yesterday was bad; i didn’t write a damn thing down. not to say my time was well managed and couldn’t have possibly scribble a line or two, because while i was busy there was still ample opportunities for jotting something.
i even had an idea! those oh-so-hard to come by—especially when they’re good—substantial ideas. after going to the record store, i was going to review my purchases while listening to them. i purchased three albums: one i’ve never listened to (Surfer Blood’s Astro Coast), a staple from my youth (Method Man & Redman’s Blackout), and an album i’ve loved for many years (Laura Marling’s I Speak Because I Can).
they’re all very good, so there you go.
it’s almost time for my yearly music sabbatical (and pseudo-versary with the Mrs.) to the city of Indio. you might say, “hey Joe, why Coachella? there are tons of other festivals with (insert reason here) .” and you’re probably right. Sasquatch’s first weekend looks pretty great. Bonnaroo, you can never go wrong. then there are other appealing options like Voodoo Fest, Hangout Fest, Governor’s Ball, Outside Lands, etc.
they’re all cheaper, in different locations, and not a marketing firm’s wet dream come-to-life. but they’re not Coachella.
i love the fact that the lineup has so many bands in the squint-lines that not many people have heard of, some don’t even have full albums out. going through the lineup and googling the smaller acts is one of my favorite yearly traditions and provides more than enough new music to keep me entertained for the months to come.
i’d never have heard of Shovels & Rope or Kids These Days or the Colourist if not for Coachella. this year is no different, as i’ve discovered amazing new music like the aforementioned Surfer Blood. i’m not a music critic nor do have i retained any of the musical theory lessons i’ve learned, so i may not be the best person to do this, but Surfer Blood has a laid-back approach to their coastal indie sounds, if that doesn’t sound redundant. they exude a similar energy to DIIV with the same compositional sensibilities of Beach House. does that make sense? no? well, it’s probably right up your alley if you like the other bands i mentioned.
J. Roddy Walston & the Business is probably the smaller band i’m most excited to see. they’re fun southern-fried rock and roll with a gift for melody and thoughtful lyrics. the backing harmonies are fun, not overused here. but mostly they have an eclectic sound and a diverse set on their latest album, Essential Tremors, which should translate well to a live show. i hope they bust out the pedal steel guitar at the polo fields.
sometimes, you just want to dance. and most times, if you’re me, you want to stay away from the sea of bodies encompassing the Sahara tent. this year, Bear Hands should provide enough funkiness to keep us rump shaking. their music has the energy of bands like FOALS (just not the tempo), with fun and sometimes confounding lyrics. i’ve probably listened to their first album more than any other since this year’s lineup was announced, as they were the first discovery that i really enjoyed.
plus, there are the big bands returning or playing the festival for the first time. Arcade Fire in ’11 was a surreal experience (google their performance of “Wake Up” and you’ll see what i mean). watching my future wife hula hooping with a random girl with Duck Sauce spinning remains one of my favorite memories. and i’ve always said if Outkast ever reunited that i’d do whatever it took to get there, so this is already one of the easiest bucket list cross-offs i’ve ever had to do.
it’s less than a month away. maybe i’ll get to see Jeff Goldblum playing piano in the campgrounds again.
3/14/14 fri 3/15/14 sat. getting froggy.