Officially known as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Coachella is hands-down one of the year’s best festivals in terms of weird names, multiple days of camping in hard to reach locations, and most importantly, killer line-ups. Founded in 1999, Coachella has the benefit of over a decade of debauched chicanery under its belt and clearly understands the needs of the post-hippie, including but not limited to clean, stocked Porta-Potties, gourmet snacks, and of course, the hipster crack of any bona fide festival, a line-up of bands that were actually good this year. If you’re above the poverty line and trying to figure out what the hell’s the difference between a Bonaroo, a Sasquatch and a Burning Man, the Nostalgia Advisory Board has given its seal of approval to the Coachella 2012 line-up. For the first time in its life, the festival will take place over two consecutive weekends and feature the same line-ups each weekend. As of today, Coachella 2012 ticket prices for three-day passes range from $485 to $1649 for the first weekend (April 13 - 15) and $374 to $2121 for the second weekend (April 20 – 23). Keep in mind that Coachella tickets for 2011 sold out in six days so you might want to crack that steel trap of a wallet back open and keep your credit card handy because those prices are only inching in one direction. If you’re having trouble deciding which stage or tent to check out on your “Coachooser” smart phone app, we’ve compiled a list of some of the highlights from each day.
The Black Keys are headlining Friday’s line-up with tracks from their excellent new album El Camino, M83 will play their everybody’s year-end, best-of-list favorite "Midnight City" (complete with horn solo), Amon Tobin and his matrix-like DJ box will be there, Cat Power will probably debut new material she’s been working on, Frank Ocean will premiere songs from his new album and the crowd will predictably go insane for this lyric from “Novacane”:
“Met her at Coachella, I went to see Jigga, she went to see z-trip. Perfect. I took a seat on the ice cold lawn, she handed me an ice blue bong.”
Back from the dead/90s: BritPoppers Jarvis Cocker and Pulp are continuing their reunion tour (“I want to sleep with common people like you”) and Mazzy Star will probably play “Fade into You” (which is sure to brighten up many a k-hole).
Radiohead are book-ending their Mexican shows with each weekend of Coachella and will mostly be playing material from the King of Limbs and In Rainbows sessions as well as some new songs they’ve been working on, Bon Iver’s still riding high on the fumes from the unbelievable success of their self-titled indie-bluegrass album, the Broken Bells James Mercer is back with The Shins’ new line-up and music from their forthcoming album, Oasis singer-songwriter Noel Gallagher is playing with the High Flying Birds and will probably play some Oasis covers and DJs David Guetta and Kaskade are spinning into the wee hours for the club set. Be sure to scope out dubstep standout SBTRKT, Neutral Milk Hotel singer and indie legend Jeff Mangum’s fantastic acoustic set, Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s ominous, orchestral, post-rock, multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird’s mental solo show, music from Feist and St. Vincent’s new albums and Flying Lotus’ awesome live set. Catch 20-year-old Harlem indie-rap breakout artist Azealia Banks at one of her first major dates, see Community’s Donald Glover as Childish Gambino singing standout track "Heartbeat," and fall in love with "Chapel Song" from the debut album of We Are the Augustines, Rise Ye Sunken Ships.
On day 3 you can see the G-Funk reunion of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg taking hits from The Chronic which sounds just as fresh today as it did in the 90s. Justice is back with their latest, Audio, Video, Disco. The French electronic duo got shut down by the police at their Creator’s Project set in Brooklyn. Fortunately Coachella is open all night. Florence and the Machine will be playing their epic tracks from Ceremonials, and Florence Welch’s voice is truly something to experience live. Beirut is touring their latest album Rip Tide and retooling some of their older work for their ultra-nerdy but sweet live performances. Abel Tesfaye and the Weeknd are playing one of their first stateside shows and covering material from their three mixtapes. Tesfaye’s pitch-perfect Michael Jackson falsetto should level the crowd in attendance. Girl Talk’s attention deficit mash-ups and legendary sweaty mosh pits, the return of DJ Shadow (who everyone secretly hopes will just play Entroducing…), a possible appearance by Thom Yorke with Modeselektor, and new material from Santigold round out day three. There’s so much more happening but this should get you started.
The Weeknd - House Of Balloons Glass Table Girls by Audiomusicblog