Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Will I venture to Outside Lands?

Much like every other Tuesday night for the past few months, I made the trek out to Brentwood just off the 405 and Santa Monica Boulevard to Matt and Danielle's house tonight. Every week we alternate cooking dinner for each other, which usually ends in full bellies and happy faces for all involved. Tonight was my turn, and I whipped up an old favorite from my vegetarian days - vegetable stir fry with white rice. As we all sat around their coffee table jamming soy-drenched squash and bell peppers in our faces and watching this week's American Idol, my friends' roommate came sauntering in from the kitchen to inform Matt of the changes to the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco. Luckily - and very characteristically - Matt had his laptop stashed under the couch directly below his designated spot on the sofa, allowing him to quickly jump straight to the festival's website. The line-up pretty much made me explode a little internally with anticipation, but then that now-frequent sinking feeling usually related to the status of my bank account descended on my stomach. Up until recently, I was somewhat happily employed at a small French-style restaurant, that is until the frequent racist, homophobic and sexist remarks from the teen aged busboys became too much for me to handle. Well, that on top of the fact that the owner had recently cut down my hours from five to three days a week, leaving me incredibly strapped for cash and stressed out about my loan payments that have suddenly began to pile up and seem virtually insurmountable. This festival is in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which in and of itself would cost at least $100 in gas fees just to reach by car. That's not counting ticket price, lodging, food, and the inevitable beer or two or eighteen I will consume over the course of the weekend. As of right now, the task of committing to purchasing a ticket seems completely unrealistic and out of reach for my dwindling funds. But come on, look at this line up.

Friday will be the shortest of the three day extravaganza, but will certainly be the most worth my time and money. Lyrics Born starts off the list of acts I can't wait to see, mostly because I've heard he's absolutely amazing to watch. Shortly afterwards is Cold War Kids, a band that has certainly been a guilty pleasure of mine since their album broke and their appearances on Conan and Jimmy Kimmel became more and more abundant and hyped. Their stage presence, along with their unquestionably catchy tunes, will be a must-see in my mind, especially since I passed them up for MGMT and Stephen Malkmus at Coachella this year. And while I've seen the Black Keys two times already, their ability to produce massive amounts of sound while maintaining their simplistic two-some causes them to be one of my favorite gritty rock bands in recent years. That and the fact that Rubber Factory is a pretty damn perfect record.

Now here is where I get my money's worth.


Mutha fuckin Beck.

I've had a schoolgirl crush on this man ever since seeing him perform "Where It's At"on Saturday Night Live in 1996. Even as a pop-obsessed, N'Sync t-shirt-wearing tween, I was able to recognize the talent this man. For the past few years, I've had a list of the top 5 bands/artists I need to see in my lifetime. It goes something like this, in no particular order:

1) Bjork (done; saw her at Coachella in 2007)
2) R.E.M. (have tickets for the end of may at the Hollywood Bowl)
3) Bob Dylan (probably not a possibility, seeing how arthritic he's become)
4) Beck, and, of course, the last is
5) Radiohead.

And guess who is headlining Friday night??

You guessed it. Which means that if I choose to attend this festival, if I actually have enough money to make the long drive up to the bay area for an entire weekend of debauchery and delight, I will have almost completed this list.

Don't get me wrong; I am not the kind of person who has a checklist of tasks to complete before I die (ie: a bucket list of sorts. See also: horrific movie with Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) but Radiohead is one of the greats of our time. When I decide to have children, they will hate me for listening to such crap, will think the sounds and ideas on OK Computer are "come on, Mom, sooo lame" and then instantly apologize to me as soon as they get to college and realize what real music is. I recently saw Roger Waters performing Dark Side of the Moon at Coachella, and was completely in awe that a man of such age and wisdom who was once the front man and main songwriter for an epic, and I mean EPIC, band still has it in him. This will be Thom Yorke in future years. Spanning from their early Pablo Honey to their most recent In Rainbows, Radiohead has made such a multitude of incredible music incorporating such a vast breadth of genres and sonic qualities that seeing them live will probably be the closest I'll ever come to a religious experience. And I am by no means a woman of faith.

And now I've come to an epiphany: after writing this, I'm pretty sure that come hell or high water, come rain or shine, come empty pockets or a starving belly, I will be at this festival.

And I haven't even mentioned the highlights of the other nights. In brief: Andrew Bird. Regina Spektor. Broken Social Scene. And for peat's sake, WILCO.

Screw my savings. I am so there.


Unknown said...

of course you're going, uhh duh i wonder which festival this is...

note: the bucket list was nicholson and morgan freeman not sam j, but yes it was a fucking car crash of a movie.

OL is 114 days away, put 2 dollars in a box everyday. and BOOM. you've got the funds.

Katharine Relth said...

Ken: Uhh I obviously wasn't thinking.

I hung out with Brian Webster last night and neither of us were sober enough to remember Durling's name for like twenty minutes. Then finally we were like ohh duhhhh.