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Coachella: The Little Font

I’m going to take a break from being charming and humorous. I’m going to try and be helpful for once. Maybe use my powers for good… like a real serious grown up.

So let’s talk about the increasingly serious, increasingly grown up, and increasingly Heineken/5 gum/Scion/Sony-sponsored Coachella music festival which has totally sold out.

Everyone knows the bands in the first 4 lines of each day’s list of artists. Those ones in the little font can get missed. I put together a list of some of the ones I feel are worth checking out.

DAY 1:

Mount Kimbie are some of the best at post-dubstep. If you’re wondering what that means, it means that dubstep took a Xanax and decided the bass really didn’t need to be that all-encompassing. It’s still got plenty of hop and bounce, and the artists generally have an incredible ear for rhythm.  Mount Kimbie is a good introduction.

If you like that, catch Nosaj Thing playing later. He has an awesome visual show which matches his beats flawlessly. It looks clean and pretty… and it’s very complex to pull off. Check out a compilation here .

If you decide you prefer plain old dubstep, run over and see 12th Planet before he drops dead from doing the same thing he’s been doing for years.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti had Pitchfork’s Album of the Year last year, so I’m surprised they didn’t get higher billing. Maybe because Ariel’s last big profile show took place at a circus and he walked out in the middle of a song and never came back. I wish I could’ve been there.

OFWGKTA — Odd.  Future.  Wolf.  Gang.  KillThemAll.   Get on this ridiculously over-crowded bandwagon before the wheels come off entirely. I do not understand how you can walk five feet and not get hit in the face by an Odd Future interview/reference/sighting these days.

And if you’re tired of the far-off future and bored of the distant past, do some guilty time traveling to the revivalists of the 1990s. Cold Cave is a lot deeper than their Radio Shack commercial suggests, and The Pains of being Pure at Heart are extremely good at what they do.

DAY 2:

Mary Anne Hobbs — the fairy godmother of modern electronic music. Her BBC radio show was largely responsible for bringing underground UK electronic music to the scene. She has a strong bond with the Low End Theory / Brainfeeder guys like Flying Lotus and Gaslamp Killer and she’s very much in touch with what people call The LA Sound. She’s earned the trust of millions of listeners for her music taste. She’s worth checking out.

If you liked your experiments with Nosaj Thing or Mount Kimbie, you’ll definitely want to get in on some Daedelus. This video of him performing ridiculous feats on a strange instrument should tell you everything you need to know… if you can explain what he’s doing without watching it 45 times, you are a smarter person than I am.

I think most people wonder if Lil’B the BASED god is a dumb joke, whether he knows he’s a joke, or whether the joke is on us. But his independent other-world rap style has influenced Odd Future and a host of imitators.  He’s kind of scary if you consider the fact that he may be serious.

If you don’t want anything too scary, run through The Twelves set. I saw them at Santos Party House and left covered in sweat. If you like the safety of Girl Talk, these guys are for you.

DAY 3:

HEALTH — Awesome live show, awesome atmosphere. If you can hang in there during the two minute feedback/screech solo, you are in for a treat by the end.  They made the song Crimewave, which was remixed by Crystal Castles and turned into a mega-hit.  Their drummer is intense. And, most importantly, they have the best twitter account of every band anywhere. Check that out here: .

You’ll probably need something comforting to balance out HEALTH. Delorean fits the bill with their PassionPit-esque music from the beaches of Barcelona. Half club music and half singalong radio, Delorean is unabashedly optimistic and lighthearted — and they don’t care if that’s naïve. Go and bounce your head along and don’t feel guilty.  If you close your eyes, you could probably pretend that Indio is Ibiza and get away with it.

If you didn’t get your fill from the 400 interchangeable electronic artists on day 1 and 2, go see Tokimonsta early on day 3.  She’ll sound microscopically different than every other DJ you’ve ever heard, and she’ll look really hot doing it.  If you honestly need more, catch the “legend” Joy Orbison a little later.

OFF! — I miss my punk. And these guys are good at punk. They’re loud, obnoxious, talented, and not bound by rules. They’re never serious and they don’t care if they help anyone…

For God’s sake, just walk around while you’re there. Schedules are great, but not for vacations. And don’t forget to stop by the 5Gum Intense Experience Interactive Chewing Simulator (this is a real thing).  See you there.

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