Recycle, abuse, seduce, retard
Three lessons from Outside Lands:
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is a tranquil, relaxing, 1,000-acre urban haven dotted with glorious trees, memorable museums and gardens. But, during the past four years, a huge chunk of its earth gets quaked by deafening rockers and bass-bumping button pushers as part of the annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, which went down again this past Friday through Sunday. Hundreds of thousands showed up, as did SN&R on the final day. Here’s the take-home from the 2011 festival culture:
1. Guitar music no longer rules. S.F. native and regular Sacramento tour stopper Ty Segall ripped it hard during his 35-minute set, but was relegated to a tiny stage wedged between a wig vendor and a Heineken booth. Meanwhile, Major Lazer’s Diplo and Switch—who purportedly drove to Sacto to hang out with a certain local band last Saturday, the day before their S.F. set—compelled a good 6,000 pogo-sticking kids to go apeshit for their bass-forward, Rasta-flavored electronic dance.
Later on, deejay-producer-purported toolbox Deadmau5 rivaled the turnout for Canadian headliners and Grammy darlings Arcade Fire.
You can see it happening, this tipping point where rock lost and dance won. The younger generation of 15- to 30-year-olds so enthusiastically accepts beats and electronic tunes into their personal sonic oeuvre and, at the same click, seems to be rejecting guitar-based rock. Perhaps it’s the relatively newfound sensation of going to a live show and feeling thousands of watts of bass flowing through your bones?
Or maybe it’s just good drugs?
2. Your kids take more drugs than you can possibly fathom. Some 65,000 showed up at Outside Lands on Sunday. At least 50 percent of those kids were under 26. As per Obamacare, they can be on their parents’ health-insurance tab. Which is fortuitous: When their Molly or Ecstasy trip goes south—complemented maybe by a rough bout with sun stroke or dehydration—and they have to pay a visit to the ER instead of the afterparty, it’ll be on Daddy’s tab.
So, tripper-kid liberals, don’t say Obama never did anything for ya.
Anyway, I’ve never seen so many goofy-looking, post-raver 20-somethings dressed in fuzzy-animal costumes waving Glo-sticks and bedazzled American-flag miniskirts tied to tree branches (so their friends can track them down in the morass) and making out with someone’s armpit. It’s disconcerting to say the least, but then …
3. Your kids care more about the Earth and humanity than you think. I also saw more than one young kid instructing another how to separate their garbage from their recyclables and their compost. Said trios of bins were scattered throughout the festival, and it seems that the 20-somethings are more hopeful ambassadors to Mother Earth than their boomer elders. That is, if those raver pills don’t turn their noggins to putty mush.
Last Sister Crayon show of the year!:
Everyone’s favorite trip-hop-meets-shoegazey indie trio Sister Crayon will be saying goodbye to 2011 early this Friday, August 19, with their final local gig at Luigi’s Fun Garden (1050 20th Street).
Joining them will be Two Sheds—a treat, as they play not too often—and Exquisite Corps, plus DJ Boss Magic.
The gig also is a tour fundraiser for S.C., who depart shortly with the Album Leaf on their first-ever U.S. jaunt. Show starts at 8:30 p.m., cover is 10 bucks and the kicker: Local fans will be able to own the group’s debut full-length, Bellow, on vinyl record for the first time. Something to spin and cozy up with while the gang is off on tour?