This just might be the worst. Worst Coachella article or worst Pitchfork article? Either one, really. I know there were a lot of questionable acts in 2003 (when are there not?), but damn:
Interpol, Sonic Youth, Stripes Seize Coachella Fest
Just like All Tomorrow's Parties if it was curated by KROQ
Will Bryant & Steve Haag report:
It's almost spring in indierockopolis, and the breeze is drunk with the honeysuckle whimsy of Ben Gibbard side projects. Chan Marshall and Bonnie "Prince" Billy are skipping hand in hand through a meadow of scene-making but emotionally indifferent tulips. And Coachella Festival typographers are selecting font sizes for the more than 70 artists performing at this year's desert git-down, now inked for the weekend of April 26-27 at the Empire Polo Field just outside of Palm Springs, CA. Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers appear to be the main-stage headliners on Saturday and Sunday, respectively-- and aside from both acts' best years being more than a decade behind them, we have no quarrel with that But we have a sneaking suspicion it's the acts in 14-point type (Blur, N*E*R*D, and Ladytron on Saturday; The White Stripes, Interpol, and Sonic Youth on Sunday) that will prove the biggest ticket movers.
This, however, is precisely where Coachella gets a little dicey-- the UK fest clone's roster has so many great bands blowing through 20-minute sets, there are certain to be disappointments. For instance, Smurf-like Pentium flacks Blue Man Group are taking the weekend off from Vegas to flaunt their pipe-whacking antics for those easily wowed by glowsticks, and overrated trendmoochers like Ben Harper, Kinky, Jack Johnson, and Groove Armada ("WHOOOO!! Play the theme from Sex and the City!!!") are slated to hog the main stages while worthy alternatives including El-P, Johnny Marr + The Healers, Badly Drawn Boy, Fischerspooner, and The Mooney Suzuki work the pup tents.
Of course, you can count on desert rats Queens of the Stone Age to make it, as well as thematically relevant Hot Hot Heat, Tortoise, and Whirlwind Heat. The Donnas, Division of Laura Lee, Amon Tobin, Ben Kweller, The Rapture, and Stereo Total are among the artists pimpin' Saturday; the 90s return in full force Sunday with appearances from Primal Scream, Underworld, Ben Folds, even fuckin' G. Love for Suzuki's sake, though you'll also be able to sample the more now sounds of Mouse on Mars, The Von Bondies, Soundtrack of Our Lives, The Mars Volta, and Rooney. Rumors that Radiohead may put in an appearance are as yet unconfirmed, but we must say, looking less likely with the passage of each day. For the full roster with the artists' names presented in the proper font sizes against a field of pleasing purple, by all means visit the official Coachella site-- where size most certainly matters.
As usual, there's the typical "lineup subject to change disclaimer" included, and duly noted and passed along to you, the reader. So don't yell at us when you bring your feather boa and pancake makeup and it turns out Fischerspooner ain't playing after all. While we're at it, we might as well mention that the Coachella webpage also lists items that are verboten, and they include: knives, drugs, pets and stuffed animals-- in other words, leave the teddy bear bong at home.
Now, assuming you don't get your fill of sunburn/binge drinking/sexual assault at Coachella, you may consider making your way to the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, TN for June 13-15. (Don't let the British-sounding city name fool you, it really is in Tennessee.) Many acts performing at Coachella will be pulling double duty at Bonnaroo, namely Sonic Youth, Jack Johnson, Tortoise and Ben Harper. Other musicians scheduled to appear at the more jam-band-inclined (read: dirty hippie) Bonnaroo Fest include: The Dead (formerly The Other Ones, formerly The Grateful Dead, formerly The Warlocks, oh for fucksakes, you know the drill), Widespread Panic, moe., Warren Haynes (of Govt. Mule), and the Godfather of Jam, er, Soul, James Brown hisself! A show of this magnitude seems priceless, but event organizers have determined that $119.50 is a fair cost for this much music.
Only have money for one festival, and you're not sure which to attend? Consider this: Pollstar recently named Bonnaroo the "Music Festival of the Year" at the 2002 Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. On the other hand, the Coachella Festival isn't in Tennessee. It's a toss-up. Meanwhile, any questions about Metallica's upcoming "Summer Sanitarium Tour" should be directed to this brick wall over here.