Monday, January 9, 2012

Coachella time...

Double-barrelled dose of news today...First up, the At The Drive In reunion via cryptic tweet:
( : ¡ ATTENTION ! To whom it may concern: AT THE DRIVE-IN is breaking their 11 year silence THIS STATION IS NOW OPERATIONAL).

Managing to quickly co.opt it's place in the news cycle was The Announcement:  Coachella lineup for 2012!  It came about two weeks earlier than usual, no doubt saving much weeping, & wailing & gnashing of teeth.

This year's new twist, and there's one most every year, is that it will be held on consecutive weekends.  Hopefully the volcanoes will cooperate, and given the nature of artists, it will be interesting to see what the actual percentage of artists performing both weekends will be.  Should be interesting contracts involved.

Some might complain about repeat acts on the roster, the fitness of some headliners, but it seems to me that once again, the lineup is a testament to balance, and a whole lot of homework.  Sunday's reunion of At The Drive In should be an amazing way to close the weekend, unless one really feels compelled to preview Hip Hop's own 'Chinese Democracy', i.e. the Dr. Dre set.  The list does have more than a few repeat names, but they've come to be regarded as Coachella legacy acts, be it Cat Power, Andrew Bird, DJ Shadow, or the Black Keys, let alone Radiohead.  Just wouldn't seem the same without them.  It's underneath the headliners where Coachella always shines, and the money will be well spent this year.  Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Flying Lotus, Jeff Mangum, & Radiohead on the same day(s) anyone?  On the reunion tip, getting Squeeze, Refused, Hives, & fIREHOSE back together also qualify as achievements.

Buzzcocks, Madness, & Pulp head up the English legacy side, one can only imagine how much hair they shed collectively trying to get Blur...wonder if that would have toppled the dominoes for an Oasis reunion...Guess we'll save that one for next year...

Seeing if the hotly tipped artists actually live up to the hype, (Azealia Banks, Keep Shelly In Athens), as well as the chance to see long awaited new material (Santigold, Florence & The Machine, Fanfarlo).

It will be fun to watch the audience behold the power of Wild Flag, Fitz & The Tantrums, or The Black Lips live, most for the first time...More than a few lightbulbs will go off, I suspect.

What separates out Coachella from just about every other non rave festival is the depth & quality of their electronic acts...running the gamut from Justice to Amon Tobin...You can make a good weekend out of just the dance acts: Modeselektor, tUnEyArDs, Kaskade, Company Flow, Calvin's quite a list.

Wonder how they'll deal with Mr. Mangum's 'no cameras' policy? Can't really put him in a tent, and how will his delicate songs deal w/other stages' noise pollution?  Or will the singing crowd drown out other stages?

So, due to that thing we call life, I won't be on patrol this year, but thanks to AT&T, they'll be streaming a good chunk of the action.  All in all, looks like festival season will get off to a good start.

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