Posted in music | pictures on April 17, 2010

photos by Rachel Carr, words by Daiana Feuer

Jay-Z, Beyonce & Johnny Rotten
Coachella 2010
Coachella 2010

This year, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival reveals that tattoos are more ubiquitous among social scenes than ever before. A walking museum of quotes and legendary faces from Jesus to Michael Jackson decorates the backs, shoulders, calves and fingers of people fashionably reliving their favorite historical decades at this heat-stroke inducing music marathon.

I thought Wale didn't show up, but later found out that he showed up late. Baroness demonstrated the art of rocking out at least three to five times before each song reached a satisfied climax. Metal can be a real turn on, especially surrounded by sweaty good-looking people. Deer Tick performed an R+B version of "Ashamed" followed by John McCauley caressing his nipples. LA band Iglu and Hartly had enthusiasm, but is this Mickey Avalon without the drugs and prostitutes? Which leaves what? Sleigh Bells began with a booty melting bass line palpable from the VIP section across the field, soon overtaken by hipster hop metal pop for people that like beaches and children. The Avett Brothers made an exciting second Coachella appearance on the Outdoor Stage. Two years ago, the band played Sunday gospel time, all manners and simplicity, but the Bros returned with a full band, and a few thousand people singing every word, stomping to the banjo, and hugging during the sweet parts. The banjo will take over America. Just wait. Country music is infiltrating avant-garde and above ground indie worlds alike.

Standing midway between the big stages, just a few feet from yet another girl with the words "Have u seen my friend Molly?" scrawled on her back, the Avett Brothers' heart-wrenching "January Wedding" got a reggaeton remix from Calle 13 booming on the Main Stage. This Puerto Rican dancefloor marvel used a tea kettle for a mic effect, and taught the audience to say "No me jodas las pelotas" against negativity ("Don't fuck my balls"). Speaking of balls, Yeasayer's crowd went absolutely nuts screaming, but the guys barely seemed aware, transported as they were to some space station cloud. The harmonies rocked like angelic aliens-but, smile, guys. Hockey demonstrated a genuine interest in moving indie rock standards forward, especially attracting the PG-13 festival contingency. M. ward raspy singing "Roll Over Beethoven" during She & Him's set delivered tingly shivers, but Zooey Deschanel's approach to "I Put A Spell On You" did not crumble souls. Her jazzy voice and bouncy energy otherwise made for a good time that elicited repetitive shouts of "I Love You!" from the first row.

Gil Scott-Heron
Coachella 2010

Music should be at least marginally weird or infinitely classic, but Tom Morello's band, Street Sweeper Social Club, brings nothing new to either category and so seems a waste of great musicians. Get weird or the future will never arrive. That being said, the musicians Coachella digs up from history often present the most exciting moments. Rock steady ska pioneers The Specials sent a crispy, warm message to Rudy that every witness appreciated immensely, but it was outrageous that barely any photographers showed up for Gil Scott-Heron's smooth, soulful set [editor's note: ours did!]. The man is partly responsible for getting Martin Luther King, Jr. a holiday, godfathered hip hop, and that doesn't merit attention? A large crowd attended his every word, but the photos won't show it. Later on, James Murphy screamed Gil Scott-Heron's name during "Losing My Edge" as if it were the name of God. Glad he gets it. LCD Soundsystem's first single in 2002, "Losing My Edge" is a historical document worth preserving for the ages, an essence that speaks to what Coachella seems bent on capturing and rewriting every year. Echo & The Bunnymen rode the high-hat zealously-as many have copied since-giving chapped lips sugar kisses. Public Image, Ltd., could not take Jay-Z's audience away from him nor unglue Fever Ray fans from Karin Dreijer Andersson's encompassing fog spell, but I'll be damned if PiL wasn't the best show all day. John Lydon's hair stood on edge and he rolled his rrrr's heroically. His gang of old men put the good junk in post-punk.

As this first 12 hour music summary comes to a close, a few acts remain worth giving a hoot about. Grizzly Bear's hypnotic power hardly needs mentioning and Vampire Weekend knows you love "Horchata." New cool La Roux magnetizes with a disco flavor that Anita Ward might approve. As hoped, Little Dragon's gentle fire breathing soul pop fronted by Yukimi's sexy voice and adorable stage presence comes in as Friday's second favorite. The music's weird enough, bent on discovering surprises. One-woman band Imogen Heap, as well, is the queen of surprises. She moves around her instruments, looping this and dubbing that as if casually mixing a magic potion or prepping a sandwich. Jay-Z's "On To The Next One" is an appropriate theme song for the attention span needed to get your money's worth at Coachella. And then Beyonce came out. We all bowed down before her short shorts.

Them Crooked Vultures, Passion Pit, Dillinger Escape Plan, Yo Gabba Gabba, and The Whitest Boy Alive also played sets on Friday. The Cribs were among those who could not. Coachella continues for a second day today/Saturday (Record Store Day). More pictures and videos and stuff from the first day, below...

Let us in!

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DJ Lance Rock

Yo Gabba Gabbba dancing

BARONESS signing records (in conjunction w/ record store day)

Deer Tick (photo by Daiana Feuer)

Coachella Deer tick

Dillinger Escape Plan

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The Specials

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Coachella 2010

"Members of the Specials, an almost complete reunion of the group (minus Jerry Dammers) that infused England's ska revival with punk and politics, were constantly bounding across the stage as they played their old songs -- so earnest about ending racism, so bouncy -- with undiminished fervor. Terry Hall looked out at the audience and commented, with an English eye for the drab, "Most of you are beautiful," then went on to single out some ugly faces." [NY Times]
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Gil Scott-Heron

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Ra Ra Riot

[editor's note: Ra Ra Riot mentioned they were playing new songs from a soon TBA new album]

Them Crooked Vultures

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Perry Farrell Interview - Coachella 2010

Grizzly Bear

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Imogen Heap (photo by Daiana Feuer)

Imogen Heap

Passion Pit

Echo and the Bunnymen

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Little Dragon (photo by Daiana Feuer)

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LCD Soundsystem

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[editor's note: I watched LCD on the stream, and it was weird to see them close with New York I Love You somewhere other in NY. P.S. James, being the vegan dish doesn't mean you're lesser than the steak or chicken!]

[James said it felt good to be the "fish" at the festival this year, playing before Jay-Z. In the past he felt like a bag of mixed nuts. He then called Them Crooked Vultures the chicken and Jay-Z the steak. Then he changed "fish" to "vegan dish" which was still good to him, and okay with him, but still lesser than the chicken and steak... which he also implied was right where he belonged - he seemed humbled to be opening for Jay-Z and that Them Crooked Vultures gave LCD a shout out during their performance]

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Public Image Ltd

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[editor's note: I couldn't agree more with the PiL praise in the above review. Forget everything you saw on Kimmel]

Fever Ray

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The Whitest Boy Alive

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The Whitest Boy Alive - Coachella 2010

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Jay-Z

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Beyonce comes out

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Yeasayer at Coachella

Vampire Weekend crash the 91X Flophouse - Coachella 2010

Ra Ra Riot Interview - Coachella 2010

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Comments (27)

LCD Soundsystem killed it! I just wish one of their songs didn't get cut. I think they removed Daft Punk from the set due to running short on time.

Posted by Anonymous | April 17, 2010 6:40 PM

awesome pics, thanks

Posted by soco | April 17, 2010 7:19 PM

That was an AMAZING recap of a million bands. Really great writing. Hoping you're based on east coast. Going to sketchily look you up on the interweb...

Posted by Will | April 17, 2010 10:30 PM

i didnt like the writing. Sounded too pretentious and i stopped in the middle.

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2010 12:26 AM

best friday shows were grizzly bear , jay z, lcd, and vampire weekend


Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2010 1:15 AM

Popular music is dead, goodnight.

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2010 3:48 AM

Awesome post! LCD Soundsystem sounded pretty top notch, as always.

Posted by Hunter | April 18, 2010 5:28 AM

LCD and Public Image stole the show yesterday. Lydon sounded tops. PiL were the loudest show I've ever seen in my life and I've seen motorhead in a small club. My ears are still ringing. Bonkers.

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2010 6:14 AM

Jay Z HA! What a friggin joke.

Posted by anonymous | April 18, 2010 12:36 PM

Can these festivals stop trying to push Jay-Z he doesn't fit and brings in a bunch of people who aren't there for anything else.

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2010 2:52 PM

Did people really go to a 3-day show in the desert just to see Jay-Z play on the first night? Did they just turn around and go home afterward?

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2010 3:04 PM

What is this with people tagging their clothing with crust bands lately? first that lady gaga video and now this chick in the coachella pics. I dont really know anything about this scene so if someone could explain id love it.

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2010 3:42 PM

"Can these festivals stop trying to push Jay-Z he doesn't fit and brings in a bunch of people who aren't there for anything else."

isn't adding jay-z largely the point -- selling additional tickets to people that otherwise wouldn't attend?

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2010 5:59 PM

Both the LCD and P.I.L. sets are being restreamed Sunday night/Monday morning at midnight and 2AM respectively (EST). ABSOLUTELY worth staying up to watch. You'd expect LCD to be great, but P.I.L. was shocking how good they were. BV is right - don't judge by that Kimmel performance - they did plenty of Metal Box/Second Edition material perfectly!

Posted by texastab | April 18, 2010 6:56 PM

what time does DAFT PUNK go on?

Posted by Anonymous | April 18, 2010 10:06 PM

The PIL video on youtube was genius!!! I saw them at Club Nokia and on Jimmy Kimmel. Best thing I seen all year!!!!! They invented Post-punk.They inmvented the future back in the late 70s/early 80s. Theyre still ahead of their time. Sad part was watchin the stream and seeing all these clueless braindead tards in the audience that didn't even understand WTF was happening. PIL invented you!!!! In their own words" Thank you Coachella for helping in the furtherance of us continuing to lead where others can only dream to follow" Absolute fucking genius!!!

Posted by RuggedJay | April 19, 2010 3:26 AM

@5:59

When he says "brings in people who aren't here for anything else", he means black people.

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2010 10:56 AM

hehe...what a jackass.

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2010 11:32 AM

Where can I find the MP3s from LCD and Echo and the Bunnymen? I couldn't make the show, but I am a huge fan of both. Going to SF Bunnymen show tonight!

Send me links to Coachella 2010 live MP3s, please.

Thanks!


-Brett

Posted by McCrank | April 19, 2010 2:08 PM

Wow, city bitches be better lookin' covered up in da city... 7's down to 4's. Yowza...

Posted by Anonymous | April 19, 2010 6:07 PM

i didnt like the comments. Sounded too pretentious and i stopped in the middle.

Posted by satan | April 20, 2010 6:34 PM

But at least I read the entire article before scrolling down to wipe shit all over the comments section.

"Country music is infiltrating avant-garde and above ground indie worlds alike." -- so true. I would know, I once lost a pretty snazzy fiddle to some fucker playing country shit.

Posted by satan | April 20, 2010 6:40 PM

Whoa, nice! That last video is of me :) There were so many people stopping me it took forever to move venues!

Posted by Erik Johnson | April 21, 2010 8:21 PM

Two fever ray photos? you oughta' be ashamed.

Posted by Lou | April 22, 2010 2:31 PM

Lou, you want to try and get through the crowd in that tent after the pit's closed because the last stage you were at ran late when you know you only have five minutes to get to the next shoot on the list?

Posted by rachel | April 28, 2010 2:36 PM

Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie were really good albums. Got them when they came out, still throw them on at times and think they're great. It saddens me when I hear bands from that era when I was a teenager and hear their new stuff and it's so clear how they've lost it, they sound desperate to recapture a sound/magic that they haven't had in 15 years (holy shit).... And then I realize that is not unlike a lot of us.

Posted by منتديات | January 22, 2011 8:32 AM

This’s a really awesome article. I would like to appreciate your work, Thanks for sharing!

Posted by miniclip | August 31, 2012 8:50 AM

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