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The Prodigy, for its part, was the very definition of style over substance. The combo's latest music is primarily utilitarian: It's a lot better for dancing than for listening. Moreover, its sound would be virtually identical if computer maven Liam Howlett was on the stage by himself; the contributions of MC Maxim Reality and dancers Keith Flint and Leeroy Thornhill are all for show. It's a shtick that, beneath its gaudy surface, is an unexpectedly direct nod to the disco era. The Prodigy is a Village People for the Nineties, with Flint's lascivious garden gnome, Thornhill's urban sophisticate and Maxim Reality's African warrior substituting for the Indian, the cowboy and the construction worker. In other words, there was nothing all that fresh about it, nor about Lollapalooza in general. On the cutting edge of the alternative revolution, everything old is old again.

Welcome to the triumphant return of the who-plays-where section. On Thursday, August 14, Buzz Bombers and the M-80s strafe the Skyline Cafe; the Old 97's steam into the Bluebird Theater; and Bad Bax & the Hard Boys stiffen up at Herman's Hideaway, alongside the Garden Weasels. On Friday, August 15, Snakeboy Johnson plays the blues for the first of two nights at Ziggie's Saloon. On Saturday, August 16, the Snatchers grab everything they can at Seven South. On Sunday, August 17, Goldfinger looks for Pussy Galore at the Ogden Theatre, along with Voodoo Glow Skulls and Shelter, and Gideon Freudmann analyzes the situation at the Chautauqua Community House in Boulder. And on Monday, August 18, fascinating Luaka Bop artist Jim White plays for free at the Fox Theatre in the company of Royal Fingerbowl and Davotchka. However, you'll be charged for drinks.

--Michael Roberts

Backbeat's e-mail address is: Michael_Roberts@ westword.comMichael_Roberts@. While you're online, visit Michael Roberts's Jukebox 2.0 at www.westword.comt

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