For the first year since I've been going to Coachella (not very long, but still), I have absolutely no idea who the headliners are going to be. Here's a list I made of all those I can think of and reasons why (or why not) they would be headlining.
I tried something new for this message board - I gave reasons for why I think bands will be playing or not, and then appropriated rankings from 0 to 10 based on the information I have. You know, you say something and then explain it? I know, a foreign concept to most people here. But try and understand it, it's quite ingenious.
Feel free to comment on this list, and by comment I don't mean compliment or deride. I mean contribute in a constructive way. Here are some ways you can do that: provide information regarding any of the bands/artists listed below that either helps or hurts their chances of headlining the festival, suggest another band or artist that could possibly headline the festival, debate with others (myself included) reasons why bands/artists will be playing the festival or not. In doing so, you will help increase the knowledge of the people on this board. I will continuously update this list with any information that is posted or comes my way via other channels.
The Killers - 7.9
Reports of band members confirming in conversations with fans that they would be headlining, open tour dates, new album out recently. Relatively weak band for a headliner, commercially successful but not very reputable in the tradition of Coachella headliners. However, Jack Johnson was a weak headliner and not in the tradition of Coachella, and he headlined.
Neil Young - 6.7
Canceled L.A. show last year, hasn't ever played Coachella, actively touring in 2009.
Blur - 6.1
Recently reunited, UK dates on the horizon, Coachella tradition to premiere reunited bands. But they are a famously British rock band and may not want to make live comeback in America.
Jane's Addiction - 6.1
Perry Farrell has performed at every Coachella in some form or another, the band reunites for the occasional show (and paycheck), 10th anniversary of the festival. However, technically disbanded at the moment, no new material released for six years
Hasn't ever played Coachella (technically has played the polo grounds), working on a new album, plans to tour in 2009.
Coldplay - 5.6
New material in 2008, plans to tour pretty extensively in 2009, will do anything and go anywhere to promote themselves.
Beck - 5.5
New album in 2008, headlined the first Coachella, actively touring in 2009. It's public knowledge that Coachella is looking to book low-cost headliners, and Beck would certainly headline for less than most.
The Flaming Lips - 5.5
A good low-cost headliner that perfectly fits the Coachella vibe, plans to tour in 2009.
The White Stripes - 5.4
Canceled west coast tour in 2007, Meg White recently came onstage at a Raconteurs concert (June 2008, Detroit show), new album in the works. Meg White has "acute anxiety," no plans to tour at all
Nine Inch Nails - 5.3
New material probably being released while I'm typing this, plans to tour in 2009.
R.E.M. - 5.2
New album released last year, haven't ever played Coachella
My Bloody Valentine - 5.1
Recently reunited, toured extensively and backed out of playing Coachella in 2008, haven't ever played Coachella, public knowledge that festival organizer wants/wanted them to headline, confirmed to be playing a festival or two (not Coachella... yet) in 2009.
David Bowie - 5.0
The most requested headliner for Coachella that hasn't ever played, no plans to tour, but hasn't denied playing Coachella as he did last year on his official website.
Paul McCartney / The Fireman - 5.0
Released an album in 2007, and another under a different name in 2008, hasn't ever played Coachella, no plans to tour.
Radiohead - 5.0
Released an album in 2007/2008, plans to tour in Spring 2009 in South America and Mexico, the most requested headliner for Coachella excluding David Bowie, have a good relationship with Goldenvoice considering they headlined two nights of All Points West last year. Although they did tour the U.S. extensively in 2008, a one-off show in 2009 is a major get for a festival.
U2 - 5.0
Namedropped by Kevin Bronson, former reporter at the L.A. Times and still very active in music journalism. New album out in Spring 2009. A strange pick to be at Coachella.
Oasis - 4.9
Released an album in 2008, extensive tour in 2009 although no U.S. dates announced. Honestly, nobody wants them to play.
The Cure - 4.8
New album released last year, toured in 2008, a few tour dates in 2009, rumors of another new album in Summer 2009.
Foo Fighters - 4.8
Greatest Hits album being released in March 2009, confirmed to be on hiatus by Dave Grohl for what sounds like a decade or so.
No Doubt - 4.7
Recently reunited, plans to tour extensively in 2009, haven't ever played Coachella, confirmed to be playing a couple Bro/KROQ/Douchebagesque festivals, will most likely headline KROQ's Weenie Roast in May (in Southern California).
Muse - 4.5
Have been recording a new album off and on since August 2008, plan to have an album out in second half of 2009. Played almost too much in the Southern California in 2007, and toured in 2008 as well.
Bruce Springsteen - 4.0
Bonnaroo reportedly has him, doubtful that Coachella would pick him up simply because he so well fits Bonnaroo and clashes somewhat with Coachella's vibe.
Daft Punk - 3.7
Album has been in the works since May 2008, and who knows if anything else. A Daft Punk headlining performance would be a major surprise.
Smashing Pumpkins - 3.6
Haven't ever played Coachella, have lost much credibility and popularity over the years, recently toured what was reported to be a sort of "Worst of the Smashing Pumpkins" show.
Kanye West - 3.5
Played the festival circuit in 2008, continues to tour extensively in 2009. New album released in late 2008, continues to gain in popularity.
Gorillaz - 3.2
Looks unlikely considering Blur's newly reunited status, plans for a world tour in 2007/2008 were scrapped, Damon Albarn's numerous projects are a bit of a mess right now with the only clear one being Blur, although the most recent reports indicate the beginning of a new Gorillaz album in January 2009.
Outkast - 3.2
Another highly requested band to headline Coachella, haven't ever played Coachella, plans to release several albums both separately (as Andre 3000 and Big Boi) and together in 2009. No plans to tour so far, and reportedly do not enjoy touring.
Green Day - 2.6
Haven't ever played Coachella, and hopefully never will. A last resort of sorts, but a new album is planned for release in April 2009.
Jay-Z - 2.4
Following Glastonbury's lead, this would be a surprising but not necessarily disappointing choice in headliner.
Led Zeppelin - 2.4
There are heavy rumors of plans to tour without Robert Plant. Realistically, it's doubtful a world tour would be ready in time for Coachella.
The Smiths - 2.3
Another very highly requested reunion. Morrissey's tour dates indicate a Coachella performance, rumors of The Smiths reuniting (or not) at Coachella have been published in various trashy newspapers, public knowledge that festival organizer Paul Tollett for years has offered a hefty sum for The Smiths to headline, but AEG Live CEO recently stated that the festival will probably feel the economic crunch, and won't be paying up the wazoo for headliners in 2009 (like they did for Prince and Roger Waters in 2008).
Soundgarden - 1.1
Absolutely no plans or rumors of this happening other than fan's wishes.
Talking Heads - 0.9
Not even any rumors of this happening, and the fans know better for the most part.