Golden Oldies

We talk with the Old 97's, turn up the freedom rock and marvel at Wilco's PR machine

In March A Ghost is Born is leaked on the Internet, months before the release date. Does the band go bankrupt as people steal its music? No, thousands of fans sign online petitions promising to buy the album when it comes out.

In April the band announces that it's canceling a large chunk of its tour so that Tweedy can enter rehab. The result? Admiring stories in national publications about what a strong junkie the man is.

Now Wilco is settling out of court and losing its dates on the now-cancelled Lollapalooza. Look out for Tweedy to get declared Man of the Year. -- Jordan Harper

The Syndicate
Eric Monse
The Syndicate

Freedom Rock
Patriotism, in the words of Samuel Johnson, is the last refuge of a scoundrel. And you are a scoundrel. The Fourth of July weekend brings a rash of downtown concerts with heapin' helpings of America-love, so you have plenty of shows to take shelter in this week. But what red, white and blue shows to hit? Well, that just depends on what kind of patriot you are.

Charlie Daniels Band

Appeals to: Red-blooded Americans, people in favor of keeping the devil out of Georgia

In short: Country music's Ted Nugent, Charlie Daniels doesn't keep his politics in the closet. Just check out the lyrics to the post-9/11 ditty "This Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag": "You're a coward and a fool/And you broke all the rules/And you wounded our American pride/Now we're coming with a gun/And we know you're gonna run/But you can't find no place to hide."

4 p.m. Friday, July 2; Fair Saint Louis

Alex Chilton

Appeals to: Perennial patriots

In short: Freedom never dies, and neither does the career of Alex Chilton, who's had successful runs as a member of the Box Tops and Big Star and also as a solo artist. An inspiration in these troubled times.

8:15 p.m. Saturday, July 3; Rockin' on the Landing (Main Stage)


Appeals to: "Go west, young man" rugged individualists

In short: Dada is still riding the wave from its 1992 hit "Dizz Knee Land," which might be spelled funny to avoid the wrath of a litigious mouse but still carries the name of that ultimate refuge of the American Dream.

8:15 p.m. Sunday, July 4; Rockin' on the Landing (Main Stage)

Isaac Hayes

Appeals to: "Can't we all just get it on?" idealists

In short: The man who brought us the theme song from Shaft knows that we can all put aside our problems and get together, one way or another.

4 p.m. Saturday, July 3; Fair Saint Louis

The Syndicate (above)

Appeals to: "Massachusetts liberals," if you know what we mean

In short: This queer-feminist band visiting from New York ought to provide a refreshing change of pace for those looking to escape the usual rah-rahing of the fireworks set.

1 p.m. Sunday, July 4; "Independence from Independence Day" (Lemp Arts Center) -- Jordan Harper

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