Unlike sports fans, the twenty- and thirtysomethings that make up the indie-rock community don't hang their civic pride on a World Series or Super Bowl win. They measure one another against the vitality of their music festivals. Austin has South by Southwest and the Austin City Limits Music Festival; Chicago has Lollapalooza and the Pitchfork Music Festival; even little old Manchester, Tennessee, draws hordes for Bonnaroo. This year St. Louis made an excellent first showing with LouFest, a two-day music binge that took place in Forest Park. There were big-league indie powerhouses (Broken Social Scene, She & Him), exciting up-and-comers (Titus Andronicus, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons) and a host of excellent local acts. Belleville's native son Jeff Tweedy even performed a rare local solo show without his Wilco cohorts. With reasonable ticket prices, eco-friendly provisions and an idyllic late-summer setting, the inaugural LouFest set the bar high for 2011.
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