Wednesday, May 05, 2004


Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne makes a unique entrance. "If I crushed your head, I'm sorry," he said to the crowd afterwards.

Overall, the weekend was pure magic. The music was all on-time and on-point. Sound was excellent, food was decent, beer and bathroom lines were manageable and nightime brought out a slew of cool things to see and do... many difficult to describe but there was 3D mazes, massive smoke rings, fake lightning, james brown concerts projected, fela movies, robots battling fast food, etc. The downside was some unfortunate overlapping of must-see artists. I tried to choose variety over seeing entire sets. As far as stand-outs, I'd start with these:

Dizzee Rascal - While his between-song cockney banter went painfully through the ears of the crowd without comprehension, his set did manage to get one of the more enthusiastic responses of the weekend. He proved his emcee chops to me.

Prefuse 73/Savath and Savalas - Mr. Herren graduated his stage show from his Mac to a full band, complete with 2 lovely female vocalists. I thought the live drumming might not be able to re-create some of the more banging drum bits, but just the opposite. And the massive jazziness and soulfulness sometimes buried in his music really benefitted.

Da Lata - Perhaps the most sparsely attended show (during Radiohead) was one of the best. Just love their brand of Brazilonica music, period.

AIR - Pretty boring for the most part, but when sunset hit and they started playing their older space out jamz (and we got lifted) the world seemed in perfect order. That was a moment.

Atmosphere (+other rap) - Vinyl melting straight on the turntables after 2-3 minutes made things difficult for the battle-tested duo. Slug alienated half the crowd but had the other half in his hand. He did have the best line though - saying how he couldn't wait to get back to his hotel room the day before 9to wank) due to all the gorgeous bitties walking around. Their ish sounded better live than Living Legends and Heiro though. I didn't stay for the whole thing, but they both played mostly new stuff... Heiro's oldies consideted of b-side "Eye Exam" and one of the merely decent songs off 93 Til... i liked it but c'mon guys, this is Coachella. Kool Keith tore it up with all the classics - to a lost crowd.

Pixies - just a perfect band - for the 80s/early 90s.
Radiohead - ditto, for the 00s
Cure - a disappointment for the lack of energy. But "I will always love you" sounded sooooo good. Goosebumps.

Laurniet Garnier - worried me at first but then broke out of the prog tech house ghetto that was this poorly programmed tent. his breakbeat and d&b tracks were firin.
Mark Farina - weak
2 Many DJs - i expected more of a mash-up party vibe rather than the trendy punk-funk stuff at first. But then then versions of Cure's Sanctuary, Rapture's "House of Jealous Lovers," Nirvana's "Lithium" and "Crazy in Love" started rolling. Still I wasn't in to it and left to catch Sage Francis' typically earnest set.

Kraftwerk - 4 nutty Germans lined up with their Macs whose music I had to remember was nearly 30 years old. Loved their realist visuals.

Bassment Jaxx killed it. "Good Love" is a big big choon on par with their older classics. Dizzee Rascal guested to nice effect.

Broken Social Scene was by and away the best indie thing I was introduced to there - with the Stills 2nd. I also liked Ian McKeye's (fugazi) 2 man side project as well as the (also 2 man) Black Keys.

Beck - I was one of the lucky few able to elbow my way into the side of the tent to see his unplanned acoustic performance. Well worth it for the new "eternal sunshine" song, funny adlibs and see him trying to work a game boy into an drum machine type thing. Best joke was about being sorry for the Goths in the 106 degree temperature...

LA's Koreans Get Into the Foul Exile Behavior
A couple North Koreans came on a rare visit outside of their New Yoambassador'sr's Row confines only to get soaked with water, be the brunt of nasty jeers and have the door to the facility barred for 40 minutes. They were in LA to pick up $20,000 the local community had put together for victims of the recent train station explosion. Nice.