The Flaming Lips
We have it on very good authority that at the Flaming Lips' Central Park show this summer, frontman Wayne Coyne will wear a white suit, people will dress in ridiculously heavy animal costumes and dance around on-stage even if it's 100 degrees, and that, yes, Coyne will probably do the bubble thing, too. We also hear they'll be performing selections from what is one of the most impressive psych-rock catalogs in the world, but that we cannot confirm.
July 27 & 28
The Black Keys
Long-running (for indie rock) blues-rock duo The Black Keys are having something of a moment—they've just released their seventh full-length, Brothers, which sold enough copies to give them the number three spot on the Billboard Charts. Presuming a lot of people are just now hearing them for the first time, it seems safe to assume a lot of people will be seeing them for the first time, too. And so it also seems safe to assume a lot of people will be very impressed.
Hot Chip, Hercules and Love Affair
DFA felt like the label of the 00s as they were unfolding, so now is as good a time as any for that dominance to start freaking out innocent Central Park bystanders. Hercules and Love Affair's steamy decadence will spill into Hot Chip's danceable sweetness, which, if this weren't in public, might be the wrong order.
The xx, Jack Penate
So, if we're going to be honest here, then we should probably admit that of all the bands in the world, there are few less suited for the outdoor/festival circuit than The xx, whose hyper-minimalist gloom-pop is far better experienced in the confines of a dark, hot music venue. We're sure it will be fine, though, if also a bit like watching out of their natural habitat.
It's the summer of 1994 and you're sitting out on the back deck drinking an ice cold Molson Canadian listening to Slanted and Enchanted and Steve Malkmus sings, "I'll wait there, I'll be waiting forever./Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting..." Well, it's the first day of fall, 16 years later—still waiting?