Lizzo

Lizzo

The Maha Festival lineup is here.

It’s all anyone has talked to me about.

Maybe you’ve heard a little, too. Check into social media (and I’m sure a few watering holes and music venues and regular old offices), and that’s the conversation you’ll hear, especially if you’re into music in any way.

This year’s festival, taking place Aug. 16 and 17 at Stinson Park, features headliners Lizzo, Jenny Lewis, Courtney Barnett and Matt and Kim. Bands such as Oh Sees and Snail Mail also made the lineup along with four local acts.

It’s an interesting lineup, possibly the most different and diverse the festival has ever produced.

And me being me, I have a few thoughts.

It’s hard to build a music festival lineup. Really, really, really hard. Let’s get this out of the way before we start: Take your “Man, I wish they would have booked (insert your favorite band here)” statements and go home. Get out of here with that stuff. If you have a favorite artist that’s anywhere close to Maha’s wheelhouse, I guarantee they were an option. But there’s a long distance between thinking up who you’d like to see and having a signed contract placing the band on the lineup.

Let’s be honest: The name recognition isn’t there this year. The top-line headliner, Lizzo, is not yet in the same wheelhouse as Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, Run the Jewels, Passion Pit, Modest Mouse or The Flaming Lips. That goes to show Maha’s got a great track record. And one other thing ...

Lizzo will seem like a prescient choice a year from now. She is absolutely blowing up. “Juice” is everywhere. She’s playing Coachella. She’s on magazine covers. Her new album, “Cuz I Love You,” is a whole lot of fun and puts her full talents on display. She’s only going to get bigger. And though she might not appeal to your average indie rock fan, whoever that may be, she definitely appeals to people who are outside my image of Maha’s usual demographic. The festival expanding its audience is a good thing.

One more thing about Lizzo: Her new album is great. Did I say that before? Yeah, I did. Well, I’m saying it again. Go listen to “Cuz I Love You,” wouldja?

I personally have mixed feelings about the lineup overall. But I always do, and that’s just my personal preference. It doesn’t quite pop for me like past years, but I guess I’m just lucky Maha has chosen some of my personal favorites. (Still waiting on The Hold Steady to get a Maha berth.)

Jenny Lewis is a fantastic pick, too. Her new album is great. She’s been on my personal “Maha wish list” for some time. She’s well known (especially around here with her old band, Rilo Kiley, being on Saddle Creek), and she deserves that headline spot. While I’m at it, I gotta say more about the other headliners: Courtney Barnett is fantastic. Her album was on my top 10 list last year. And Matt and Kim? I’ve loved those two since they played O’Leaver’s more than a decade ago, and they played one of my favorite Maha sets ever.

Hooray for the female-heavy lineup! Nice work, Maha! Of the nine “main” acts, six of them are led by ladies. And all four of the local groups are fronted by women. Maintaining strong female representation in the lineup has been a conscious effort by the festival, and they’ve been very successful.

I like them all, but the undercard is a little light. I haven’t seen Oh Sees in forever, so that’ll be fun. Matt Maeson and Snail Mail are both on Atlantic Records and set for big things. Beach Bunny is super fun. But a few years ago, we had the New Pornographers and Wavves and The Joy Formidable a few names down on the list. Not quite the same.

The lineup seems light. Where are the other bands? Last year’s two-day event had 16 artists. This year’s two-day fest only has 13. A few past single-day Mahas had 13 as well.

This will end up being a great festival. Maybe the lineup doesn’t appeal to you personally. But it does to a whole lot of other people, and it’s going to sell tickets. A couple days of sunshine and good music capped with Jenny Lewis and Lizzo? This is going to be a very good time. I can’t wait.