Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Strange at Coachella

Okay, so, I THINK I am ready to discuss Coachella. I went with my friend Kyle McNally, who is AMAHZING (Happy Endings reference) and made for the best partner in crime EVER. We left at midnight on Thursday and arrived at the house we were staying at in Indio around 2:30AM (I made good time). We stayed with a friend of a friend, JJ, and his buddies. JJ is a magical human who was somehow able to attend Coachella BOTH weekends, create a unique outfit for every day of the festival (think light-up disco ball tank and shorts ensembles), party with the best of them and not DIE. He was GREAT. Thanks JJ. The house was as close to the festival as you could get, about half a mile away on a golf course/country club property:

Yes, it is very dry in Indio. Anyway, Friday morning after meeting our housemates, Kyle and I went to a strip-mall for some Starbucks and then stumbled upon an authentic Mexican restaurant. This shit was LEGIT you guys. Of course, I asked for some sort of steak and eggs mash-up. Behold:

Yeah, I KNOW. Anyway, then we had to walk to the concert. Strangers, it was HOT. Like, I took a picture of the dashboard of my car at NOON and it was 107 degrees. The annoying thing about the festival is that even though we were only a half mile away, you have to walk around the entire polo field where they put on the concert to get in. So it's like 2 miles in scorching heat. Here's Kyle after a mile (rhyme):

Like we had A LOT further to go at that point. Anyway I will stop whining and get to the music. Friday we were um, kind of dead, by the time we got to the festival so I could barely pay attention to Girls from inside the beer garden except to say that Vomit is a wonderful song and the lady who accompanied the band with her vocals was CRAZY good. After that, we hung out for a little Pulp action. Let me tell you, these guys have still got it:

I don't know who that man is staring at me with scary red eyes, but I did not notice him when I took the picture. You guys, Pulp is kind of an awesome band. They are extremely British and 80's-sounding (two of my favorite things!) and Like a Friend and Common People are both songs that are MEANT to be played live. I was into them. Then we checked out Frank Ocean, who if you haven't gone to see, GO RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW. He has a wonderful voice and a pretty face and sings sexy sexy songs that make me feel funny in a good way. That was was a treat. Then it was time for MY BOYS, also known as The Black Keys:

That's my boyfriend just MURDERING the world with his guitar. The fence is because I was in the beer garden watching. So let me say this: The Black Keys are an INCREDIBLE, INCREDIBLE band with such a deep and fantastic catalogue that they basically could've played anything and I would've been happy BUT they do a weird thing at Coachella where they don't play LOUD enough. It happened two years ago as well. for whatever reason, they turned down their amps and they just didn't sound that HUGE. People were complaining that is was too quiet both years and having seen them at different venues let me tell you, they are capable of playing so loud your face melts off a little bit. So, that annoyed me. After that, we were too roasted to stay for Swedish House Mafia, but I heard they were awesome from our cooler, wilder housemates.

So Saturday Kyle and I were much smarter about our plan. We had our coffee, hydrated all afternoon and hung out with our friends, then headed over around 5pm. We started with Martin Solveig, which was AWESOME. I've never really been into the rave/dance side of Coachella and this was an EXPERIENCE for me. Solveig is a DJ famous for his song Hello that the Dragonette girl does the vocals on. She came out and did her thing and it was hot. I don't think this pic does justice to how wild it was in this tent:

Next was Squeeze and if you guys don't know who they are, you need to watch Reality Bites again. They were cute and old and British and really fun. Kyle was happy. Then we stayed in the same tent for a little of St. Vincent and I am LOATHE to admit this, but she kind of rocked. Like, I am basically just jealous of her because she is really pretty and slender and then can SHRED, but I will also be honest and say I was digging what I heard. Then we went to a beer garden and met our friends and danced around to the Shins who were totally fine but like, they played at my college spring break and I don't think they're MEANT for the main stage at a festival like this. Whatever, then came Bon Iver. A lot of people were like "ew, they are so sad, we're going to SBTRKT," but I was like "dude, Justin Vernon is going to kill it," and guess what? I WAS TOTALLY RIGHT LIKE ALWAYS. In the desert at dusk, Bon just sounded so ethereal and Justin sang right into my SOUL. Creature Fear, Blood Bank, and Michicant were all wonderful but when the closed the show with Beth/Rest, I could've died right there and been okay with it. But I didn't die! And then came RADIOHEAD:

So, duh, they were amazing. Thom Yorke's voice does not come from Earth, I am sorry. My only beef with the band is that they essentially refuse to play ANYTHING from The Bends, which is one of the greatest albums of all time ever forever. I think it's because the band has different members from when they did that album and I get that, but I went through puberty to The Bends and it still breaks my heart when I hear it and I just think PLAY BONES, FOR SHIT'S SAKE. Anyway, they were totally stellar, regardless. Got weird to Weird Fishes.

Sunday we got our Mexican fix because why not and then we went to the festival sort of early and THANK GOD because not only could we hear Band of Skulls just OWNING it on the way in (I really love that band) but we saw Santigold and she was probably my favorite act of the festival. She is just the queen, strangers, THE QUEEN. She was fun and loud and danced a lot despite the blistering heat. And her music is just solid, you know? I didn't take a lot of pictures during the day because, well, I was living my life, but I did snap this beautiful shot in the beer garden:

I don't know who this couple is but I am obsessed with them and everything that they're doing with their lives. Anyway, I started taking pics again at The Hives:

That is Kyle rocking out to them because they are just fucking ROCK STARS. I mean, the main dude is kind of pretentious and self-promoting, but I could've just been annoyed at his Swedish accent, which sounded like he was mocking the way Americans speak (it's still totally possible that he was). Also, The Hives have an extremely attractive, cuddly, bearded guitarist (bassist? HOW CAN YOU TELL?) so if you are reading this Swedish bassist/guitarist, let's get a cabin in the woods together.

Ok ok sorry, then came Calvin Harris and he was good, but I sort of already got my DJ fix with Martin (who actually played Calvin's hit Feel So Close in his set, so I didn't even NEED Calvin). I didn't even stay to see if Rihanna came out and I LOVE me some Rihanna. Then we checked out the end of Girl Talk and wow, that dude is very energetic and mashes up some really interesting songs. But I was waiting for Florence and the Machine. Okay so, I've seen Florence before and have been utterly blown away...I was NOT this time. I think her voice hurt or something because she kept going low on songs where she usually belts it out on a high note and I don't just think she was doing a cool vocal thing. Overall she was still SOLID, but it was nothing compared to when I clung to her flowy skirts at the Troubadour as she whispered Cosmic Love into my ear (this happened, I SWEAR). We stayed for the beginning of Snoop Dog and Dre and heard Gin and Juice, but I will confess I am not rap's biggest fan and the stuff I do like...well I am an east coast girl at heart and that heart belongs to Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls. Also we had a 2 mile walk back to my car and then had to drive back to LA and I didn't go to bed until 3:30AM because I insisted on watching Girls. But I'd say it was a successful weekend...until next year!

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