Clem recovers from Arcade Fire…arrives for Lolla

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I have made it to Chicago and am on my way to Grant Park to catch soul great Mavis Staples’ 2pm set. Then comes Drive By Truckers, Raphael Saadiq and The Black Keys. This is one of the premier music festivals in the world and I count myself lucky to be here….lots of good stuff on tap. Have a look at the line-up link below and hip me to anything that I should not miss.

There will be the normal daily updates but you can also catch the action while it happens on Twitter @clemmuisic. I know that no one gives a shit what I ate for breakfast but I “tweet” ( I hate that word) only about the music.

You can also hook up with me on FourSquare which is a cool way to know if any of us fans are in the same place…give me a “shout” if you are already on.

As great as the festival is, I do have one bone to pick…well 2 with the Lolla people. A) there are 2 main stages and they are a mile from each other…SERIOUSLY! B) they put the big nite acts up against each other. Last year it was Depeche Mode against Kings of Leon, then The Killers against Jane’s Addiction and then TOOL against…hell… I don’t even remember who was opposite them as NOTHING, not even Honest Abe coming back from the dead to recite the Gettysburg Address on the main stage could have pulled me away from the Svengali like trance that one of the best concerts I have ever seen had me in.

As to this year, tonite we have The Strokes up against Lady Gaga. I like the strokes but I am going to see for myself and decide once and for all if this woman with a meteoric, Viagra-like rise is truly original or just this generation’s Madonna.

Nite 2 has Phoenix vs. Green Day. I like the poppy, fun, French dudes but anyone who thinks I would see them over a band that revitalized a genre of music…call it sell-out or not…doesn’t know me very well.

But Houston… we have a problem on nite 3. The powerhouse punch that is The Arcade Fire vs. the timeless, in your face smackdown that was and is Soundgarden…their first big reunion show in fact. I like The Arcade Fire and they are one of the best bands in America right now but Soundgarden helped create and define a sound I love. These are not shows you wanna do 1/2 and 1/2…so what to do. Well the musical God smiled on me and last nite The Arcade Fire played next door to my place at Madison Square Garden (with Austin greats Spoon no less). I was further sonically blessed to find a good single seat on the evil Ticketmaster for face value. So no decision to be made The Arcade Fire last nite…Soundgarden on Sunday nite.

The Arcade Fire show was simply stunning. The great tunes, musicianship, and great stage show goes right up there on “one of my greatest” list. By 1/3 thru EVERY song, this 9 member Canadian consortium brought the energy level to that of one of those massive Hollywood fans that simulate a hurricane. This energy blew across the audience with the excitement to give one an…well let’s just say goosebumps. I have enjoyed The Arcade Fire since 2007’s Neon Bible but now having experienced what they truly do and are trying to say…well, count me in as a total convert…totally engulfed with the flame. Spoon also proved why they are one of the kings of the indie sound.

Look for the daily updates starting tomorrow and I will try to stay uninjured in the Against Me! mosh pit…or at least enough so to type.


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Clem emerged from the underbelly of NashVegas where he began his love of ALL things musical. College found him in the commercial music program at the University of Miami where he actually learned what the hell he was doing. New York was next and whether he “made it there” is still up for debate. From playing in the honky-tonks of Nashville and the dance clubs of Miami to Broadway and theatrical stages around the country, to Carnegie Hall (while practicing one day somebody told him how to get there) and the recording studios of New York and L.A., Clem’s variety of musical experience has transcended the boundaries of genre. He owns a production company, lectures on music in colleges across the country and is on the visiting faculty of Elon Univ. He has a port-o-johns named after him at Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza.