Now that the buzz is out around town for Flaming Lips show at the SoCo Music Experience this Saturday, it's not an unfair conclusion that the closest you'll get to Wayne Coyne and the band is on the screen print of an overpriced t-shirt.
But if that scene is a deterrent, Madison's student radio station WSUM is happy to provide a more quirky alternative for an outdoor concert on Saturday. The Snake on the Lake Fest is hitting the Memorial Union Terrace all day and evening, and its lineup promises to deliver a wide range of progressive pop.
The festival, formerly known as Party in the Park, was originally scheduled to be held at James Madison Park as in years past, but Pepsi abruptly dropped its sponsorship mid summer. WSUM promotions director Y Mae Sussman and her staff were left scrambling to cover the overhead costs for the outdoor venue and finally decided to relocate to the Terrace.
"We couldn't have afforded the bands if we would have stayed at the park," Sussman explained. Without the corporate sponsorship, the event will be more student centered, she notes.
Even its new name reflects the change in ethos -- Snake on the Lake was a nickname for long-gone UW-Madison student radio station WLHA back when it was broadcasting from and for the lakeshore dorms on campus from the '60s through early '90s.
By the time evening rolls around, local phenoms Pale Young Gentlemen will make their Terrace debut at 6:45 p.m., followed by The 1900s, a Chicago band that Time Out New York calls a "mix of psychedelic garage rock, 60s pop idioms and sun drenched harmonies." Not to be outdone, another Chi town ensemble, The Ponys, will close out the day with their Matador signed garage rock, but not before Leslie & the Ly's hits the stage with their thumping electro fusion.
Fall is here, and the students are back and ready to party. With a lineup like this, it's clear that WSUM is more than happy to help.