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Outside Lands: Our Scheduling Conflict Resolution Guide

It is absolutely inevitable when you show up to a festival that the bookers are clearly going to disregard your personal taste in music and book two (or more) bands that you absolutely have to see at the exact same times. Since you can’t be at two places at once (not yet anyways!), we’re here to tell you where your time would best be served. Here are the time conflict winners:

Blind Pilot vs. Silversun Pickups vs. Midnite, Friday, 4:05-5:15pm:
Portland indie-poppers, Blind Pilot make a decent case for themselves, however when pitted again new up-and-comers like Silversun Pickups and staple reggae like Midnite, it’s hard to compete. The biggest crowd will probably be at Silversun Pickups, so if you’re into cramming in a giant cluster and maybe glimpsing the singer’s forehead, that’s the place to be. Midnite is classic and should be respected for all that they’ve done for the roots reggae movement, but if you’re not really feeling the chill (most likely sticky green-filled) vibe, then we’d say Blind Pilot is the place to be. Great sound, decent following, and definitely coming up in the world. Catch on before the rest of the world does. WINNER: Blind Pilot

Tea Leaf Green vs. Q-Tip vs. Incubus, Friday, 5:50-7:00pm: Incubus can be pretty nostalgic for those who worshipped Brandon Boyd in our teenage years, but when it comes to musical talent, the battle is ultimately between Tea Leaf Green and Q-Tip. This is one of those cases where personal preference definitely comes into play. San Francisco natives, Tea Leaf Green have a very specific jam element to them. Their songs are intrinsically complicated and it’s astonishing to see them created live onstage. However, classic Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip is dropping his unreleased album soon and his old jams are the kind you used to bump in your buddies' garage, you’ll probably know 80% of them. It’s a tough call, but Tea Leaf Green takes it because we’re suckers for locals. WINNER: Tea Leaf Green

Thievery Corporation vs. Pearl Jam, Friday, 7:40-9:50pm: Pearl Jam is an icon for many. They’re an institution in rock that has reached successes unsurpassed by anyone of their time. However, we have to give big credit to the cutting edge, experimental trip-hop sounds that come from Thievery Corporation. While oldies can still be goodies, they can also get pretty stale. WINNER: Thievery Corporation

Zion I vs. The Dirtbombs, Saturday, 12:30-1:35pm: No hard feelings with Detroit and not entirely because they’re from Oakland, but this seems to be a pretty clear-cut decision. The Dirtbombs’ garage punk sound is impressive, yes, but it doesn’t even match the realm of live soul and energy that Zion I’s live performance brings. No contest. WINNER: Zion I

Groundation vs. Street Sweeper Social Club vs. Raphael Saadiq, Saturday, 2:05-3:10pm:
This is truly a tough decision. You have Sonoma based nine-piece internationally known reggae, Groundation, Oakland’s Boots Riley and Rage’s Tom Morello on this insane side project, and fellow Oaklander, ex-blues boy band-er and super producer, Raphael Saadiq (of Tony! Toni! Toné!). It’s a local battle of 3 very, very different genres and styles of music. Groundation has an impressive lineup of amazing musicians playing, but also keeps it real by educating the masses on things like reggae, Rastafarianism, alternate fuels and so much more. You have to give a lot of credit to their efforts. You also have to recognize the amount of talent Saadiq not only possesses himself, but helps other big name artists to channel (he’s won a few Grammys for a couple of them), but the bizarre combination of the fired-up and politically-charged duo, Street Sweeper Social Club ultimately take the cake. Tom Morello is just an overall guitar genius, but curiosity gets the best of us as we wonder what the interaction is like between Rage Against The Machine’s Morello and The Coup’s hip-hop face, Boots Riley. We have a sneaking suspicious that it’s going to blow you away. WINNER: Street Sweeper Social Club

Dengue Fever vs. Portugal. The Man, Saturday, 3:10-4:00pm: Oh how we love our Cambodian pop lovers, Dengue Fever. They are quite the sight to see, especially if you’ve never seen them before. Our love for Portugal. The Man, however, runs pretty deep and their live show is not something to be missed. There are no acceptable excuses for missing Portugal’s show. WINNER: Portgual. The Man

Black Eyed Peas vs. TV On The Radio, Saturday, 5:40-6:40pm: We can’t even believe this is even up for discussion. If you’re not at TV On The Radio, then we are all very personally offended here at 7x7. WINNER: TV On The Radio

The Mars Volta vs. Dave Matthews Band, Saturday, 7:30-10:00pm: Again, not really a contest for those who are infinitely impressed by cutting edge artists just heading into their prime. DMB are veterans of pop and they seem to be on tour all the time. They also run an hour longer than The Mars Volta, so if you’re really that hard up on this decision you can still catch DMB playing “Crash” or one of their 300 other famous songs. The Mars Volta’s live improv and beautifully constructed prog-symphonies are just too prodigious to miss. WINNER: The Mars Volta

John Vanderslice vs. Atmosphere, Sunday, 2:10-3:05pm: This is clearly indie vs. hip-hop. Atmosphere has definitely seen better days, but for all the beautiful rhymes that Slug writes, all you need is to hear one of your favorite songs to fall in love all over again. Vanderslice is a high-energy goof ball with great intentions and better range and guitar capabilities than most indie vets we’ve seen. We’re on the fence for this one, but we’ll give the one-up to some local love. WINNER: John Vanderslice

The Dead Weather vs. Calexico vs. Modest Mouse, Sunday, 3:50-5:20pm: Ooh yikes. We would hate to miss any of these, really. Modest Mouse plays a teensy bit longer than the other two, so it’s possible to hop around a bit, but if you want your time best spent, we vote for Modest Mouse. They’re classic and who knows how much longer they’ll be touring or making music at all for that matter. WINNER: Modest Mouse

Ween vs. M.I.A. vs. Band Of Horses vs. Brett Dennen, Sunday, 5:35-7:40pm: This will be your toughest (and last!) time conflict for all of Outside Lands. Who knows why they booked all these reputable artists at the same time. First off, no matter how adorable and catchy folk singer, Brett Dennen is, we’ve seen him and while worth seeing alone, can’t really compete in this race. Our best advice for this predicament is to do a bit of hopping around. It’s imperative to see nearly all of M.I.A.’s set not only to hear “Paper Planes,” but because of all her Tenacious D-bashing drama, we’re positive she’s going to pull out all the stops and bring some ridiculous elements to her show (whether that’s costume, more songs, better energy). Rest assured it will be worth your time to stick it out through the whole thing. Luckily there’s some overlap, so if you’re not Ween’s #1 fan, you can check them out for 30 or so minutes before M.I.A. and while tragic not to see the whole set, you can still check out Band Of Horses for about 35 minutes after. It’s a win-win-win situation people. WINNER(S): Ween, M.IA., Band Of Horses