Friday, July 18, 2003

nobody writes in cursive anymore. it's dying.

listening to: BT "Emotional Technology" - i'm no fan of him but it's surprisingly ok. shit, rose mcgowan is on here singing. she cowrote a track with brian. the production is especially clean.

and here's the unedited version of my Lollapalooza story, that ran in the detroit free press today (

By Tim Pratt

In the summer of 1991, when the outlandish Perry Farrell, lead vocalist for the band Jane's Addiction, announced he was launching a new kind of festival called "Lollapalooza" featuring multiple stages and a wide variety of bands, carnival-style sideshows and other oddities, he was largely met with indifference and skepticism from the music industry.
The ambitious traveling circus-like festival featured an incredibly wide array of musical acts, including: the gothic sounds of Siouxsie and the Banshees, the edgy political rock of Living Colour, the fiery, sinewy newcomers Nine Inch Nails, the raucous funk-rock of Fishbone, the controversial rapper Ice-T, as well as the Violent Femmes, Butthole Surfers and Rollins Band.
The 26-date tour, which became Jane's swan song before they disbanded, grossed almost $9 million. Suddenly, everyone knew what Lollapalooza meant: the sound of a new generation of music fans, disenchanted with the status quo. Within a year, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the whole Seattle grunge movement was the hot thing and the 1992 tour -- featuring the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Ice Cube and others -- was the face of the new style.
For the next several years, the tour forged ahead to varying degrees of success, while other tours such as H.O.R.D.E., OzzFest and Lilith Fair co-opted the traveling circus-style concert format that Lollapalooza initiated.
But by 1996, the tour had begun to lose its luster, with Metallica in the unlikely position of headlining the "alternative" festival (Farrell officially broke off from the festival). And so after the '97 jaunt, Lollapalooza was no more.
"It was time to give it a rest," says William Morris Agency's Adam Schneider, manager of Jane's Addiction and a co-producer of Lollapalooza. "At the outset, we were the only touring musical festival but then came along H.O.R.D.E., OzzFest, Smokin' Grooves and all the radio station festivals. It came down to basic economics."

Now, six years later, the re-energized Farrell and Jane's Addiction are back at the helm of Lollapalooza, armed with a powerful new album ("Strays," out Tuesday) and an impressive main stage lineup (including Queens of The Stone Age, Incubus, Audioslave, Jurassic 5 and the Donnas), in an attempt to revive the highly influential tour again.
But is this the same Lollapalooza your older siblings attended? Sort of. The 2003 version has a similar type of underdog feel the inaugural tour had, which includes three interactive videogame areas, a second stage of up-and-coming bands, interaction with attendees with artists via text messaging and ways to win prizes (such as backstage passes) and dozens of information booths and other activities.
Festival organizers, say they opted to re-launch Lollapalooza because, as Farrell says "the musical climate and timing is right."
"There were multiple factors in bringing back Lollapalooza. First, the return of Jane's as a recording entity. Lollapalooza was very appealing to Perry and the band on a personal level," Schneider says. "Second was the notion that the festival brought musicians together in a certain cultural attachment with an audience uninterested in what's being played on the radio.
"And third, Perry had this idea about interactivity and text messaging, something he's been working on for years, but it's only now that the technology is there. We're going to have questions about the artists, the environment on screens the fans can interact with in real time.
"But ultimately, this is a music festival first and foremost, like a party. And to be a good party host, you want to show people a good time. That's our mission."

But can the tour bounce back after a five-year hiatus, especially with this being one of the more dismal concert seasons in years?
Thus far, there haven't been any sellouts and some venues have reported half capacity. And thopening date scheduled for July 3 in Ionia was cancelled controversially (organizers say the date was cancelled due to production issues, though the venue -- which hosts several concerts each year for its Ionia Free Fair -- disputes that claim).

"We have an overcrowded market touring right now, and an uncertain economy. They're coming back from a long hiatus and have to re-establish themselves, so I don't know if they even expected to do sell-outs," says Gary Bongiovanni, Editor-In-Chief of Pollstar magazine, an industry periodical that monitors ticket sales and concert tours.
"These big touring festivals like Lollapalooza or OzzFest are artist-driven, with a creative force that has conceptualized the event. Artists will play for less money than for some commercial promotor. Look at Lilith Fair, which had a talent like Sheryl Crow. She did it because she liked what Sarah (McLachlan) was doing. OzzFest is kind of the same way, which has a history for acts playing for reasons other than the almighty dollar."
In fact, organizers say sales are about where they expected them to be.
"It would be misleading to say this is a banner tour year, but Detroit's going to be good," Schneider says.
Indeed, there are no complaints from organizers about the Detroit date, with presale tickets of more than 10,000 already sold, according to Jeff Corey, Director of public relations for Palace Sports & Entertainment.
But organizers say they are much more concerned with providing an enjoyable and unique concert environment.
"We're very confident any kid is going to have a great time," Schneider says. "The Lollapalooza name connotes a real connection, no matter how many people are coming through the door. We are committed to giving our 'clients,' as Perry calls them, a great time. We'd love to bring it back but we're just focusing on this year right now."

Kelly Brown, longtime on-air personality at Windsor alt-rock radio station 89X (88.7 FM), says she�s attended every Lollapalooza tour and is very excited about its return, though she's unsure if it will make as much of an impact on youth culture.
"I don't think it will ever grasp what it was in the past, but I think that the people that still go really like something other than the norm," Brown says. "So much pop crap is being shoved down our throats right now; Lollapalooza is a refreshing change.
"The return of Lollapalooza means a great deal to me. I love the diversity of the festival and the new music. Perry always puts on an interesting show -- not just with the hottest bands of the moment but also with the booths, merchandise and tech stuff."

For Detroit's James Wailin, who attended all but the final installment of the original tour and is planning to go today, Lollapalooza was a way to be exposed to a wide variety of music. And he's happy it's back.
"I was always exposed to something new," says Wailin, lead singer of Detroit band the Reefermen. "It was a good move to put some of the hip-hop acts on there, introducing it to white urban America.
" I don't know the whole lineup for this one, but if you put the Lollapalooza name on it, you know there's going to be a whole day of quality entertainment on one stage or another. It's just a fun festival to go hang out for the day."
And for some artists performing on the tour, the return of Lollapalooza is a sign that music is evolving and people are frustrated with the norm.
"It's a pretty big deal for us because all four of us went together in '93 and '94, when we were about 14 to check out bands like the Beastie Boys and Babes in Toyland," says Brett Anderson, lead vocalist of the Bay Area all-female quartet the Donnas. "We don't want to be total dorks but it is totally amazing -- it's a pretty big deal for us. We're pinching ourselves every day.
"But I think the situation in music is a lot worse because bands are more dependent on labels and (vice versa). Kids don't have the money to go to every show that comes around, so this is a great way to see a lot of music. There's a real positive feeling among all the bands."

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