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Taking sides: Build your own Lilith Fair

joni mitchellWouldn't it be great to hear Joni Mitchell at Lilith Fair 2010? (AP file photo.)

Sarah McLachlan's reincarnated Lilith Fair comes limping into Merriweather Post Pavilion next Tuesday -- its line-up a far cry from what was first announced. Lilith 2010 was launched with the promise of a refreshingly diverse bill, but miserable ticket sales have forced the likes of Norah Jones, Kelly Clarkson and Loretta Lynn to bail on parts or all of the tour.

But that can't stop us from dreaming. Assuming that Sarah and fellow Lilith vets, the Indigo Girls, must play, what other five acts would you book for your dream tour? Click Track's contributors mulled it over in this week's Taking sides post. After the jump, read our ideal line-ups (nobody nominated Gaga!) and share yours in the comments.

Maria McKee Maria McKee has a voice worthy of the bill. (Photo by Jim Akin)

Allison Stewart: I think Lilith Fair really did try to be more diverse this year, even though their choices (Mary J. Blige, Loretta Lynn) were the equivalent of them holding up a sign saying "We are trying to be more diverse this year." In the interest of real diversity, I'd love to see Joni Mitchell. Lilith is all "peace" this and "harmony" that. Curmudgeonly Joni would change that vibe in five minutes. Maria McKee, circa 1985: Best. Voice. Ever. Aretha Franklin? Ditto and ditto. The Runaways -- enough said. And the Dixie Chicks. They're awesome. And they don't seem to be busy.

shakiraSequined guitars don't lie. Ask Shakira. (Los Angeles Times file photo by Lori Shepler.)

Chris Richards: When I first saw that Lilith was coming back, I thought, "No Tori?" But Ms. Amos might not make my dream line-up anyway. I'd rather see a performance from the ur-Tori, Kate Bush. Meantime, this show needs mass appeal, so gimme some Sharkira. If Lauryn Hill wasn't booked for the "Rock the Bells" tour, I'd love to see her at Lilith. And while she's always distanced herself from feminism, the brilliant PJ Harvey would be a very welcome addition. (I've watched this video about 5,000 times in the past week.) Finally, my wild card pick: the irrepressible rap rookie Nicki Minaj.

breedersWe love the '90s, therefore, we love the Breeders. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

David Malitz: Since Sarah and the Indigos are already booked I figure they have the "classic" Lilith sound taken care of. I'd want to convince Lily Allen to step away from the fashion designing and come out of "retirement" to play my festival. All (OK, most) of the songs from her debut album "Alright, Still" are summer smashes. The Breeders will bring the '90s alt-rock. My ideal revival act, in the vein of Bettye LaVette and Mavis Staples, would be '70s nasty-funk star Betty Davis. I'd also love to hear Juana Molina's layered, hypnotic electronic creations in the afternoon sun. And opening the bill would be my current indie-pop faves, Frankie Rose & the Outs.

By Click Track  |  July 29, 2010; 2:40 PM ET
Categories:  Taking sides  | Tags: Lilith Fair, Sarah McLachlan  
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I'm onboard with the Maria McKee (saw here about four years ago in S.F. and the voice is still great), and the Breeders.

I'd also throw out some Tres Chicas, Be Good Tanyas, Jolie Holland (former Tanya), and Erin McKeown.

You can see where my heart lies.

Posted by: saintex | July 29, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@Allison 2 out of 3 Chicks aren't enough for you?

I'd go with Tori Amos, Miranda Lambert (I know she was on the tour earlier but I'd love to see her here), Dar Williams, Red Molly and Caitlin Cary.

I also like the Erin McKeown suggestion, but she's here for free on the 19th.

Posted by: Hemisphire | July 29, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I see your point about 2 of the 3 Chicks (their side project Court Yard Hounds is on the bill for some dates), but unless they do "Truth #2," it's not the same.

Posted by: Allison Stewart | July 29, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll agree with the Breeders. Add Neko Case, Vivian Girls, Liz Phair (if she plays her best stuff), and Salome. That should shake things up.

Posted by: MyPostID27 | July 30, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Neko Case, Jenny Lewis, Feist, Carrie Rodriguez, Pieta Brown, Sara Watkins, etc. Put them all on a bill together, and that'll sell some tickets.

Posted by: azender | July 30, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I was surprised they didn't book Neko. Same with Tori Amos. Does Lilith Fair have something against gingers? (Insert MIA "Born Free" video joke here. Or not.)

Posted by: ChrisRichards | July 30, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Off the top, the five artists I'd most want to see share the stage are also about the least likely to want to be part of Lilith. Still, the dream sounds good!

Starting with Joni Mitchell. Joni is very candid about what she calls "style inventions" posing as artists - and that label includes some high profile Lilith acts. So, including Joni, means we need to drop the pop products that are included for political and commercial reasons.

Tori Amos has repeatedly said she doesn't want to be part of Lilith - but, that may not be the same as your requirement to explicitly turn it down. If we can tell Tori it's a new version of Lilith... She knows that communication requires more than 20 or 30 minute sets, so, if we include Tori, this means each performer be given 60 - 90 minutes for their set as they choose.

Add Ani DiFranco, who really celebrates independence and spirit regardless of sex. Can't think of any reason why Ani would want to be there unless there was integrity in the entire organization. So, scrap the ticket-price-gouging and schemes and all the corporate "branding" and manipulations that has marred the tour.

Janis Ian has not only great music and rapport, but has shown how to be a true artist and survive for five decades in the record biz swamp. She's a leader among musicians in embracing, and growing with, the digital age.

For a new voice, Allison Crowe, who combines excitement with honesty. She's highly successful as an indie, but would surely join a lineup that includes Joni, Tori, Ani and Janis.

As would I and many more people as audience!

Posted by: datura88 | August 1, 2010 3:53 AM | Report abuse

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