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Saturday night's all right for fighting (with yourself)

This morning I chatted with George Porter Jr., the legendary bassist for New Orleans' original funksters The Meters. He'll be at Fuji with the latest incarnation of the group, The Funky Meters. I mentioned that a contemporary of his who also helped define funk in the 60s, Booker T, would be playing on a neighboring stage at approximately the same time.
"You're kidding?" he said in a tone that sounded less like pleasurable surprise and more like complete befuddlement.
"Yeah, I know what you mean," I responded. Who coordinated that?

Because let's face it. If you're somebody who digs the Funky Meters it goes without saying you probably also dig Booker T and would definitely want to see both. Since they're at adjacent stages--Field of Heaven and Orange Court--it's possible to jump back and forth between the two if they do happen to coincide. But it shouldn't be a choice you have to make.

However, things are worse. Over at the White Stage there's Public Enemy, the consummate old school hip-hop collective whose main main, Chuck D, relishes classic soul, funk and blues like no rapper on any planet. Now you've got three acts, all headlining their respective stages on Saturday night with potentially the same audience fighting an internal battle: Should I stay or should I go?

And on a personal level it gets downright dire, because Franz Ferdinand is headlining the Green Stage and I think their new album is one of the best of the year. And Dinosaur Jr. over at the Red Marquee? Don't get me started or I'll cry. The thing is, I made a list of the top ten acts I want to see this year, and five of them are playing at the same time.

Is there anybody else out there with a similar scheduling beef?



If Booker and the Meters are on at the same time, I'll be stunned - but each year I see this kind of clash, get wound up, and when they finally announce the timetable you find out it's perfectly timed for a ten-minute walk between stages. My prediction: Booker will be finished by the time the Meters start. If not, I won't be happy.

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