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Lollapalooza '96 Schedule

August 03, 1996|MIKE BOEHM

Main stage:

* Psychotica: Singer Pat Briggs makes himself up to look like a space oddity, and his theatrical vocals owe everything to the David Bowie style. This band from New York City was signed to a record deal before it ever played a gig. Three of the six members are women--the only females scheduled to perform at a festival that ought to be dubbed Fellapalooza. 3-3:35 p.m. Saturday/1-1:35 p.m. Sunday.

* Screaming Trees: This band from Ellensburg, Wash., came up alongside the Seattle grunge-rock horde of the late '80s, but its influences always lay more in '60s psychedelia than in the Black Sabbath-style slab-rock sound. A new album, "Dust," is a trippy, catchy reflection of those psychedelic roots. 3:50-4:30 p.m. Saturday/1:50-2:30 p.m. Sunday.

* Shaolin Monks: This 15-member martial arts troupe from China will put on an exhibition of kung fu techniques developed by the ancient Shaolin Buddhist sect. Also appearing later in the day on the third stage. 4:45-5:20 p.m. Saturday/2:45-3:20 p.m. Sunday.

* Rancid: This band from the Bay Area has been among the leaders of the mid-'90s punk surge. On the debit side, its anthem-rock style is completely derivative of the Clash. On the weightier, plus side: Rancid's spirit of comradeship and catchy songs that recount slices of the band members' own lives. 5:35-6:20 p.m. Saturday/3:35-4:20 p.m. Sunday.

* The Ramones: After 20 years of doing the Blitzkrieg Bop, the founding fathers of punk are retiring. Lollapalooza is their farewell tour, to be followed by what's billed as their grand finale Tuesday at Billboard Live in Los

Angeles. 6:35-7:20 p.m. Saturday/

4:35-5:20 p.m. Sunday.

* Devo: When it emerged from Akron, Ohio, in 1978, Devo became one of the first alternative (although nobody called it that back then) bands to find a wide audience--which qualifies it for "special guest" honors at Lollapalooza. Fifty minutes of prime Devo promises to be a hoot. 7:45-8:35 p.m. Saturday/5:45-6:35 p.m. Sunday.

* Soundgarden: One of the first and heaviest of the Seattle grunge horde, Soundgarden has a tremendously talented singer in Chris Cornell but long has been bogged down by its allegiance to sludgy, trudging music. But that has been changing lately, as can be heard in the more varied and melodic approach of the band's new album, "Down on the Upside." 9-10 p.m. Saturday/7-8 p.m. Sunday.

* Metallica: Everyone rightly was outraged when Jethro Tull aced out Metallica for the hard-rock Grammy in 1988. Now, as it expands in a more pop-melodic direction, this head-bangers' favorite can sound a little Tullish itself on such uncharacteristic songs as "Mama Said" from its new album, "Load." Don't worry: Metallica still bangs heads, although it won't be quite the same now that the freshly shorn band doesn't have much hair to shake while banging them. 10:30 p.m.-midnight Saturday/8:30-10 p.m. Sunday.

Second stage:

* Fireside: Four young (19-21) Swedes make up Fireside, which is about to issue its U.S. debut, "Do Not Tailgate." The album features lyrics in English and wide-ranging borrowings from such sources as U2, Joy Division and Sonic Youth. 2:40-3:20 p.m. Saturday/12:40-1:20 p.m. Sunday.

* Jonny Polonsky: In case anybody

wants a real alternative on this

hard-rockapalooza, Polonsky's brisk, catchy power-pop is made to order. The Illinois native, a protege of alt-rock hero Frank Black, is the festival's resident

Beatlemaniac. 3:50-4:30 p.m. Saturday/1:50-2:30 p.m. Sunday.

* Satchel: Who'd have thought that a Seattle band--especially one with close ties to Pearl Jam--would be responsible for an album made up almost entirely of piano-driven ballads steeped in the Memphis soul sound of Otis Redding? Led by singer-piano player Shawn Smith, Satchel's CD "The Family" looks like strong competition for the similarly grounded Black Crowes. 5-5:40 p.m. Saturday/3-3:40p.m. Sunday.

* The Melvins: If you hate grunge, blame it on these guys, who were early friends and mentors to Nirvana. Founder Buzz Osborne and company left Seattle for San Francisco just before the big grunge boom hit, freeing them to follow their own idiosyncratic and often facetious approach to noisy hard rock. 6:10-6:50 p.m. Saturday/4:10-4:50 p.m. Sunday.

* Sponge: This band from Detroit sold a million copies of its debut album, "Rotting Pinata," in 1995 by recycling the grainy-voiced tunefulness of Social Distortion and Husker Du. The follow-up, "Wax Ecstatic," leans more toward Bowie, Psychedelic Furs and--surprisingly--Memphis R&B. 7:20-8 p.m. Saturday/5:20-6 p.m. Sunday.

* Soul Coughing: See accompanying story. 8:30-9:10 p.m. Saturday/6:30-7:10 p.m. Sunday.

Third stage:

* Crumb: These derivative newcomers from the Bay Area serve up jangling, chiming, post-R.E.M. guitar pop with

choked-up sincerity. There's a helping of stormy density tossed in to keep them up to date. 2:05-2:45 p.m. Saturday/12:05-12:45 Sunday.

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