For the fourth year, Outside Lands a party in Golden Gate Park 

In its fourth year, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival already has become one of The City’s most anticipated and well-attended musical, cultural, culinary — and people watching — events. The 2011 edition looks as enticing as ever.

To see a map of the Outside Lands festival and photos of bands, click on the photo to the right.

A path from soap operas to the concert stage

Mexican thrush Ximena Sariñana never dreamed of an exotic career as a child. She was too busy building one. At age 7, the daughter of a screenwriter mom and film-director dad was already enrolled in piano and singing lessons with her country’s top tutors, and by 11, she landed her first telenovella — or soap opera — role as a “bad seed” villain in the popular “Luz Clarita.”

“So it was just natural for me to try acting before anything because my parents were involved with it,” she says. “And I was pretty mean to this other little-girl character — she would bake me a cake, and I would throw it on the ground, or I’d toss a pitcher of water on her homework. I did things I could never do in real life!”

In Mexico, clarifies the Guadalajara-born diva — who will back her first eponymous English-language album (which follows her 2008 debut “Mediocre”) at Outside Lands this weekend — telenovellas are very polarized.

“So the good girl is very good, and the bad girl is really bad. I was always boxed into the bad-girl role, so in the only three soap operas I did, I was always the antagonist. But an antagonist who always turned good in the end,” she says.

By 17, she had attended Berklee College of Music and begun starring in films such as “Bad Girls” and “A Second Chance,” written and directed by her folks.

VH1’s latest “You Oughta Know” artist is finally reflecting on that fast-track life in her new U.S. single “Different,” a delightful Bjork-meets-tropicalia mélange bolstered by horns, castanets and her mesquite-smoky trill.

“In Mexico, I always felt alienated,” says Sariñana, 25, who moved to Los Angeles four months ago. “My close family are all artists, but in the not-so-close family, we’re the black sheep because we do art. So they’ve always catalogued me as weird, different, artistic.”

Sariñana has more potential smashes on tap, like “Bringing Us Down” and a vaudevillian “Wrong Miracle.” Raised on a fiery diet of Julieta Venegas and Natalia Lafourcade (plus Radiohead and Fiona Apple), she never considered conquering America until “Mediocre” was nominated for two 2008 Latin Grammys and her label, Warner Bros. proposed an English-language set.

She accepted the challenge, she says, “Because it was such a different path from where I was going.” Sariñana wants a Hollywood career, too. But that can wait — music is her current priority. Still, she’s ready in a heartbeat with the campy, eyelash-fluttering stare seen in telenovellas. “And there must be some really funny YouTube videos of me, doing that same exact look,” she says. “I think I perfected it!”

- Tom Lanham

Must-see headlining acts


- MGMT, 4:35 p.m.
- Phish, 6:30 p.m.

- Big Audio Dynamite, 7 p.m.
- The Shins, 8:40 p.m.

- Big Boi, 6:20 p.m.
- Erykah Badu, 7:50 p.m.

- The Limousines, 6:15 p.m.
- Best Coast, 7:50 p.m.


- The Black Keys, 6:15 p.m.
- Muse, 8:10 p.m.

- The Roots, 6:50 p.m.
- Girl Talk, 8:40 p.m.

- Old 97’s, 5:45 p.m.
- Warren Haynes Band, 7:30 p.m.

- Eskmo, 6:05 p.m.
- Paper Diamond, 7:50 p.m.


- The Decemberists, 6:15 p.m.
- Arcade Fire, 8:10 p.m.

- STS9, 6:15 p.m.
- Deadmau5, 8 p.m.

- Little Dragon, 5:20 p.m.
- Beirut, 6:50 p.m.

- Wye Oak, 5:30 p.m.
- The Infamous Stringdusters, 7:15 p.m.


Not to be missed

Release the Sunbird
Zach Rogue, founder of the Bay Area’s Rogue Wave, has a new project likely to please fans. Predominantly acoustic and in the same vein as Rogue’s early work, Release the Sunbird’s new album boasts sustained moments of layered complexity. [Noon Friday, Sutro Stage]

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Do-it-yourself darlings of the 21st century, CYHSY was among the first bands to benefit from blogosphere gossip. “Hysterical,” the band’s new album, features a new-wave twist along with Alec Ounsworth’s signature hypnotic vocals. [5:25 p.m., Friday, Twin Peaks Stage]

The name merely hints at the dapper, sartorially conscious band’s energy and pep. Though most famous for choreographed music videos, one featuring dancing on treadmills, these guys are worth seeing for their nonstop, quirky live show and Cars-meets-Pixies tunes. [3 p.m. Saturday, Lands End Stage]

It’s mind-blowing how much noise three people can make. The virtuoso musicians in the Grammy-winning trio have won honors specifically for live performance, too. Matthew Bellamy’s trembling vocals carry an emotional punch. [8:10 p.m. Saturday, Lands End Stage]

Girl Talk
Greg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, might be a former biomedical engineer, but he makes no bones about throwing down Missy Elliott on top of The Ramones when making mash-ups. Mixing live, he fearlessly piles on tracks that bump and grind, simmer and slaughter one another in a thrilling guess-fest dance-a-thon. [8:40 p.m. Saturday, Twin Peaks Stage]

Fresh & Onlys
Fans of Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall, also on the Outside Lands bill, will likely be in the audience, as well as anyone up for a good old-fashioned rock-out. [Noon Sunday, Sutro Stage]

Little Dragon
Established in 2006, the Swedish band’s profile rose in 2011 following the release of “Ritual Union.” Lead singer Yukimi Nagano’s penchant for R&B shines over a diverse soundscape. [5:20 p.m. Sunday, Sutro Stage]

Frontman Zach Condon was born to sing. His vocals, combining soaring chanson lyricism and trembling earnestness, make the most banal of human experiences feel epic. The band’s cinematic sound will make you want to hold someone close and sway or waltz, while dreaming of another time and place. [6:50 p.m. Sunday, Sutro Stage]

Arcade Fire
This band is a killer live act. While they may appear to be a motley crew that tumbled out of a circus party bus, they are accomplished multi-instrumentalists and passionate performers. Known for their unique blend of chamber pop, rock and percussive bombast, they continue to create earnest songs about life, death and yearning. [8:10 p.m. Sunday, Lands End Stage]

— Lauren Gallagher


Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival

Where: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco; box office at John F. Kennedy Drive and 30th Avenue
When: Noon to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon to 9:45 p.m Sunday
Tickets: $185 to $450
Contact: (800) 745-3000,,

Getting there

With extremely limited parking availability, taking public or alternate means of transportation is encouraged.

- 5-Fulton (Market Street to 25th Avenue and Fulton Street)
- 28-19th Avenue (19th Avenue to Golden Gate Park)
- 29-Sunset (Sunset Boulevard to Golden Gate Park)
- After concert, board at Fulton and 30th or 36th avenue
- N-Judah (to Judah Street and 19th Avenue), walk north on 19th Avenue to park; after concert, board at Judah at Sunset Boulevard

By foot
- Enter Golden Gate Park from the south, at 25th Avenue and Lincoln Way; go left and bear right onto Middle Drive to get to the festival’s south gate.
- Entering park from north, at 30th Avenue and Fulton Street, go straight into Lindley Meadow.
- Enter at north gate at 36th Avenue and Fulton Street

Buses run from Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove St., at $4.90 per trip or $29.50 for three days. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight, with limited coverage between 5 and 8 p.m.

By bike
Enter park at 30th Avenue and Fulton Street; go left, heading for Marks Meadow, and park in bike valet

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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