New Music Tuesday, and a little Coachella round-up

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Photo courtesy of Dave Bullock, who then gave it to KEXP

Well, Tuesday as you know is always new music day – when all the new albums (do we still use this term?) get put thru the churn machine of Bloggers.  Unfortunately, it takes listening to a lot of really bad music to find the hidden treasures. A Blog that gave a nice rundown this week was largehearted boy – an excellent Blog from a guy down in Decatur Alabama. Not what you would think of as a hotbed for Indie music, but this guy knows his stuff. Link back – Holla back my friend! (Could my Top 15 have to be altered?)

Here is his rundown:

Feist’s new album, The Reminder, a plethora of Elvis Costello reissues (unfortunately without bonus material) and American Doll Posse by Tori Amos spice up an otherwise lackluster music release week. Among what I have already heard, I can recommend the 65daysofstatic’s The Destruction of Small Ideas, Electrelane’s No Shouts, No Calls, Frog Eyes’ Tears Of The Valedictorian, Robbie Fulks’ Revenge, and the self-titled discs from Von Iva and Young Galaxy.

– Note: Hey, don’t forget the new Dinosaur Jr. album: Beyond.  

Moving on to Coachella; our sources inside tell us that the Rage Against The Machine re-union was the big news of the weekend but the energy of their live show was severely limited by the temperatures after a few songs. Of course these observations are being made OUTSIDE the large crowd/pit area by the stage – my guess is that the energy was amazing. Despite the layoff – Rage is a band that can still absolutely bring it. Our inside sources; however, tell us Bjork stole the festival. From what we’ve seen from video – it looked pretty amazing. Now speaking strictly “Indie” here, my main focus was on the smaller stages and the reception the bands we know and love in Seattle are getting on the Big Stage. Since I wasn’t there – I’ll give you a great rundown from a very trusted source – our very own John Richards:

Coachella 2007 

This was my very first trip to the Coachella Music Festival and just a quick FYI, if you tell people that this is your first Coachella they will proceed to show total disgust with you and mention how many they’ve been to.  Unless you’re talking to a “RAGE FAN”. They’ll just scream at you, “RAGE!!!!!!”, punch you in the head, smoke a joint, and then fall asleep on the ground. 

I decided to travel to Coachella this year with my best friend, John, whom I’ve known since I was 10, and who is now a firefighter.  It’s always good to travel in horrible heat with someone who: A) Knows what a wuss you are in the heat and B.) Knows CPR.   We flew down on Thursday afternoon and got on the road from LA at about 3PM.  By the way, never let your friend the fireman book your flight or you’ll end up in LA during rush hour.  We started our trip thinking it would be a 2 hour drive, but had to double that total once we realized that there were 8 million cars in front of us.  I was shocked at how polluted the air was.  I’m guessing it was the 8 million cars around us.  The drive picked up once we saw the windmills before getting to Palm Springs.  It’s so sweet seeing those until you realize they are probably there to blow the pollution away, not to generate energy.  Either way, it’s win win. 

We arrived at the rental house in Palm Springs around 7PM.  It was 106 degrees outside..at 7PM.  We reminded ourselves how great it was that we weren’t camping and jumped in the pool. 

Friday morning we woke up and it was about 110 degrees outside.  Our pool was 98 degrees.  We decided to get a late start to the day.  This would be the theme all weekend.  It’s hard to argue with a 98 degree pool and cool drinks.  Later we jumped into our car and headed out to a pre-Coachella party. Actually it wasn’t “pre” it was going on “during” but we considered it “pre” and went.  I have no idea where we were but what I do know it involved a live set from Mando Diao, free swag, and many free drinks which included this blue thing that the bartender said “I don’t know what it is but it’s blue and it will fuck you up”.  He was correct.  After realizing most of the people attending the party seemed like they had been high on cocaine for about 72 hours and probably lived there in the hotel we were at, we decided to take off.  We were shocked at how easy it was to get to and park at Coachella, but we didn’t realize most people would be attending day 2 and 3 and not day 1.  Red Hot Chili Peppers and RAGE! brought the noise, but his night was Bjork’s, even though I was there to see The Jesus and Mary Chain. We parked and started our half hour walk to Coachella, only being asked maybe 200 times if we needed a ticket.  We didn’t.  We got the sweet VIP passes which we learned upon entering meant, more shade and real bathrooms.  By day 3 this is what kept us going, knowledge of running water.  The beauty of Coachella, besides the gorgeous background, the setup put together, and the attendance of 95% of the models in LA, is the fact that 5 stages happen at the same time.  We sat and watched Jesus and Mary Chain complete with Scarlett Johansen singing with the band on “Just Like Honey”.  I remember thinking “who is that and why can’t she sing?”  But it didn’t matter, it was a great moment.  We headed over to the DJ tents and checked out Felix Da Housecat and some of Benny Benassi’s set, including a GREAT mix of the Police’s “King of Pain”. I was hoping it was a sign that the Police would play but they didn’t.  We headed back to the main stage and caught some El-P on the way.  Pretty sweet.  We made it back in time to see the start of Interpol’s set that included a very emotional start with a band new song.  It blew me away and had me excited about the new record.   The band sounded good but after most of the songs started sounding the same we headed back the other way to hear the Brazilian Girls and some more of the EL-P set.  By then we realized we needed to pace ourselves and listened to Bjork as we made our way to the car.   I fell asleep 5 minutes after I got back. 

Day 2 at Coachella started late again for our crew.  The reason was, well, obviously the blue drinks from the day before and the 110 degree weather. We drove around Palm Springs to find a store and declared it to be one of the strangest places on earth to live.  I think the plan is, pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to live there and then never leave your air conditioned house.  We stocked up and headed back for some pool time.  I’m ashamed to admit we didn’t head out until late in the day.  Okay, I’m not ashamed but I’m happy I was with a bunch of people who weren’t festival go getters.  After missing about 20 bands I wanted to see, we headed out to the festival with our friends Ellena and Christina.  After not being able to find parking, everyone in the car turned on each other like nobody’s business.  We got it together and pulled over to let John relieve himself.  Things were looking up.  We found a parking lot to get the car into and started the mile long trek to the event with the knowledge we’d never make the Arcade Fire in time.  That was right when a golf cart drove by and we flagged it down.  We didn’t realize we had just flagged down the most insane golf cart driver on earth.  We nearly killed a dozen concert goers as we made our way to the front.  Best 10 dollars I’ve ever tipped. And actually it was Ellena’s 10 dollars.  We made it in time to see Arcade Fire and man, they KILLED.  It was so sweet to see a band you’ve seen grow the last few years able to play that big a stage and the crowd was nuts for them.  I was sky high. We then ran over to the Sahara tent to see LCD Soundsystem which turned out to be my highlight of the weekend.  On the way there we ran by the Girl Talk set to see 100 people on stage, with not very many clothing jumping up and down while Girl Talk played.  What is remarkable is that was what I saw as I headed to ANOTHER stage.  You had to laugh. The response was insane to LCD, the entire tent was jumping up and down, singing and cheering the whole hour, with palm trees in the background.  Heaven I tell you. 

We then decided to end on a high note and make our way out before the Chili Peppers finished.  As we did, “Under the Bridge” was playing and we argued the merits of this song.  I want to kill myself when I hear it, the others love the song.  However, they didn’t love it enough to stay, so we backtracked the way we were carted in and got home with no issues.  It had dropped to about 90 by then so it was time for Margaritas and the Hot Tub!  Thank god we were able to get in 110 degree water; my body was going into withdrawal. 

Sunday I woke up at 10:30 or so.  Six hours later than usual.  Good times.  We were more motivated this day and headed out so we could make in time to see the Roots.  Granted that meant missing some great bands but look, I don’t do well in 110 degrees.  Plus I was hung over. It was hot and most of the LA crowd wasn’t wearing clothes on Day 3 mixed with the RAGE!!!!!!! Fans.   Sat down in the grass and watched The Roots do a 15 minute version of Dylan’s “Master of War”.  Awesome.  Started to consider heading out to see some other stuff but Willie Nelson was about to start and the rockers were getting out of the way so we go up pretty close to see what turned out to be Willie’s birthday performance.  I’ve never seen this great man play live so it was an honor to get the opportunity as the sun went down.  Plus with the amount of weed being smoked all around us, we were pretty much on a massive contact high, which made us not want to go anywhere. But knowing Jose Gonzalez was going on, we knew we had to head out.  Jose played a few songs solo and then had a few people join him for a nice stripped down set.  He never disappoints.  We then walked over to hear the Klaxons and Lily Allen as well as Crowded House while making our way back to see Amos Lee’s entire set.  Then it was Ratatat, Happy Mondays, Damien Rice and Manu Chao.   After seeing a dozen totally ripped and loaded 6’4 dudes doing stretches before getting into the RAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crowd, we declared ourselves too old for this, called it a day, and walked to our car.  It was a beautiful, crisp, warm night with the sound of RAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fans ripping each other apart filling the night sky. 

We headed out the next morning and drove through the desert.  On our way through the dirty skies of LA and onto Washington, we realized that it was 60 degrees cooler in Seattle.  I had a great time and have to say it might have been the best music festival I’ve ever seen or attended.  I’ll go back next year, but I’ll probably stay away from that blue drink.

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~ by clickdagger on May 1, 2007.

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