Back from Coachella. It was great! I thought I’d make another mix tape to reflect what I actually ended up loving at the festival (surprisingly different from what I expected in some cases). Thought this might help some Weekend 2 goers as they gear up for this weekend too See below for the mixtape and my highlights/recommended sets.
- The Rapture “How Deep is Your Love” (Cassian remix). The Rapture was my favorite set of the entire weekend, and among my all-time favorites (This was my 6th year. Just sayin!). DO NOT MISS THEM. In addition to dancing your MF’in azz off, you will also see/hear some of the craziest saxaphoning of your life!
- Breakbot “Penelope Pitstop”. For those into the new disco/indie dance thing, Breakbot is your best chance to groove in the Sahara tent. Highly recommended dose of daytime disco with funkier beats than just about anything else on the electronic dance lineup this year. Quirky, colorful visuals add to the fun. Check out his video for “Baby I’m Yours” if you haven’t already.
- Miike Snow – “Paddling Out” (Penguin Prison remix). My favorite act of Saturday, Miike Snow brought their moody synthpop-rock to the Outdoor stage with one of their best performances I’ve yet seen. I especially enjoy this great new highly danceable track. Many a good remix of it out there already. One of the best songs of the festival IMHO.
- Feist – “How Come You Never Go There” (Beck remix). Feist was one of my biggest and best surprises of the festival. A beautiful performance by an ensemble of 20+ musicians led by her sheer rocking power. Another not to be missed.
- Neon Indian – “Halogen (I Could Be a Shadow)”. Despite the misfortune of a midday Outdoor time slot Weekend 1, meaning the strongest wind and rain of the festival, without the shelter of a tent, Alan Palomo and the gang pressed on through their dramatic, psychedelic synthrock tunes…The synth freakout parts seemed intensified by the dark clouds looming overhead and high winds causing a clamor amidst the palm trees. Purple-bobbed keyboardist Leann Macomber was particularly easy on the eyes, too… I like ur hair, gurl. And my heart definitely went pitter-patter when she also played slap-bass on “Fallout”. <3
- Arctic Monkeys “Crying Lightning”. Speaking of hotties, and their hottness, WHOAH, Alex Turner. Mega-swoon. Ok, the rest of the band is cool too. I mostly swoon because I love their musicianship and cool lyrics that tell weird stories. It just so happens that as sung by Mr. Turner said lyrics make me feel things. In my pants. And in my brain! Whoah! Plus, I danced. Highly recommended main stage set at sun set. They rock out hard.
- Metronomy – “The Look” (Fred Falke remix). The best band of Sunday IMO, a pity they got a 2 pm set time on the Outdoor stage. If you can stand the heat, it’s totally worth it. They are a band of seriously quirky and fun individuals who clearly have a blast making original, danceable, and oddly relateable indie synthpop music. Highly recommended.
- M83 “Reunion”. Aside from that one song, that makes everyone freak out, I really found their closing song “Reunion” to be the standout of the set, especially because everyone expected “the other one” to be the last song. Simply beautiful! So overpowering live. Highly recommended. I’m imagining it will be very difficult to get close for their set next weekend (unless you go to the Rapture beforehand, hint hint)
Aside from those, I feel inclined to comment on a few others:
Amon Tobin – I went into this set not really knowing what to expect other than something bizarre and highly visual. It was both of those things and so much more. Be warned though, if you are in the mood for dancing and partying, this definitely won’t do it for you. But if you can open your mind or just want to experience something completely different, DO NOT MISS. Simply astounding audiovisual art experience completely unlike anything you’ve ever seen or conceived of. One of the most astounding sensory “trips” ever visualized and actualized on amazing technology that has to be seen to be believed.
Justice – was a huge disappointment. They really blew it weekend 1. Granted, tech problems are not entirely their fault, but there was a long time gap before they played. It should have been figured out. They went on 25 minutes late and only played 30 minutes, most of which was occupied by extra-long (read:10 minute) mixes of A/V/D and DANCE. Plus, the sound cut out entirely toward the end. The only part I thought was really good was the opening with “Genesis”. Hopefully it will go better for Weekend 2 people.
Other pleasant surprises: Pulp was surprisingly fun, their stage setup and the antics of Mr. Cocker are worth checking out. The visuals of Sub Focus are also pretty amazing and made them the best thing of Saturday night for me (not a Radiohead fan at all, their performance did nothing for me.)
Overall, a great year though quite strange in some ways (mostly the weather!). I’m praying to the Coachella gods for lots more disco, synthpop and indie dance flavor next year though… (not just top-to-bottom euro-trance/house cheeze!!! /rant)