Bobapalooza 2014: Clash of the Titans – The Final Bobapalooza

First I want to thank all of my wonderful contributors: Janet Currie Konigsberg, Matt Foster, Scott Soper, Yillah Natalia, and Marek Swiderski. You gave me a wide range of talent to choose from, and you make it worth it every year.

But that’s not what you came for. You came to see –


That’s right, folks. You heard it here first: the Clash of the Titans is the ultimate and final Bobapalooza. As the Kurgan once said, “it’s better to burn out than to fade away.” But let us not dwell in sadness; let us instead revel in THE GREATEST BOBAPALOOZA EVER.

First we have the band that needs no introduction, but is going to get one anyway. The winner of the Clash of the Titans, and the headliner of Bobapalooza 2014: Pink Floyd! This was a hard-fought victory against some of the greatest artists of all time, and as a long time Floyd fan myself, I can’t deny being quite pleased to see them win. Their catalogue of legendary songs is extensive, and Dark Side of the Moon spent over 11 years on the Biilboard Top 200… consecutively. (It was on even longer if you tally the total time it spent there, and Billboard actually changed the rules to prevent albums setting records like that again.) Titans indeed.

And then we have the STAGE OF LEGENDS. This year I offer you a blend of old and new, heavy and soft, sweet and sour and what the hell? Bands that have undoubtedly left their mark on music, one way or another. They are:

Jefferson Airplane (Nominated by Scott Soper) – From Scott: “Go big or go home. When it comes to the one band you’d break your leg to go see in their prime it has to be Jefferson Airplane. Maybe they’re so compelling because they broke up so tragically and never got a chance to perform for so many of their fans. So many songs were at peak power when those artists were just starting out; you can only imagine what they might have done with more time.”

AC/DC (Nominated by Matt Foster) – You have to love AC/DC. Angus Young himself said “I’m sick to death of people saying we’ve made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we’ve made 12 albums that sound exactly the same.” And we still keep coming back for more. The stage show is even better: “When I’m on stage the savage in me is released. It’s like going back to being a cave man. It takes me six hours to come down after a show.” – Angus Young

Weezer (Nominated by Matt Foster, seconded by Janet Currie Konigsberg) – Weezer has long been one of those bands I love to hate, right up until one of their songs comes on and I find myself singing along. How long? Oh, only about twenty years or so. Janet Currie Konigsberg finally convinced me they deserve a place among the Legends: “Twenty years ago Weezer came on the scene with Undone (The Sweater Song), and immediately filled the gap between Nirvana and Pearl Jam perfecting Nerd Rock. As each single was released, Weezer’s fan base grew by leaps and bounds. The crunchy chords and heart-wrenching vocals spoke to post teenage-angst 20-something slackers. I’ve always referred to Weezer as “My Beatles”; they are pop and punk and bubblegum and crunch, they are raw emotion and ADHD. The songs range from kick-ass-psych-you-up (Hash Pipe), to how-did-you-know-how-broke-my-heart-was?? (Say It Ain’t So), to romantic-but-the-world-doesn’t-understand-us (Island In The Sun), to I’m-not-really-sure-what-the-purpose-is-but-dammit-I’m-ME! (Pork and Beans). On top of great music, catchy lyrics, and a beat you can dance to, Weezer has made some of the best music videos of all time and managed to do so in an era where music videos have almost completely lost their importance in pop culture. Weezer: No self-respecting Stage of Legends (or Main Stage, for that matter!) would be complete without them.”

So…. Yeah. You can argue with her if you want. Not me.

Black Sabbath (Nominated by Scott Soper) – Scott nails it once again: “When it comes to Legends, there is one who has retained his title as the Prince of Darkness unchallenged across decades of American Popular Rock. The one, the only: Black Sabbath! Ozzy Osborne by himself would be a worthy contender for the Stage of Legends, but reunited with the original Black Sabbath for the new album 13 he seems completely at home, a master having traveled full circle. I would NOT go back in time to see Black Sabbath at their prime, and maybe that’s another test passed for a true Legendary band.

Simon & Garfunkel (Nominated by Matt Foster) – Everybody knows a Simon & Garfunkel song. Start whistling “The Sound of Silence” at a punk rock show and everybody around you will be singing along inside of a minute (if they don’t curbstomp you first; they’re still punks). From hippies to metal heads, there’s nobody who doesn’t like Simon & Garfunkel; they have a gentle, insistent sound that insinuates itself into your soul and makes you a better person for it.

Now you’re probably expecting the Main Stage, but there’s so much more this year! For the first time ever, I present to you THE BOBAPALOOZA MIDWAY!

When you get the urge to dance, slip in to the ALL NIGHT RAVE TENT, with special guest DJ RUST-RYU (! He’ll be spinning all night long, and of course he’s super request-friendly!

And don’t forget to stop by Uncle Scott’s Concession Stand, where you can pick up fresh kabobs, veggie treats, and of course all your favorite Bobapalooza swag (! Uncle Scott will also be running his favorite (exceptionally weird) videos on his Jumbo-Tron monitor right over the concession stand! Here’s just some of the “fun” in store for you:

Disturbed – Land of Confusion (
Capital Cities – Safe and Sound (
Imagine Dragons – Radioactive (
AWOLNation – Not Your Fault (
Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood (
Ludo – Love Me Dead (
Muse – Knights of Cydonia (
Primus – Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver (
Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks (
El Guincho – Bombay (NSFW) (
DYE – Fantasy (

And now, the MAIN STAGE! There’s plenty of variety and flavor this year, and many thanks to everyone who contributed.

The Thermals (Nominated by Janet Currie Konigsberg)
Boney M (Nominated by Marek Swiderski)
The Cult (Nominated by Matt Foster)
George Thorogood (Nominated by Scott Soper)
Kae Sun (Nominated by Yillah Natalie)
Metric (Nominated by Janet Currie Konigsberg)
Disturbed (Nominated by Matt Foster)
Al Green (Nominated by Scott Soper)
Sitali (Nominated by Yillah Natalie)
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (Nominated by Janet Currie Konigsberg)
The Black Keys (Nominated by Matt Foster)
Soundgarden (Nominated by Scott Soper)
Petite Noir (Nominated by Yillah Natalie)
James (Nominated by Matt Foster)
DJ Kool (Nominated by Scott Soper)

Be sure to check out all these artists and support their endeavors. The Official Bobapalooza 2014 Playlist™ is still to come, so stay tuned!

Once again, I’d like to thank all of my wonderful contributors from Bobapalooza past and present. You’ve made this entire endeavor worthwhile, and it’s been a blast. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as I have.


The Soundtrack of My Life: My Very Own Lilith Fair

Some of you may remember “The Lilith Fair”, a very successful music festival founded by Sarah McLachlan in an attempt to promote female artists. While I never attended myself (I’ll be honest, the lineup never thrilled me enough to justify the purchase price), the concept is certainly as good as any other excuse for a music festival, and there are more than a few female artists and female-led bands that have had albums I count among the best I have known.

Sarah McLachlan – Fumbling Toward Ecstasy: Where better to begin than with the original Lilith Fair’s founder? While Fumbling Toward Ecstasy was not Sarah McLachlan’s first record, it was the Canadian pop star’s first international hit, and certainly my first exposure to her music. I was immediately captured by the power and passion of “Possession”, and I’m not going to lie, the fact that she was beautiful didn’t hurt. (I was 19. Cut me some slack.) When I bought the album, I was mesmerized by the haunting, ethereal quality of her voice, and the range of her ability. She was able to bring the same presence to a song as bouncy and light as “Ice Cream” as she did to a dark and disturbing track like “Hold On”. While she’s had other, bigger hit records since then, I still believe this is her finest work.

Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting: While we’re on the subject of dark and disturbing, let’s talk about Bloodletting, shall we? The third studio album from Concrete Blonde, there’s a definite goth feel to this one, which is how I was initially exposed to it, which would also be why I am well and truly sick of hearing the title track (even though I have to admit it’s a great song). Sure, it’s a vampire song (it’s even subtitled “The Vampire Song”), but for my money there are much better tracks on this record. Being a Ramones fan I couldn’t help being drawn to “Joey”, which I was told was a song about a tumultuous relationship between singer-songwriter/bassist Johnette Napolitano and Joey Ramone (it’s a false urban legend, in case you’ve heard the story; still a great song, though). If I had to pick a favorite song on the album, I would be torn between the power-driven “The Sky Is a Poisonous Garden” (which considering the goth nature of the album and certain key references leads me to believe it may be an allusion to Edgar Allen Poe, which I love) and “Tomorrow Wendy”, another song that delicately straddles the line between ballad and punk-rock power. The beauty of this album is that while it can be easily accessed on the first listen, it has layers of complexity that will only unwind with repeated attention.

Indigo Girls – Rites of Passage: While I’m not often wrong, when I am wrong, I’m wrong in a big way, but I do try to at least admit to it. So let me state, publicly and for the record, that I was wrong. My Not So Humble Sister was the one who introduced me to this album, although not in the traditional way. Rather she listened to it over and over and over (it’s a genetic flaw we shared, known within the scientific community as “being a teenager”). I rebelled against this and refused to even admit there might be merit. Eventually I relented, mostly due to the song “Galileo”. It was a big hit at the time, and I finally had to admit maybe there was something here. Their cover of “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits was also impressive, and in fact it took me a long time to warm to the original after I became obsessed with this version (more on that another time). The complexity of their lyrics, combined with the beautiful harmonies they performed together finally won me over, and they manage to cover a lot of musical territory in one album.

Shakespear’s Sister – Hormonally Yours: Rounding out the Lilith Fair is another album recommended to me, although this time in the more traditional way, and once again it’s a duo that brings together fantastic harmonies and manages quite a wide range of musical style. My first exposure to them was through the only big hit I can recall them having in the US, “Stay”, which had an… interesting video, to say the least (I couldn’t explain it if I tried). When I mentioned it to a friend, he had me listen to the entire album, and I fell in love. I never would have guessed that Siobhan Fahey had been a member of Bananarama just a few years earlier, but that’s show biz for you. While the album is almost certainly pure pop, there’s also something richer and deeper than traditional pop music here, as the blending of these two different voices and the lyrical territory they cover takes it into what might be dubbed “anti-pop” territory. Some prime examples of this are “Goodbye Cruel World”, “My 16th Apology”, “Emotional Thing”, and “Let Me Entertain You”, in addition to the aforementioned “Stay”. Finishing off the album with the surprisingly mellow and downbeat “Hello (Turn Your Radio On)” is the perfect finish to this hidden gem.

Related Posts:

The Soundtrack of My Life: I Discover the Nineties

The Soundtrack of My Life: Y2K Bug

The Soundtrack of My Life: One Shot of Greatness