The official lineup for Lollapalooza 2014 has been announced.  Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys lead a list of more than 130 bands and DJs that will hit the stages August 1-3, 2014 for the 10th year at Grant Park in Chicago.  The large and medium font bands are heavy on repeat Lolla acts which will draw some criticism but the vets are bands that you should not complain about seeing again. Past breakout artists Foster the People, Cage the Elephant, Young the Giant, Grouplove, Manchester Orchestra, and Fitz and the Tantrum will likely graduate to larger stages.  But if you really want to experience this great festival be prepared to get there early each day as the real strength of the lineup comes further down the list.  Grab your magnifying glass and look at the 6 point font for the great list of up and comers, many of which have been included in recent TheSystemOfSound.com Mixtapes.  Highlights include Bear Hands, Parquet Courts, The So So Glos, Bleachers, Nonono, Kongos, Jagwar Ma, Kodaline, RAC, Royal Blood, and Warpaint.   No real surprise bands or reunions this year but I am excited to see a rare U.S. appearance by British indie rockers, The Kooks.  If you want to take molly, wear a pink tutu and flail around “dancing” like a maniac then you will not be disappointed by the EDM lineup on Perry’s Stage which includes superstar button pressers Skrillex, Calvin Harris, Zedd, Krewella, and Sebastian Ingrosso.  Good luck finding tickets if you haven’t already purchased them as the 3 day passes sold out before the lineup was even announced.  3 day VIP passes are still available and limited 1 day passes go on sale today.  See you in Chicago!

Lollapaloza 2014

Metallica debuted their new song “The Lords of Summer” at their show in Bogota, Columbia last night.  This is their first truly new song since recording the Death Magnetic album in 2008.  It is an 8 minute epic, thrasher complete with “Hey! Hey! Hey!” chants that is sure to have the mosh pits swirling, fists pumping and the crowd screaming along during their current “Metallica By Request” tour.  For this tour of South America, Europe and Canada every song on the setlist at each show other than “Lords” will be based on fan voting.  A great concept that more bands need to try.

The Mixtape for March 2014 includes some great new music from a diverse mix of artists.  Punk, Pop, Rap, EDM, Gospel, Soul, Blues, and good old heavy Rock N Roll.  From new up and comers fresh out of high school (Broods) to International superstars fresh off of Grammy wins (Pharrell Willims and Justin Timberlake) to a legendary singer you have definitely heard but may not have heard of who recorded her first song in 1962 with Bobby Darin (Merry Clayton).  Highlights include:

  • “I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How) from the new SKATERS album Manhattan.  Great album of Strokes-ish melodic-punk.
  • “Every Stone” the second single of 2014 from Manchester Orchestra building more excitement for their upcoming album Cope set to be released next month
  • “One Night Romance” by legendary backup gospel-soul singer Merry Clayton featuring G. Love & Special Sauce.
  • “Brand New” from the new Pharrell Williams album GIRL and featuring Justin Timberlake

Russian feminist punk rock protest band Pussy Riot have stirred up a lot of controversy and, more importantly, publicity in their homeland recently.  The band, including Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina who were recently released after serving 21 months in prison, staged a guerilla performance of their song “Putin Will Teach You To Love The Motherland” in Sochi during the Winter Olympics.  During this performance they were beaten by local Cossacks working Olympic security.  Video of the beating was combined with various other footage filmed around Sochi to create a music video for the song.  The song is actually kind of catch.  Now somebody just needs to translate the lyrics for me.

Much respect to these tough women who have such strong beliefs that they are willing to be beaten and spend time in Russian prisons in order to get their message out to the world.

A couple days late on sharing this but the 2014 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival lineup has been announced.  Tickets went on sale today for the annual festival taking place June 12-15 in Manchester, TN.  Always one of the most eclectic festival lineups, this year will not disappoint.  Headliners include Elton John, Kanye West, Jack White, Lionel Richie, and Vampire Weekend.  Move a bit further down the list and you get festival circuit veterans Grouplove, Fitz and the Tantrums, The Flaming Lips, Cage the Elephant, and The Naked and Famous.  Bonnaroo tradition continues with multiple Superjams including an EDM jam with Skrillex and the always exciting mystery jam.  Other highlights I found digging deeper include Robert Delong, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Ice Cube, Warpaint, Ms Mr, Polica, The Bouncing Souls, Vintage Trouble,  and Lucero.  Grab your tickets now as they sell out fast then pack your camping gear and head on down to The Farm

Bonnaroo 2014 lineup

The Afghan Whigs will release their first album of new music in 16 years, Do The Beast, April 15 on Sub Pop Records.  Today they released the first single “Algiers” along with the official music video.  Pre-order the CD on SubPop.com and receive a bonus Loser edition white vinyl copy, the ability to stream the album 1 month before the official release, and a chance to win a Greg Dulli autographed tour poster

I love great cover songs.  Triple J TV has a fun series of interviews with live cover performances that they call Like A Version.  In this episode Grouplove “covers” their own song “Ways to Go” with a Johnny Cash spin then tackles their current tour mates Cage The Elephant’s “Spiderhead”.  I have to say this is even better than the original.

I stand corrected.  The Grammy collaboration that I was least excited to see ended up stealing the night.  The live mashup by Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons was unique and exciting.

The Boston Calling music festival has announced their 2014 dates and lineup.  May 23-25, 2014 in City Hall Plaza.  Highlights include Jack Johnson, Modest Mouse, Deathcab, The Neighbourhood, Bastille and Frank Turner.

Can you believe that it has been 20 years since G. Love and Special Sauce released their self-titled debut album that featured the hits “Cold Beverage” and “Baby’s Got Sauce”?  Brings back such great memories of high school days.

Fun fact #1: I was one of the first people anywhere to play the single “Blues Music” on the radio “91.7 WPAA broadcasting live from the basement of Evans Hall on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts…”

Fun fact #2: I went to school with G. Love aka Garrett Dutton at Germantown Friends School in Philly.

Now 20 years later we are all grown up, and to the delight of many thirtysomethings, the original lineup of G. Love, “Jimi Jazz” Prescott and “The Houseman” Jeffrey Clemens have reunited to record the new album, Sugar, which will release on April 22.  You can pre-order at Philadelphonic.com.  G and the Sauce have also announced a 20th Anniversary U.S. tour to support Sugar that will include complete performances of their debut album at each stop.  Congratulations to the band for reaching this milestone anniversary and continuing to entertain us.

Check out the video for the first single “Nothing Quite Like Home” below.  The song was co-written with Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons and includes supporting vocals from Ben Harper and Marc Broussard.