Ah Coachella… The eclectic, hip, sweaty, lose-your-mind party in the desert. Arguably the best music festival in the United States; a true ‘playground for adults who love music’. Usually around this time every year unappeasable hipsters gather on internet forums to debate what act is worth the Coachella Headliner title. But this year was different. When in several years past the lineup released around MLK weekend, this year we got a late Christmas present: A very early official Coachella lineup poster. My mind literally exploded when hearing the news (literally). As I heard the news, I dropped everything at work and rushed to the nearest computer to spend the next half hour diligently scanning each band soon to perform at the polo fields.
To be honest, I was a little disappointed at first. The Black Keys headlining? Really? That’s almost as bad as say… Kings of Leon… But I digress. As Spotify blasted my ears with terrible ads this morning, I came to the realization that there is a multitude of amazing smaller acts this year. Simply put: the undercard of this lineup is stellar. Sure, Radiohead will put on an unforgettable show, as will Dre and Snoop. But the most memorable moment of Coachella isn’t going to be Thom Yorke seizing up on stage to “Lotus Flower”. Nor will it be thousands of Black Keys fans whistling to ‘Tighten Up’. If you are able to recall anything from the blur that is Coachella, it will be how you had a surprising amount of fun at a band you barely knew.
Signed to James Murphy’s (LCD Soundsystem) record label, DFA, you know The Rapture won’t disappoint. They successfully combine dance and punk in a fusion that can please even the elite elitests.
I just recently stumbled across Destroyer and immediately thought that they would be incredible live. They have a very unique sound not seen in todays world. Their use of unconventional guitar solos, and the unmistakable saxophone melodies will jive well with a sunset time slot.
Swedish House Mafia
I’ll admit, I’m not the most knowledgeable of techno, nor do I want to be. However, it’s hard to deny a great show because of the genre. Swedish House Mafia will put on a great light show and most likely end Friday on the main stage after the Black Keys (and rightfully so). I’ll see you on the dance floor.
If their newest album didn’t win you over then go read Jack’s review right now and try again. The beachy, flowy sounds of summer that Real Estate manages to produce will nearly lift the rainy days of Seattle out of your head and bring you to somewhere warmer (nearly).
Explosions in the Sky
This one goes without saying. You’d be a fool to miss this. Explosions in the Sky can be a soundtrack to anything and everything meaningful. At risk of overhyping this band (if possible), I’ll stop here and just say that they will not disappoint.
I’ve had two times to see Neon Indian, and unfortunately missed both opportunities. One of the many rising stars of the new genre: Chillwave, Neon Indian’s first two albums received rave reviews from notable publications such as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. One of the unique aspects of their live sets is that they use real instruments to recreate the album rather than a series of turntables and samplings. I won’t miss them this time.
I’m the first to admit, I am a stereotypical Seattleite who can’t get enough grunge music. What can I say? I grew up on the same gray, misty, and cloudy days as the likes of Cobain and Cornell. That being said, I have yet to hear a band that encompasses that iconic messy, fuzzy sound as well as Yuck does. They are a breath of fresh air in a music world that is ditching their guitars for turntables.
Do. Not. Miss. This. Band. Tune-Yards is the brainchild of Merrill Garbus, one of the most interesting lead singers you’ll see all weekend. Her live sets include: bashing on common household objects (aka: tin cans, milk jugs, trash can lids), sampling herself in real time, and making noises you’d never thought humanly possible. Tune-Yards is an all around fun show that will get you dancing regardless if you’ve heard a single song or not.
This is just a sampler of bands to get you started. Check back in the future and in our spotlight section for in depth looks at our most anticipated acts.
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