Sunday, April 17, 2011

Highlights from Coachella 2011 (so far)

I've always wanted to go to Coachella, but the thought of driving so far just to stand out in 90+ degree weather for hours on end has kept it fairly low on my bucket list.  Now that I can enjoy the music in the comfort of my overly air-conditioned house, it's moved further down, just above doing the Coney Island polar bear plunge (can you tell I have an issue with temperature extremes?).

So instead I put together my own mini concert of what I was tempted to shlep a great distance to see, but thankfully didn't have to.

First up is the cool guys from New York, Interpol.  Having lost founding member Carlos Denger, there was a bit of a question mark surrounding the band's future.  But the dour dudes most often compared with Joy Division for their dyspectic punk musings, still manage to connect.  I thought they looked and sounded in fine form this weekend:

I don't know why Kings of Leon is such a polarizing band-- or perhaps it's only in my family where they are considered overrated and passe by some.  I'm still a huge fan and would have loved to see this live, if I'd had a private temperature-controlled cabana with free running daiquiris.

While it may be inconsistent of me, and I've always thought consistency was the hobgoblin of little minds anyway, I like Flogging Molly even thought they utilize fiddles, banjos and accordions in their music.  They do it with style.

Wow, I apparently can't get enough of the fiddle, because there's one prominently displayed in the Arcade Fire's set.  If you're familiar with Arcade Fire, you probably know they were the upset winners of the Grammy for album of the year.  I'm not sure I'd want to sit through an entire concert of theirs -- it might be a little too ponderous after a while -- but in small doses it's hard to argue with their talent.

For those of you who are fans of Casey James, you'll probably recognize the first song, "I Got Mine" by the Black Keys. The next was their breakout hit "Tighten Up."

I don't know what's more trippy, the music or the fan's video, but here's some Chemical Brothers (a few days early, probably better suited for 4/20).

Based on a recommendation, I checked out another of the acts performing this weekend at Coachella, the LA-based Warpaint.  I hadn't heard of them before and a quick Wiki said they had formed in 2004, had a few alterations to their line up, and are currently an all-female, experiemental band.  The first song I listened to was "Elephant," an atmostpheric and hypnotic song.  Next was "Bees," and it's similary sexy, layered and moody.  Check it out.


  1. Can't listen to anyone's "I Got Mine" - even the Black Keys - after experiencing Casey's. Truly. Nice line up of videos though! Thanks!

  2. Check out The Swell Season as well. Glen Hansard beats that acoustic like it owes him money and the look of the instrument is evidence. The guitar and his voice aren't always pleasant to listen to, but I love how he pours it all out into every song. And nobody does Falling Slowly better than the two who wrote it. Not my favorite song of theirs, but it still gives me chills every time.

    Elbow was pretty good too. I don't know much of their music, but I love their last number "One Day Like This". And you'll never believe where I first heard that song - Casey James' Homecoming montage on American Idol.

  3. Very pleased you're covering Coachella, Shari. Arcade Fire's Wake Up in this generation's Smell Like Teen Spirit--a more mature look at the erosion social conformity causes on one's soul and the triumph of the human spirit nonetheless. Ok, I just described pretty much any Arcade Fire song (lol). They've become more palatable over the years, with The Suburbs being practically mainstream in sound, if not in lyrics. Very proud to count myself a fan.

    I've been following Coachella too and favor Lauryn Hill's soulful and gritty set, followed by indie up-and-comers the Drums, Brooklyn locals who favor 80s tropes like the Smiths and Joy Division--and Warpaint, who are the coolest chill vibe LA chicks around. Also enjoyed Interpol's clips, but they are a bit dour at times for my tastes. Evil is still my favorite song from them.