August 26, 2009

Let’s go outside (I think I’m done with the sofa)


This weekend, the second annual Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival explodes into Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. I was on the maiden festival voyage last summer, so to speak, and despite a few technical hiccups here and there I had an amazing time at this unique and distinctly regional fest.

Last year I shot photos for Stereogum (looked like this, and ha – I totally said this!), but for 2009 I am looking forward to going rogue, and the flexibility that implies. The plan is to minimize the number of bands I see that I know I love and have seen live before (The National, Blind Pilot, The Avett Brothers, Conor Oberst) and try to wander a bit, trust in kismet, see many bands I don’t know (thanks Ranger Dave!), and hopefully have a lot of fun new discoveries to report back. This year I am also bringing several sweaters, since I nearly froze to death during Radiohead’s jawdropping set last year.

If you’re coming or thinking of coming, here are some acts I’ve never seen live that I am hoping to wander into: Nortec Collective (Tijuana electronica?), Matt & Kim, Thievery Corporation, Extra Golden (Kenyan benga music + rock), Raphael Saadiq, Portugal. The Man, Bat For Lashes, SambaDá (Afro-Brazilian samba funk!), Lucinda Williams, Bettye LaVette, and holy lord definitely Tom Jones. Tenacious D (“the best band in the world“) closes out the fest on Sunday night.

What else should I be sure not to miss?

There are a few cool features this year for the fest, like Saturday and Sunday beach cleanups through The Surfrider Foundation and Save The Waves, and the KUSF Free Yr Radio stage with live broadcasts streaming over community radio. The brilliant artist-designed tshirts for charity initiative, Yellow Bird Project, will have a booth there that I’ll be stopping by – I have the shirt The National designed for them. My partner in crime has already downloaded the iPhone app, because he’s cooler than me, and there are a series of night shows at some of my favorite SF venues, since the festival ends fairly early each night (10pm! Home for Law & Order!).

Not coming to join me? You can stream the whole Outside Lands 2009 on YouTube. How ’bout that!

Game on!

Tagged with .


  • this made me laugh

    Jennson — August 27, 2009 @ 7:11 am

  • i don’t know how you feel about their studio albums, but Mars Volta are always intriguing live (headlining monolith this year too which I’m sure you’re attending). Pearl Jam’s playing of course, that’s always nice. I’ll be attending as well, albeit with my 15 year old cousin and some of her friends. Gets me a free place to stay and a car to get in from the East Bay, but we’ll see if I make my flight on Monday or not

    tom — August 27, 2009 @ 8:30 am

  • Hey Heather,

    I know you’ve had a ‘falling out’ with Pearl Jam recently. (They took down some Eddie mp3s from my blog as well.) But, having just seen them in Chicago this past Sunday and Monday, I urge you to watch their set. Sunday nights show was amazing, and Monday night’s was the best I’ve ever seen them. They’re sampling from all over their catalog, and are playing with an intensity I haven’t seen since ’03.
    So do yourself a favor, and check out their set this year.


    Ariel — August 27, 2009 @ 10:42 am

  • Heather – I concur with Ariel. I hope you don’t let the Tenclub treating you poorly keep you away from PJ, cause you really have to see them this year. I was also at the Chicago shows, and they were absolutely breathtaking in a way that exceeded my insanely high expectations. If they perform anything like that, you are in for as good an experience as you have ever had at one of their shows.

    GA — August 27, 2009 @ 12:04 pm

  • Heather – Check out West Indian Girl. They played the Treasure Island Music Festival in 2007 and were fantastic live. They’re scheduled for 1PM on Friday on the Twin Peaks stage.

    TV on the Radio
    Mars Volta


    Did you know they have an iPhone schedule app? Doesn’t sync with the web scheduler, but kind of handy.

    Payo — August 27, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

  • For the love of God, see Pearl Jam.

    Dugan — August 27, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

  • i agree with the earlier comments…see Pearl Jam & realize again why you love their music. forget about the business side of it for one day.

    aside from PJ, see the Heartless Bastards. they’re good…they’re damn good.

    Matt — August 28, 2009 @ 8:39 am

  • NORTEC WILL BLOW YOUR SOCKS OFF! Just ask Laurie Scavo!

    julio — August 28, 2009 @ 8:55 am

  • Have fun, Heather!

    spookycat — August 28, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

  • I also saw Pearl Jam’s Sunday show in Chicago. Although I’ve never been disappointed with a show of theirs, I do think they are in fine form. I had a falling out with REM a few years back, but I still kept listening to the music.

    Paraphrasing Jeff Tweedy, “If you just focus on the music, everything else has a way of working itself out.”

    I mean you’re there anyway. You’re only punishing yourself by not seeing them.

    Other acts I wouldn’t miss if I was there would be The Dead Weather, The National, The Duke Spirit, and Heartless Bastards.

    Cory — August 29, 2009 @ 7:18 am

  • This is starting to be lame and really makes me reconsider visiting this blog … omitting the biggest name from the OL roster – Pearl Jam – from this announcement.

    Fucking lame and you know it.

    Pete — August 30, 2009 @ 1:52 am

  • Oh Heather, packing fail! It was hot as hell in SF on Fri/Sat.

    MK — August 30, 2009 @ 11:12 am

  • agree with everyone above. love pj again…please.

    shawn s. — August 31, 2009 @ 9:25 am

  • “This is starting to be lame and really makes me reconsider visiting this blog … omitting the biggest name from the OL roster – Pearl Jam – from this announcement.

    “Fucking lame and you know it.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Weak sauce, Heather.

    Jason — August 31, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

  • i am grateful for whoever stops by to read fuel/friends, but ultimately, this is my personal blog that reflects my personal tastes and what i am listening to. none of you know the half of what’s happened with me and pearl jam because i’ve chosen not to air it out here, but it is completely my decision what shows to see and write about. if a band loses me as a fan through a sucky set of happenings, i am not obligated to answer to anyone about it just because you’ve read my coverage of them in the past. this whole thing has not been easy for me, so please: don’t presume that you either know me better than i know myself, or that you can dictate what i feel compelled to write about. thanks.

    browneheather — August 31, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

  • and MK: i know! i rolled up my jeans in the hot “these aren’t supposed to be capris” look. but see – SEE! it was cold saturday night, and all day sunday. so yeah – l.a.y.e.r.s! next time…. :)

    browneheather — August 31, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

  • Heather,

    My disappointment is based in your failure to mention Pearl Jam at all, as opposed to your not attending or writing about their set at Outside Lands. Pearl Jam was one of the headliners of the festival, yet you don’t mention them at all. After you, the band’s attorneys and Tim butted heads a couple months back, such an omission leads me (and presumably some of your other readers) to think that you may not be reporting about certain aspects of shows or other music because of personal grudges. Or, even worse, you could go the other direction and endorse musicians who provide favors to you.

    I completely understand that this is your personal blog and that you can write about what you please. But, readers are also important to the survival of Fuel Friends. Right now, you have at least two ads running on this site. You probably wouldn’t have those ads if it were just your close friends and family reading your work. In fact, Fuel/Friends LLC (a limited liability company registered and in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State) would likely never have gotten off the ground. Similarly, if your readers question your integrity, you may not have an opportunity to continue writing – something which you clearly enjoy doing.

    I enjoy your blog and get leads on a lot of new music here. But if I start to think that I’m not getting the same quality coverage that always been provided here, I’ll go elsewhere. If you’re okay with that, that’s your choice.

    Jason — August 31, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

  • I don’t think anyone (or atleast most) would claim to want to dictate how you feel, Heather. I think the point that most are making is that it is all about the music and nothing else at the end of the day. It was just a little difficult witnessing someone who loves music so much like you move away from a band for what looks like largely non-musical reasons.

    GA — September 1, 2009 @ 9:11 am

  • Doesn’t the name of your blog come from a Pearl Jam song? It just seems like such a shame – I agree with what GA said that it is difficult to see you avoid a band who seemingly meant so much to you for so long, probably because of non-musical reasons. But it is your choice – and it is my choice to still believe in PJ and get all giddy getting ready for the release of Backspacer.

    Joe D — September 3, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →