Entries tagged with: M Ward
by Andrew Sacher
Beach Boy Brian Wilson has revealed details for his eleventh solo album, No Pier Pressure, which will be out on April 7 via Capitol Records. The album features his former Beach Boys bandmates Al Jardine, David Marks and Blondie Chaplin; members of his touring band (including band leader Darian Sahanaja, who helped arrange the 2004 release of Smile); and a handful of collaborations with modern musicians including Zooey Deschanel, M. Ward, fun.'s Nate Ruess, Kacey Musgraves and Capital Cities' Sebu Simonian.
At the risk of bumming Brian out even more (he's already negatively reacted to backlash against these collaborations), I have to say it would've been nice to see him working with musicians who do the sound he created justice, like maybe Robin Pecknold, Panda Bear or even Rivers Cuomo, but it's also not too surprising that he went with a more mainstream cast.
The record was produced by Joe Thomas, who also co-produced the Beach Boys' 2012 reunion album, That's Why God Made the Radio, with Brian. You can check out the tracklist below...
by Bill Pearis
Kim Gordon on 'Girls'
HBO series Girls was nominated for two Golden Globes but didn't win either on last night's awards ceremony. (The show lost to Brooklyn Nine Nine and Lena Dunham lost to Amy Poehler [who also co hosted the GGs].) At the same time elsewhere on the television dial, Girls made its Season 3 premiere with two back-to-back episodes. We knew this was coming but didn't know when -- the first episode featured Sonic Youth / Body/Head's Kim Gordon as Mindy, a member of Jessa's (Jemima Kirke) support group at rehab. The two don't get along. This is actually the third show with "Girl" in the title Gordon has acted in (the others being Gossip and Gilmore) but this is by far the meatiest part she's played. HBO has the whole premiere episode up on its YouTube channel to watch for free.
Meanwhile, a second soundtrack from the, titled Girls Volume 2: All Adventurous Women Do, will be released February 11 and features music by Vampire Weekend, Lily Allen, Beck, Cat Power, Jake Bugg, Aimee Mann and more. One of the tracks exlusive to the soundtrack is Jenny Lewis' "Completely Not Me" which features in the second episode's closing credits, is apparently a collaboration with Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij. You can listen to that over at Entertainment Weekly. Tracklist for the soundtrack is below.
In related news, while not the song from the Girls soundtrack, Lily Allen has released a new track, "Air Balloon," from her forthcoming new album and that can be streamed below.
photos by P Squared Photography
She & Him / Camera Obscura
She & Him (aka Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) and Glasgow indie pop vets Camera Obscura just brought their tour through NYC for two nights at Central Park Summerstage. The first of those happened on Saturday (pictures here), and the second took place this past Monday (7/8). While the first night was plagued with scorching heat, it was rain that ended up affecting the second, with a summer cloudburst right after Camera Obscura's set, which luckily cleared up right before Zooey and M. Ward took the stage. Whew! Pictures of night 2 are in this post.
They continue below...
M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel's collaborative She & Him project will be releasing their new album, Volume 3, on May 7 via Merge. The album features 14 tracks (three of which are covers) and guest musicianship from Mike Watt, Tilly and the Wall, Pierre de Reeder (Rilo Kiley), Tom Hagerman (Devotchka), and Joey Spampinato (NRBQ). That's the cover art above and you can check out the tracklist below.
She & Him will support the album on a tour with Camera Obscura which comes to NYC for a show at Central Park Summerstage on July 6. Tickets for that show go on presale Wednesday (1/30) at noon with a general on-sale starting Friday (2/1) at noon. All tour dates are listed below.
You can also catch Camera Obscura in NYC much sooner at their own, smaller show when they play the previously discussed show at Le Poisson Rouge on March 19. Tickets for that show are still available.
All lists of dates, album tracklist, and a video of She & Him playing "You Really Got a Hold On Me" below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
M. Ward/Yo La Tengo at Prospect Park - 8/7/12
M. Ward has been touring internationally all year in support of his new album, A Wasteland Companion, and after having played Webster Hall back in May, he made his way back to NYC on Tuesday (8/7) for a Celebrate Brooklyn show at Prospect Park with Yo La Tengo (who were without bassist James McNew due to medical reasons) and comedian Wyatt Cenac. M. Ward mixed his 21-song set up pretty evenly between material off of his four most recent albums, and threw in a handful of covers as well, including dedicating his first of two encores to all Daniel Johnston covers.
M. Ward was a paid show, but the free Celebrate Brooklyn shows in Prospect Park, which included Wild Flag, Mission of Burma, and Ted Leo last week (8/3), continue with Little Dragon and Frankie Rose on Friday (8/10).
You can catch Wyatt Cenac in NYC again when he plays Carolines on October 11 - 13. Tickets for those shows are available.
More pictures from the show and M. Ward's setlist are below.
We try to keep tabs on various festivals around the world here on BrooklynVegan, many of which you'll eventually see pictures from. Today we focus on Belgium.
Pukkelpop goes down from August 16 - 18. That festival includes The Stone Roses, Bjork, Bloc Party, The Black Keys, Refused, Wilco, The Hives, The Shins, The Afghan Whigs, Lykke Li, Hot Chip, Feist, Flying Lotus, tUnE-yArDs, Chromatics, Cloud Nothings, The Tallest Man on Earth, Baroness, Ceremony, A-Trak, Rustie, Hudson Mohawke, and more. The full lineup is listed below. Tickets for the festival are on sale now.
Rock Werchter, which falls a bit more on the mainstream side, happens in Belgium even sooner, running from June 28 - July 1. That lineup includes The Cure, Jack White, X, Mastodon, Garbage, The xx, M83, Metric, Amon Tobin, Skrillex, Perfume Genius, Bat For Lashes, Michael Kiwanuka, Alabama Shakes, My Morning Jacket, Regina Spektor, Florence + the Machine, The Vaccines and more. Tickets for the festival are
on sale now sold out.
The full lineups for both Pukkelpop and Rock Wercher are listed below.
photos by Joe McCabe
[M. Ward] did not disappoint on Friday. While playing pretty much straight through for almost an hour-and-a-half, he included songs from all of his albums. There was also very little chit-chat, lots of guitar work, and an ever-changing backdrop provided by four windows... The band played some great ones like Poison Cup, Rollercoaster, To Go Home and Never Had Nobody Like You. Also included was one of his guitar solo songs, which is always nice to watch. -[Second Doubles]M Ward roped in Monsters of Folk collaborator Conor Oberst (who just announced a Carnegie Hall show) during his appearance at Webster Hall on Friday (5/11) to play "Vincent O'Brien", his second encore of the evening. A video of the two musicians performing that song is below. The show, which featured an appearance from the Lee Ranaldo Band as part of a string of dates that they're on together, was the kick-off to an East Coast tour and one of two appearances in NYC that day (he also performed at Late Night with David Letterman which aired that night). Pictures and the setlist from Webster Hall as well as a video from Letterman are in this post.
If you missed Letterman, Webster Hall, or the release of A Wasteland Companion then you're still in luck. Stream the new LP in full at M. Ward's site, and look for the guitar great to play Brooklyn at Prospect Park on August 7th with Yo La Tengo. Tickets are still available. M Ward also has a streamable performance from WNYC available as well.
More pics and setlist from Webster Hall and those videos are below...
The 2012 music lineup was announced today for Bumbershoot: Seattle's Music & Arts Festival, which is produced by non-profit arts organization One Reel and takes place over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-3, at Seattle Center. The 42-year-old urban festival stands on top nationally in its variety as it showcases both familiar and up-and-coming regional and national talent in many musical genres, as well as in comedy, theater, literary and visual arts, dance, film and children's programming.The complete Bumbershoot 2012 lineup below...
Bumbershoot's Mainstage in KeyArena will feature two multi-act performances each day. Artists scheduled to perform there include groundbreaking alternative rock band Jane's Addiction, jazz legend Tony Bennett, electronic phenom Skrillex, a hip hop double bill with Mac Miller and Big Sean, M83, and AWOLNATION among others. Additional Mainstage acts will be announced in coming weeks.
Tickets are all-inclusive. All festival offerings, including Mainstage admission on a first-come, first-served basis (no separate pass required), and late-night electronic music curated by Decibel Festival for Bumbershoot After Dark, are included in the price of a single-day or 3-day ticket
photos by David Andrako
Refused/Levon Helm RIP - Friday @ Coachella
The second week of Coachella 2012 (and unfortunately not streaming online this time around) kicked off on 4/20 and continues today, Saturday, Record Store Day...
Once again this year, Record Store Day will be a big part of the festival and is on Saturday, April 21st! ZIA will be celebrating in style by having great music exclusives and special RSD pieces available at the ZIA tent.More info on Record Store Day at Coachella HERE. More info on Record Store Day in general, HERE
Well over 200 Record Store Day Exclusive releases will be available this year and on sale at the Zia tent on the second weekend of Coachella (April 20-22). Zia will also have a limited amount of RSD Exclusives from prior years available both weekends.
Many bands performing this year at Coachella will be releasing Record Store Day Exclusive pieces this year including The Black Keys, Santigold, Feist, The Hives, M83, Florence + The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, The Refused, Miike Snow, Childish Gambino, Mike Watt, Grouplove, The Black Angels, Kimbra, Gary Clark Jr., Laura Marling, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Real Estate, M. Ward, Death Grips, fIREHOSE and St. Vincent.
We will also have a few exclusives that will only be available both weekends of Coachella. First is At The Drive-In's amazing Vaya EP is being repressed on colored vinyl and will be limited to only 500 copies. Also Ximena Sarinana will be releasing a Coachella only 7" limited to 500. More exclusives are in the works so stop by and check us out.
ZIA Records will be offering shipping for items purchased over both festival weekends. ZIA will also have an option for customers who would like to have their items put on hold in the comfy, cool ZIA tent.
Mazzy Star/Frank Ocean - Friday @ Coachella
This week we're mixing up the photo coverage a bit. We wouldn't normally go to a festival Pulp is playing and miss them, but after seeing them at Coachella last week and two times in NYC, it seemed like it would be better to give others on the five-stage lineup a chance. That's also why you won't find any Black Keys (who were joined by John Fogerty), Madness and Amon Tobin in this post. Unlike last week though, you will find Explosions in the Sky, WU LYF, Frank Ocean & Yuck. No Hasselhof this time, but David did spot Richie Sambora checking out Gary Clark Jr.. More pictures from Friday (4/20), below...
M. Ward at Newport Folk Fest 2011 (more by Jim Brueckner)
As mentioned, M. Ward is set to kick off a tour with Lee Ranaldo in May which comes to NYC for a sold out show at Webster Hall on May 11. If you weren't able to get tickets to that show, he'll be back in NYC for a much larger show at Prospect Park on August 7, one of the ticketed Celebrate Brooklyn shows. Lee Ranaldo won't open this one (neither will fIREHOSE), but keeping the trend of having clasic 80s/90s indie rock bands on the bill, Yo La Tengo will. Tickets go on sale Friday (4/20) at noon.
Meanwhile, M. Ward, like fIREHOSE, played Coachella this past weekend and will again next week. Check out a video from his performance below.
He also released his new album, A Wasteland Companion, earlier this month via Merge. You can stream the entire thing below.
Updated dates, video, and album stream below...
Good idea for a cover...
DOWNLOAD: Lee Ranaldo - "Off the Wall" (MP3)
M Ward @ Summerstage 2009 (more by Paul Bachmann)
Still no east coast dates to report for the reunited fIREHOSE, but they did announce a west coast run of shows, some of which are with M. Ward who also plays Coachella (not the first time friends Mike Watt and M. Ward will share a bill.) All fIREHOSE dates are listed below.
M. Ward however will head east as part of a set of just-announced May dates that include a NYC show at Webster Hall on May 11 with Lee Ranaldo. Tickets are not on sale yet but check ticketmaster for updates. All tour dates are listed below.
Speaking of Lee Ranaldo, he recently revealed the first song from his upcoming album, Between the Times & the Tides (out March 20 via Matador). The track is a relaxed R.E.M.-ish rocker called "Off the Wall." Download it above and stream it below.
Radiohead @ Roseland Ballroom in 2011 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Coachella which is taking place over the course of two weekends this year (April 13-15 and 20-22) revealed their 2012 lineup. Last week, Azealia Banks was the first artist confirmed, and earlier today they confirmed The Weeknd (maybe he found a band?), and before that, Jimmy Cliff, Breakbot, and Housse De Racket. The reunited Pulp then announced itself. The full lineup also includes headliners The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, not to mention, as predicted, the reunited At the Drive In and the reunited Mazzy Star (!), and Madness and Refused (!) and Jeff Mangum and many, many more that you can see below...
Thurston and Kim still trendsetters...
Just two years after tying the knot, Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard have separated, Deschanel's rep confirms to Us Weekly.In related news, She & Himhave a new Christmas album out . You can listen to the whole thing on Spotify.
"It was mutual and amicable," a source adds. "There was no third party involved."
photos by Jim Brueckner
Day two (7/31) of Newport Folk Festival featured performances by The Cave Singers, Wanda Jackson, Justin Townes Earle, Middle Brother, Elvis Costello, M. Ward, Emmylou Harris and others. If you missed the fest, you can listen to archives of the sets at NPR.
Like they've done in the past, Emmylou Harris and Elvis Costello performed together on one of Elvis's songs. She performed guest vocals with him and The Imposters on "Scarlet Tide."
M Ward @ SXSW 2010 (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
Due to the promoter's cancelation of the planned Music To Know Festival in East Hampton this weekend, M Ward has been forced to bow out of the East Coast leg of his current tour.lame
The dates affected are:
Thursday 11th August - the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey (w/ Kurt Vile And The Violators) - CANCELED
Friday 12th August - MASS MoCa in North Adams, Massachusetts - CANCELED
Matt Ward expressed his regret at the cancelations: "I'm extremely disappointed that Music To Know has been canceled. Without the funding we can't make the trip out there. We sincerely apologize to everyone who had already bought tickets. We'll be back as soon as we can."
Please contact point of purchase for refund details.
The MTK: Music To Know Festival planned for Saturday - Sunday, August 13 - 14, in East Hampton, New York, is cancelled. A statement is as follows:Strangely Escape to NY, the other new Hamptons music festival, is going on as planned as we speak. Patti Smith and Best Coast played it last night.
"It is with heavy, heavy heart that we regret to inform you that the inaugural MTK: Music To Know Festival in East Hampton will not take place. Despite our unique vision and arranging a world-class line-up, ticket sales were not adequate to allow the event to continue. We wanted to let everyone know now before engaging more deeply.
Along with our ticket holders, vendors, sponsors, business associates, colleagues and friends in the community, we too are filled with deep disappointment. We pledge to endure during this difficult time with the same integrity and professionalism displayed throughout the creation of this event.
Ticket holders should check www.musictoknow.com next week for more information.
The MTK Fest's lineup included Vampire Weekend, Chromeo, Dawes, Bright Eyes, M Ward, Ra Ra Riot, Fitz and the Tantrums, Matt and Kim and more.
Truck America, another NY Festival, was cancelled last week (though no official announcement has been made about that yet).
As mentioned, Music to Know Fest makes its debut in East Hampton, NY over the weekend of August 13-14, and features artists such as Vampire Weekend, Bright Eyes, Matt & Kim, Ra Ra Riot, Dawes, and others. Set times have been announced for the festival, which you can check out below.
MTK, not to be confused with Escape to NY, have also teamed up with MTA Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to add an official westbound train for concertgoers:
The train, departing from the LIRR East Hampton station at 10:56 PM, is aptly timed to ensure concert goers will have sufficient time to enjoy the day's line-up and festivities and will be making all the local stops on Long Island into Brooklyn and Manhattan.For more fun, you can download the official MTK 2011 App for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad at the iTunes app store. The fest also features fashion tents. According to a press release:
The fashion pop-up tents will be set up in a "retail village" and the merchants are anything but your average festival brands. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were first to purchase pop-ups from MTK: Music To Know - planning to debut their much-anticipated website StyleMint and their successful contemporary line Elizabeth & James to the crowd of almost 10,000 people gathered at the event in the Hamptons during the height of the season.Hmmm... Tickets for the festival are still available. Set times and a list of the clothing brands that will be on display at the fest below...
M. Ward (more by Tracy Allison)
In addition to his previously discussed appearances that include a sold-out Bowery Ballroom and supporting Sonic Youth at Williamsburg Waterfront, Kurt Vile & The Violators will open for the great M.Ward at a show at Wellmont Theatre on August 11th. Tickets for the Montclair gig go on sale Friday (5/20) at noon.
The NJ show comes a couple of day before M. Ward heads to East Hampton to take part in the first-ever Music to Know Festival. The Monsters of Folk/She & Him member is also playing Newport Folk Fest this summer and other places. All dates below...
alternate headline: Vampire Weekend headlining Hamptons Music Fest, go figure
Vampire Weekend @ Coachella 2008 (more by Ryan Muir)
MTK: Music To Know Festival announces its inaugural line up headlined by Vampire Weekend on Saturday, August 13th and Bright Eyes on Sunday, August 14th. Other confirmed bands include Matt & Kim, Cold War Kids, Chromeo, Tame Impala, Ra Ra Riot, Fitz & The Tantrums, Tom Tom Club, Dawes, M Ward, We Are Scientists, The Limousines, Naked and Famous, Francis and the Lights, Suddyn, Nicos Gun and Young Empires -- 18 of today's most critically-acclaimed and successful new, emerging and well-known bands. The music begins at noon each day, ending at 10PM.Cheesy marketing and opinions of the ritzy location and potential crowd aside, I have to say that MTK did a pretty kick-ass job of curating a relevant indie rock lineup for an East Hampton crowd (filled with bands that do a good job of moving tickets, relatively speaking). Tickets are on sale now. Two-day passes start at $195 each+fees+parking if you need it. VIP tix will cost you much more.
According to Co-Founder Chris Jones "The Hamptons are a unique market to say the least -- full of decision makers, trend setters, and taste generators who have always been eager to embrace the best and the brightest in our culture -- whether that is in literature, film, fashion or music. We are excited to bring this collection of artists together in our community, and hope this is the first of many annual events."
Without knowing how willing people are to travel to the Hamptons, how many people are already in the Hamptons, and how many tickets they need to sell (possibly only "9,500 people over both days"), it's hard to guess how successful the fest will be (from a business/longevity point of view) (Bing is a sponsor so that probably helps), but it definitely beat expectations so far (relatively speaking). More details below...
the 12/1 sign & mixtape
Thurston Moore made the mix tape. Nash Kato of Urge Overkill was a special guest, as was an Elvis impersonator named Gene Dinapoli. Anyone have the setlist?
One down, seven more nights of Chanukah at Maxwell's to go (note: Ted Leo actually also has December 5th off - one night before Terminal 5 - which I didn't notice when I first wrote the last post which is now updated).
Francesco Santocono: "'81"That's the tracklist and cover of Joanna Newsom tribute album Versions of Joanna, due out digitally in December, with proceeds going to Oxfam according to Pitchfork. M. Ward's version of "Sadie" is on there. There are also covers by familiar names like Owen Pallett, Ben Sollee, Billy Bragg and Francesco Santocono. Just kidding, I never heard of Francesco Santocono, but now I have! You can check him out covering "81" in a video below. Actually, did they just scour Youtube to find tracks to put on this comp? I think so. Josh Mann, Sarah Katheryn, and an especially good one by Joel Cathey are down there too (and those are just the only four I googled).
A Voice Heard on Baer Mountain: "Autumn"
Sarah Katheryn: "Baby Birch"
Joel Cathey: "Book of Right-On"
Guy Buttery: "Book of Right-On" (instrumental)
Josh Mann: "Bridges & Balloons"
Chris Leeds: "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie"
Ian Cooke: "Colleen"
This Is Deer Country: "Easy"
Doublewuzzy: "Flying a Kite"
Rosa Hinksman: "In California"
White Elephant Gift Exchange: "Inflammatory Writ"
Ian Cooke: "Monkey & Bear"
Billy Bragg: "On a Good Day"
Kristina Forrer: "On a Good Day"
Owen Pallett: "Peach, Plum, Pear"
M. Ward: "Sadie"
Ben Sollee: "Sawdust & Diamonds"
David Miele: "Soft as Chalk"
The Moscow Coup Attempt: "Sprout and the Bean"
Melissa Stylianou: "Swansea"
Jennifer Schmitt: "This Side of the Blue"
Joanna Newsom plays Carnegie Hall tonight! She is not however appearing on the The Simpsons...
"[On October 19th], a rumor of Joanna Newsom appearing on an upcoming episode of The Simpsons quickly circulated on the Interweb. This appears to have originated in an article from Malibu Magazine that was unfortunately incorrect and misunderstood. (Malibu Magazine has now corrected it online.) Joanna Newsom has released a statement regarding this rumor:Speaking of Owen Pallett, tickets are on sale for his March 9th show at Markin Concert Hall. Those Joanna covers below...
"Regrettably, the awesome rumor of my upcoming cameo on The Simpsons is unfounded. I remain, however, steadfast as always in my commitment to the character of Lisa, whom I have of course had the privilege of voicing for the last twenty-one years, in my dreams. Thanks for the memories, gang!" [press release]
words & photos by Tracy Allison
Last night (7/6) She & Him played a sold out show at Terminal 5. The show was the fourth of fourteen stops on their Summer 2010 tour which also included a free show at Governors Island on the 4th of July.
Not long after the doors had opened, the 3,000+ person venue was crowded with concert goers unwilling to stand outside in the near 100 degree heatwave. The audience was full of women wearing light-colored knee-length sundresses in the style of actress and She & Him member Zooey Deschanel.
At 8 p.m., comedian Eugene Mirman took the stage, asking the audience how many of them were aware that the opening act was a comedian and not a musician. While the crowd did not seem particularly impressed with the jokes told during Mirman's 30 minute set, he managed to win over people towards the front of the stage by handing out business cards with ridiculous slogans.
At 9 p.m., She & Him walked on stage to thunderous applause and excitement. For most of their performance, backup vocals were provided by Lily and Abigail Chapin, 2/3rds of the folk-pop group The Chapin Sisters.
Halfway through the set, Zooey Deschanel took a moment to discuss a pet peeve with the audience. "Do you guys know how to turn the flashes off your cameras?" She asked, "I'm not trying to be bossy, but A) it ruins a lot and B) it's bad for pictures. Let us handle the lighting." In fact, Terminal 5's security guards walked throughout the venue very strictly enforcing the "No Pictures" rule for the night.
She & Him played for a total of 1 1/2 hours, performing songs such as "Sentimental Heart", "You Really Gotta Hold On Me", "Brand New Shoes", "In The Sun", "Don't Look Back", "This Is Not a Test", "Take It Back", and "Home".
After an evening full of beautiful music, audience cheers, and Zooey Deschanel jumping around on stage with a tambourine, She & Him returned for a short encore with the show finally ending around 10:30 p.m.
More (legally taken, flash-free) pictures from the show below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
"at the "she and him" show on governors island. zooey deschanel is ridiculously adorable." - Sonal Dutt
She & Him helped NYC celebrate Independence Day with a free concert on Governors Island. The Sunday late-afternoon, Converse-presented show reached capacity early despite the intense heat wave we're currently still experiencing. Those who made it got a 20+ song setlist from M. Ward, Zooey Deschanel and band, and an opening set by their Merge label-mates Oakley Hall. Both setlists are below.
Those who got there a couple of hours earlier may have checked out a free show by Rosanne Cash in another area of the island (pics coming soon), and it's possible some people were also on the island the night before to see a free show by Portugal. The Man (pics coming soon).
She & Him do it again Tuesday night at Terminal 5 in Manhattan. The sold out (tickets were $30 each) 2nd NYC show has comedian Eugene Mirman listed as the opener. More pictures and the setlists from Governors Island below...
photos by Rachel Carr, words by Daiana Feuer
Jay-Z, Beyonce & Johnny Rotten
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.
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...