PREVIEW If there was an contest for the most cringe-inducing festival name ever, Download would win handily. This is the future, I guess: international corporations sponsoring Wal-Mart-style festivals that pack as many bands as possible into oversize, out-of-the-way suburban locations with deals that are hard to ignore. Aye, there's the rub.
Scottish noise punk pioneers the Jesus and Mary Chain headline the seductively-priced one-day throwdown. Reformed last year, brothers William and Jim Reid became infamous in the early days for their too-wasted-to-play live shows, standing with their backs to the crowd during their 15-minute sets. But with newfound sobriety and a slew of recent festival dates under their belts, JAMC might have perfected their arena rock charisma by now.
Gang of Four is another UK band that originally broke up before Al Gore invented the Internet. Since re-forming in 2004, the British blowhards have released a remix album, toured hard, and plan to put out a new disc later this year, updating their rhythmic Marxism for a fresh generation of activist dance punks.
Wait I know what you're thinking: the members of the headlining acts probably can't check their e-mail without assistance, let alone download. They probably still, like, tape things. But like any big-box retailer, Download has something for the kids: Yeasayer, which dominates college radio with its groovy world beats; Blitzen Trapper, the Portland-based six-piece with a flair for alt-country and lotsa buzz; and Airborne Toxic Event, who hails from Los Angeles and, just like their muse Don DeLillo, captivate audiences with their melodramatic pretension. And man, that's just the beginning. With 26 bands slotted to play in one day, that's only 77 cents a band!
DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL See Web site for complete lineup and set times. Sat/19, 1 p.m., $20. Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View. (650) 967-3000, www.downloadfestival.com