Friday, April 15, 2011

Coachella 2011? NO! Coachella 2010? YES!

Well, the L.A. Times just dissed Odd Future's Coachella performance from earlier tonight here

That's right, it's Coachella time, kids. But if you didn't buy the overpriced ticket immediately, you aren't there. Neither am I, but I was there last year.

(I wasn't too thrilled about this year's line-up in general anyway, especially the three headliners - Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, and Kanye West - three of the biggest symbols of what's currently WRONG with music today.....)

On the occasion of the bad 2011 Coachella, let us fondly recall the Coachella 2010 of days gone by...

thissmallplanet video of Coachella 2010 Jack White Doing Van Morrison

thissmallplanet video of Coachella 2010 Jack White/The Dead Weather/Alison Mosshart "Will There Be Enough Water?"

Drummer Brad Wilk joined bandmate Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine on this jam with Boots Riley and Street Sweeper Social Club (a cover of the LL Cool J classic):
thissmallplanet video of Tom Morello "Mama Said Knock You Out"

Tom Morello/Street Sweeper Social Club "Promenade" Coachella 2010

thissmallplanet video of Tom Morello/Street Sweeper Social Club's cover of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes"

My blog post about Day 1 of last year's festival:


coachella 2010 Friday

Got here at noon and spent an hour in line, waiting for my car to be
searched so I could go to my camping spot. they do seem to have a
thing about security and must spend a fortune on it. on the other
hand, things run pretty smoothly. I parked and went to the site. it
was starting to get warm but there was still snow on the mountains,
making a nice contrast with the palm trees. I started taking pictures
of the site and the people there. almost immediately, the music
started. Deer Tick and Avett Bothers put in solid sets. At 5 pm, sun
blazing, the street sweeper social club took the stage. Fronted by the
coup's boots Riley, and featuring the amazing guitar work of Tom
morello, they brought their fiery brand of revolutionary rock funk rap
to the coachella crowd. Stand out tracks included 100 little curses
and promenade from the. New album.... The crowd responded well to
their cover of mia's paper planes and the closer of L.L. cool j's mama
said knock you out, with a guest drumming spot by rage against the
machine's brad wilk..

I caught bits of she and him, gill Scott heron, lucero, yeasayer, the
specials, and passion pit. That's the great thing about coachella,
that you can stroll from stage to stage (5 stages plus other
performance spots, corporate tents, food courts, beer gardens, merch
tables, portolets and camping - with an Internet cafe where I write
this - all on a giant site, a polo field actually, in the southern
California desert near palm springs) and catch a song or two from a
band you've heard of but never seen - and probably never would see -
as well as a bunch of bands you never heard of who are amazing.

Allow me to sing the praises of Josh homme. The queens of the stone
age frontman, who also plays drums for the eagles of death metal,
seems to be at the very center of some exciting new music I call Dark
Psychedelia. Homme produced the arctic monkeys new album humbug, so
some of that desert magic rubbed off on the lads from Sheffield who
worked on the album at a desert studio near here. Some time queens of
the stone age cohort dean k plays guitar and keys for Jack white's new
band the dead weather - who also play coachella this year.

Eyebrows were surely raised when it was announced that homme would
front a new supergroup - them crooked cultures featuring nirvana/foo
fighters Dave grohl on drums and led zeppelin's john Paul jones on
bass. On first blush, it would seem he lacked the gravitas to live up
to the expectations having band members with such a legacy. Few people
would mention queens of the stone age in the same breath as nirvana
and led Zeppelin. In addition to singing and playing guitar with the
new band, homme apparently wrote most of the songs on the vultures'
debut album. Some critics complained the songs seemed tosseed off and
the album was done quickly but the so gs hold up well live. I saw them
in Oakland year and enjoyed it. I was curious so I gave a listen to
the queens albums as well as the desert sessions. Driving through the
desert these songs made sense.

The vultures took over the stage just before 8 pm. The evening cooled
the desert as the crowd swelled. Homme introduced the band and when it
came to himself he said "and you know me, I'm Joshua.... And this is
my hometown!" and proceeded to give a performance that should serve to
silence the critics and haters once and for all.

i missed critics darlings Grizzly Bear, but caught bits of Echo and
the Bunnymen, LCD Soundsystem, and everyone's favorites, Vampire
Weekend. I know I'm supposed to like them but the whole "look at us
we're preppies and proud" schtick doesn't sounds a little too smug. I
think their music is bland and boring. The headliners at the Main
Stage and the adjacent Outdoors Stage couldn't have been more
different - Johnny Rotten Lydon of PiL and rap sensation Jay Z. it was
kind of funny to see the suburbanites (who paid $260 for the 3-day
pass plus transportation, camping or hotel, food, etc.... after it was
sold out the 3-day passes were going for $600-$800 and up!) singing
along to "Hard Knock Life". As if! At one point I stood equidistant
between the two stages and was able to see Johnny and Jay-Z at the
same time. Two great con men, two different generations. All together
under the stars at coachella....

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