January 25 2013
In case you missed it, Goldenvoice revealed the lineup for this year’s Coachella Arts and Music Festival.
The shock has subsided, the dust has cleared, and I am finally ready to talk about it. After reading the lineup over and over again, I think it’s safe to say I’ve left no stone unturned. Pun intended.
Join me as I take a look at the surprises, disappointments, and things you cannot miss at this year’s Coachella Arts and Music Festival.
Reunions, reunions, and more reunions
Right off the bat, the best part of this lineup is the huge array of reunions that Coachella managed to grab this year. Jurrasic 5, the Postal Service, and Wu-Tang Clan are a few of the bigger names, but take a look at the fine print. Some of the other surprises throughout the lineup are Violent Femmes (!!!), Grinderman (Nick Cave is pulling double duty this year), the Shouting Matches (Justin Vernon of Bon Iver’s blues side project), Sparks, and the Make-Up. Add the obvious reunions of Blur and the Stone Roses, and Coachella quickly becomes a collection of bands you thought you’d never see again.
The live debuts of Dog Blood and How to Destroy Angels
The lineup poster also has two acts billed pretty high on the lineup that seemingly few people have heard anything about. That’s because Dog Blood and How to Destroy Angels are set to make their live debut at this year’s festival. Both sound like names of forgettable emo bands, but trust me, you won’t want to miss either of these two. First up is Dog Blood, the collaboration of EDM (electronic dance music) powerhouses Skrillex and Boys Noize. What the fest lacks in EDM (which is a good thing in my opinion…), it makes up for it with Dog Blood. The second major debut of Coachella is How to Destroy Angels. The Oscar-winning duo of Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is set to debut in the desert, despite being around since 2010. The group’s debut album will be released in March, just in time for fans to get familiar with their work.
Blasts from the Past
It’s been talked to death already in this article, but there are so many out of nowhere blasts from the past. From Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds to Johnny Marr to more recent memories like Jurassic 5, Coachella is sure to be a trip down memory lane for a few folks. For those who have a more avant-garde memory of the past, check out Sparks and the Make-Up.
The Headliners (or lack thereof)
Harsh, I know, but Coachella definitely spent their money on the undercard this year. No one was expecting the Stone Roses and Blur to be full on headliners, no one knows what the new Phoenix album sounds like, and no one wants the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Oops! A little bias at the end there, but with no new material from the Chili Peppers, true fans have likely seen them on this album cycle. The real disappointment is the potential that was there for headliners this year. The strongest rumors were the Rolling Stones and Atoms for Peace, while some of the more far-fetched rumors included Justin Timberlake and the return of Daft Punk. I’m no expert, but after Mick Jagger revealed that talks fell through with Coachella, the Chili Peppers were clearly on standby. However, last year’s alleged standbys were Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg after Black Sabbath had to dropout due to Tony Iommi’s cancer scare (though Sabbath was later booked for Lollapalooza). They could have picked something more special in my opinion. For me, the omission of Atoms for Peace is what cuts the deepest. Nigel Godrich hinted that the band would start touring in April, which to most people meant Coachella. However, here we are and the only member of Atoms for Peace present is Flea. If the undercard wasn’t so spectacular, I’d be more upset at the headliners this year. But, you can’t always get what you want (especially if it’s the Rolling Stones).
5 Things You Can’t Miss
If you’re lucky enough to be headed to the Empire Polo Grounds, please heed the following advice. I may be a lowly intern, but it’s my job to make sure you have the best time possible at this year’s Coachella. Well, that and fetch coffee, lunch, or whatever is demanded of me. Just kidding, it’s great here!
Don’t be stupid. Blur will most likely take the Pulp route and do a show or two in New York City, their two shows at Coachella, and then disappear off to Europe for the rest of the summer. Blur is definitely not a #1 overall headliner in the States, but don’t let that turn you away. Even if you’ve only heard “Song 2” (the Woo Hoo Song to us Americans), do some research and see Blur. Trust me.
Last time I checked, these guys hated each other. There’s probably a few lawsuits still pending, so the chances of Milwaukee’s own Violent Femmes staying together for long are not very good. They’ll likely be playing in the afternoon and as a reminder Coachella is in the middle of a desert, so you’ll be able to soak up the sun and the irony while hearing “Blister in the Sun.”
You’ll see him in the shadows if you see the xx this April, but make sure you check out the solo set of the man behind the xx’s infectious beats. After putting out a collaborative album with the late Gil Scott-Heron and a few singles of his own, not much has been heard from the British producer. But if you like the xx and the British side of EDM, make your way to Jamie xx’s set.
Try a new genre
This year’s Coachella is a pretty diverse bunch of bands. Step outside your comfort zone and check out something you wouldn’t normally see.
Not everyone is a rap or hip-hop enthusiast. I get it. That’s fine. But if you’ve never given the genre(s) a chance, check out a few of my favorites: Danny Brown, Action Bronson, and Earl Sweatshirt. If my tastes reek too much of Pitchfork for you, you can take the more mainstream approach with Jurassic 5, 2 Chainz, or Pusha T. And it’s no question that you should try to see the Wu-Tang Clan.
Never been to a metal show? Coachella booked Swedish metal band/performance artists Ghost. Aside from opening for Mastodon, Ghost hasn’t played very many US shows. Just go to their Wikipedia page for a little peak into their world. It’s as spooky as you’d expect from a Swedish metal band.
There’s also some non-mainstream EDM on the lineup. Check out Moby, Four Tet, Zane Lowe, Disclosure, and TNGHT for a little electronic music without the masses of teens looking for their next bass drop fix.
The Live Stream!
Are you not going to Coachella? Me neither! The only way you’ll be able to see all the action in the desert is to tune in to the YouTube live stream. Excluding some very small acts, last year’s live stream showed pretty much everything and with so many great bands playing this year, Coachella’s got your back if you can’t make it out to California. Plus, they only stream weekend one, so there won’t be any spoilers in case any holograms show up (Looking at you, ODB).
Coachella 2013 takes place on April 12-14 and 19-21. Keep checking our website for any updates on Coachella and other major festivals. Festival Season 2013 is upon us!