April 14, 2013 |
INDIO -- The frenzied festival atmosphere at Coachella -- where every musical act is always in competition with several others for showgoers' attention -- can lead to a bulking-up effect among artists otherwise inclined toward delicacy and refinement. Late Sunday afternoon, you could see it in sets by the English soul singer Jessie Ware (in the Mojave Tent) and the New York electro duo Tanlines (in the Gobi Tent). On record, each savors the infinite possibilities of the studio, detailing every groove with headphone-ready precision.
April 5, 2013 |
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 13, 2013 |
There comes a time in every party girl's life when the party stops being fun. Such was the case Friday night at the parties surrounding Coachella when massive lines, overcrowding, ridiculous displays of outsized drunkenness and the general fatigue of everyone made for a tough night out. The evening's biggest letdown came in the form of the Diesel + Edun / Rolling Stone: Studio Africa party. Located at a posh ranch just off the festival grounds, the party -- scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. -- was crammed to capacity by 11:15.
January 25, 2013 |
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 |
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 22, 2013 |
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.
January 8, 2013 |
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 12, 2014 |
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.
April 18, 2013 |
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.