Lolla Pointers from Hear Ya

My typical Lollapalooza strategy? 1. Grab the lineup and flip it upside down to find the real must-see acts. 2. Arrive very early each day to see the openers and enjoy an afternoon without beer or bathroom lines. 3. Leave very early as the crowd draws in for the headliners. 4. Find a seat in a Wicker Park beer garden. 5. Take off the shoes and rest the legs while sipping some cold IPA’s. This year is a bit different and most of my picks are in the middle of the lineup. I’d hold on exiting for the Chicago watering holes until after the My Morning Jacket set and I’d kill the time by taking in some Cee Lo and/or The Cars. But my must see acts follow. J. Roddy Walston & The Business I first caught J. Roddy Walson & The Business at SxSW two years ago in a parking lot with unseasonably low Texas temperatures hovering around 30 degrees. They absolutely stunned us with Rock attitude and an incredible volume of hair. The band is best described as Jerry Lee Lewis fronting a 70′s glam rock band. They visited us for a live session at the end of last year. Catch the video below. Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses If you’re looking for hipster repellant, look no further than Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses. Bingham found Grammy success with the song “Weary Kind,” featured in Crazy Heart and subsequently found his way into all sorts of late night and daytime talk shows. But what was often left out of the discussion was the rest of his incredible 2010 body of work found on Junky Star. Take a tin of Kodiak and put in a lipper for this set. My favorite track is “Hallelujah.” Local Natives Local Natives have mastered harmonies and facial hair. As one that is plagued by a blonde moustache of the Larry Bird variety, I have huge respect for Taylor Rice’s upper lip. He could probably pass for a 15 year old without it, but with it…it’s anyone’s guess. But I digress. Local Natives have found their way into about every playlist I’ve built since late ’09. Just about the sweetest dudes you could ever meet and their show will give you goosebumps. Delta Spirit One of my favorite concerts from last year was Delta Spirit at Masquerade in Atlanta. It was lead singer Matt Vasquez’s birthday and the band was in full celebration mode. They performed a song called “Vivian” about Matt’s grandmother passing away that left nary a dry eye in the house. They dominate percussion on garbage can lids and aren’t afraid of throwing a few cover songs in the mix. Typhoon Typoon is a 12-piece-ish collective that won us over this year at SxSW. You’d expect chaos from a band that barely fits on stage, but they manage to pull off a cohesive folk-rock sound complete with strings, a variety of percussion, horns, and vocals from damn near everyone. They really are a spectacle. Titus Andronicus If you search for Titus Andronicus on Vimeo, you’ll find a young kid trying to knife you. I found this out just now and will pay for it in my nightmares. If you are still reading this, you should consider adding in some punk music to break up the folk/country/indie acts I’m recommending. Titus Andronicus are the band to check out. They aren’t your average punk band singing about drinking, drugs, or skipping class. These guys put out a highly ambitious and intellectual concept album called The Monitor about the Civil War. But don’t fret – they still wear their New Jersey roots on their sleeve and will wear your ass out. My last piece of advice is to prepare for a few days of standing on your feet. If you go in without proper conditioning or your grandmother’s orthotics, you could wind up with shin-splints or hemorrhoids. I recommend a pace of 1.2 beers per hour and a water mixed in on every third beer. You should also train like this for at least three days prior to the festival: