Each year, like many of you, I impatiently wait for the Coachella lineup to be announced. Sometimes it's disappointing (if Daft Punk says they're not touring, chances are they're not playing the festival), but there's always going be a few redeeming artists. At best the lineup will be amazing, and if not, you'll probably sell your tickets only to mope while your friends are having fun at the festival.
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My point is, stop whining about Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers headlining the festival and read the rest of the lineup. It's actually pretty good.
Don't be deceived by the flier; it takes a few reads to really get a feel for who is playing. After looking at the headliners, I skimmed through the rest of the poster and stopped to have a momentary freak out about Descendents and Violent Femmes playing on Saturday. It took another sweep to realize that Dinosaur Jr. was playing, and after seeing them at FYF last year, I am very excited that they're playing more shows.
Here's a breakdown by category of awesomeness:
The Comebacks/Major Players:
The Stone Roses may not be The Rolling Stones, but have you listened to "She Bangs The Drums"? It's a damn good song. It's a good year for britpop, as Blur coheadlines on Friday and New Order plays Saturday.
Plus, how many opportunities do you get to see Lou Reed or Johnny Marr? It may not be a Smiths reunion, but it beats having Morrissey play again. Plus, how cool would it be to hang out with both Lou Reed and Nick Cave?
The Postal Service already announced their appearance at the festival along with a reissue of Give Up. On the same day, they will be joined by the fellow genre defying act that errs on the side of dance music, The Faint. They probably won't play all of Danse Macabre, but it will still be pretty damn good. Moby should be more than enough to round out a solid non-Sahara tent dance line up.
Also, Violent Femmes and Jurassic 5 on the same lineup? Hell yes.
Each year seems to have a random ska band on the bill. Madness was great last year and The Selecter will probably follow suit. Really Awesome Punk Bands:
Since when is Coachella so punk? Greg Ginn and the Royal We was...interesting last year, but this year's punk lineup is incredible. The Descendents are playing a rare show, which personally seals the deal for me. It's easy to overlook, but The Evens are playing on Saturday meaning that one of the leading figures in the straight edge punk movement will be hanging out at Coachella, Ian MacKaye.
Getting The Dead Kennedys' original line up back together is just about as likely as a Smiths reunion. The Faux Kennedys were pretty horrible live, so even though East Bay Ray won't be hanging around, the wonderfully intelligent fast talking Jello Biafra will perform with the Guantanamo School of Medicine.
In a somewhat strange move, Social Distortion is billed pretty high on Sunday. It should be interesting to see hipsters fawn over Mike Ness instead of rockabilly gals.
There are a few "new school" punk bands on the bill as well. It's not surprising that The Gaslight Anthem found their way there after building their audience quite a bit after signing to a major label. Though it would have made sense with the rumors and tour dates, Lucero is not playing, though Dropkick Murphys will be there instead. That makes just about as much sense as The Aquabats playing, but to each his own.
Bands That Put Out Awesome Albums Last Year:
Passion Pit, Band of Horses, Beach House, Japandroids, Divine Fits, TNGHT, Polica, Purity Ring, Lord Huron, The xx, Grizzly Bear, Yeasayer, Wild Nothing, El-P, Spiritualized, Diiv, and more.
I'm not so sure about 2 Chainz (then again, I'm grumpy because I saw him open for Nicki Minaj), but El-P, Jurassic 5, Danny Brown, Pusha T, and Earl Sweatshirt all sound great...not to mention, Wu-Tang Clan!
Good EDM Acts That Sound Suspiciously Like Identity Fest's Lineup:
Simian Mobile Disco, Moby, Major Lazer, Fedde Le Grand, Bingo Players, Eric Prydz, Hardwell and Paul Oakenfold? Yes, please.
...And The Totally Random:
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Just when you thought Dropkick Murphys were the strangest band on the line up, a closer look reveals Lee "Scratch" Perry and Social Distortion (still really don't get that one). Most of the last billed bands are pretty random...can one have a "Ladies Night" while sipping on a "Mimosa" on Sunday?
At any rate, in spite of most of the hate I've seen online, I am pleased with this line up and I believe most of you will be too once you look into it a bit more.