Lollapalooza 2009 Forces The Question: Snoop Dogg Or Lou Reed?

Perry Farrell does it to us every year. Yes, his brainchild Lollapalooza is one of the best rock deals for the money every summer, with more than 100 bands playing right on the Chicago lakefront in beautiful Grant Park. But whoever maps out the schedule grid must be a masochist, because this year's lineup has more than its share of conflicts that are going to force some serious musical Sophie's choices. I have already begun stewing over the ones that are trying to break my heart.

Friday is not so bad. Yes, I'd like to see White Lies, but I'll probably choose Jersey punk outfit the Gaslight Anthem. And as much as I've always wanted to check out nutso electronic duo Crystal Castles, by evening I'll probably need to be soothed by the dulcet tones of Fleet Foxes. The headliner spot is an easy one for me, since I just caught Kings of Leon but haven't seen Depeche Mode in six years, and I know their show will have a bit more flash than the Followill brothers' more straight-ahead set.

Saturday is when it starts to get tricky. I would love to hop in the DJ tent and check out the Animal Collective guys spin, but there's something about Norwegian chick rocker Ida Maria (perhaps the fact that she prefers me nude) that is beckoning me to her rival set. Luckily there's nothing major programmed against the spazztastic Arctic Monkeys, but I suspect I'll have to haul ass to get across the field in time to see Santigold's performance just after. Dinnertime is when it gets ugly, as I have to choose between low-key Swedish dance diva Lykke Li (my personal Lady Gaga) and rock agitators TV on the Radio, neither of whom I've seen live. It's a toss-up for the night's headliners as well, as I'm curious about Tool (even though I'm not a fan of their music) and as much as I love the Beastie Boys, I've seen them enough times that I feel like I could skip it.

Sunday is the great equalizer. Right off the bat, I have to choose between dance-influenced rockers Friendly Fires and chamber popsters Ra Ra Riot, and a short time later it's either egghead indie darlings Vampire Weekend or neo-country queen Neko Case. It's another hustle if I want to catch Passion Pit's falsetto disco beats and a concurrent set from the gritty Cold War Kids. And forget the dinner hour, when the pileup includes rock legend Lou Reed, modern rock freakshow Deerhunter and the ubiquitous Snoop Dogg all at the same time! That night's headliner slot is another tough one, because as much as I'd love to see the original Jane's Addiction lineup together again, the Killers blew everybody away the last time they played Lolla.

So thanks again, Perry. Way to make us think in the middle of summer!