songwriter sets limited U.S. dates in support of 'A Creature I Don't Know'

Laura Marling wasn't just my favorite folk artist last year, she was my favorite album artist overall.

And she has a new album, "A Creature I Don't Know," coming out on Sept. 13. It was produced by a very respectable and repeated offender Ethan Johns!

The first song from that effort, "Sophia," has dropped.

"Where I've been lately is no concern of yours / Who's been touching my skin... tired-eyed am I today," she deliciously drips in that Joni/Jackson Brown drawl of hers, before the indie-pop bops in and blasts away the heat with a slow-blinking cool.

The British songwriter is touring in the U.S. again, in support, starting Sept. 17 through Sept. 28. See you at Webster, New Yorkers.

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Metallica announces 30th anniversary shows -- for $6 a ticket

Fan club-members, start your (search) engines

Hey, does the 20th anniversary of the release of Nirvana's "Nevermind" make you feel old? No? Well, then how about the 30th anniversary of the formation of one of the worlds biggest hard rock and metal bands, Metallica.

The veteran group is celebrating their beautiful and tumultuous past with a handful of fan-only shows, four at San Francisco's Fillmore on Dec. 5, 7, 9 and 10.

"These unique shows will include special guests and events, rare songs, varied set lists, odds and ends, and all the nutty stuff you expect from Metallica... fun for the entire family!" Extraordinarily appropriate, considering a fan could actually breed a robustly sized family in 30 years' time.

What's more is that the group is offering '80s pricing, at $6 per ticket or the cute price of $19.81 for all four. These tickets, again, are for fan-club members only, with further details to be had via the band's website, "taking reservations" through Aug. 8.

Metallica is playing as part of the Big 4 (in addition to Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, for those of you playing Go Fish) on Sept. 14 at Yankee Stadium, where music lovers and dirtbags frequently collide. Sales for those long-gone tickets were on sale back in May. The band is also skedded to headlining Rock in Rio on Sept. 25.