July 6, 2009
Here’s a helpful hint if you’re putting on a festival in the next few millennia: Whatever it is, whoever it benefits, no matter how wonderful the cause or how awesome the party, don’t turn it into a “-palooza” – even if you’re Perry fucking Ferrell himself. No. Seriously. Unless you’re putting on a music festival in Chicago, drop it. Roll another fatty, and get back into brainstorming mode. If you find yourself even remotely entertaining the notion, try this instead: Dig yourself a deep hole, fill it with lime, lean over it, and shoot yourself in the head. That may sound a little harsh, but even though you’ll be dead, you won’t be nearly as dead as the aforementioned beaten-into-a-grease-stain suffix, which has been cooling on a slab in the cultural catchphrase morgue since about 1997. The thing to remember about Lollapalooza was that it was a corny old phrase back when Ferrell stole it from the Three Stooges and used to promote his band’s farewell tour. Jane’s Addiction was cool – well, at least that song with the dog sample intro. Using “-palooza” to pimp your event – “jazz” it up, so to speak – isn’t. Recognize. You might have hired the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, the Shaolin monks, and a truckload of plate-spinning orangutans riding midget ponies, but the bottom line is that “Herpescreeningpalooza” is still a bummer. The same could be said of “Worshipalooza,” “Mathapalooza,” “Mazdapalooza,” and “Taxapalooza,” but it doesn’t need to. Yes, it may be that there is still someone left in the world who is a sucker for a “-palooza,” some wretched, unfortunate soul who has been in a coma since 1996, has been doing missionary work in the Congo for the past 15 years, or who just moved to town from Wichita, but do you really want to make that your core demographic? No one is saying you can’t still have the sword swallowers, midget ponies, and orangutans. Hell, you can turn your parking lot into a midget-pony-poo Slip ‘n Slide, but try to resist the urge to call it “Ponypoopalooza,” because even if it raises several hundred thousand dollars for breast cancer research, that shit is still just wrong. You might even unwittingly force someone to dig a hole and fill it with lime for you. The safer bet is to just stay on topic and maybe have an open bar. It’s a tried and true formula that has worked for centuries. If an open bar is a bit out of your reach, you can always have live music and a cash bar, just remember that describes just about every other event going on in Austin on any given week. So if your event is for breast cancer awareness, the band better be topless – which in Austin you can make happen for an extra 10-spot. Either that or you can hire a really kickass band, like the one at the Bastille Day celebration at the French Legation Museum this Saturday night. Along with a live auction, pétanque, and French food and wine, the Alliance Française d’Austin is celebrating French independence day with the music of Olivier Giraud and his band Continental Graffiti. Austin’s Hot Rhythm Jumpers will also be on hand to demonstrate vintage dances from the Thirties. Proceeds from the event benefit the Alliance Française d’Austin’s Frédérique Moinard Scholarship Fund and the French Legation itself. This party should be a real lollapalooza even if it isn’t so named.