Outside Land 2010 Bands to See

08/12/2010

The 2010 Outside Lands festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park features an eclectic mix of names, some fresh and others finely aged. It’s also hard not to improve upon last year’s stinky Sunday headliner, Tenacious D (apologies to all the man-boys living in their mother’s basement wailing along with Jack Black). Below, I’ve accumulated my list of Outside Lands All-Stars. These are the acts that, if they were all performing on the same day, I would actually shell out $70 plus to see.

Pretty Lights—Polo Field, 2:15 p.m. Saturday

I’m pretty sure the esteemed music site that is SFCritic cannot condone anyone taking criminalized drugs designed to induce euphoria. But if you happen to witness Pretty Lights, a synthesizing and sampling duo from Colorado, just look around and I’m sure someone will offer you something. With this in mind, I have to wonder why such a group is being scheduled to perform in the daytime. Hmmmm.

Live at the Red Rocks Amphitheater

My Morning Jacket—Polo Field, 5:00 p.m. Saturday

This indie rock group from Louisville, Kentucky projects a sound fitting of their southern heartland roots. My Morning Jacket offers special appeal as a psychedelic jam band with an emphasis on streaming guitar riffs that go just perfect with an ice cold beer in hand. One particular point of interest will involve the appearance of lead singer Jim James, who fell from the stage during the group’s 2008 European tour and has been in convalescence for much of the time since.

My Morning Jacket: “Lay Low

Cat Power—Speedway Meadow, 7:05 p.m. Saturday

Don’t expect too much in the way of strange dance moves and thumping electronics in the form of Chan Marshall as Cat Power. Instead, you should expect to see a very attractive woman with a relatively deep voice who doesn’t need a lot of effects to convey her sound. Sorry for being the chauvinistic guy who has to make a comment about a female artist’s appearance. Just check her out.

Cat Power: “He War

Al Green—Polo Field, 4 p.m. Sunday

You don’t have to be religious to enjoy the sensual sermons of this 1970’s R&B icon. Gentlemen take note; the ladies love this guy. Use this memo to your advantage and impress your date by taking her to see The Reverend. A 2007 performance of “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” will give you an idea of what he’s bringing to the table these days.

Al Green: “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)

Social Distortion—Polo Field, 6:55 p.m. Sunday

I would rather see this band than Green Day any day. While Billie Joe just loves his time going main stream for the MTV crowds, Social Distortion has stayed more true to their morose punk rock foundation. If you happen to be a chipper person who isn’t into downtrodden music, well, life isn’t all peaches and cream. This is one of my favorite groups of all time.

Social Distortion: “Ball And Chain

Empire of the Sun—Speedway Meadow, 8:30 p.m. Sunday

If unconventional Giants ace Tim Lincecum likes something, then it must be good, right? Such is the case with Empire of the Sun. Given that MGMT won’t be playing at Outside Lands, this Australian twosome might qualify as a suitable replacement for that electric pop sounds that hipsters love so much. However, I must say I’m concerned this could be a group that may fall short of expectations playing live outdoors.

Empire of The Sun: “We Are The People

-Joel Churnin