Welcome to 2014! We’re excited that the year has had such a fast start, and with Festival season just around the corner (Is it a season if it lasts 11 months?), we’re here to help you navigate the line-ups, costumes, fireworks, and broken port-o-johns you’ll find across American fields this summer. With the recent Coachella line-up announcement (months after the festival sold out), a few of us got together to pick our favorites of each day, and an act you may not have heard of an probably don’t want to. So straight from the genius that is our staff, our 2014 El Dorado Coachella Guide [Part 1 of 3].
Will Ullman’s Picks:
I’ve never been to Coachella. My festival experience is summarized with a lot of adolescent baking in the Warped Tour sun, and a short love affair with the HARD Summer festival. I love the idea of festivals. Half naked girls, gardens full of beer, and music in every direction you can look. And lately festivals are just getting ridiculous, amusement parks, art installations, and fans thirsty for the hottest new music. Despite the distractions, there is still some great music to be sought out, and if I were there, here’s what my Friday might look like:
Yo. By the time Coachella rolls around Sing The Sorrow will be 11 years old, and even though you still have to call your mom to help set up your direct deposit, you’ve gotten old, and less fun. You’re too cool to dance, and would rather find the perfect VSCO settings for your next instagram post than get thrown in the pit. So for one hour, remember what it was like to hug that dude with spiky red hair that accidentally just punched you in the face, and scream along to Death Of Seasons. Buzzfeed will still be there when you’re through.
If you’ve already heard “Come Alive (feat. Toro y Moi)” 1,000 times like me, go ahead and skip this part since we know you’ll already be there. But if for some reason you don’t already pray to baby Santa Claus that more of that funky goodness is released soon, get your ass to the Church of Chromeo and repent!
Yo Goldenvoice, Arcade Fire is cool, and I’ma let you finish, but Dixon was Resident Advisor’s best DJ OF ALL 2013! OF ALL 2013! And you congratulate him with a billing printed smaller than the legal copy. Yes, it’s Martin Garrix’s first year in the states (and I’ve been waiting all this time since ‘Animals’ came out to hear him play it because NO ONE ELSE EVER DOES!) but don’t trip. If you don’t catch at least half of Dixon’s set I’m not sure what you were doing all day.
Real talk, I was the sickest of sick people when Falcon came to El Dorado. I even had to miss Kaytranada the night before, so at least Coachella is bringing the Frenchman back to soothe the Indio plains with his Daft-infused sound. Everyone here had nothing but amazing things to say about Falcon’s show, and I believe it. Camp out at Pharrell waiting for a Random Access Miracle, or just go see DJ Falcon and catch the real French Funk.
The Haim girls saw an explosive 2013, yet it still feels like we’re just getting started with them. If you haven’t spent hours on their SoundCloud page pouring over all of the remixes from the likes of Giorgio Moroder, Duke Dumont, Psychemagik and more, head there now and you’ll be a believer in minutes. The chance to catch them live is an opportunity not to be squandered.
DEFINITELY SKIP: Shlomo – Unless someone sent this kid some youtube how-tos, his lack of beat matching and selection prowess displayed in the past won’t translate well to that festival life.
• Anthony Green Saosin, High & Driving, Circa Survive, this moody post-emo crooner has still got it
• Bastille Have you heard that Rhythm of The Night cover? Get groovy.
• Duke Dumont Hard to not put him on the list, but there will be better venues with better support this year, don’t feel bad if you miss him in Indio
Steven Tuttle’s Picks:
Now I might not be the best person to trust when it comes to music festivals. I’ve only been to Coachella twice, Outside Lands once, and San Diego Street Scene (RIP) once. I’ve seen my fair share of shows, but festivals never really “did it” for me. As there are many acts I would love to see, I’d prefer not to see them in a sweaty, claustrophobic (even though it’s on giant polo fields), smelly, body-painted, hippy fart-factory festival where half the crowd focuses more on what (or what not) they’re wearing and their creativity with Instagram hashtags to show off to their friends. Not to say that doesn’t sound like a good time to some of my burner, space hippy friends and or girls that enjoy wearing decapitated polar bear hats with RIDICULOUSLY un-proportionate arms (Unless of course you’re this guy). I also have a hard time purchasing tickets for a festival that sells out BEFORE THE LINEUP IS ANNOUNCED.
“Hey, wanna go check out a movie this weekend?”
“Sure, what movie?”
“DON’T KNOW THE THEATRE HASN’T ANNOUNCED ANY BUT IT’S TOTALLY GOING TO SELL OUT BEFORE”
“TAKE ALL MY MONEY”
“Hey, I’m selling my car, interested in buying it?”
“Sure, can I see it and get a list of it’s performance and maintenance issues?”
“NO BUT EVERYONE IS GOING TO BUY IT TOMORROW AT 8:00AM”
“HERE’S MY BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER, DRAIN IT AND GIVE ME YOUR CAR.”
“Hey, wanna go sky diving this weekend?”
“Sure, they have functioning parachutes right?”
“DON’T KNOW BUT WE CAN DRESS LIKE INDIANS”
“MY LIFE SAVINGS ARE IN YOUR HANDS PUN INTENDED”
And I know what you’re going to say. “But look at all the AMAZE-BALLZ acts that have been b4!” Yes, there are usually a handful of great acts every day of each weekend. But considering acts like THIS still appear at the event, I’d rather hold on to my money to make sure it’s worth every dime considering the hefty pay load (ticket, travel, stay, beverage, food, etc etc etc).
Needless to say, I have enjoyed myself at these events, and I encourage those to continue to support great musical talents. With that, if I was to attend Coachella this year (still up in the air), these would be my opinion on attending Coachella 2014:
First, and foremost. Go to weekend 2. To me, this gives you a better “Coachella experience” advanced review from any trustworthy Coachella-goers you might know. Beware of these dingbats, the “hat-imal” dingbats I mentioned previously, and those who pick acts based on their light show and fireworks display. This also gives the artists time to adjust and fine tune their acts. So without further ado, here’s my friday picks:
Pending the set times, start your weekend off with some proper punk rock with my first two choices. Dust off your spiked leather belts and chain wallets, rip the sleeves off your Face to Face shirt (they probably already are), and keep those elbows up. The. Pit. Calls. You. Chances are they won’t play much off “Very Proud of Ya”, but with what seems like less and less live acts (not always a bad thing, but usually a bad thing), an AFI show is not to be missed, much less any live show.
Everything I said above, but insert here. While I’m not really into artists pouring their political views into their lyrics and into your face when you’re just trying to enjoy a show, Anti-Flag played some great punk rock in the day. They were also a huge influence on a ton of great punk bands that spawned in the early 90s. It’s rare you see bands of this stature and longevity still playing shows today, don’t sit on it. You’ll have to wait until they disband and then plan their reunion tour 15 years after that.
I’ve seen Chromeo a handful of times now and they never disappoint! Get ready to dance your face off because their show transforms in to one monster dance party with all the good kinds of sweat and smiles. Their new singles are instantaneous hits with “Over Your Shoulder” keeping that classic Chromeo funk and “Sexy Socialite” giving off a sticky, dancy DFA-ish sound. Stoked for what these guys keep offering in 2014!
As my good comrade William Ullman said, this dude was RA’s BEST DJ OF 2013. Caaaamaaaaaann! I saw Dixon at Bang Bang a few months back and is was one helluva show. Fantastic rhythmic selections and an overall solid night of dance. Deep House is a tough genre that doesn’t necessarily appeal to the everyday audience.
We had the unique pleasure having this French legend at El Dorado this past fall. Let me tell you, he did NOT disappoint. DJ Falcon (Stéphane Quême) has been on the scene since the late 90s when he released his first ep on Roulé records (Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk). He also had a side project with Thomas called Together, in which they produced some wonderful dance tracks “So Much Love to Give” and “Together”. He most recently came back into the spotlight having a spot as a collaborator on Daft Punk’s latest album “Random Access Memories”. If you want to see the way French House was meant to be played, DO NOT MISS THIS SET. Does this give you enough reason?
DEFINITELY SKIP: Carnage - This kind of loud crazy, chainsaw, robot-rape music never really caught on with me. Which appears to be all he plays. I mean, he “came in this game to scare the shit outta everyone“. I’ll pass.
• Duke Dumont - Hearing him pump his hits “Need U 100%” and “The Giver” to an energetic crowd is enough to try to make this a stop on your list. He’ll more than likely be touring North America again soon, but no reason to skip him
• Outkast - After a seven year hiatus, the duo is bound to put on an amazing, fun performance. I’ll pay $300 to drink a forty with Matt Stanton and listen to Outkast play “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” live any day.
• Broken Bells - James Mercer and Brian Burton are releasing their second full length album this February, and I for one am stoked. I really enjoyed the project when it was first launched (being a fan of the Shins and Danger Mouse) and if their new songs “Holding on For Life” and “After the Disco” are a glimpse of what the album brings, it’s gonna be some smooth jams.
Miranda Marks’ Picks:
As an eighty year old twenty seven year old, my ideal music festival would involve complimentary earplugs, Scrabble tournaments and Arnold Palmers, and would feature acts like Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Mildred Bailey and The Glenn Miller Orchestra. There would also be a Waltz Tent sponsored by AARP serving a variety of white wines (Salter, do I have your attention?) and a Bingo Tent, sponsored by The American Legion. Unfortunately, I do not foresee this dream becoming a reality (although given the recent popularity of holograms, there may still be hope. To quote The Andrews Sisters: “I can dream, can’t I?”)*
*Incidentally, The Andrews Sisters would be headlining my festival, which I have elected to call “Coachelderly”
With all of that being said, here is who I would go see if I were to attend a music festival that exists. Like Coachella.
His music makes me think about Space Travel. That is all.
Unless you have epilepsy.
Fox Confessor Brings The Flood holds a special place in my heart. But even if her music doesn’t give you that old teenage feeling, I recommend going just to hear that powerful yet day-dreamy voice.
Because James Mercer can do no wrong!
DEFINITELY SKIP: AFI
• Wye Oak - The perfect music for a rainy day or a long drive, but I can’t say I feel the need to see them at a festival.
Stay tuned for our Saturday picks coming soon!