Bonnaroo, Sonar by Night, Hovefestival, Roskilde, Arvika, Heineken Opener, Montreux Jazz, Exit, Splash, Summercase, Latitude—is it uncharitable to point out that the endpoint of M.I.A.’s world-town hustle and demographic three-card monte seems to be one outdoor festival show after another, providing the soundtrack to dodgeball games and mud-themed nudity in nearly every major city on the planet? Last year, the artist made the most radical record of her career with Kala; this year, Rihanna’s already incorporated “Paper Planes” into a mid-set medley, and M.I.A.’s doing “Hussel” for the dudes with the three-day all-access passes. It hardly seems fair that our generation’s most politically astute artist has already been relegated to the sunburn circuit—or am I just a naïve hater? Find out tonight, I guess. With Holy Fuck.
Fri., June 6, Doors 5 p.m., McCarren. The show is technically sold out, but some incredible douchebags are selling tickets for $150 on Craig’s List.
Robert Christgau on M.I.A.