BMI Stage Performers Announced for 2009 Lollapalooza

Posted in News on July 17, 2009

BMI boasts a line-up of eclectic, must-see, hear-it-first performers on its 2009 Lollapalooza stage. Running August 7-9 at Grant Park’s Hutchinson Field in Chicago, IL, BMI’s stage will kick off performances at 11:15 a.m. each day, setting the pace at the mammoth music festival.

Presenting acts from stateside and abroad, the stage will showcase myriad bluegrass, rock, electro-pop, and singer/songwriter acts. Performers on the BMI Lollapalooza stage range from storytelling siren Ke$ha to the multi-instrumentalists Gringo Star; the infectiousness of Langhorne Slim; and April Smith’s rhythmic guitar. The line-up will provide a blend of sounds, reflecting Lollapalooza’s wide-ranging approach in offering festival-goers performances that are unique and remarkable.

Below is the schedule for the BMI-sponsored Lollapalooza stage:

Friday, August 7


11:15 a.m. – 12:00p.m.April Smith: April’s sly wit, cheeky attitude, sticky cadences, and profound lyrics have caught the attention of Perez Hilton and two hit MTV shows (The Hills and Newport Harbor) that have featured her music. She’s been on the road nonstop promoting her new EP, Live From The Penthouse, which features new songs “Wow and Flutter” and “Colors.”

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. – Gringo Star: Crafting an art-damaged and intense presence, Gringo Star’s sound falls somewhere among The Animals, T Rex and The Kinks. On stage, the band explodes: Never ones to hang on to the same instruments for too long, each member of the group sprints and hurdles from station to station, swapping out guitar for bass,  drums for voice, keyboard for accordion, kazoo for tambourine.

1:45 – 2:30 p.m. – The Builders and The Butchers: This Portland, Oregon-based outfit describes its sound as “singing and shouting with guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, accordion, drums, xylophone, bells and washboard.” The band started as a country, gospel, and blues side project for Ryan Sollee of the Alaskan rock & roll band the Born Losers. But there’s nothing about the Builders’ that sounds like a casual artistic tangent: It takes serious focus to build music this brilliantly ramshackle.

3:00 – 3:45 p.m. – Kevin Devine: Brooklyn singer/songwriter Kevin Devine has firsthand experience in the music industry’s current state of turmoil. Just four months after releasing his major-label debut, 2006’s Put Your Ghost to Rest, he got the boot from his label. Now he’s garnering more fans with his recent release Brother’s Blood.

4:15 – 5:00 p.m. – Eric Church: Church’s songs are as straightforward as he is. His is music that looks its listener in the eye and speaks plainly about the human condition. Church’s sophomore album, this year’s Carolina (which went to No. 4 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, and No. 17 on the Billboard 200 chart) packs a punch with songs like “Ain’t Killed Me Yet” and “Lotta Boot Left to Fill.”

Saturday, August 8


11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. – Band of Skulls: Millions of listeners discovered Band of Skulls when the British trio’s song “I Know What I Am” was featured as an iTunes Single of the Week in April. It was the perfect introduction to the band’s wickedly cool spin on classic, bluesy rock & roll. Their full-length debut, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, is packed with plenty of other equally compelling tunes, serving notice that Band of Skulls has enough mojo to rattle your bones and rock your soul.

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. Dirty Sweet: “Skuzzy, ass-shaking rawk ’n’ roll” is how NME summed up Dirty Sweet, and the San Diego quintet delivers on that promise in spades throughout its 2007 debut, … Of Monarchs and Beggars. Dirty Sweet crank out hard-driving tunes that are as melodic and hooky as anything the genre has produced since the gloriously skuzzy ’70s.

1:45 – 2:30 p.m. – Langhorne Slim:  One of the most endearing and standout qualities of Slim’s live shows is the surety that one is always entering a genuine gospel-like musical experience full of little miracles. Slim’s recent release, Be Set Free, has captured this charisma and spirit; the "hold your heart" moments and "raise a drink" dance vibes shine throughout the album.

3:00 - 3:45 p.m. – Joe Pug: Singer/songwriter Joe Pug [nee Pugliese] thought he was going to write plays for a living, but just before he started his senior year, he bailed from the University of North Carolina, headed to Chicago and started writing songs. NPR has compared him to Bob Dylan and John Prine — and that was before he’d even released a full-length debut.

4:15-5:00 p.m. – Blind Pilot: Favorably compared to both the Fleet Foxes and the Avett Brothers by National Public Radio, the Portland, Oregon-based outfit Blind Pilot was also picked by NPR as one of the top three bands to see at this year’s SXSW. The band’s debut, 3Rounds and a Sound, has made a strong impression on smart radio programmers, critics, bloggers and music fans.

Sunday, August 9


11:15-12:00 p.m. – Mike’s Pawn Shop: Tennessee-bred Mike’s Pawn Shop is bringing their rock-pop-electronica sound to Lollapallooza, backed by fan favorites “ Red Hot Sneakers” and “Pretend.”

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. – Esser: Anyone who claims that pop music no longer boasts great characters needs to discover the music of Esser, a 23-year-old Essex boy brought up on UK garage. His first single, "I Love You," is three beguiling minutes of off-kilter loops and vocal samples pulled together with a dead-on pop sensibility and such wonky lyrical observations as “Love can be dangerous/Like a fire in your kitchen."

1:45-2:30 p.m. – The Greencards: Famed Texas songwriter Robert Earl Keen once called the Greencards’ music “the best bluegrass I’ve heard in 20 years.” High praise, sure, and probably right on the money at the time, but it’s been a while since this Austin-formed, Nashville-based trio played anything resembling straight-up bluegrass. New avenues are explored on this year’s Fascination, which shows that the Greencards have some gypsy in their souls.

3:00-3:45 p.m. – Neon Hitch: Raised by a gypsy family, British singer Neon Hitch spent her adolescence in Europe performing as a trapeze artist and fire-swinger in a traveling circus. But at 15, she ran away from the circus to join the bigger world, and as a result, has captured a considerable amount of remarkable tales firsthand from which to draw inspiration. She shares these stories through her gypsy-influenced arty and edgy pop, which has led her to share stages with artists like the Streets and 50 Cent.

4:15- 5:00 p.m. – Ke$ha: Electro-pop diva Ke$ha sure knows how to make an entrance. A newcomer to the music scene, she made her introduction to the Top 40 this past January through rapper Flo Rida’s No. 1 pop single, “Right Round.” She’s currently working on her RCA Records debut.

For more information on Lollapalooza, please visit


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