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Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pilgrim to the  Coachella Valley, those pre-festival jitters are definitely distracting you from everything school-related right now. You’ve scoured the epic lineup, stalked the online forum, and purchased your ticket to SoCal’s most anticipated music fest of the year. Now all that’s left is planning a course of action for your three-day ramble through the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. We’ve highlighted some of this year’s most noteworthy acts and provided times and locations for each so you can navigate through the masses with ease. Now go forth, CMCers, and rep our college hard with your impeccable music taste at what should be one of the most exhilarating events of the year.

FRIDAY, 4/16

The Avett Brothers: Outdoor Theatre, 3:20-4:05 PM

This “grungegrass” group consistently produces a delectably blended tunes: take 1 part old-time country, 2 parts folksy blues, a bit of energetic punk a la the Ramones, and a dash of jangling pop…and you have the Avett Brothers. Cellist Joe Kwon and bass player Bob Crawford round out Seth’s banjo and Scott’s guitar for a gorgeous sound that’s hard to hate on.

If you like ’em, also check out: Old Crow Medicine Show

Yeasayer: Mojave, 4:20-5:10 PM

The Brooklyn-based trio released their sophomore attempt Odd Blood to critical acclaim and general bewilderment in February. The band was first formed in Baltimore alongside fellow prep school classmates from psych-pop kings Animal Collective. Judging from material on recent albums, the groups’ members have frequented the same LSD-infused keg for a number of years now. Be sure not to miss this one: the performance is (a) at 4:20 and (b) will supposedly feature “custom-built light columns and giant illuminated balloons.”

If you like ’em, also check out: Girls, Local Natives

Them Crooked Vultures: Coachella Stage, 7:50-8:40 PM

“Supergroups” seem to be uber-hip these days. From Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace to Conor Oberst’s Monsters of Folk, the rock music scene has become one strange and surprising mix-tape.  Them Crooked Vultures is the 3-headed child of Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), and Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters). To see three alpha-males driving hard towards adrenaline-pumping melodies, check out the second-best band Jones has ever been in.

If you like ’em, also check out: The Dead Weather, White Rabbits

Grizzly Bear: Mojave, 8:05-8:55 PM

It’s funny enough that a band named Grizzly Bear has produced three consecutive albums over the last 10 years that each sound like they have been produced by Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs until you find out that Jay-Z and wife Beyoncé attended their show in Brooklyn last year and told Pitchfork that Grizzly Bear “is an incredible band.” This set is short by any standard for the band, but look forward to hearing great riffs and harmonies from their latest album, Veckatimest.

If you like ’em, also check out: Deerhunter, Hot Chip, Deer Tick

Jay-Z: Coachella Stage, 10:50 PM

What More Can I Say?” The opening-night appearance from Jay-Z is Coachella’s mainstream blockbuster. He has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and continues to startle us with new club-bangers and street anthems every couple of years. Unfortunately, Jigga’s set will overlap with Deadmau5’s but consider staying at the Coachella Stage if you hope to see Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys, or Lupe Fiasco or even Dr. Dre (*just in) perform with Hov.

If you like ’em, also check out: Wale, B.o.B.

Deadmau5: Sahara, 11:35 PM-12:50 AM

If you haven’t heard Deadmau5 blasting out of the windows of North Quad suites for the past six months then you have either been living underneath a rock or in Stark Hall. He is Grammy-nominated and widely considered to be one of the Top 10 DJs in the world (did I mention two others from the list will also be performing at the festival?). Deadmau5 is the premier House Music DJ and will put on a show in the Sahara tent. The decision remains TBD on how much time to allot to Deadmau5, as he and  Jay-Z have overlapping sets.

If you like ’em, also check out: David Guetta, Benny Benassi, Kaskade

SATURDAY, 4/17

Flying Lotus: Gobi, 10:45-11:45 AM

This artist’s dope compilations and abstract, jazz-infused style bring to mind fellow beat-makers Madlib, RJD2, and Gaslamp Killer.  Flying Lotus’s highly addictive (we warned you), eclectic new album Cosmogramma has been dubbed a “space opera” and showcases vocals by the likes of Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu, and Lil’ Wayne.  Prepare to embark on an incredibly lush hip-hop odyssey Saturday morning.

If you like ’em, also check out: Thom Yorke, Orbital

Portugal. The Man: Gobi, 2:15-3:00

Alaska-born indie rock group with swooning, harmony-laden tunes.  Lead vocalist John Baldwin Gourley’s glassy falsetto lends Portugal’s tracks a haunting but heartfelt quality that seems to have just blown in from the group’s icy home state. Expect the unexpected: Portugal. The Man’s frequent fluidity of musicians and instruments should make this act’s set a memorable experience.

If you like ’em, alsocheck out: MGMT, Beach House

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros: Outdoor Theatre, 5:10-6:00 PM

This is a must-see performance for the mindful indie-world. After finishing a 12-step program for addiction, Alex Ebert, lead vocalist of the 12-15 member group, started writing an album about a messianic figure that “was sent down to Earth to kinda heal and save mankind… but he kept getting distracted by girls and falling in love” (Paste Magazine). If the idea of a concept album does not tickle your fancy, operate under the assumption that Edward Sharpe may be accompanied by fourteen instrument-playing, harmonizing apostles that have toured throughout the US in a large white school bus.

If you like ’em, also check out: Camera Obscura, She & Him

The xx: Outdoor Theatre, 6:25-7:10 PM

This British trio burst onto the scene after a couple of tracks (likely recorded in a basement) leaked onto Hype Machine over the summer of 2009. Since then, the band’s tracks have been featured in television series and advertisements, most notably the AT&T commercial featuring Apollo Anton Ohno during the Vancouver Olympics. The band has covered Aaliyah and Ginuwine, and  channeled The Smiths and The Cure in their self-titled debut album.

If you like ’em, also check out: Florence + The Machine, The Cribs, Temper Trap

David Guetta: Mojave, 9:00-10:15 PM

This French producer and DJ could be the most popular artist in the world right now. It’s not easy for Americans to concede that the Euro-phenomenon “Sexy Bitch” (featuring Akon) actually sounded pretty hot, but when the rest of the album was released in singles featuring Kelly Rowland and Kid Cudi…Guetta’s talent became clear. This is going to be a party.

If you like ’em, also check out: Deadmau5, Benny Benassi, Kaskade

SUNDAY, 4/18

De La Soul: Coachella Stage, 3:50-4:40 PM

They’ve been spitting surreal lyrics since ’87 and have laid a foundation alongside alternative hip-hop faves like Digable Planets and A Tribe Called Quest. Cited as the originators of the jazz-hop genre, De La Soul has influenced decades of innovative rap and hip-hop groups. This significant trio is still producing quirky sampling, laid-back raps, and inventive rhythms, and even collaborated with fellow headliner Gorillaz on the crowd-pleasing track “Feel Good, Inc.” Don’t miss the “hippies of hip-hop” when they make their Coachella appearance.

If you like ’em, also check out: P.O.S., Gorillaz, Flying Lotus

Florence + the Machine: Gobi, 4:30-5:15 PM

British sensation Florence + the Machine, i.e. Florence Welch and her backing vocalists, channel the classic voice of fellow Brit Kate Bush in their debut album, Lungs. The album has already won the “Mastercard Album of the Year” at the 2010 BRIT Awards and continues to build the group’s presence stateside. Florence’s vocals during the epic “Cosmic Love” and at past award show performances are sure to make her a crowd favorite this weekend.

If you like ’em, also check out: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Little Boots, Sleigh Bells, La Roux

Miike Snow: Mojave, 6:45-7:30 PM

Danceable electro-pop trio well-worth checking out. You’ve probably hummed tracks like “Animal” for hours on end without even knowing the name of this Swedish group, let alone their other equally catchy and dynamic tunes. It’s about time you got acquainted with Miike Snow.

If you like ’em, also check out: Matt & Kim, Vampire Weekend

Sly Stone: Gobi, 7:00-7:45 PM

There are countless reasons for why you should head out to the Gobi tent to see Sly perform 45 minutes of classics that you might not be able to get a glimpse of again if he happens to die of an overdose. Unfortunately, the best day of the festival is plagued with the worst organization as Sly, Miike Snow and Phoenix have set times that almost completely overlap. It may be impossible to catch all three performances but the sprightly folk may be able to run between the venues in time to see two of them.

If you like ’em, also check out: … Just go see Sly.

Phoenix: Outdoor Theatre, 7:10-8:00 PM

If you’re dying to see immensely popular anthems “Lisztomania” and “1901” performed live, park yourself at the Outdoor Theatre for what will undoubtedly be an energetic set from Phoenix. This French alt-rock group’s 2009 Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix exploded onto the scene with its upbeat, glittery vibes and has invaded the soundtrack to many a CMCer’s year. If you aren’t enthused by Sly or Snow, Phoenix will satisfy without a doubt.

If you like ’em, also check out: Steel Train, Dirty Projectors

Pavement: Coachella Stage, 7:45-8:55 PM

Pavement is widely considered to one of the formative bands of the mid ’90s. Twangy songs alive with bright riffs and sporadic percussion have influenced indie groups for the last 20 years. Pavement broke up in 1999 and did not perform at a live event together again until they launched their worldwide tour on March 1 of this year. You may have to do some digging to uncover  Pavement’s classics, but  the exhumation will be worth your trouble.

If you like ’em, also check out: Yo La Tengo

Gorillaz: Coachella Stage, 10:30 PM

The question you must be asking yourself is, “how does a group composed of bizarre animated characters play live?” So glad you asked. From what we have heard and seen, the band (whose lead vocalist is Damon Albarn from ’90s British post-punk band Blur), has used shadow-play and excellent projection effects to provide the crowd with a wild 3D experience. Don’t miss this.

If you like ’em, also check out: Flying Lotus, Thom Yorke

26 COMMENTS

  1. If you like Yo La Tengo but can’t make it to Coachella this weekend, hit up Rhino Records in the village for a free show on saturday….

    Also, Erica Bellman I think I love you, you are pretty cool too Lewis.

  2. If you like Yo La Tengo but can’t make it to Coachella this weekend, hit up Rhino Records in the village for a free show on saturday….

    Also, Erica Bellman I think I love you, you are pretty cool too Lewis.

  3. Our standards for what accounts for good music are woefully thin.

    There’s nothing really “indie” about this — most of these bands are just focus-grouped corporate entities at an over-priced and drearily predictable Urban Outfitters style fashion show.

    Take Edwin Sharp (or whatever). That band is just playing up the faux-nostalgic down-home country thing with crappy music and like 20 guitarists all playing the same thing to create a commune-vibe. However, if you check their bio’s you’ll see that despite their “Alabama, Arkansas” country appeal, they’re actual just lifeless yuppies who met at Gap and American Eagle stores. In fact, the singer has done this before. A few years ago, he was in some god-awful label-created group called I’m A Little Robot (or something) who were, like this band, trying to mimic real and authentic music.

    If I were paid to go to Coachella, from this line-up, I’d watch and scratch my head (in wonder of why they signed up for such a hideous gathering) to PiL, Old Crow and King Khan. For the whole revivalist thing they’re into, Faith No More would be the only one worth their beans as Pavements “jangly” fluff about “hair cuts” and whatnot is simply intolerable.

  4. Our standards for what accounts for good music are woefully thin.

    There’s nothing really “indie” about this — most of these bands are just focus-grouped corporate entities at an over-priced and drearily predictable Urban Outfitters style fashion show.

    Take Edwin Sharp (or whatever). That band is just playing up the faux-nostalgic down-home country thing with crappy music and like 20 guitarists all playing the same thing to create a commune-vibe. However, if you check their bio’s you’ll see that despite their “Alabama, Arkansas” country appeal, they’re actual just lifeless yuppies who met at Gap and American Eagle stores. In fact, the singer has done this before. A few years ago, he was in some god-awful label-created group called I’m A Little Robot (or something) who were, like this band, trying to mimic real and authentic music.

    If I were paid to go to Coachella, from this line-up, I’d watch and scratch my head (in wonder of why they signed up for such a hideous gathering) to PiL, Old Crow and King Khan. For the whole revivalist thing they’re into, Faith No More would be the only one worth their beans as Pavements “jangly” fluff about “hair cuts” and whatnot is simply intolerable.

  5. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Coachella is bent on putting on a truly “indie” (who knows what that means) festival to begin with. Sly Stone? De La Soul? DEVO? Gil Scott-Heron? I’d argue that, although there are some acts aiming to draw crowds to the desert rather than please the less “alternative” fans with “unique” sound, the Coachella lineup boasts a fantastic diversity of groups. That is the joy of a music festival: choice. If you’ve chosen not to attend, that’s great. If you’ll be there, you certainly have some tough calls to make on which acts to see.

  6. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Coachella is bent on putting on a truly “indie” (who knows what that means) festival to begin with. Sly Stone? De La Soul? DEVO? Gil Scott-Heron? I’d argue that, although there are some acts aiming to draw crowds to the desert rather than please the less “alternative” fans with “unique” sound, the Coachella lineup boasts a fantastic diversity of groups. That is the joy of a music festival: choice. If you’ve chosen not to attend, that’s great. If you’ll be there, you certainly have some tough calls to make on which acts to see.

  7. No, what I meant is why is King Khan, who is AMAZING associating with all these Urban Outfitters bands. Khan is awesome — in fact, I think I’m going to go check out Sultan (BBQ — Khan’s partner) this weekend.

    I was stating the Khan, PiL, and Crow are the only ones on this line-up that are actually original.

  8. No, what I meant is why is King Khan, who is AMAZING associating with all these Urban Outfitters bands. Khan is awesome — in fact, I think I’m going to go check out Sultan (BBQ — Khan’s partner) this weekend.

    I was stating the Khan, PiL, and Crow are the only ones on this line-up that are actually original.

  9. Avett Brothers = Pure Bliss

    One of the best live performances I have ever seen.

    How cool would it be to bring them to CMC?

  10. Avett Brothers = Pure Bliss

    One of the best live performances I have ever seen.

    How cool would it be to bring them to CMC?

  11. Gotcha, Sorry, I misread. There are plenty of bands that are original , though. Check out Fever Ray and Sleigh Bells, for instance. Sleigh Bells, especially, is brand spankin’ new.

    I also wouldn’t call Coachella a specifically indie show. However, it does feature most of the biggest names in the indie charts this year, along with some great extras. It will be a great weekend.

    My only question is what is Shooter Jennings doing there? He feels so out of place.

  12. Gotcha, Sorry, I misread. There are plenty of bands that are original , though. Check out Fever Ray and Sleigh Bells, for instance. Sleigh Bells, especially, is brand spankin’ new.

    I also wouldn’t call Coachella a specifically indie show. However, it does feature most of the biggest names in the indie charts this year, along with some great extras. It will be a great weekend.

    My only question is what is Shooter Jennings doing there? He feels so out of place.

  13. Also, if you can’t make it to Coachella, Sleigh Bells is playing TONIGHT at Pitzer. (Clock Tower, I believe)

  14. Also, if you can’t make it to Coachella, Sleigh Bells is playing TONIGHT at Pitzer. (Clock Tower, I believe)

  15. Just want to point out that neither Erica nor I said that Coachella is an “indie” festival.

    To acknowledge both the points of “Will Dudding” and “Not Indie,” I will say that GoldenVoice, as organizers have to pick and choose acts that cater to different demographics, e.g. young/old, hip-hop/alternative/indie, in order to put on a great event AND make some money doing it.

    The point that I need to make for “Not Indie” is the following: with the proliferation of music freely available to share/download and the consumer and artist movement away from the mega record labels towards smaller ones, “Indie,” as a genre, has become impossible to classify.

    So, please get off your high horse with your declarations that these groups are “just focus-grouped corporate entities” and try to understand that some people want to record and play music and also make some money by signing to a record label (in the case of Edward Sharpe, that would be Rough Trade, ever heard of it? Thought so). After all, most students at CMC don’t want to spend the rest of their lives penniless just to be able to say that they didn’t “sell-out.”

  16. Just want to point out that neither Erica nor I said that Coachella is an “indie” festival.

    To acknowledge both the points of “Will Dudding” and “Not Indie,” I will say that GoldenVoice, as organizers have to pick and choose acts that cater to different demographics, e.g. young/old, hip-hop/alternative/indie, in order to put on a great event AND make some money doing it.

    The point that I need to make for “Not Indie” is the following: with the proliferation of music freely available to share/download and the consumer and artist movement away from the mega record labels towards smaller ones, “Indie,” as a genre, has become impossible to classify.

    So, please get off your high horse with your declarations that these groups are “just focus-grouped corporate entities” and try to understand that some people want to record and play music and also make some money by signing to a record label (in the case of Edward Sharpe, that would be Rough Trade, ever heard of it? Thought so). After all, most students at CMC don’t want to spend the rest of their lives penniless just to be able to say that they didn’t “sell-out.”

  17. Alabaaama ArkansAAW, look a lot of people like the music, and while they may be ‘sell outs’ in some people’s eyes, they aren’t exactly the Backstreet Boys (BSB).

    I let my ear do the deciding, and while I did listen to ‘IMA ROBOT’ (beware it is AWFUL), I enjoy Ed Sharpe’s stuff, not because I think its indie and I listen to it while I body paint myself and my beard in a microbrewery in brooklyn wearing vintage clothes, but cuz it stimulates the ear. What else do you need?

    Ignorance is bliss, or at least it sounds good.

  18. Alabaaama ArkansAAW, look a lot of people like the music, and while they may be ‘sell outs’ in some people’s eyes, they aren’t exactly the Backstreet Boys (BSB).

    I let my ear do the deciding, and while I did listen to ‘IMA ROBOT’ (beware it is AWFUL), I enjoy Ed Sharpe’s stuff, not because I think its indie and I listen to it while I body paint myself and my beard in a microbrewery in brooklyn wearing vintage clothes, but cuz it stimulates the ear. What else do you need?

    Ignorance is bliss, or at least it sounds good.

  19. You guys (Lewis and Sooo) are totally right.

    (dismounts from high-horse).

    Bottom line is, if you dig the music, then that’s all that matters. I’m just jaded and grumpy because I spend a lot of time searching out really obscure bands and can sniff the commercial stuff out pretty easy (I was once signed to a label myself). And although Coachella is not to my taste despite the huge variety, that certainly doesn’t mean it sucks for everyone else. So everyone have a great time this weekend and don’t forget to support the little guys who don’t play these kind of festivals on principle.

    When you get back, try and catch a show or two from some awesome LA bands like

    Roses Pawn Shop

    or

    Jail Weddings

    Laters!

  20. You guys (Lewis and Sooo) are totally right.

    (dismounts from high-horse).

    Bottom line is, if you dig the music, then that’s all that matters. I’m just jaded and grumpy because I spend a lot of time searching out really obscure bands and can sniff the commercial stuff out pretty easy (I was once signed to a label myself). And although Coachella is not to my taste despite the huge variety, that certainly doesn’t mean it sucks for everyone else. So everyone have a great time this weekend and don’t forget to support the little guys who don’t play these kind of festivals on principle.

    When you get back, try and catch a show or two from some awesome LA bands like

    Roses Pawn Shop

    or

    Jail Weddings

    Laters!

  21. Coachella this year was the best thing ever – whether or not its “indie” or not doesnt really matter. It had a good mix of popular and those less known. Some of the best performances I saw were Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Florence & The Machine, Thom Yorke, and Jay Z.

    • Not to say I don’t like Jay-Z because I do, but if you think his and Beyonce’s mangling of “Forever Young” is considered great, you should probably re-look at your taste in music.

      Whatever happened to good old Mr. Hudson…

      Just sayin’.

  22. Coachella this year was the best thing ever – whether or not its “indie” or not doesnt really matter. It had a good mix of popular and those less known. Some of the best performances I saw were Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Florence & The Machine, Thom Yorke, and Jay Z.

    • Not to say I don’t like Jay-Z because I do, but if you think his and Beyonce’s mangling of “Forever Young” is considered great, you should probably re-look at your taste in music.

      Whatever happened to good old Mr. Hudson…

      Just sayin’.

Comments are closed.