Coachella Festival Introduction: I learned the name of this place from Bugs Bunny...

OK, Raw Meat is going to murder me, because I just found out Mike Patton is appearing at Coachella tonight. Why is this a problem? Well, because I am going to be there. Raw Meat loves Mike Patton slightly more than he loves being pissed off that he is not watching Mike Patton. So, I am sure I am about to get an evil message on my phone telling me to "suck it," or something else in the vernacular, and this is most likely because I just sent him a message alerting him to this condition moments ago. Mine was couched in apologies, but still might contain some form of passive-aggressive jerkiness... or surely it will be taken that way.

But I truly did just find out, because they hid him under the name Patton & Rahzel, and I never thought to look up most of the bands with which I was not familiar until this morning before we take off for the Colorado Desert in Indio, CA. Jen's grandfather lives thereabouts, but we will be staying with her aunt, and it is her aunt's and mother's lifelong obsession with the Beatles that has me attending my first "major" music festival. Sande surprised us with tickets to this a couple of months back, all in the hopes of getting about a half mile away from the stage where Paul McCartney and -- various up-and-down rumors have it -- some drummer who might be a combination of Dave Grohl, Ringo Starr and Macca's tour drummer will appear.

Macca puts on a fine show, but we saw him two years ago, and I have found myself getting far more worked up over seeing Leonard Cohen and M. Ward than anything. Early on, my money was on the Black Keys, until I started to develop a definite taste for Ward, thanks to both my brother and my borderline obsession with Miss Zooey Deschanel, who performs with Ward under the moniker She & Him. Since Ward and the Keys cross over their sets, I finally settled on trying to see half of each, but naturally, crowds and distance will play a part in such decisions, since I have never been to the place, and do not know the logistics.

A quick walkabout (my walkabouts are always quick) should give me the lowdown on either the plausibility or futility of such plans or actions. But I need to figure things out pretty well, because Patton will be hitting the stage about 15 minutes before McCartney does. I am certain Sir Paul will play for about 2-3 hours, since he is headlining and closing that stage, and because he played for nearly 3 hours when we saw him in Staples Center two years ago.

I am keeping tenuous plans to grab a ticket for Saturday's show, solely because I adore TV on the Radio, though Drive-By Truckers, Calexico and Bob Mould would be pretty sweet to see as well, but this will depend on how today goes. I despise crowds of even minor size, which keeps me from seeing too many shows, and I am fairly certain that I will be sick of the situation within about thirty minutes. Also, don't really have the money to blow on another day. And if I did, Sunday would be a far better fit for me, what with the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Murder City Devils and my beloved X all going 1,2,3 on the same stage in the afternoon. (Paul Weller would be a draw for me too.)

Looking at any day's lineup reveals a definite shock to me: even with all of my music magazine reading and time spent listening to new music broadcasts, I am still only definitely sure of who half to three-quarters of the bands are on any of the three days. Jen and her mom and aunt will know about four or five groups through the whole weekend, which will make things interesting as we are mucking about waiting for McCartney.
Well, they will be. Me, I am going to be taking in everything I can. I might discover new bands that I think are pretty swell. I might learn that bands I like really suck in a live setting. I might even find out that I like new kinds of music. The one thing I will definitely solidify is how much I hate dirty hippies -- not the politics, because more often than not, I am simpatico with much of their drivel. I'm not mad at them... I just hate the dirt.

And we are off to Coachella...!

Coachella lineup: Friday, April 17 (links to Wikipedia pages)

The Aggrolites
, The Airborne Toxic Event, A Place To Bury Strangers, Alberta Cross, Bajofondo, Beirut, The Black Keys, Buraka Som Sistema, Cage the Elephant, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Crystal Castles, Dear and the Headlights, El Gran Silencio, Felix da Housecat, Franz Ferdinand, Genghis Tron, Ghostland Observatory, Girl Talk, Gui Boratto, Leonard Cohen, Los Campesinos!, M. Ward, Molotov, Morrissey, N.A.S.A., Noah and the Whale, Patton & Rahzel, Paul McCartney, Peanut Butter Wolf, People Under the Stairs, Ryan Bingham, Silversun Pickups, Steve Aoki, Switch, The Bug, The Courteeners, The Crystal Method (Live), The Hold Steady, The Knux, The Presets, The Ting Tings, We Are Scientists, White Lies


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