val's blog 8.26.12

fish bowl

and he's off ...       














Pack your bags. You're moving to a bigger pond. 


(a short story about some very cool things)   




the setup...       

lolla sign


a band:  I found you at Lollapalooza. Your music was so good you stood out.  I promise to shout about you. 


a friend:  I brought you to Lollapalooza with me. You're a boomer who's never been to Lolla but you wanted to try it. I want to share your feedback.


a winner:  You're top music students at Chicago's Merit School of Music. Valslist gave you each a scholarship to Lolla. I want to tell your story.


a thing:  You're not a person. You're a product. Two products to be exact. I discovered both of you at Lolla - whoever invented you is genius. I'm telling everyone I know.



                                      lolla hat card


the reveal...


the bands:  You are my picks from Lolla this year. The Sheepdogs. Amadou & Miriam. Haley Reinhart. Polica. Miike Snow. Dawes. The Walkmen. The War on Drugs. Gary Clark Jr. Blind Pilot. The Head & The Heart. I didn't want to leave your stage. I tweeted and posted about you. I danced to your music. You got in my blood. Music lovers need to know about you. That is my mission. Pack your bags...


the friends:  John, Sally, Ann-Marie, Mark & Chris, you did Lolla my way. No VIP. You walked the fields - in the heat - through the crowds - following my packed schedule - to see 25 bands a day. You chilled to music (in the heat), you blended with the crowd, you smiled under the water sprayer, you grooved and asked to stay longer at a favorite stage. You deserve a gold medal. I want to tell your story. Pack your bags...


the students:  Kamila and Doug, you take your music seriously. You work hard in school. You deserved to go to Lolla and we (Valslist, SPACE, Aware Records) delighted in sending you. It was a new experience, music in a completely different setting. You even survived some scary weather on day 2 when they evacuated the Lolla grounds.  Hope the memories give new meaning to 'what I did on my summer vacation'.  Pack your bags...


the things:   I discovered 2 new products that changed my life.  My friend brought both to Lolla. They solve 2 of the biggest problems at music fests - ghastly hot weather and dead cell phone battery. For the heat:  a blue cold pad called Frogg Toggs cooling chilly pad towel.  Get it wet, wring it out, and it activates the cold ~ and stays cold for hours. On the neck is nirvana. We passed it around for 3 days.  For the phone: a battery attachment called a Mophie juice pack. Plug it into your dead cell phone and it instantly comes alive ~ and stays that way for hours. Tweeting & posting can resume. Pack your bags...



the review... 




A few vids from Lolla 2012:

Dawes - If I Wanted Someone @ Lollapalooza 2012
DAWES - If You Wanted Someone @ Lolla 2012
The Head & The Heart - Cats and Dogs @ Lollapalooza 2012
THE HEAD and the HEART - Cats and Dogs @ Lollapalooza 2012
















The Walkmen - Heaven @ Lollapalooza 2012
THE WALKMEN - Heaven @ Lollapalooza 2012



Blind Pilot- One Red Thread @ Lollapalooza 2012
BLIND PILOT - One Red Thread @ Lollapalooza 2012





























The War On Drugs - Coming Through @ Lollapalooza 2012
THE WAR ON DRUGS - Coming Through @ Lollapalooza 2012

















lolla water sprayer

Here's what my friends said about doing Lolla with me.  

Ann-Marie: "The day was pretty damn mellow for me, really. I loved being a Lolla puppy on a leash, just an observer, cruising the stages with Val & Mark. I loved having a preset agenda of bands to see. My biggest surprise was how many boomers I saw - many with their teens. I'm an alternative music lover and there were many bands that fit that bill - I went straight home and downloaded their music! Discovered Bud Light Lime from Val - and loved the food choices." 

Sally: "Being a virgin Lolla participant, I am so grateful that I had the absolute music pro guiding me throughout the day. There was NEVER a dull moment. We moved at a fast clip to see the best bands of the hour and find the best shade. I was tired from a long drive, an early wake up call, a knee injury and I am not a music aficionado - so I was probably going to be Val's worst nightmare to keep happy. Not the case! We moved from band to band with grace while Val gave a brief story about the band. We were never in one place too long where you might find yourself wondering how the heck you got so old and these kids got so young. The people watching is beyond belief - I also followed Val's "What to wear to a music fest" blog - it was spot on. Discovering the organic food tent was really important, drinking the green organic juice "liver cleanse" was interesting...  and I'm now a fan of Bud Light Lime a la Val - I'm not even a beer drinker. It was great going with someone who knows the ins and outs of the fest. So easy."

Chris: "I loved my Val tour! I like seeing lots of bands and felt totally at home at all the stages except for Perry's dance stage (I felt like Grandma Lolla and feared for my kids' humiliation if I was spotted by them or their friends.) The food and shopping at Lolla offered good variety, fair prices and the lines were not bad. I've been to Lolla lots before, and the only thing I like to do differently than a Val Tour is to camp out up front at a stage to see my favorite headliners. Yes, I'll brave the mosh pit to be close enough to the stage to see the sweat roll down the artist's cheek! Sign me up for 3 more days in 2013!"  




lolla scholars  

A thank you note from Kamila, one of our first "Lolla Scholar" winners! 

"Thank you so much for donating the three-day passes to Lollapalooza! I had a spectacular time hearing new-to-me bands like FUN, Passion Pit, Florence and the Machine and Dawes, and it was also really good to hear people I already loved, like Aloe Blacc, Frank Ocean and Childish Gambino. I loved their energy, and was especially impressed by Frank Ocean and Aloe Blacc's musicality, which is often hard to convey at a live performance. As a clarinet/saxophone player, I spend most of my time listening to jazz and classical music, so going to Lolla was a great opportunity for me to check out new things that I don't regularly listen to before I head to Northwestern to study music even more extensively. There were very few bands there I didn't like, because everyone at Lolla was bubbling over in unbounded energy. I had a chance to check out your website, and think what you do is really cool. I hope you found some hip new bands to include on the next playlist, and sincerely hope you enjoyed yourself at Lolla as much as I did. I thank you once again for your generosity to the Merit School of Music, and for the opportunity for me to have such a great experience. Sincerely, Kamila. 


More about Chicago's Merit School of Music:   Watch Video


A thank you from Ellen Gibbon, Merit School of Music Development Associate.

"Thanks again for thinking of Merit students for your Lollapalooza tickets!  The Program Staff recommended two students for the tickets - Doug and Kamila, both of whom are outstanding musicians. They are both recent graduates of Merit's Tuition-free Conservatory and will be going off to college in the fall.  They are both winners of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, and each of them was awarded a monetary prize at Merit's graduation because of their outstanding musicianship.", SPACE Evanston & Aware Records were thrilled to host these two deserving students to a weekend at Lollapalooza!  





lolla rotated frog togg             

Frogg Toggs Cooling Chilly Pad Towel

The must-have "cold towel" for anywhere hot.

Just get it wet, wring it out, and voila it's cold.

Put it on your neck for hours of cool.

A genius product.  Buy it here.




Mophie Juice Pack    

A must-have portable battery for your cell phone. 

Charge it at home and bring it along wherever you go. 

Dial away, tweet away, click away to your heart's content. 

Dead battery?  Mophie to the rescue. 

Plug it in and get back to the party for more hours of fun. 

Buy it here.





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