Of course I HAD to comment on the newly-released Coachella lineup for this upcoming April’s Music and Arts Festival in the desert of Indio, California. I bought my advance tickets last year after missing out in 2012 when the tickets sold out incredibly fast. I’ve wanted to go to this festival for years and I had mixed feelings last year when it hosted more mainstream artists, notably Dr Dre and Snoop Dog (before he became Snoop Lion) with the infamous Tupac hologram. Suddenly everyone was talking about Coachella which was good, since my friends no longer thought I was always referring to some obscure hippy thing. But I expected that it would sadly mean a much more mainstream, hiphop-oriented lineup for the following year. I was definitely wrong! Last year, there was a lot of hiphop talent including up-and-comings like the Weeknd. This year, the hiphop artists listed haven’t piqued my interest too much. There is some buzz about a few of the hiphop acts in the lineup but I honestly don’t follow hiphop and rap trends closely enough to recognize or be excited about the ones listed this year. It seems the organizers have put together a blend of recognizable names (from the new to the VERY old) from different genres as well as a lot of new talent that people such as myself have had to research in the past few days. With that said, here is my personal take on the lineup for Coachella 2013 after doing some light research and asking around.
So far, it seems the overwhelming response since the lineup release is “mediocre”. Red Hot Chili Peppers excited me but I’m a fan of their older music, as I’m sure many are. I read this comment yesterday on Stereogum “They have MASSIVE catalog of songs that they only tap about 30% of. I would stomp an entire village of babies to be able to go to a 1991 RHCP show, but 2013 RHCP? No thanks”. Hilarious! I hope they play more of the songs that I find myself singing along to ALL the time, but it sounds like I may be disappointed. We’ll see.
Music genres and the artists that I’m interested in seeing (hopefully not too many of them clash time slots!):
HIPHOP and RAP BEATS
Evidently, they didn’t continue the trend of big hiphop names as I had expected. But Wu Tang Clan will be fun to see, especially if all the remaining members show up! Earl Sweatshirt, Action Bronson, Danny Brown, and Aesop Rock are some of the artists to check out if this is your preferred genre. Also, Major Lazer (not just hiphop) is a name to watch for and have worked on projects recently with No Doubt and Snoop Lion, among other big names. Jurrassic 5 are one of many bands reuniting for this festival which should make a lot of fans excited. Janelle Monae (R&B artist) will be something to see as well.
ROCK and FOLK MUSIC
The headlining RHCP and Blur are obvious choices to see if this is your thing (I know I will, especially because Blur has a lot more to showcase since their famous Song #2 and Girls&Boys). Or possibly you are a huge fan of rock and you actually want to avoid the popular RHCP’s to instead try and see some of the lesser-knowns or newer talent. My list of must-see’s include Phoenix, Franz Ferdinand, Passion Pit, Metric, Of Monsters and Men, Alex Clare, Vampire Weekend, La Roux, The Neighbourhood, The Lumineers and The Gaslight Anthem. That’s a long list! Wish me luck with that! On my “maybe” list are- Tegan and Sarah, Hot Chip, Japandroids, Ben Howard, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Violent Femmes (nostalgic!), Dinosaur Jr, The Wombats and Modest Mouse.
ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC
They’ve moved away from the mainstream, well-known names that we saw last year but this year seems like it will actually be a lot more interesting for fans of electronic music. There’s the most household name of all true ravers, Paul Oakenfold, the legend of electronic music. And I’m very excited to check out Moby. 3Ball MTY is there to represent Mexican Latin house music (a growing trend). Benny Benassi, Bingo Players and The Postal Service are recognizable mainstreamers that I’ll watch for. But there’s also many more noteworthy names such as Dog Blood (a project by Skillrex), DJ Harvey, Seth Troxler, Infected Mushroom, Excision, Hardwell, Unicorn Kid, Bassnectar, and Dirtyphonics. This year will really be a treat for people who like music with no discernible words.
There’s so much more talent that would take forever to go through. The unfortunate thing is that due to the festival being only three days, a lot of the bands that you’d like to see often play simultaneously in the valley and you end up making some tough choices. My priorities are with the rock and folksie bands that I’ve listed but there’s a lot of EDM and hiphop that I’ll try to soak in as well. I also can’t wait for the sun, giant ferris wheel, and all the summer food! Regardless of the lack of general public excitement about the lineup this year, I plan to make my first visit to Indio a memorable one and I’m hopeful that the live performances will be better than anticipated. It seems there is a lot of solid talent to see if you know where to look. If not, I’ll indulge in enough guilty cheat foods and rides to make the whole experience better!