It's kind of absurd to try and even take this and make sense of it, but the All Points West Festival is making my year. With paid vacation and the want and need to see a huge-ass festival in my lifetime, this is the perfect remedy to me having a crap car and not enough money to go to Coachallea and not enough drugs to go to Boneroo (misspelling on purpose.) And although these festivals have, like, 80 bands play at them, I am doing my three day, 10 band each day fantasy draft for what I'd love to attempt to see at this coming festival. We'll check back soon to see what happens.
Night One - Kick It Off Dancing
There is no better way to start a weekend of kick ass jams then to get some sweet ass danceable bands together. I know that they won't seperate the acts by style, but I'm doing this to make it easier to check back and see whats up. Some Techno, some straight up indie pop, some out of left field, but all danceable and kick ass nonetheless.
The day would start off with the indie pop bands that get your juices going, but don't exactly get you full on dancing. I mean, it would be harsh to get started with a punch to the face, so let's loosen you up. Falling into these early sets would be the jaunty yet groovy Tapes N Tapes. With a new album expected out sometime in '08, what better way to showcase your new songs to a huge crowd. More classic, yet also with forthcoming material, Matt Sharp and The Rentals would moog it up to no end in one of what I heard was the best live acts of 2007. Dancing and bouncing around doesn't have to be all light all the time and The Faint could bring their dreary techno pop to the stage to shake up the mood. In the same vein, yet still dynamic enough to change the soundscape of the day could be brought from LCD Soundsystem. Songs like "Get Innocuous!" and "North American Scum" can get your feet ripping it up. Somewhere in this muddled mess would be disco punk kings Electric Six. Only miles away from two venues they frequent often (Maxwell's in Hoboken and The Bowery Ballroom in NYC), there would be no excuse for these guys to play outside. Last in the set of somewhat smaller acts would be all the way from Britain bringing her brand of Marc Bolan techno dream pop would be the sweet sounds of Goldfrapp. A small stage group for such a huge venue, yet fitting the vein of great dance music. The final four acts would be a sonic frenzy. Although with more subdued tracks than the other three here, the french duo Air could cool us off in between sets and with a large catalog of tracks, it would be refreshing to have them play. That being said, two more french duos should join forces on stage and that would be none other than Daft Punk and Justice. They could have a dance-off on stage or just both play sometime during the festival, but it would be kick ass if they dueled. Finally, with all these acts playing, there could be room for callabo onstage. My personal choice for a headliner this year for a dance frenzy would be none other than Beck. He has callaborated with Air in the past and to bring some of those tracks back to life would be kick ass. And if Beck stuck to his guns and played all his more dancy, groove tracks, it would be a psychedelic explosion.
Night Two - Cool It Down, Just A Smidge
Here's the more indie mellow acts I'd love to see and one day of full on acoustic/jammy/whathaveyou stuff would help your legs recover from all the dancing you did night 1.
An act I hear is great live and whose Philly show sold out would be Band of Horses. Just recently I picked up their latest album and it's filled with amazing pop songs. Badly Drawn Boy would be the first overseas import on day two. His live act is quite special and his great folk-pop songs would be a great addition to the day. Hopefully coming to the USA sometime, but what a better way to do it than this would be The Earlies. Their album from last year would bring a large mass of people on stage, but I know that a big show like this would launch them among the indie scene here in the states. Another strange, but intriguing live act would be Panda Bear. Although the album might be next to impossible to carry over live, I'd love to hear it done with a huge mass of people, a throng if you will, singing behind the dreamy vocals. They would be a great segue into Sigur Ros. A great relaxing way to continue the beauty and haze of the same euphoric sound Panda Bear would emit. Yet another band I'd love to see would be Explosions in the Sky. Their grandiose melodic instrumentals would be yet another great addition to the night. The last four acts will kick it up just a notch or two but four acts (with one possible state-side reunion) to play. If Yo La Tengo doesn't make the 25 minute or less drive over from Hoboken to this event, I'd be really really surprised. Lord knows they have been touring a lot lately, but for them not to be there for this would be a travesty. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks would also be nice to see, especially with the new album coming out this early summer. They are touring around here in March sometime, but a little is never enough when it comes to Malkmus. The hard part here is to choose who headlines and who doesn't, but it's clear that Radiohead would be the obvious openers for this kind of show (and they are rumored to already be on board.) However, the most exciting possibility would be the American Reunion show of My Bloody Valentine. Just like other luminaries who have gotten back together in the past and soon to happen (Rage Against the Machine and Portishead respectively) would be the event of the year. Either way, both acts are definitely cream of the crop headlining gold.
Closing Night - Out With a Bang
Ending with an all out Rock assault would be kick-ass, but even in that, this is more of a list of live acts that I have seen in the past and hope to see in the future that I know would be amazing in a festival setting.
Black Mountain is easily the best new rock band out there. The live show would be transcendent at a live festival with lots of people to share in the sonic fury that is their show. They are as close as we can get to new Pink Floyd/Led Zeppelin style songs without those two acts reforming and growing 30 years younger. Autolux is another exciting live act that has new material to showcase. They sound great in small clubs, but I know they would have a decent on stage performance in an outside venue. Earl Greyhound should also be on tap thanks to their Brooklyn residence so good rocking can be spread over the large scale crowd. Even though they lost a guitarist, Secret Machines are still going to have new material and a new guitarist to show off and what better way to do so than here. The Raconteurs were announced for Bonaroo, so they could come to Jersey too and show of some Jack White mayhem. New album again to show off means good chance we will see them. My Morning Jacket is so good live that it's kind of scary so no way would we not want them on the bill. Wilco could slow it down and rock out sometimes before the rest of the evening kicks you in the teeth. One of the most exciting tidbits of news is the fact that Stone Temple Pilots will be touring in 2008. Yet another kick ass reunion could grace this stage in Jersey. Keeping it grunge for the last two acts, I need to see a longer Primus set without a sick Les Claypool. Easily one of the best live shows you can see and their festival friendly attitude would be a kick ass late night foray. Their wouldn't be any better closer than for Pearl Jam to kick it hard on the main stage for the finale. Yet another mammoth live show, this is probably the most kick ass band that could end it. They would do it right, too.
Basically, the headliners should and could be as follows: Beck, Daft Punk, My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead, Pearl Jam and Primus. If even one of these gets into the headliner position, I will be stoked and it looks like Radiohead is a good chance. Jack Johnson is playing a lot of these fests and although I don't know his stuff that well, I can't imagine him being bad live. This is just what I fantasize. A lot of these groups are definite possibilities, but heres hoping even 1/3rd of these guys sign up for it.