Friday, April 20, 2012

Coachella, April 20-22 in Indio

And yet another Coachella festival. To be honest, this could have been the year I skipped. Not saying that I really truly would have or wanted to, but the thought crossed my mind and it was enough to recognize it as a possibility. It had been the last few years that I realized that out of all the bands there, I had already seen a lot that I had any interest in in the first place, and it was this year that I also realized that those bands I hadn’t already seen, I could probably have seen later (and in a venue that might be more accommodating than the desert and with the band playing a full set). For a while I decided that I was there, at Coachella and other festivals, to seek out new bands, maybe because I was uninterested in seeing the same sets I’d already seen by other bands, but also a realization that the time at the festival was more to hang out with Carla and our friends and have a good time, a bit more than just seeing bands. Andrew & Heather were out (in favor of going to Primavera in Spain later in the year) but Vanessa and Jenn were in for it. We had to wrench our schedule to potentially make it happen but it was Heath saying that he would go that was the deciding factor. It’s not often that I see Heath, and this weekend was the first time I had in a year or two, but even longer since I’d done a Coachella festival with him. Really, with that group, I’d be down for just about any event, but that it was the Coachella festival made it even sweeter. This was also the first year that the Coachella festival got split into two nearly-identical weekends, which was the point where some of us started to doubt our interest in going (each of us in our e-mail circle saying we’d skip it, but I knew at least a few of us would change our minds, depending on the line-up). I can understand why they did it -- it’s a huge demand for tickets and they only have so much room on the polo fields -- but it kinda blemished the festival for me. One of my favorite things about the event is that it’s special, that there are some bands that are playing there only once, that they might have a unique set they’re not playing anywhere else, that something really one-of-a-kind would or could happen out there. Putting it on over two weekends, and trying to make them as similar as possible, only reminds you that these bands usually play the same show every night and this is just doing that twice in a place instead of just once. But on the other hand, if you know that you’re just getting one performance out of a series of similar ones, then it doesn’t really matter how many times they do it there in the first place. Oh well. At least it made getting tickets more possible. We all decided to do the second weekend.  I got online the Friday morning the tickets went on sale (coming home from work, where they didn’t have Internet access, and happy to have a break from that place) and got on the website to get tickets. I had to wait in the online queue for a while but finally got through and got a pair of tickets. I didn’t think too much of this since Vanessa texted me and said she got her ticket, so I called Heath to ask if he was definitely in, and when he gave me the go-ahead I got another ticket, taking about 15 minutes to do both transactions. I didn’t realize that it was a gigantic deal that I got through at all, much less getting three tickets, since the tickets sold out as quickly as anyone could claim and pay for them. Noa, Zara, Rachel, and everyone at my work (using three computers) all got shut out. Maybe my going was just meant to be? But it also tested anyone for how badly they really wanted to go. Maybe it really did cull the casual fans from the hardcores that couldn’t live without it. (Zara later got tickets but the others sat it out, and I never saw anyone from my (former) work there.) We had our accommodations already made and getting out there and staying was just like any other year, except that the others got out there early and Carla & I went out pretty late, after picking up Heath, after Jerry picked him up from the airport (getting all our references to Coachella in there).  (And we didn't stop in Pomona on the way for for the Pulp secret show). Predictably we got a late start getting into the festival on Friday. We might say we have intentions on getting in there and seeing some new bands playing early in the day but the truth is that we’ll generally get there only early enough to see the first band we really want to see that day. Which, this year, on that day, was Yuck. The band had gotten a huge buzz at the beginning of the year, especially from Spin, and Andrew had really talked them up, but I hadn’t bothered until I accidentally downloaded their album. And then felt ashamed at having missed out on them up to that point. I heard that they were a throw-back to scrappy punk-alt bands from the ‘90s but most of the alt bands from that period were cleaned and shined and mainstreamed to a great degree before they got to the public, so maybe these guys were just a call back to the stuff that was under the radar, the stuff that no one noticed until it was almost too late (so it goes in cycles). But a good band is a good band, and they were great live too. I don’t know where a band with a name like that could go but hopefully that weekend was some necessary exposure for them; I have a lot of memories driving around with Heath listening to James albums, in particular Seven in high school, Laid in college, and Whiplash when we were in L.A. We had tickets for their El Rey show back in 1997 but it got canceled at the last minute. I went to see them at that same location a few years back without Heath and certainly something was missing. It always confounded me why James hadn’t done Coachella before, since they were a well-regarded British band. Now that they made it to the festival, the only confounding thing was why they were playing right in the middle of the day. They deserved a much better position but it turned out to be perfect for us, as there were no conflicts with other acts and we could jump up and down and go crazy and blame our hysteria on the heat. They certainly played like they were at an opportune position on the schedule but by this time, they’ve dropped the desperation to break the American market and are just comfortable playing music for those with taste enough to like them. Booth might have been more or less comfortable, wearing oversized ‘90s jeans but without a shirt or hair. Hey, do your thing, man. I might not have even have made it through “Whiteboy,” as we were jumping around spasmodically (or at least I was. Heath is a much better dancer than I am), but it was the first song and we had to get through the rest of the set. The set was similar to the weekend before, though they broke out an obscurity from Wah Wah that would have killed their show if they hadn't built up some momentum to get there. And of course “Laid” but a joyous singlaong is often welcome anywhere. It’s nice for a foreign band to have a song that almost everyone knows, even if those people don’t know (or care about) any of the rest of their songs. If people knew more than that one song they might have been a bigger deal and played later in the day, and where they were was fine so there's no reason to complain. Though the other thing that would have been a great benefit for them to play a later set was that they might have had more time since all too soon it was over. They'd set a high bar early in the weekend. It would be hard to top them; as much as I love Arctic Monkeys, they’re a challenge live: at best their shows I've seen are lukewarm, at worst they’re stupefyingly boring. I didn't have high hopes but I was interested in how the new stuff sounded live, though more than anything there was just a hole in the schedule that made it easy to see them. And of all surprises, they actually brought it. They rocked as hard on stage as they do on their albums and they seemed to be having a good time. A band that seems to be enjoying themselves often translates to the audience. They had a great performance and were an unexpected high point. They didn't quite catch on fire but they showed that they can get close when they want. (But it wasn't consistent: a friend of mine saw them at a later date on their tour and said that they were dull. I told him that that happens with them sometimes); Pulp playing the fest was, as far as bands go, by far the biggest draw for me. Other bands I can a great fan of but Pulp are at a different level. I wasn't an obsessive fan but since Different Class in the ‘90s, that band has meant a lot to me on a deep level. Their “Babies” video was a certain awakening for me (I saw it in college and there wasn't anything else happening for me), and that video and eventually that song and that band stuck with me. It was sometimes hard to connect with them since they were never quite as big in America as other Britpop bands but I always related to their music on a fairly rare level. I never saw them back then (I remember the weekend they played L.A. for the last time and it was early on and I only knew them enough then to be aware that they were doing a show) and I’d resigned myself to the fact that I never would (Jarvis’s solo show does not even nearly count). That they were playing a show I had access to was beyond nearly my comprehension. Also some hesitation, since they were well past their heyday, a lot of them were considerably older now (and they weren't youngsters when they went big), and I just didn't know if they were going to be as good as I wanted them to be for so many years. I was antsy all day, counting down the hours then minutes to when they went on, a bit after dusk. We went through the nearby beer tent to get properly lubricated then edged into the crowd toward the right side of the stage, and amidst dust and smoke and blinding lights, they appeared. And they did not disappoint, not even a bit. As a matter of fact, they might have even been better than they were back in the day. Age carries some wisdom and they were wise enough to not rest on what back then was a potentially ascending star, instead bringing a sterling performance that could help cement their legend. Predictably they did the hits, and didn’t disregard their last two (lacking, it could be argued) albums but only playing one track from each, and which could have been said were a low-point but they were two slower songs, and they had to have those in the set, if only to give me a chance to rest from all the maniacal jumping around and screaming that I did. And no more a maniac than when they played “Babies,” which was another fulfilled dream I can cross of my list. Though maybe more a maniac than Carla should had to have been near (though not Heath. I know that guy has my jumping-around back). The whole thing seemed to go by in ten minutes (eight of those being the slow songs). But it was what I wanted, even needed from the band, and I was beyond satisfied. I can go on obsessing over their music but after that I knew that their concert was part of my personal history, not an unrequited dream. To see two bands that influenced me so much years ago, at critical parts of my life, out there with the guy who helped make so much of that music so meaningful to me, was a really special thing. That it was concentrated on that Friday was fairly mind-blowing; after that, there wasn't much chance to go any higher and we didn't seek it out. We wandered around a bit, caught some of Mazzy Star doing some songs that weren't “Fade Into You” but had a lot more pep than I would have thought from the band; then over to Atari Teenage Riot, a band that was always on my periphery when they were together but which I never discovered, playing to a few people in one of the tents, and a lot of noise that would have been a lot more interesting in the ‘90s; then tried to get near M83’s orbit but that tent was as packed as I’ve ever seen for a band playing there at night, so we just walked around for a while then left. The biggest peaks for me were already over but considering how high those peaks were, it would be unfair to be disappointed by what was left. As it turns out, the rest of the weekend -- spent with my lady and our friends -- was just as wonderful (though not musically).

Saturday is always a later start to the day than Friday but this year we made a marginally better showing. We got in around 4, in time to see part of fIREHOUSE’s set. They’re one of my buddy Goodwin’s favorite bands and I know their history and influence in the early scenes of a lot of music I listen to, but as a band out there, seen by me for the first time, didn’t do much for me. If I had some background I might have dug them (if it wasn’t actually just a bad set like I’d heard) but as it was they were just a short rest before we got a real start on the day; we were actually getting in to see the Tune-Yards on time. Of course Carla and I had already seen them a few months before but I wanted to make sure that Heath got to check them out. I don’t know if they moved him that much, since they're a little out-there in concert even if you’re a fan, but Merrill put on another kooky show that we dug just as much out in the sun as we did at a club; the two halves of the Oasis split were still pretty close to the original, and had their first releases so close together, it seemed a given that the festival would get either Beady Eye or Noel Gallagher (and his poorly-named backing band). Noel didn’t hedge his bets by playing Oasis songs so much as he took control of them, knowing that he wrote good songs (for the most part) and not hiding them. The audience probably weren’t clamoring for late-era Oasis tracks but Noel played the later stuff, the oldest tracks being B-sides, and they complimented his new stuff well enough. His solo stuff is predictably a lot like late Oasis but that's not a complaint from me. At least he didn’t play “Wonderwall”; I know that Jeff Mangum is a ‘90s indie-rock legend but somehow I missed that Neutral Milk Hotel album and I have no background. I was excited to check out his set to see what I’d missed but it was just impenetrable to me. Some of my favorite music is the stuff I didn't really like (or outright disliked) the first time I heard it so I’m sure he’s an acquired taste. But I couldn't get it there. His slot, at sunset, had a great crowd, so hopefully his icon status will live on and he’ll still be around when I get that album; I’d also missed the Shins up to that point. I'd always meant to get their albums but just never got around to it. I barely even knew "New Slang." But Carla is a fan, as well as Heath, as it turns out, and I got their non-major label albums before the festival and their stuff is accessible enough that I was brought up to speed fairly quickly. I could see how they could become so popular, though I wouldn't have thought they could nab the sub-headliner slot for Saturday. Most of their set went from mellow-indie-rock to just mellow and back again, another perplexity to add to how they could rock out a festival like that. But with all those people being part of the vibe, it really worked. It wasn't quite the Pulp slot of the night before but in that early evening it was a beautiful moment. Jessica Dobson, who I'd been following for some years, played guitar for them (probably more notoriety that she'll get as a musician than being on her own, which is a shame); I'd also somehow always missed Feist live, except that I didn't know of her when she was doing the rounds for Let It Die, and she got much bigger after that but by then I'd lost interest. It was a bit of a swerve that she would play Coachella but she's a big enough name in that circle that it made sense. At least it meant that I'd be able to finally catch her. Her newest album also hadn't made much of an impression on me and I figured she wouldn't play any of my favorite stuff from her early catalog so I didn't have much expectation but I made an effort. The Shins cut into part of her set so I only saw a bit, which would have been enough, except that I missed "Mushaboom," the one bit of representation from Let It Die. Oh well. A bit of a forgettable set; we also breezed through Miike Snow, whose newest album didn't do much for me, and we were mostly watching them while waiting for the next thing to begin. What I've seen from them is already enough, even though they were doing new stuff. That they just played the festival two years ago shows that maybe they're a little too comfortable running over the same well-beaten path; every year that the line-up is about to be announced, everyone clamors for Radiohead. And every year they don't play, everyone bitches that they aren't playing. There's also constantly suspicion that they'll do a surprise set. (About surprise sets:they're more rare at Coachella than anyone would think. They've happened, and it's always an amazing thing when they do, but it's not often. And that goes double, even triple, for a band the size of Radiohead. For a band of that magnitude there's much preparation that would need to go into it. And there's no sense in keeping it a secret anyway.) I always accept that they're not going to play. There's no reason to get bent about it since we can't change it. I didn't think they'd do it again anyway. They already played the festival, in 2004.  Back then it was a perfect headlining slot (as well as the fact that every band worth anything will eventually play out there, to say nothing that most of the bands that have been influenced by Radiohead have, before and since), then also the Pixies playing before them (their own legendary performance), and the fact that it was the last date on their biggest tour to date and a brilliant performance that could rarely be topped.  I never thought they'd bother even considering doing it again if they couldn't bring something new and different and innovative and noteworthy to it (besides just the songs). They're a bunch of guys who have done well with doing things their own way and never repeating themselves, and their fans have come along with them. There was just no reason for them to do that show unless it was just another show on the tour. Which it turned out to be. That counted as their L.A. date (not counting a Santa Barbara date between the weekends) so that would have been the only chance for most of those fans to see them, and if it was just another date on the schedule, there was really no reason to change it up. It was just another show for them. Which is still great but you might think if they were going to be the big name at the festival, and if they were going to do it a second time, that they might try to make it at least a little more special. As it was, it was most of the set that they'd been playing, which included absolutely nothing from before OK Computer (and only a scant few tracks from that album). The real surprises came in the encore, which was the best reason to stick around for the set, and what we got was different from the weekend before but it wasn't anything extraordinary, as far as their usual shows go. I'd seen it before, except for the new songs, which may or may not have worked in that live setting, but they changed up the set enough that there was a little bit of something to see, at least. Of course they'd already done it before but it felt that way too and it shouldn't have.  I only saw them that one time on that tour (different from seeing them multiple times each tour like I usually do) and that was enough. Hopefully it will stop the zombies from expecting them to play again every year, and also from bitching that they don't, for a while. But probably not; I'll say this for leaving: it took hours less to get out of the parking lot that night than it did in 2004.

 We really took our time getting in Sunday. You do two days of that festival and even the heartiest soul can get worn down. There wasn't much for us and I was really the only one trying to get everyone in by a certain time. We thought we'd left plenty of time but by the time we fought through traffic to get in then parked at a faraway lot then waited to get in then got hassled by security (especially Heath, for some reason) then finally got through but had to get to the stage, it was only just in time. Everyone else was mostly just hanging out for the rest of the festival, and what they wanted to see came later that day, but I was there that day for the Hives. One of the best live bands going today. They might have had their heydady a dozen years ago but in the time since they've consistently put out worthy albums and played shows like they were the biggest band in the land (and they'll happily tell you that's a fact). The band is explosive and there's no one on stage more entertainingly chatty than Pele, even more charming with his broken English and cockiness. They have tunes enough to back up any claims, and though a lot of their stuff sounds similar, they're so much fun onstage, any other band just pales in comparison. It's a shame they weren't headlining, as they deserved it, but at least those who knew what a good time is were there; as I was moving to meet back up with the others I breezed by the Weeknd but there wasn't much to get into. My cousin had recommened I see him/them but there wasn't much. Sounded like warmed-over Michael Jackson -- now would be the time for that kind of nostalgia to fly but there wasn't much reason for it. I moved on; for some reason I always forget that Justice are pretty great live. We stopped in at the beer tent to get a drink and they had just gone on on the main stage and they sounded great. I'm not there for a rave and I don't have reason to pick up any of their albums but I might make it a point to check out more of their set at the next festival; we also ducked into a tent to check out Beirut and it seemed like a pleasant set but later on I forgot that we'd even seen them. That probably spoke more for so much going on than being something I just didn't catch at the time; of all the bands that weekend, Carla was there for At The Drive-In. I never would have guessed she was a fan, especially as much of a fan as she is, but that's also part of what makes her so amazing. I liked ATDI for Relationship of Command but didn't go further than that, and what they played from that was great, and the rest of their set fell into that rhythm. She got more out of the set than I did but it was near the tail-end of a long weekend. It was great to see them, again actually, since I'd made it a point to see them at the first Coachella but didn't get much out of it then. After that first time I'd wished I'd paid more attention and this time I got to make up for it; I'd hoped to see more of Florence & the Machine but I wasn't heart-broken that we didn't. She'd become such a big deal in the previous year, I figured we'd probably be sick of her before too long anyway. But I loved Ceremonials and I was looking forward to seeing her fill a stage, better than in the tent the last time at Coachella, which was a turning point in her career (in more ways than one, perhaps the main one being her coming into her own as a diva, showing up half an hour late then). For some reason she'd been given a slot on the second stage, surely miniscule in the size she could have taken up. I understand that the biggest acts get the main stage but the contest between her and ATDI for that slot must have been agonizing. Surely the next time she'll be on the main stage, if not headlining in the first place. And she would deserve it. It's a resplendent set, and she is radiant, just the goddess she needs to be, and maybe the one that we need. Pop music has its own share of queens but chamber music, while not having any noteworthy icons, can finally have its own, as well as ingratiating itself in with the indie-music set. And she can certainly being her own audience, which was overflowing the area for her set. If she'd had the main stage, she would have had even more, surely. It might even have been just as overflowing; by that time we were about done. We probably could have left, to beat the crowd if nothing else, but the group of us was still scattered and we spent a chunk of the rest of the night waiting for the others to show so we could go. That actually wasn't a bad thing at all, since our meeting place is near the main stage so we could still enjoy the last act of the weekend while we waited, and that happened to be Dr. Dre and Snoop Doog. I like both enough but I wouldn't have gone far out of my way to see them. I wouldn't have paid for a ticket for their own show so seeing them at a festival would I have been about the only way I would have seen them, though I'd missed Snoop for years at other festivals, and both of them together were a big enough deal to headline a festival like that, surely they'd put on a worthy show. And they did, though most of it was outside of my range of knowledge. Of course the biggest deal in their set was the Tupac hologram, though that second weekend it wasn't quite the attraction since everyone had already seen it the weekend before (whether by being there in person or by seeing it in a news story). Coincidence: just the month before I'd been hired by Digital Domain, where I'd been working at on and off for years, to work with their commercials team on a top-secret project, which turned out to be effects for that Tupac hologram. I couldn't say anything about it but once it appeared the first weekend I could say that I worked on it. No one had any idea that it would be the big deal it turned out to be. I was certainly surprised and I don't think I was the only one. Honestly, I thought it was going to be kinda cheesy, which wouldn't be a horrible thing since it could also be kinda fun, as well as an extravagance that seems to fit with over-spending hip-hop culture, but people really dug it. I was a very minor part in it but I'm still proud to say I had a hand in it. And it was cool enough to see it in person. I won't say it was less because I knew how they did it (not an extraordinary magic trick, though) but, come on, it was a hologram. It got a rousing enough reaction but I think most of the crowd was stunned into silence or spending more of their energy trying to get a good view of it rather than cheering at that time. But great that they made an effort to do something special. Better effort than Radiohead made. Predictably, Dre also brought out the guest-stars, notably Eminem (who could have headlined on his own), which didn't do much for me, but, coupled with the fact that Dre doesn't play concerts, it was a pretty extraordinary performance.  Those two don't tour so it was pretty cool to see. But I was just as good to leave when we could and I don't think we saw to the end of the set. We were fine to leave and mark the end of yet another year. So back to the hotel and, the next day, back to our lives outside of the desert. We weren't completely sure we would do the festival for another year. We'd talked about it.  Over all the years, we'd already seen a lot there. But maybe. You never know what might happen at that festival (unless you do, from the weekend before).

missed: Ema (conflict with Yuck); Girls (not sure why we missed them, maybe because we were drinking and just randomly skip them); Grouplove (not that I had a particular inclination to see them but it’s odd because they’re local and they seem to play every festival they’re invited to yet I still haven’t come across them); Madness (conflict with Arctic Monkeys but I probably would have skipped anyway if only just to avoid “Our House”); M. Ward (conflict with Pulp -- there was just no way); Frank Ocean (I didn’t know him at the time but it was just after this that the big controversy with his coming out happened so it might have been interesting to see him at that time); the Rapture (conflict with Mazzy Star); the Black Keys (there was just other stuff to see and do and while I’ve come around to liking them quite a bit, there just didn’t seem a reason to see them there yet again); the Vaccines (I was just starting to get into them so I wasn’t familiar with them but this could have been an important show for them); the Big Pink (would have loved to see them but it was too early, both for them and for me. Last time they got a night-time spot, though against two big headliners -- I don't know which is worse. Not a great potential for a huge crowd with either); Kaiser Chiefs (conflict with Tune-Yards but yet another time I’ve missed them, since they always seem to come up on the losing end when they conflict with another band at a festival); Squeeze (I would have liked to see them out of respect for music history but it was a conflict with Noel Gallagher. I don’t even know who’s in that band anymore); St. Vincent (conflict with Noel Gallagher); Kasabian (conflict with the Shins. I wanted to see them more out of curiosity in what they're doing nowadays that they can still play Coachella long after the interest in their first album has gone away); Lissie (who Carla loves so much that it’s made me want to see her too); Le Butcherettes (Carla is crazy about them); First Aid Kit (sound a lot like Sharon Van Etten but there could still be something there); Santigold (probably should have but I’m still not sold that she isn’t something that we’ve already had elsewhere); Wild Flag (I really should see them, out of respect for my love for Sleater-Kinney if nothing else, but I hadn’t had a particular motivation because I hadn’t even been able to get ahold of their album); Real Estate (these previous five bands more because they went on too early); Gotye (he was a big deal at the time but I'd only heard his big song once and I wouldn’t have been able to pick it out of his set in the first place); Girl Talk (a possibility but I’m not convinced that his set wouldn’t be something that gets old quickly after the first time or samples of songs I already knew well. We got in position for At The Drive-In instead); DJ Shadow (I just don’t have a lot of interest anymore, especially after seeing his previous set at Coachella, which was just a playback of his recorded material. And I’m not sure he’s done anything to match Endtroducing anyway. Or if Endtroducing would sound great in a tent in the desert in the first place).

Radiohead's set-list:
"15 Step"
"Morning Mr. Magpie"
"The Gloaming"
"Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"
"Pyramid Song"
"You and Whose Army?"
"Kid A"
"Lotus Flower"
"There There"
"Karma Police"

"House of Cards"

"Give Up the Ghost"
"Exit Music (for a Film)"
"Paranoid Android"

At-The-Drive-In's set-list:
"Pattern Against User"
"Sleepwalk Capsules"
"Napoleon Solo"
"Metronome Arthritis"
"One Armed Scissor"

Pulp's set-list:
"Do You Remember the First Time?"
"Monday Morning"
"Disco 2000"
"Sorted for E's & Wizz"
"I Spy"
"Like a Friend"
"This Is Hardcore"
"Common People"

The Shins' set-list:
"Sleeping Lessons"
"Bait and Switch"
"Simple Song"
"Pam Berry"
"Saint Simon"
"No Way Down"
"It's Only Life"
"So Says I"
"Helpless"  (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover)
"New Slang"
"Port of Morrow"

Florence + the Machine's set-list:
"Only If for a Night"
"What the Water Gave Me"
"Cosmic Love"
"Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)"
"Never Let Me Go"
"Shake It Out"
"Dog Days Are Over"
"No Light, No Light"

Arctic Monkey's set-list:
"This House Is a Circus"
"Still Take You Home"
"Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair"
"The View From the Afternoon"
"I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor"
"Pretty Visitors"
"Evil Twin"
"Brick by Brick"
"Teddy Picker"
"Crying Lightning"
"Fluorescent Adolescent"
"R U Mine?"

Noel Gallagher's set-list:
"(It's Good) To Be Free"  (Oasis cover)
"Mucky Fingers"  (Oasis cover)
"Everybody's on the Run"
"Dream On"
"If I Had a Gun..."
"The Death of You and Me"
"AKA... What a Life!"
"Talk Tonight"  (Oasis cover)
"Half the World Awayy"  (Oasis cover)
"(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach"
"Little By Little"  (Oasis cover)
"Don't Look Back in Anger"  (Oasis cover)

Mazzy Star's set-list:
"Blue Flower"
"Common Burn"
"She Hangs Brightly"
"Ghost Highway"
"Fade Into You"
"Lay Myself Down"
"Flyin' Low"
"So Tonight That I Might See"

Jeff Mangum's set-list:
"Two-Headed Boy Pt. Two"
"Holland, 1945"
"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
"The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One"
"King of Carrot Flowers, Pts. 2 & 3"
"Oh Comely"
"Two-Headed Boy Pt. Two"
"The Fool"

The Hives' set-list:
"Come On!"
"Try It Again"
"Take Back the Toys"
"Walk Idiot Walk"
"Main Offender"
"No Pun Intended"
"Wait a Minute"
"Hate To Say I Told You So"
"Go Right Ahead"
"Tick Tick Boom"

Feist's set-list:
"When I Was a Young Girl"
"Undiscovered First"
"A Commotion"
"How Come You Never" Go There"
"My Moon My Man"
"I Feel It All"
"The Bad In Each Other"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Coachella, April 13 - 15 in Indio

I’m such a huge Coachella fan that I’ve already gone to festival this weekend. And here’s my review!:

Mea went on at the crack of 2 in the afternoon. As if anyone was going to see them/him/it that hour.
Abe Vigoda had rhymes like Mike D.
LA Riots actually had nothing to do with Louisiana, which is a good thing because a big fight almost broke out.
Wallpaper. were female and all having their time of the month. Then they discovered it was completely unnecessary.
The Sheepdogs were actual sheepdogs. And by “sheepdogs” I mean mangey hippies that got lucky and won a Rolling Stone contest.
Hello Seahorse! said good-bye to anyone seeing them. Then it turned out they were just dried shrimp.
Honeyhoney were twice as sweet. And veryclosetogether.
The Dear Hunter was the side-project of the guy from Atlas Sound. But not Deerhunter. Yeah, it was confusing.
Turns out Ximena Serinana was a virus. It made the organizers want to have the festival a second weekend.
Kendrick Lamar’s real name is Shazam Starslayer. Yeah, I didn’t get it either.
European Medicines Agency, Environmental Media Association, Emergency Medical Associates, Exponential Moving Average, and Enterprise Management Associates planned to have their meetings that day but EMA turned out to be a chick singer.
Wolf Gang were mauled and eaten by a real wolf gang. Because they have those out there.
R3hab play3d and irritat3d 3v3ryon3 with th3ir nam3.
Other Lives played and, indeed, Other was alive and living.
GIVERS gave away all the lower-case letters.
Instead of Atari Teenage Riot, everyone wanted to see Colecovision Adolescence Fight Fight Fight.
WU LYF were the first license plate to perform at the festival.
59,997 people contracted syphilis during Grouplove’s performance.
Feed Me had the backstage buffet earlier in the day so they canceled their performance.
Breakbot disappeared in an explosion of irony.
Death Grips couldn’t really get a handle on the whole thing.
The Black Angels prefer African-American Angels but that abbreviation would make people think they’re a tow-truck.
Dawes upgraded to Windows and was a lot easier to use.
Neon Indian had to play during the day so they were Regular Indian.
Yuck made everyone sick.
Datsik actually didn’t make anyone sick.
SebastiAn plAyed And irritAted everyone with their nAme.
Everyone thought James was James Alesso and that there had been an error on the line-up but there isn’t a James Alesso. Then everyone got there and said “Oh, my mom really likes this song” and everyone fell in love. Meanwhile, no more or fewer people fell in love during Alesso’s set.
The Horrors were way too scary.
M. Ward played some m. with some m. and it was m.
Madeon had nothing to do with Tyler Perry. All the white people had no idea what that meant or why it was so popular anyway.
Jimmy Cliff & Tim Armstrong had to perform Cat Power songs. Since she wasn’t going to.
The Rapture had disappeared on May 21 of last year but they had been booked really early and someone forgot to change it.
Madness pulled out all their hair and smeared poop on the walls. In the middle of their street.
Amon Tobin performed under his fake-name, Bootin’ Man. It didn’t fool anyone but just as many no one showed up.
M83 turned out to be a secret code meaning “Drink more beer.”
Explosions in the Sky exploded on the stage.
Afrojack got his hair stolen.
Mazzy Star faded into one lucky contest-winner.
Arctic Mon
keys melted. It was the desert.
Refused weren’t allowed in.
Pulp made the comeback of the year. They were embraced by America like never before and their performance was hailed not only as a landmark in Coachella history and U.S./England relations but also as a touchstone in music history. It inspired them so much that they stayed together as a band and made three more boring albums.
Swedish House Mafia were arrested for tax evasion.
The Black Keys proved why they got to headline a night of the festival: Because of their awesome name. But they still had trouble getting into the house when it was dark out.

Everyone thought that the speakers were messed up during Pure Filth Sound. Nope, that’s how they’re supposed to be.
Tijuana Panthers were the second-worst football team out there that day.*

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang were not a criminally overlooked movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer, directed by Shane Black, writer of Lethal Weapon and director of the upcoming Iron Man 3. It was hard to imagine that a band that low on the bill could be better than that movie.
Keep Shelly in Athens couldn’t make it because they couldn’t get out of Georgia.
Suedehead were not a Morrissey tribute band. Everyone cried anyway.
Mt Eden wanted back the punctuation that Wallpaper. stole. Period.
We Are Augustines were actually Septemberines, Octoberians, and Juliasts. But no Decemberists, since they weren’t playing this year.
Dragonette come from a faraway, mystical land, sweeping across the plains on long, leathery wings, ravaging its enemies with great breaths of searing fire, tearing apart those who get in its way with monstrous claws and a ferocity not seen since before the dawn of humans, raising its majestic head above the sand and sea to let forth a deafening cry for vengeance heard through the valleys and across the hills. And performing early in the day, over by the beer-tent.
Borgore were really dull but there was a lot of blood.
Everyone was disappointed that it was Gary Clark Jr. and not Gary Clark Sr.
We Were Promised Jetpacks were still complaining about it. As if they’re G.I.Joe.
Jacques Lu Cont translated to “Drink more beer, you unappealing person that may or may not be part of a female’s anatomy, said derogatorily.”
Zeds Dead tried to steal a punchline from the next day’s line-up.
The Vaccines needed inoculations. Too bad they weren’t around for Grouplove’s set.
Childish Gambino was too young to get in.
The Big Pink weren’t all that big and not at all pink.
Black Lips prefer Black Lips, actually.
Snoop fans that got there early were hoping that Grace Potter and the Nocturnals was a clever name for a pot-friendly band but were let down. Instead, they had to cop their weed from, like, anyone.
tUnE-yArDs hAd ThE mOsT aNnOyInG cApItAlIzAtIoN aNd ThAt ShOuLd Be SaYiNg SoMeThInG.
Laura Marling had to tell the Earthlings that she was not a person from the fourth planet from the sun.
The Head and the Heart were confused about which was which.
Destructo and Destroyer were scheduled to play on the same stage at the same time and they all came on stage and looked at each other and scratched their heads and looked at each other again.
Kaiser Chiefs predicted a riot. There was not one. Especially not one of the acts from the day before.
Buzzcocks were not chickens that were getting a lot of positive advance word. Instead, old dudes. Also, not penises.
A$AP Rocky forgot to tell them he was going to be there. Irony.
Squeeze were tempted by someone else’s bananas and apples.
Everyone preferred to withdraw money from Azealia Banks than BofA and Wells Fargo.
AWOLNATION were, predictably, missing. The entire country.
As it happened, Kasabian had only one club foot. Or “Club Foot.” Not many commercial prospects beyond that.
Manchester Orchestra weren’t from England and didn’t sound anything like New Order so interest quickly dissipated.
Flying Lotus just gave up and played Radiohead records since everyone was there for the “surprise” appearance by Thom Yorke.
SBTRKT plyd nd rrttd vryn wth thr nm.
Sub Focus were very hard to see.
Martin Solvieg dissolved solutegs.
St. Vincent appeared on the covers of another 27 nationally-distributed magazines and still no one knew who she was.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor played and irritated! everyone with! their! name.
fIREHOUSE are old-school and their name totally didn’t irritate anyone.
Feist followed-up “1 2 3 4” by counting off the rest of all the numbers. Not as catchy.
Andrew Bird looped himself into oblivion and that spinning thing he has on stage.
Sebastian Ingrosso was actually a singing crab, under the sea, under the sea.
Jeff Mangum spent his set yelling “IT’S MANGUM, NOT MAGNUM, YOU FUCKS. MANGUM, NOT MAGNUM.” Then went back into hiding.
Miike Snow played and iirriitated everyone wiith theiir name. Also, masks and a fog-machiine.
Kaskade totally washed all the dishes and they were effing spotless.
Noel Gallagher got in a fight with his cousin’s cousin’s step-mom’s niece's half-brother and quit his own solo project. Then went over to sing “The Setting Sun” with the Chemical Brothers who, like every Saturday night, were playing at Cactus Jack’s.
No one bothered to see David Guetta since he didn’t have a name that was punctuated incorrectly or spelled wrong. So uncool.
The Shins were playing soccer and were kicked repeatedly.
Bon Iver came out on stage and instantly everyone fell asleep.
Anticipation for Radiohead was high, despite the fact that they were expected to play the same set they’d played on their tour so far. But they changed it up: Thom said “We’re going to play all of Pablo Honey.” Only one concert-goer’s head exploded. Then Thom proceeded to twitch and spasm like he was having a seizure for three hours, leaving the rest of the band to stand around scratching their heads and for Jonny to put wires into some upright contraption. Rolling Stone, Spin, and Pitchfork hailed the band’s performance as “ground-breaking,” “breathtaking,” and “the band’s best work since The Bends.”

Everyone dozed off during Sleeper Agent.
The Airplane Boys couldn’t make it because the Palm Springs airport was too expensive to fly into.
Gardens & Villa were a VIP area.
Spector killed a hooker in Hollywood with a Wall of Sound but had remarkable hair.
All of Fanfarlo’s admirers were on vacation.
Housse de Racket were told to keep it down.
Wild Beasts were let loose on the audience and mayhem ensued. But it was early in the day and the crowd hadn’t all showed yet so there wasn’t a lot of mayhem.
Metronomy sounded like a college course. Thinking is hard when it’s hot.
Thundercat kept yelling “HO!” after every verse and chorus and all the people over 30 stayed away because they’d already seen that show.
Lissie did an entire Kid Cudi album but we still couldn’t watch it because of the buffering problem.
Oberhofer translated to “Drink more beer, you sober fuck.”
First Aid Kit treated a number of concert-goers for scrapes and bruises but couldn’t do anything about all those syphilis cases.
The Gaslamp Killer only murders people in downtown San Diego so it’s a good thing it wasn’t in downtown San Diego.
Morgan Page was quickly forgotten due to a boring, punchline-challenging name. In the process of changing his/her/its name to !@#$%^&*().
Band of Skulls had the same number as other groups with the same amount of members. Unremarkable.
The Growlers might have been Wild Beasts.
Greg Ginn and the Royal We makes a man mean. Also performed with Joe Vodkaa, Frank Scotchh, Dave “The Tank” Whiskeyy, Emilio Tequilaa, and Sally Southern Comfortt.
Le Butcherettes killed everyone. Frenchly.
Zedd was dead, baby. Zedd was dead.
The most important thing about Real Estate was location, location, location.
Company Flow were best viewed on a chart.
araabMUZIK was a serious typo.
Fitz and the Tantrums had to have a time-out.
Beats Antique tried their best but during the second song were broken and their value plummeted.
Sean Kuti had to go through 79 Egypts before he got to Egypt 80.
Gotye walked straight out of New York City and onto the stage in Indio. Why choose between Saturday Night Live and Coachella?
Flux Pavilion was nice to relax under but Doctor P was a terrible gardener.
Santigold had to change a letter in her name again and instantly lost all her Jewish fans.
Porter Robinson was from North Carolina. All the club kids loved him because they thought that was an exotic country.
Dada Life fought their long-time nemesis, Budda Death, and lost due to a less-interesting name.
Modeselektor had to fight Versionhe-man for rule of Formeternia.
Wild Flag ruled. Somewhere in Portland, a female guitarist cursed herself for breaking up a band and listened to her boring solo album... again.
Nero was the best DVD-burning tool out there (since Roxio was busy that weekend).
DJ Shadow played during the day and disappeared.
The Hives, once again, could not perform because they had a bad allergic reaction.
I totally told Calvin Harris that he and I could be related. Then he had me ejected from his dressing tent.
Girl Talk got up on stage and got distracted by a game of Freecell.
It would have been dumb for The Weeknd to play on Friday.
Beirut had more people show up to see him perform than there are people alive in Lebanon.
AVICII went on at XIIV o’clock. Everyone was confused.
Florence + the Machine was so amazing that 137 people were treated for exploded heads. And no one noticed the Machine, whatever that is.
Justice kept messing up because they couldn’t see anything.
Everyone thought it was weird that At The Drive-In had only 50 minutes since no movies are that long. But everyone brought popcorn and made out in the backseat anyway.
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg came on stage and shouted “You all see Radiohead last night? Fuck them [popular racial slur that would not apply to pasty British dudes; plural].” Then proceeded to perform the entirety of The Bends, OK Computer, and Kid A, along with Pablo Honey B-sides. The cloud that appeared over the stage and crowd became its own atmosphere and rained. By the end of the show all of the food carts were cleared out of food, especially those with Doritos. The performance was dedicated to the [popular racial slur that did not apply to 99.99999% of the audience; plural] that was down from weekend one.

It was awesome!