Outside Lands 2013 Lineup: Five Thoughts About the Lack of Hip-Hop and the Loads of Nostalgia

Categories: Outside Lands

outside-lands-general-b.jpg
The Outside Lands lineup came out today, which means it's time to argue about whether it's good or kinda good or a total disappointment. Overall, we think the lineup is definitely less compelling than last year, but still reasonably strong. Despite a few complaints (see below), the festival's reputation as a rising player on the national circuit will be maintained. Here are five aspects of this year's lineup that particularly stand out to us. (And remember, the festival continues to add acts even after today's announcement.)

1. There's almost no rap.
As in, one act: the throwback hip-hop outfit Jurassic 5. That's it. For being such a popular genre nationally -- and such an influential one regionally -- it's kind of amazing how underrepresented it is at Outside Lands. And anyone who says live rap sucks obviously wasn't at Big Boi's set last year.

See also: Outside Lands Announces 2013 Lineup: Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Kaskade, and More

2. It's heavy on nostalgia.
Going through the lineup from top to bottom is to be confronted by a bunch of acts still riding the afterglow from their long-departed heyday. There's of course Paul McCartney, whose most popular songs are nearly 50 years old. (But don't worry, his set will be great.) There's Red Hot Chili Peppers, who will conjure a side of the '90s that hasn't yet been salvaged for cool-kid nostalgia. Meanwhile, Nine Inch Nails represent a side of the '90s that has been salvaged -- a bit. And D'Angelo will reprise the oddball flavor of Clinton-era R&B. Hall & Oates satisfy the '80s fetish; Willie Nelson takes us back to the '60s and '70s; and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, despite their new album, send us to the Lower East Side circa 2002. It's like a time machine, where festival attendees get to choose whatever musical-decade destination they'd prefer.

3. The indie acts are safer than they are exciting.
The top of the bill holds a trinity of collared-shirt indie rock: the National, Grizzly Bear, and Phoenix. All are popular, all are fine, and all are kinda dull. There are some slightly edgier acts down the bill, like Kurt Vile, Wavves, the Men, Youth Lagoon, and Smith Westerns. Granted, there are a few more genre-blurring acts in there like Chromatics, MS MR, and Jessie Ware, but even those are now safe and reliable buzz-generators. There's no one really weird or dangerous on the bill, no Ariel Pink, Oneohtrix Point Never, or even an oddball/nostalgia act like Wire. At least not so far. If Coachella brought out Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, why can't the band's hometown music festival?

4. It's still pretty rootsy and jammy.
Thankfully we dodged the Mumford and Sons bullet, but prepare yourself for plenty of old-timey vests, acoustic guitars, and foot-stomping. Outside Lands is heavy on roots-rockers with jam potential, lining up artists like Dawes, Band of Horses, The Head & the Heart, the Mother Hips, and even, to some degree, Willie Nelson and the Tallest Man on Earth. You could also squint and add the rootsy southern funk of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk to this category. But of course, rootsy, jammy music is big in the Bay Area and Northern California, so this is a must-have category for the region's big festival.

5. The EDM artists are big and broadly appealing.
Every big festival nowadays has to throw in some large-type EDM names to keep the furry-legging crowd happy, and Outside Lands supplies some major players this year. Kaskade, it's worth remembering, got his start right here in San Francisco. Pretty Lights will bring out the Burner contingent. Zedd is huge with the kids, while Dillon Francis is getting there. And almost everyone can agree on A-Trak. For those who come to Outside Lands to dance, there should be plenty of options.

What do you think of the lineup? Tell us below.

-- @iPORT


My Voice Nation Help
28 comments
Afab Matty
Afab Matty

The lineups change- the people that attend change...It's all about change.  What hasn't changed is that (unbelievebly) TWAT was not asked to participate again this year.  You can CHANGE that!  Go to www.facebook.com/sfpunks and voice your disdain for this unheralded slight. 

Federale
Federale topcommenter

It is no surprise there is no hip-hop.  The fans of the genre are violent and require higher costs in very expensive security.  

neiligator
neiligator

Unbelievably lame line-up!  I was looking forward to this event all year since the incredibly awesome line-up last year.  It was paradise on earth.  This line up is so diappointing, it is all "has beens" and " wanna be's".  It is an embarrassment to the City that this is the best we can do.  The promoters really fucked this up with such a lame line-up.  There are a lot of great performers out there on tour right now that could have enriched this line up.  This just appeals to old hippies and wanna be's, young techies and preppies, and adolescent minded juniors who listen to fruity, bubblegum "la la" music!!!!!   I'm OUT!

festivalhead
festivalhead

The atmosphere alone is what makes it great. Good friends, chill people, and catchy tunes. Last year i went for the music and came back remembering everything in between. If you go for just the music you will be disappointed, if you go for the experience as a whole I can promise you the best weekend of your life. Excited for another great year!

Roger Evoy
Roger Evoy

Meh. Hoped more of the Coachella acts were coming

Stephen Johnson
Stephen Johnson

Lack of hip-hop is a good thing? What's next, lack of black people is a good thing? Gotta love good ol' SF racism.

Cara Trani Kerhlikar
Cara Trani Kerhlikar

I like it! It's not about outdoing last year's show, or showcasing purely emerging artists - it's about providing great music from great musicians across the genres. While there isn't a strong rap/hip-hop presence, the genres of music that inspired hip-hop are definitely represented. @paul varga - hip hop doesn't equal violence. Violent lyrics promote violent behavior.

John Lilly
John Lilly

Many hippity hop acts don't have bands. Unless you're an EDM act, you've got to have a band. Nobody wants to pay a couple hunny to listen to karaoke.

Tim Kueht
Tim Kueht

Its Coachella version Nor-Cal

Antoinette Young-Jonopulos
Antoinette Young-Jonopulos

Pretty meh about this years lineup. Though, for me personally...it'd be near impossible to top last years lineup.

Paul Varga
Paul Varga

They might be thinking the more violence there is in the music, the more mess there is to clean up in the park.

Sheldon Martin Routh
Sheldon Martin Routh

"Excepting D'Angelo, J5, and Gary Clark, Jr., the lineup is pretty white overall." Ummm... What about Dumpstaphunk, Fishbone, Trombone Shorty, Naia Kete, Bhi Bhiman, Anuhea, Emeli Sandé, Bombino, Thao? SF Weekly haters gonna hate.

Giovanni Martinez
Giovanni Martinez

Why is the lack of hip hop a good thing? I'm sorry, but the Bay Area is known for its hip hop acts. But you could also just say you don't want any black people there too

Paul Miller
Paul Miller

Weak and old music I thought this was a event that brought all music together. To bad the manhattan transfer was not playing my grandma would have loved it! Well done super lame outside lands.

Bryan Nosanchuk
Bryan Nosanchuk

I'm a little (pleasantly) surprised at the interest in more hip hop for this festival. We all know this isn't a hip hop festival but there's usually been a few (2-3 per year) gem hip hop acts in past years. I'm very pleased with the J5 announcement; I too watched and enjoyed their stream from Coachella, but surprised to see them as really the only hip hop act. I know more names are coming, but I'm wondering how much Rock the Bells has an effect on hip hop acts at OSL. I noted in the RTB thread on here, that while RTB has changed the way they tour (or not tour) their bay area/Shoreline/"San Francisco" has proven successful for them. RTB is slated for Sept this year, its usually in August just a week or so difference from OSL. I'm wondering if that had any affect on hip hop acts/names being available for OSL.

Evan Rusackas
Evan Rusackas

Surprised to see Hall and Oates on the lineup... and surprised how interested I am in seeing them.

Todd Ganser
Todd Ganser

The lack of hip-hop is a VERY good thing.

janeandjohndoe
janeandjohndoe

If I want to see a bunch of senior citizens play music, I can go to my grandmother's retirement home on karaoke night for free...

David Johnson-Igra
David Johnson-Igra

I think you pretty much nailed it, but I also think they'll add names over the next few weeks.

g.riegojr
g.riegojr

@Stephen Johnson He didn't say lack of hip-hop was a good thing. This is a five thoughts about OSL, and that one of them was that there was a serious lack of it.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Drink

San Francisco Event Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...