Summer music preview: the guide to a rockin¹ summer

    Bad music is all around us, but so is good music. Those blessed with enjoying the beautiful weather of Southern California this summer will also be able to experience some pretty amazing musical entertainment. Without further ado, here are 10 music events to ensure your summer is as rockin¹ as possible.

    Top Pick – All Tomorrow¹s Parties

    This uberhip annual show has recently been rescheduled to Sept. 26 to Sept. 28 in three Los Angeles venues ‹ the Palace, the Palladium, and the Henry Fonda Theatre. This year¹s show is curated by ³The Simpsons² creator Matt Groening. Anyone wondering about his indie credentials should remember back to the ³Hullabalooza² episode of ³The Simpsons² in which Sonic Youth did a noise-rock version of the theme song.

    For those not familiar with ATP, it started in the United Kingdom and has since included U.S. shows in recent years. As in past years, this year¹s show features a slew of independent artists both new and legendary.

    The Sept. 26 show includes trailblazing punk-poet Patti Smith, legendary post-punkers The Fall and up-and-coming menaces …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. The Sept. 27 show features another post-punk legend, Wire, as well as more modern indie-rockers such as The Breeders, Chik Chik Chik and Yo La Tengo. Noise-makers such as Mogwai, The Coup and Blonde Redhead are featured on Sept. 28.

    The show¹s multi-genre, multigenerational appeal makes it a winner for anyone. Tickets are now on sale for $40 for day passes and $100 for a three-day pass.


    Speaking of Hullabalooza, Lollapalooza is back this year after a six-year hiatus. The once groundbreaking tour, which originally featured alternative artists like Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins, ended on a sour note as it degraded into a metal-heavy, awkwardly organized, bastardized version of the original.

    Well, it¹s not what it once was, but this year¹s Lollapalooza looks like it will at least be a more entertaining bastardized version.

    A Perfect Circle, Audioslave, Jurassic 5, the Distillers, and more join returning headliners Jane¹s Addiction. The show takes place at Coors Amphitheatre on August 17.


    Don¹t think ³The Osbournes² has mellowed out Ozzy and the rest of the gang. Ozzfest returns this year with Korn, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed and the Prince of Darkness himself headlining the main stage.

    Ozzfest has continued to be highly successful as a Lollapalooza-like tour for harder edged bands. This year¹s celebration of long guitar solos and even longer hair hits Coors Amphitheatre on July 3.


    Enough about those damn festivals. What about the earnest singer-songwriters trekking across the country alone with just an acoustic guitar and a heart full of songs?

    Genre-bender Beck may fit this image better than you¹d think. His latest album, Sea Change, finds the inimitable artist who once rocked you with ³Two Turn-tables and a Microphone,² exploring darker, more emotional territory. His recent visits to San Diego with eccentric art-rockers the Flaming Lips as well has his solo performance at UCSD¹s Mandeville Auditorium were the kind of gorgeous messes one would expect from Beck.

    Whatever side Beck will choose to show us will probably be worth checking out. Beck is joined by that other blues duo The Black Keys and emo camp-counselor Dashboard Confessional on June 24 at San Diego State¹s Open Air Theatre.

    July¹s arena pop-rock shows

    July offers something lighter for those dog days of midsummer. The almost fully reunited Fleetwood Mac (minus singer-keyboardist Christine McVie) will take the stage of the San Diego Sports Arena on July 19. Expect loads of Œ70s AM gold, plus songs off their first new effort in years, Say What You Will.

    Inoffensive but talented singer Norah Jones continues touring in support of her runaway hit debut album Come Away with Me. The gorgeous songstress will bring her warm jazz-pop to SDSU¹s Open Air Theatre on Sunday July 27.

    And then there¹s the Dixie Chicks. Oh Dixie Chicks, you may have made those comments about George W., but we¹ll always remember you for singing ³The Star Spangled Banner² at this year¹s Super Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. America¹s love-hate relationship with the Chicks continues to grow more complicated as their latest album Home shows little or no sign of slowing down. The Dixie Chicks bring their bluegrass-tinged country-pop to Cox Arena on July 23. Quick, go see them now before Natalie Maines badmouths the president again, and they get deported!

    Dave Matthews Band

    In case you¹ve been living under a rock for some time, The Dave Matthews Band are a wildly successful rock-jazz-folk fusion band with millions of fans everywhere, especially on college campuses. In fact, their shows are so popular, this summer they are touring without an album to tour behind (2001¹s Everyday is the band¹s most recent studio album). Meet up with half of UCSD when the band plays the Coors Amphitheatre on July 29.

    Twilight in the Park 2003

    Those looking for a different concert experience this summer should check out Balboa Park¹s annual free concert series from June through August.

    The shows take place in Spreckles Organ Pavilion from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays, and offers a different variety of music such as jazz, folk and big band. And did I mention that they¹re free?

    Mixmaster Mike

    Many DJ and hip-hop shows take place in 21 and up venues, so it is refreshing to see a high-profile show in a more accessible venue. Mixmaster Mike plays Canes Bar and Grill on July 3.

    Mixmaster Mike is a world scratching champion recognized for his work on the Beastie Boys¹ Hello Nasty. He also appeared in the excellent film about DJ culture, ³Scratch.² Mike will continue to scratch things up when he pays a visit to Canes, which is typically a 16 and over venue.

    Indie Shows

    There are too many good indie shows this summer to give each one its due credit. Instead, we give you as many notable shows as possible in as short a time as possible.

    The Scene (all ages): Le Tigre (6/20) and Blonde Redhead (6/21).

    Che Café (all ages): Mirah and The Robot Ate Me (6/25).

    Humphrey¹s Concerts By the Bay (all ages): Lucinda Williams (9/9).

    Canes (16+): Jets to Brazil (6/11).

    The Casbah (21+): New Pornographers (6/7), The Breeders (6/17), … And You Will Know us by the Trail of Dead (6/18), American Analog Set (7/8), The Kills (7/18) and The Raveonettes (7/23).

    4th and B (21+): The Cramps (6/12), Lou Reed (6/25), Annual DJ Spinoff (6/14) and Erykah Badu (6/15).


    The show to end all shows. Dirrty Christina Aguilera and limber Justin Timberlake together ‹ unstoppable. This dynamic duo plays the Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 16 Š but hold on. If you can¹t make it that day, you have two more chances to see them! The pair will play on June 17 and June 20 as well, so you can go to one, two, or all three shows ‹ depending on your level of dedication. Isn¹t it beautiful, in each and every way?

    There you have it, ten different paths of rock Œn¹ roll to take this summer. Leave the books behind and rock out.

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