Nothing Special, Really

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Coachella Or Bust? I Choose Bust.

It's been an interesting week or so. Perhaps I'll divulge an explanation behind that statement one day or another, but that's a post that I'm just not ready or willing to write yet. If that statement causes you concern, just know that everything is OK, and it's not as ominous as all that sounds.

So yesterday, the Coachella lineup got announced. As many of you know, I've made the trek to Indio, CA twice, which is really two more times then ever needed in a lifetime, to sweat it out for two days (now three days) with 60,000 other people to listen to music. Sounds fun, right? Well, if you know what you're getting into, and you're prepared, and you enjoy live music, it can be. The first year, probably the end-all, be-all of festival lineups for my taste, I wasn't, and spent half the second day wandering around in a daze when I wasn't in the ER tent vomiting from some combination of heat exhaustion\dehydration\sleep deprivation. The last time I went, 2006, I was much better prepared and had a much better time. I look forward to this festival each year, and was supremely bummed when I couldn't afford tickets in time last year (which, in retrospect, turned out to be for the best).

I've known for some time now that I wouldn't be able to attend this year's festival. The tax man calleth this year, and even though it looks like I'll be getting most of that money back later in the year, I have to give it to receive it first apparently. Besides, that money would be better used elsewhere, like towards paying off credit cards or going to someplace I haven't been before, like Chicago or Paris.

The one thing I feared though was that this year, the lineup would beat even 2004's lineup (which included, among others: Radiohead, Pixies, The Cure, Air, Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Death Cab For Cutie, ...Trail Of Dead, The Flaming Lips, and that's not to mention others I didn't get to see like Stereolab, Muse, etc.) With Radiohead just putting out a new album, Portishead's return, and the reunion of My Bloody Valentine, plus the prior confirmation of bands I haven't seen yet like The Breeders, AND the rumor that the recently reunited Led Zeppelin could be there, I was already preparing myself for the worst.

So yesterday, Coachella finally announced it's 2008 lineup. I take a look, and the first thought that pops into my head is:

"Jack Fucking Johnson"?

Yes, Jack Johnson is one of the three headliners announced, along with Portishead & Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. The second tier acts include the aforementioned Breeders, The Raconteurs, The Verve, Death Cab For Cutie, My Morning Jacket, Kraftwerk, and Love & Rockets. And to that, I say "whew". Not that I wouldn't mind seeing half of those acts (the others, eh, not so much) but the overall lineup is very underwhelming to me. It's very electronic-heavy this year, and most you know that I'm not much into dancing. One thing I've always wanted to do at Coachella is spend a lot of time checking out bands I've never heard, and this year would be that opportunity, but I still need that big-name draw to get me to spend about $800 to go, and even though I would love love LOVE to see Portishead, it's just not enough. It's the first time I can recall seeing a bad Coachella lineup and having it be good news.

The aftereffect of all this is that most of these bands should be touring Seattle around the same time and\or playing at our Sasquatch festival Memorial Day weekend (which is much cooler, weather-wise, much closer, and much cheaper!) Last year, instead of Coachella, I was able to spend the money on our road trip + seeing The Shins, Bloc Party, Explosions In The Sky, and many of the same artists at Sasquatch (Bjork, Arcade Fire, Interpol + other acts like The Beastie Boys). This year I've got less money but it's easier to budget $300 for concerts than it is $800.

I'll try to get another post up later this week, although it's a busy time at work this month so no promises.


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