Quick success of nostalgia-heavy Just Like Heaven fest suggest F. Scott Fitzgerald had it wrong

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      F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote in The Last Tycoon that "there are no second acts in American lives".

      Clearly he never anticipated John Travolta, Judith Bernstein, or Rodriguez. 

      And it's safe to say that no one subscribing to Fitzgerald's theory predicted a more-or-less instant sellout for the new stars-of-yesterday showcase Just Like Heaven.

      Produced by Goldenvoice (which started out as an '80s-punk-rock concert promoter in Los Angeles and now brings the world Coachella), the all-day festival was supposed to be a one-day eventthis May 4 at the 15,000-capacity Queen Mary Park in Long Beach, California.

      Headliners include Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT, Passion Pit, Beach House, and Grizzly Bear. On the undercard are acts including the Faint, Tokyo Police Club, Peter Bjorn and John, Neon Indian, Washed Out, and the reformed Rapture. 

      What almost all on the bill have in common is that they date back to a time when mixed CDs--usually home-burned on a Jolly Rancher-coloured iMac G3--were the height of modern technology. It was also an era when, after years of incubating in the underground, bands tended to break on the printed pages of NME and Spin rather than blowing up on Bandcamp before playing their first gig.

      There's an argument to be made that most of the bands on board for Just Like Heaven dropped off the pop-culture radar after once looking headed for long, high-profile careers.

      Easily the most exciting group (both sonically and aesthetically) to emerge from the fabled New York City early 2000s rawk boom, Yeah Yeah Yeahs haven't released an album in a half-decade. 

      After unleashing what might be the greatest rock song of the '00s--that would be "Kids"--MGMT puzzled everyone, including its fans, by becoming veering completely off-script into the land of baroque prog-rock.

      The Rapture had the misfortune of taking the National on tour with them as a opening act right at the time the National was blowing up into one of the biggest bands in America, which probably played a part in the group unplugging the amps for good in 2014. 

      At a time when hip-hop rules the world, someone (probably your parents, or grandparents, or local independent record-store clerk) still has an appetite for indie rock, even if it's the indie-rock of yester-year. That explains why the nostalgia-hungry snapped up all tickets to Just Like Heaven in a week, leading to the addition of a second day on May 3. 

      On the May 3 bill you'll find one difference from the May 4 edition, namely the addition of Louis XIV, which was once a buzz band for about five minutes. If you can remember a time when the San Diego four-piece was the biggest unsigned act in the American underground, rather than a Rock & Roll Jeopardy! answer no one ever got the correct question for, the folks at Goldenvoice have a nostalgia-fest for you. 

       

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