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Coachella 2010: Is Lollapalooza about to win a round?

February 17, 2010 |  4:05 pm


In this era of festival glut, in which our nation's multi-day destination festivals are overrun with a number of the same acts, it's hard, if not impossible, to offer up a lineup that truly trumps a competing event. But is Chicago's Lollapalooza about to do just that? 

Though an official announcement has yet to be made, the Chicago Tribune's Turn it Up blog reports that Lady Gaga, the Strokes, Soundgarden and Arcade Fire are close to being confirmed for the C3 Presents-booked fest. Lady Gaga, a Lolla veteran, certainly has the outsize personality to shine in a festival setting, and the reunited Soundgarden was one of the genuine surprises to be left off the Coachella bill when the fest was announced earlier this year

But while those acts are all well and good, we're going to say the real coup here would be the Strokes, which are set to return this fall with a new album. In the Great Festival Bout of 2010, it would give Lolla a solid few points, although the trifecta of the Gorillaz, Thom Yorke and Charlotte Gainsbourg still gives Coachella a lap or two head start, to be mixing sporting terms.

A new album from the Strokes will be the first from the tension-filled New York band since 2006. Our three-day bonanza in Indio is now feeling a little lonely, with only one Stroke on the bill in Julian Casablancas. It should even be noted that by the time the Coachella lineup was announced, the Strokes had already been booked for European fests this summer, so it was clear they were going to embark on the festival circuit.

While Pop & Hiss is of the belief that Casablancas' solo effort was a bit under-appreciated by most critics, it still lacked the drive and immediacy of the Strokes. So here's hoping Goldenvoice and AEG can at least pull out a Fabrizio Moretti to add to the Coachella bill. After all, it's the least organizers could do after dropping veteran cult diva Grace Jones from the bill without even a mention of the news on its website, leaving fans to speculate, wonder and rant

Beyond the initial big names, the Tribune reports the expected overlap with Coachella, such as minimalist experts the XX, psychedelic indie rockers Yeasayer and the super-sized milkshake of symphonic pretension that is the widely adored Dirty Projectors.  

-- Todd Martens


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Photo: Julian Casablancas of the Strokes in 2003. Credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times