In anticipation of Coachella tickets going on sale today, Funny or Die mocked up a poster in which the band names outline exactly what goes down at the festival (everything from the mundane to the psychotropic). These are also plausible names for indie bands — any one of them could spring out of the earth to populate next year’s festival. Check out the line-up below. READ FULL STORY »
Tag: Coachella (1-10 of 21)
After days of delays that made the already-nutso message board posters fake even more lineups than usual (prompting a “Chill, guys” statement from festival organizer Paul Tollett), the roster of who will be playing those infamous Coachella desert stages this April finally arrived for reals this morning: Paul McCartney headlining Friday night, with the Killers on Saturday and the Cure on Sunday, plus a strong undercard of acts like Leonard Cohen (even older than McCartney!), Morrissey, Franz Ferdinand, Amy Winehouse (sure, okay), My Bloody Valentine, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The press release also included this keeper of a statement from McCartney: “I have heard that Coachella is one of the greatest festivals in the world. I’m really excited to get out there and rock!” Well, gosh.
Anyway, it seems like they’re courting a certain genre of music fan over all three days this year — none of that odd Jack Johnson/Prince dissonance that made 2008 so schizophrenic — and (Macca aside) that music fan might be a little mopier than your festival correspondent. But looking past the guyliner acts, I’m finding things to be excited about on every day: M. Ward, The Hold Steady, and Los Campesinos! on Friday; Antony & the Johnsons, Public Enemy, The Knux, and Vivian Girls on Sunday; and scads of awesomeness sandwiched on Saturday. (Henry Rollins! Hercules and Love Affair!)
What’s catching your eye right now, PopWatchers? Full lineup after the jump…
It’s been nearly 48 hours since I last touched the dead grass of the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, PopWatchers, but after two consecutive weekends of music festival goodness, I’m having a hard time letting go. Specifically, I can’t get over the pained reactions from several of you Pink Floyd fans to my dismissal of Roger Waters’ set at Coachella. It seems you come out in force to defend your rock gods: My friend and picnic-table companion Maura faced the same rage after her post over on Idolator, and even Willman’s informed, articulate critique here led to howling.
So I got to thinking: Surely I’m not the only one who can’t make it all the way through the pretentious muddle of Dark Side of the Moon (pictured), thought "Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2" was barely listenable even before classic rock stations beat it to death with the over-programming stick, and never once spent any time staring at a blacklight poster while playing "Mother" on repeat and crying a little because it’s just so deep, man. Of course, from an objective standpoint, I can recognize the talent/craft involved; I can even occasionally tolerate "Wish You Were Here" — although nine out of ten times I mistake it for "I Wish It Would Rain Down." And yes, I understand the Pink Floyd influence on several of the groups I legitimately enjoy today. But do I have to actively like and/or be exposed to Pink Floyd in order to have this understanding? Ugh. Please. No.
Your turn, PopWatchers: What seminal band (or solo artist) can you not stand? Now’s the time to get it off your chest. And hey, you can be anonymous, so one ever need know you secretly harbor a passionate hatred for the Beatles and everything those demented Liverpudlians* stood for! Let it out!
*Not my actual opinion
This is too brilliant not to post, as a coda to the chaos of Coachella’s weekend: Residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the Empire Polo Fields here in Indio awoke this morning to what is being described as “something that looked like snow.” Apocalypse? No! It seems that the plane flying overhead at the end of Roger Waters’ first set, dispensing what we thought was confetti, was in fact dropping thousands of tiny Obama fliers. Can’t decide which part of this news tidbit I find more enjoyable– the extravagance of that gesture, or this quote in the above-linked article from an irate citizen: “All of our gardeners will now have to spend the whole day trying to clean this up.” Indeed.
On a related note, I found someone who signed up to get on the bus with Sean Penn.
Anyone else coming across strange residual Coachella news on the internets? Anyone seen the pig?
Well, nuts. Here it is, 1am on Sunday night, and I’m all proud of myself because I’ve returned from the last day of Coachella– where the crowds were not quite as pathetic as Friday, but certainly more comfortable than yesterday’s soccer-riot-esque conditions– to write up my blog post so you kids on the east coast can have it nice and early. And what do I discover? That the Whitney of Thursday told her photo editor she’d like a picture of Justice (left) embedded in her Sunday night blog post, because she would obviously be seeing the French DJs as they closed out the fest. But here’s the embarrassing part, PopWatchers: The exhausted Whitney of Sunday didn’t make it to that show, which means I’ve now missed Justice something like four times because they insist upon playing after my elderly bedtime. Tonight, they weren’t going on until 11– basically sunrise by the festival clock, even if they had started on time, which I doubt. Besides, at 11, mainstage headliner Roger Waters was still only like four songs into playing the entirety of Dark Side of the Moon, despite the fact that Roger Waters had already played a good two and a half hours of other stuff. Bored, filthy, out of water, and out of patience, I couldn’t take it anymore, and totally bailed. So that picture of Justice over there? Useless to me– and to you, the PopWatchers I so lovingly serve. I’m sorry.
I wish instead that I had a picture of the Shout Out Louds, or Stars, or Gogol Bordello, or, ideally, My Morning Jacket. Instead, all I have to give are the memories of those four bands, each one simply terrific on this final Coaafternoon, compensating for another generally lackluster lineup by providing sets I watched from start to finish. All this– plus Swervedriver, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Manchester Orchestra, Metric, Sean Penn, and my discovery of the world’s most perfect food item– after the jump. And I promise to keep it short. This is something I learned while watching Roger Waters.
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What a difference a day makes. Friday, Coachella had probably the weakest-drawing headliner in its nine-year history, in the form of Jack Johnson. Given the sparse turnout, you started to fear for the future of the festival. Saturday, they had, in Prince, the most potent show-closer the festival has had or likely ever will have. And suddenly, he didn’t look like the only genius around; so, too, did the person who booked him.
Prince and Johnson were both calculated risks, artists with huge fan bases who nonetheless wouldn’t seem to immediately fit in with Coachella’s indie-rock ethos. The big difference: One of them is indisputably one of the great performers of our shared lifetimes, a galvanizing presence with a deep catalog and history of leaving awe in his wake, and arguably even—if you look at the full scope of 20th and 21st century musicianship—the Last of the Great Entertainers. And the other, um, isn’t. (After the jump, get the full scoop on Prince’s performance — and his "no requests" policy.)
addCredit(“Prince; Barry Brecheisen/WireImage.com”)
Let’s start here: There were a lot more people at Coachella on Saturday, PopWatchers. And after standing in line to have my bag rummaged through (and my granola bar confiscated), then hoofing it across the field to try and take pictures of MGMT only to find myself thwarted by a poorly-organized security gate and dozens of sweaty, immovable bodies– “Why don’t you [expletive] photographers just share pictures so you don’t have to [expletive] bother us?” one boy asked me, as I tried to squeeze past him into the photo pit– it became abundantly clear that this was no longer Jack Johnson’s music festival. Over the course of the day, I saw four men being perp-walked in handcuffs, three flashings, two people vigorously dry-humping, and one woman hysterically attempting to enter VIP through the exit, which resulted in her being thrown to the ground and hog-tied by several security guards as she screamed bloody murder.
The catalyst for all this madness? Well, Prince, I’d assume, though the chaos began hours before his headlining set, and frequently seemed more related to booze/drugs/stupidity than the presence of the Purple One. And so what we learned yesterday is the importance of finding a personal oasis in the melting (literally) pot that is Coachella. Some may drown the pain in the dance tents, others may spread out a blanket and furtively smoke pot; me, I got my much-needed endorphin high yesterday courtesy of Rilo Kiley and “Portions for Foxes.” And then I rushed over to catch M.I.A. in the big tent and found so many civilians crammed into the sidestage that I couldn’t get to the photo pit, and this time I didn’t stick around to try. After the jump, all that and more including St. Vincent, Steven Malkmus and the Jicks, Death Cab, Kraftwerk, Portishead, and the one song you’d never expect to be played at a Prince show.
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If you didn’t make it out to Coachella Friday night– and based on the deserted festival grounds, I feel it’s safe to assume you didn’t– you missed a truly eclectic and enjoyable trip down the music bunny trail. When last we spoke, we’d just wrapped up an excellent set from tiny Canadian twin rocker girls Tegan and Sara and were awaiting the Raconteurs, that motley group fronted by the dual Detroit fury of Brendan Benson and some dude named Jack White. From there, we traveled to the Swell Season– who you might know better as Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who you might know better as the cast of Once– and then to the old-school funk of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. (The Dap-Kings, btw, back that nice Amy Winehouse in their spare time.) And then we wrapped up the night by sitting on picnic tables and pondering the mysteries of the universe contained within the songs– and colossal popularity– of headliner Jack Johnson (pictured). I figure his name needs no further clarification…
…but maybe it does? I mean, this is a dude who sells gajillions of records and yet… um, there was nobody at Coachella yesterday. At all. I mentioned this in my earlier post, but it became more and more apparent as the sun went down and the bands on the mainstage got bigger and the crowd, somehow, never did. One judges crowd size at most festivals based on how close one can get to the stage, and to put it mildly, yesterday was a point-and-shoot camera-owner’s dream. Gone were the screaming hoardes of Chili Pepper fans, or the Rage Against the Machine devotees who planted themselves at the barriers with hours to spare; they were replaced by a few families and a number of underage girls in cute tank tops pressed towards the front, and empty grass as far as the eye could see.
So let’s then judge last night’s Coachella performances by their tremendous quality, and not the quantity of the crowd in attendance. After the jump, all the aforementioned bands– one of whom turned in a show that now sits in my top 10 of all time. Read on to find out more… and don’t forget to wear that sunblock under your clothes, eh?
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Greetings from Coachella, PopWatchers! I’m back here in the deserts of Indio, California, sitting on a picnic table while Tegan and Sara reenact a veritable Grey’s Anatomy episode in front of me, and a hot air balloon soars overhead. I’m type type typing away to bring you all the hot rock n’ roll action– how hot is it? It’s so hot, you can take my wife! Please! Oh! I’ll be here all weekend! Try the veal!
Slightly underattended this year is the Coachella, with many people apparently looking at the lineup and Coachoosing not to partake. It’s a little weird, like those old British Airways commercials where the man ran down the empty streets screaming, “Where is everybody?!?”– though we’ll see how things pick up for late-addition superstar Prince tomorrow night. At the same time, I gotta admit that from a non-organizer perspective, this shindig doesn’t need to ever host any more bodies than this. My festival buddy Josh and I have been able to roam free and clear across the grounds this afternoon, untouched by sweaty, unfortunate-tattoo-sporting masses, and as such, we’ve seen some pretty great acts already. After the jump, Rogue Wave, Battles, Black Kids, Dan Deacon, Jens Lekman, and two sets of sisters (including that girl to the left) have this polo field poppin’. Poppin’? Sure!
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Following up on their surprisingly non-violent stage reunion at this year’s Coachella fest, the Jesus and Mary Chain are preparing their first album of new material in a decade; Billboard reports that constantly squabbling brothers Jim (pictured) and William Reid have written scads of new songs and will whittle them down to a dozen for a CD due in the first half of 2008. I wish I were more excited, but Whitney’s lukewarm review of their Coachella performance (even a Scarlett Johansson guest-vocal proved anticlimactic) and the sheer passage of time — the band’s heyday was really 10-20 years ago, wasn’t it? — make me worry that this’ll be just another lackluster, zombie-fied nostalgia act milking the last few drops of goodwill from aging hipsters with disposable incomes. Am I being overly pessimistic, PopWatchers? Are you eager to hear the Reids crank up the fuzzbox again, or have you moved on?
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