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Coachella 2017: 5 artists not to miss

Downtown Boys at Cheer Up Charlies
Downtown Boys at BV/SOS Lost Weekend 2017 (more by Amanda Hatfield)

Coachella 2017 is upon us. It begins today (Friday, 4/14) unless you’re going the second weekend in which case it begins next week (Friday, 4/21). If you’re home, you can live stream many of the sets. If you’re there, and looking for some last minute tips, we compiled a few more artists we thought you should highly consider not missing. Three of them are pretty under the radar, relatively speaking. Two are super obvious, so I guess you could also call this our list of “3 artists not to miss”, if that helps it go down. Here we go:

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1) Radiohead – A major DUH. The only reason to not see Friday night’s big headliner is well, I guess if you don’t like Radiohead. There are people that don’t like Radiohead? Their live shows are few and far between, in demand, and never disappoint. (Friday, 10:35pm, Coachella Stage, and on the livestream)

UPDATE: Read about Radiohead’s set at Coachella week one.

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2) Kendrick Lamar – Even more of a DUH with his new album released today. (Sunday, 10:25pm, Coachella Stage, and on the livestream). Now on to the less obvious ones…

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3) Downtown BoysSub Pop-signed saxophone-fueled punks Downtown Boys are a live force. Lead singer Victoria Ruiz’s impassioned, in-your-face delivery of their political lyrics is more urgent and necessary than ever in Trump’s America. Depending on what language you speak (Downtown Boys sing in both English and Spanish), you’ll either be hanging onto every word (in both the lyrics and the between-song speeches), or still feeling their power even when you don’t understand the words. Their shows often wind up with Ruiz in the middle of the crowd (like at our SXSW day party) with everyone yelling along. We can’t wait to see them take over a stage at Coachella. (Saturday, 3:10pm, Sonora)

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4) Róisín Murphy – Lady Gaga won’t be the only performer blazing through myriad costume changes on Saturday. Róisín Murphy, the former mouthpiece for UK hitmakers Moloko, has a sense of fashion as distinctive and delightfully off-kilter as her music. She’s also a funny, brash performer whose magnetic presence stands up well against her serious set of pipes. Having only gone on her first-ever North American solo tour last year (in support of her fourth album Take Her Up to Monto), Róisín doesn’t spend a lot of time on this side of the Atlantic, so don’t miss this chance to catch her. And yes, she plays Moloko songs, too. (Saturday, 6pm, Gobi Stage, and on the livestream)

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5) Swet Shop Boys – Swet Shop Boys is the duo of Heems and Riz MC, and they’re a must-see set at Coachella for a number of reasons. Heems has been nice since his Das Racist days, and SSB is arguably his most interesting project since that group broke up. Riz, aka Riz Ahmed, is also now a very famous actor (he plays Naz in HBO’s The Night Of and he’s also in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The OA, Girls, and more) and SSB allows him to show off his skills as a talented rapper too. SSB’s debut LP Cashmere protests the heightened violence against brown people in Trump’s America, and the group’s live shows are even more animated and political than the record. This is also the only group that made our Top 5, Hip Hop roundup AND our TV and Movies at Coachella post. (Saturday, 1pm. Mojave)

Obviously there’s SO MUCH other great stuff to see at Coachella, like Bon Iver, Future, Schoolboy Q, grime artists Skepta and Stormzy, The xx, Father John Misty, Guided by Voices, Mitski, Future Islands, The Lemon Twigs, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Car Seat Headrest, punk veterans TSOL, soul great Lee Fields, New Order, synthwavers S U R V I V E, and still more.

Check out the festival’s set times HERE. Check out the livestream schedule (which includes Radiohead, Kendrick, and Róisín) HERE. Select sets will also broadcast on SiriusXM.


* A Guide to Hip Hop at Coachella 2017

* Coachella 2017 Guide for Movie & TV Fans

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