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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Music’s everywhere

A preview of this summer's music festivals

Published: April 18, 2008
Section: Arts, Etc.

For music fans, perhaps the first glimpses of the upcoming summer festival season can be seen in Indio, CA, where the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will occur a week from today.

Here, fans will brave 100-degree temperatures and see a slew of bands that are all over the map. Jack Johnson, Prince, Portishead, Roger Waters, The Breeders, The Verve, Kraftwerk and Death Cab for Cutie are only a few of the diverse names schedule to play the venue. Coachella is only the first in a slew of exciting summer lineups for 2008. This year’s lineups will include the return of several big names, and also a laundry list of up and comers.

For those who want to make a road trip south during mid- June, Bonnaroo is the name of the game. This year’s three-day mega- festival in Tennessee will be a bit rock heavy with Pearl Jam and Metallica as the two big name headliners, while other heralded acts like M.I.A., Vampire Weekend, and Battles will perform. Old vets also will not go unrepresented, as Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Phil Lesh of Phish, B.B. King, and Willie Nelson will be in attendance.

And for those who think of the Midwest as flyover country, reconsider after looking at some of the bands coming to Chicago this summer for Lollapalooza and the Pitchfork Music Festival. Lollapalooza headliners include alt-rock heroes Radiohead, rap-rock political activists Rage Against the Machine, industrial legends Nine Inch Nails, and other hot names like Kanye West, Bloc Party, and Gnarls Barkley.

Pitchfork’s yearly festival will include Public Enemy, who will be performing their epic It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in full. Other indie favorites Dinosaur Jr., Animal Collective, and Vampire Weekend will also be performing.

For those out on the east coast this summer, there are two festivals cerainly worth checking out, these being the Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore and the All Points West Festival in Jersey City. Stone Temple Pilots will make their return with lead singer Scott Weiland following his departure from supergroup Velvet Revolver, and consistent rock acts the Foo Fighters and Nine Inch Nails will also bring the noise.

There are also different variations of Virgin’s Festival in Calgary and Toronto, with Britrock legends Oasis and the Flaming Lips as a few names included in those lineups.

Finally, for those who are staying in Boston or are living in New York, it might be worth the trip out to Jersey City to All Points West this August. The three day festival will have Radiohead as its headliner for two of the days, and Jack Johnson on the third. Each day’s lineup is quite diverse with acts ranging from dance (CSS, The Go! Team) to rock bands with major cult followings (Animal Collective, New Pornographers, Kings of Leon, Grizzly Bear, Metric, Mates of State) to talented singer-songwriters (Andrew Bird, Sia, Nicole Atkins).

The diversity of these festivals is something to be commended, and I have only mentioned a few of the bigger names on each bill. It seems that this year’s festivals will truly offer something for everyone.