by pieces of moments

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Rehearsals went well today, more tomorrow…and finally get to start catching other artists’ shows! I went tramping through the mud towards the Artist Relations trailer today to pick up our packets. I hope the ground dries a little more over the weekend, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. I’m so excited to be able to bring one of my tremendous friends – we’ve been tight since we were kids – along with me for one of the 3 days. We’ve seen show after show together over the years, hitting the mosh pit in high school, rockin’ out any chance we get, and now I get to bring her to Lolla with me. Every once in a great while it’s good to be a grown up.

Here’s who is on my list to see (this list doesn’t include artists I would like to see but can’t, because our show is at the same time, and I’m a little rusty with my omnipresence skills):

Dirty Projectors // Hot Chip // Black Keys // Lady Gaga (I wouldn’t pay to see her…but for free…sure, why not?) // Metric // Phoenix // Miniature Tigers // Yeasayer // Mutemath // MGMT // The Temper Trap // The National // Arcade Fire

I’m super pumped, and sure to be exhausted out of my mind by Monday. Today was a 10 hour work day. Bring it on, I say.

And how cool is it that the Arcade Fire had Terry Gilliam direct the web broadcast of their Madison Square Garden show tonight? I missed the webcast, due to our own preparations and some dinner plans afterward, but I think the idea was fantastic. Gosh. I love Arcade Fire. They play it like they mean it, and they put their money where their mouth is, too. Amazing group – on and off stage.

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In other concert news, you may, or may not, have heard of The Sound Strike. It’s basically a bunch of musicians banning together to say “No thanks, Arizona” regarding their immigration stance. So, immigration is a really tricky business. It’s complicated for everyone – no way around that. The person who leaves their country is always a foreigner in some way. You are adapted and adopted into your new country, but at some level you will always be from somewhere else, and in your former country you’re the person who left. Being the child of an immigrant, and technically being an immigrant myself, I get this at a very personal and deep level. People uproot and re-root for various reasons, but usually it boils down to seeking a better life for themselves, or their families. Those that move for their the sake of their families, especially their children, make the greatest sacrifices. I’ve been surrounded by immigrants my whole life. I’ll never forget as a kid going to visit the newly arrived relatives of another immigrant family that was very close to ours. When I say “newly arrived” I mean arriving in the United States after months of escaping, dangerously making their way through jungles and refugee camps to come to this country. Like many immigrants, they worked hard and became successful. They truly are the “American Dream.” I’m all for doing things legally, and I don’t think that illegal immigrants should necessarily just be automatically given all the privileges of being a legal American citizen. There has to be law and order. But there are two sides to every coin, and the solution to this issue isn’t as simple as just deporting people left and right, or creating a state of terror and panic. Illegal or not, many immigrants are here with children – innocent little humans who are caught in the ugly limbo of this whole mess. I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t have an answer, and I don’t know what the perfect solution would be right now. But, I do know that I don’t believe things are as black and white as we might wish them to be, things are often gray, and we need to use subtle and intricate judgment in matters concerning the well-being of our fellow women, men, and children. So, I say bravo to these musicians for being the checks so we can find a balance. There was recently held a Concert for Equality to raise awareness and funding for this issue.

At the show, Conor Oberst brought back together his band, Desaparecidos, and played some pieces with the rest of the Bright Eyes crew as well. Other acts included Cursive, Gillian Welch/David Rawlings, and Lullaby for the Working Class. Thanks to Paste Magazine online for the heads-up about the videos.

Bright Eyes