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January 25, 2013 | By August Brown
For Brit-pop fans, Thursday night's Coachella announcement was like a birthday, Christmas, Hannukah and an unexpected inheritance check all arriving at once. Devotees of the dance-leaning Sahara Tent, however, might be taken aback by the light bill of major EDM superstars, or even rising newbies who haven't played L.A. in the last six months, on the bill this year. One has to scroll down to the third line of any given day before a proper dance act is listed (some electro-leaning bands like The Postal Service and New Order have higher billing)
April 13, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
The question lingered for nearly the entire set: When would Baauer drop "Harlem Shake," his syrupy instrumental dance track that spawned a viral craze? Would he do it early to get it out of the way, as Gotye did when he played "Somebody That I Used to Know" this time last year? Would he pull an MGMT, which memorably ignored its anthem "Time to Pretend" in 2008? Baauer's ubiquitous jam had to come -- didn't it? For 55 intense minutes the New York producer teased the audience, working to deliver proof that he's not a one-hit wonder, but a production force working to bring the hot subgenre of trap rap to the masses.
April 14, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
During a between-song break during their first-ever live performance at Coachella on Saturday night, singer Ben Gibbard introduced the unit he co-founded with Jimmy Tamborello as "an imaginary band called the Postal Service. " He was acknowledging the group's unlikely rise, but the reaction to its music was very real, whether delivered by a make-believe band or a platinum artist.  Ten years ago the two made what they thought would be a one-off side project. Gibbard was taking a break from his day job in Death Cab for Cutie, and Tamborello was looking to further examine a sound he'd forged as Dntel with the underground hit "The Dream of Evan and Chan.
April 22, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
The Lumineers knew what would win over the Coachella crowd Sunday afternoon. They didn't tuck “Ho Hey,” the feel-good, Top 10 anthem that broke the Denver folk-revival trio less than a year ago, deep into their main-stage showing. They put it very early in their performance. A steady flow of stragglers ran toward the Grammy-nominated breakout band to capture the moment on smartphones and help them shout “Hey” during the song's sinfully irresistible chorus. COACHELLA: Festival photos since 2004   “We're just getting started,” lead singer Wesley Schultz promised.
April 5, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
This edition of Essential Tracks gathers new music by lesser-known artists gigging next weekend's Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio -- as well as one epic reissue by a recently reunited group. If you haven't the desire, money or constitution to spend three days surrounded by so many humans under the desert sun, you can find comfort in the tracks (and watch the whole event live online). Those gearing up for the two-weekend festival have seven days to memorize these tracks. Kurt Vile, “Wakin on a Pretty Daze” (Matador)
April 18, 2009
January 8, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
As was often the case, television personality Huell Howser captured the Coachella scene perfectly. Howser, who died Sunday at age 67 , traveled throughout Southern California during a career highlighting its myriad cultural offerings. As such, he journeyed to Indio, Calif., with typically boundless curiosity for a segment on KCET-TV in 2008 on the annual festival. Howser's take comes near the end of the feature: "It's just a beautiful, beautiful feeling here. Everybody is mellow and kind of chilling out here waiting for the particular group that they're here to listen to. It's all good.
April 17, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
The late Tupac Shakur rose again last weekend at Coachella -- brought to life by James Cameron's visual production house Digital Domain, and two hologram-imaging companies, AV Concepts and the U.K.-based Musion Systems. The capacity crowd reportedly went silent with shock when Shakur appeared to rise from the stage, shout a profanity filled version of "What's up Coachella?" and then joined headliners Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre for two songs. But that shock value will only last so long as holographic images are poised to increasingly feature in mainstream music performances.
April 18, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
This weekend at Coachella, about 190 acts will return for the second, and final, weekend of the annual festival. And the simple truth is, whether you're headed to Indio, recovering from last weekend's festival and looking for some couch viewing on the Web or merely curious to witness new sounds of today, it will be impossible to catch everything. A shame, but not the end of the world; unsurprisingly, not everything was great. As someone who went last week intent on catching as many new and/or unsung acts as possible, I returned with opinions on what to see and not. Below are a few tips.
April 12, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
The buildup lasted much of Outkast's oft-riveting Coachella performance on Friday night, rolling toward those set-ending classics and album tracks that defined the early '00s: "So Fresh, So Clean," "Ms. Jackson" and "Hey Ya!"  Triumphantly returning to celebrate 20 years as a team, Antwan "Big Boi" Patton and Andre "3000" Benjamin presented repeated arguments as to why they'd earned such a huge Southern California welcome for their first shows since the Atlanta duo went on hiatus in 2007.
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