Photograph by Tim Snow

Maybe I’m getting too old for festival concerts. Between slathering myself with SPF60, eating $5 hot dogs, running spastically between stages, cursing the overlapping schedule, being inundated with corporate sponsorship and drinking watery beer, I was caught between disillusionment and laughter toward the predictable pattern of music fests.

The Osheaga Music and Arts Festival is in its fifth year, and has swelled from 25,000 to over 50,000 attendees. Despite my opening tirade, Osheaga has plenty to offer: a grassy hill with convenient stage view, venues of varying size (from cozy small sets to mega concerts), performances for many tastes (from small Quebecois bands to…Snoop Dogg?), the ability to walk freely with your drinks (goodbye, beer tent!) and free underwear to anyone willing to provide American Apparel with their email address.

When surrounded by so much chaos, I seem to morph into a reactionary skeptic. I should subtitle this post “The Festival Concert in which Sabrina Becomes a Huge Indie Music Cynic.” So, I apologize ahead of time if any readers take my grumbling opinion personally. But here it is, Osheaga 2010.

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— , August 17, 2010    3 Comments

Weezer

Most people agree that Weezer were at their best on their first two albums. The Blue Album and Pinkerton have become classics, while their later material has become… whatever the opposite of a classic is. Aside from giving us ‘Hash Pipe’ and ‘Island in the Sun’, the Green Album was incredibly cookie-cutter and generic. Maladroit was an alright album that gave us a great video involving the Muppets, but failed to make much of a lasting impression. Make Believe and The Red Album had such depressingly bad singles that I never bothered listening to either album, and subsequently swore off Weezer forever. But there always existed that twinge of hope that Weezer could somehow return to the glory days and finally deliver a worthy follow-up. Every so often something Weezer-related happens that gets my hopes up. Rivers Cuomo has released two surprisingly decent collections of solo recordings. Even that MGMT/Lady Gaga mashup was pretty good. Is Raditude, a term coined by Dwight Schrute himself, the Weezer album we’ve all been waiting for?

Well, not exactly. I thought listening to Raditude would be cathartic, and I could ignore any future output from the band and go on with my life. I wanted to hate this album, I really did. It’s bubblegum pop with ridiculous and sometimes downright stupid lyrics. After a few listens, I’m shocked to realize I actually kind of like it. ‘In the Mall’ is really the only hateworthy song here.  Picture ‘In the Garage’ stripped of its outsider charm. Instead of Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde, we have elevators and escalators. Aside from that misstep, the rest of the album is actually pretty catchy and listenable. If songs like ‘I’m Your Daddy’ and ‘The Girl Got Hot’ are a clue, this is Weezer’s party album. Have a few drinks, turn off your brain and you’ll be surprised how enjoyable it is.

Weezer – I’m Your Daddy
Weezer – The Girl Got Hot
Weezer – Can’t Stop Partying feat. Lil Wayne

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— , November 3, 2009    4 Comments