In recent years, music festivals have been branching out from rural jam-band events & beer-soaked rock fests, and into the indiestream. What’s more, it’s not just blue states and college towns that have been getting in on the game, but also the cities of Middle America, such as the city smack dab in the middle of America, St. Louis and the oh-so-appropriately-named LouFest, which is going as strong as ever in only its third year, Saturday-Sunday, August 25th-26th:
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25TH
|Girl Talk, 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Greg Gillis (Girl Talk – QRO photos at a festival) moved from biomedical tissue engineering to DJ mash-up engineering (QRO photos at a festival), taking samples from across the spectrum and making something very new (QRO photos at a festival). While he started out playing clubs, he’s graduated to ballroom & even the great outdoors (QRO photos outdoors) – but that just means he’s got bigger stages (QRO photos outdoors at a festival) and festivals (QRO photos at a festival) to fill with dancing concertgoers… (QRO photos at a festival)
|Dinosaur Jr., 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Back & better than ever! In the late eighties and early nineties, one of the biggest & best bands in the punk-grunge revolution was Dinosaur Jr. (QRO live review), combining a hippie-punk ethos (and artwork) with feedback-driven guitar from the legendary J Mascis (QRO solo album review). The trio (QRO live review) was also characterized by Mascis’ controlling tendencies, leading to the departure first of bassist Lou Barlow (QRO solo album review) for his Sebadoh (QRO live review) and eventually even beloved drummer Murph, with Mascis retiring the ‘Dinosaur Jr.’ moniker in 1997.
But then the band reunited (QRO live review outdoors) – with original line-up! – to tour their re-release of old, Barlow-era records. And they kept going (QRO photos at a festival), putting out two new records that are some of their best yet, Beyond (QRO review) and Farm (QRO review), with I Bet On Sky coming out this fall. So revel in the glory (QRO photos at a festival) that is Dinosaur Jr. (QRO photos) – but bring your earplugs, because J’s ‘circle of amps’ is a force to be reckoned with (QRO photos at a festival)…
And how much do you bet everyone at LouFest will be shouting “Lou!!!”?…
|Phantogram, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Barsuk brings Saratoga Springs’ dancetronica act Phantogram (QRO photos at a festival), who have been getting notice less for their debut full-length Eyelid Movies (QRO review) than their enchanting live show (QRO photos at a festival) – but will it work outdoors (QRO photos outdoors at a festival) in the sunlight (QRO photos in the sunlight at a festival)?
|Son Volt, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Out of the ashes of Illinois’ Uncle Tupelo came Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco (QRO live review) and Jay Farrar’s Son Volt (QRO photos), which hewed more closely to Tupelo’s alt-country ways, most recently on 2007’s The Search (QRO review) and 2009’s American Central Dust (QRO review).
|Little Barrie, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Nottingham power trio Little Barrie brings some soul-funk & blues to LouFest.
|Cotton Mather, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
If (Revolver-era) Beatles had formed in Austin in the late ‘90s, they’d probably sound like Cotton Mather. But the Beatles didn’t form in Austin in the late ‘90s, which probably explains why the Cotton Mather really doesn’t sound much like the Beatles, apart from the fact that’s they both have a tendency towards guitar driven power pop and that Noel Gallagher (QRO live review) likes both bands.
|King Tuff, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
King Tuff is a 1976 Camaro bathed in brown liquor and rattling with the sounds of dirtbag punk. He’s got a charisma that precedes him and new self-titled album (QRO review) to throw at you. It’s not exactly lo-fi, but he recorded it himself and sounds like something that crawled out of a garage, which is high praise indeed.
|Sleepy Kitty, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
A local band playing in it’s own city is always a fun thing to behold, and Sleepy Kitty proves the old adage that girl+guitar+man+drums=good times.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 5TH
|The Flaming Lips, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
There’s a good reason The Flaming Lips (QRO photos at a festival) have been so popular for so long on the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival), including FPSF 2010, as there is no live show out there like a Flaming Lips live show (QRO live review). Confetti cannons, costumes, video screens, balloons from the sky, puppets, singer/guitarist Wayne Coyne (QRO interview) surfing the crowd in a giant plastic bubble – The Lips have it all (QRO photos), and expect them to take it even higher (QRO photos at a festival).
Oh, and they’ve got some great music, too, from early nineties hit “She Don’t Use Jelly” to seminal The Soft Bulletin (QRO photos from top-to-bottom performance, at a festival), as well as 2006’s Grammy Award-winning At War With the Mystics (even put out a movie, Christmas On Mars – QRO review), and 2009’s Embryonic (QRO review). Plus they just played The Colbert Report‘s ‘Pepsi Presents StePhest ColbChella ‘012 Rocktaugustfest’ (QRO photos)!
|Dr. Dog, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
LouFest has some of the jam-festival with Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog (QRO photos), who have become a festival regular (QRO photos at a festival) since 2008’s commercial breakthrough Fate (QRO review) launched them into headlining status (QRO photos headlining a festival). Unfortunately, Fate wasn’t anything special (QRO photos), but Dr. Dog make a lot of people happy live (QRO photos outdoors), especially outdoors (QRO live review outdoors at a festival), so expect the “Sweetness”, along with material from 2010’s still-middling Shame, Shame (QRO review) and this year’s also okay Be the Void (QRO review).
|Dawes, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
An up-and-coming Americana indie outfit (QRO photos) that’s come up, Dawes (QRO photos at a festival) hail from Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon (QRO photos outdoors), out last year with sophomore release, Nothing Is Wrong – and nothing’s wrong with them (QRO photos).
|Cults, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
When Cults (QRO photos) broke out in 2010 with infectious single “We Go Outside”, they’d achieved the near impossible: being famous without anyone knowing anything about them (QRO photos outdoors). Since then, the wall of silence has broken down (QRO photos), with the catchy sixties male/female duo recruiting a band (QRO photos outdoors at a festival), playing South-by-Southwest (QRO photos), and signing to major label Sony for last year’s Cults (QRO review). But even if you’ve got a face (QRO photos) to put to the un-Google-able name, they’re still a hook-laden band (QRO photos at a festival).
|Wild Nothing, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Sun-soaked, fuzzy, dream pop that should go well with a sun-soaked festival. Wild Nothing (QRO live review) is Jack Tatum’s wonderful solo project (QRO live review), and with Nocturne, the follow-up to his wonderful first album Gemini (QRO album review) due out August 28th, there’s sure to be plenty of new music afoot.
|Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Earnest indie pop that hails from Springfield, Missouri. Ok, that probably doesn’t sound terribly appetizing, but doesn’t it help that their name references the first president of post-Soviet Russia in these Putin vs. Pussy Riot times? Still no? Well get over it and go see their show (QRO photos). It’s good (QRO photos).
|THEESatisfaction, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Jazzy rap that reeks of Digable Planets and is clearly a close relation Shabazz Palaces (QRO album review), THEESatisfaction is spawned of ‘90s hip-hop and honed by feministas. Be prepared with all your ‘90s garb, because this stuff is straight throwback.
|Pernikoff Brothers, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Local boys Perkinoff Brothers bring more of the jam band sound to LouFest.
Official pre-party – Friday, August 24th:
Official after-show – Saturday, August 25th:
For festival website, go here: http://www.loufest.com/index.php