February 25th, 2009


A Tale Of Two Festivals

Every year I tell myself, "Steven, you're not going to Sasquatch this year. You're going to branch out, perhaps buy a plane ticket, and arrange for camping or something. You're NOT going to take the easy way out, drive halfway across the state, and see the same lot of bands you always see. Remember Lollapalooza in Chicago? Remember how much fun that was; being in another city, experiencing life away from the comfort zone of being within a few hours' driving from home? The subways and hotel and tattoo and alternate climate!"

When it was broached by a friend that Coachella would be a ripe alternative - after all, it's only a hop and a skip to Indio, CA - I opted to give it serious thought. Then I noticed the headliners:

Day 1 - Paul McCartney, with Morrissey and Franz Ferdinand. Also featuring: Leonard Cohen, Conor Oberst, Beirut, The Black Keys, Girl Talk, Silversun Pickups, The Ting Tings, The Crystal Method, Ghostland Observatory, Mike Patton with Rahzel, M. Ward. I like ... Franz Ferdinand (not reason enough to fly down for Day 1). I also like the rest of the featured artists, but not necessarily enough to make it worth my while. And, I'm only listing those artists I recognize.

Day 2 - The Killers, with Amy Winehouse and Thievery Corporation. Also featuring: TV on the Radio, Mastodon, Henry Rollins, Jenny Lewis, The Liars, and Drive-By Truckers. I like ... none of the headliners, and I've already seen Rollins. No sale.

Day 3 - The Cure, with My Bloody Valentine and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Also featuring: Lupe Fiasco, Public Enemy, Perry Farrell, Brian Jonestown Massacre. Wow, this just couldn't get much worse. Of course, I'd like to see PE, but I'd rather invent a time machine and see them in 1991. Ditto BJM, only make the year 1997.

So, yeah, Coachella, it just ain't happening this year. By themselves, I'd love to see Mike Patton, Girl Talk, Henry Rollins again, and maybe even Jenny Lewis if the cost wasn't too high. But, I reckon I could get all of those tickets for whenever they manage to hike up to Seattle and still not pay as much as it would cost for three days at Coachella plus airfare and lodging.

Then, just recently, I got word that Nine Inch Nails are planning to go on an indefinite hiatus from touring after this one last tour with Jane's Addiction. So, that right there, DAMN. I want to see BOTH of those bands in their original incarnations! But, it doesn't look like that tour is going to make it up here.

Or will it?

That's right, my friends, Sasquatch. Check it:

Day 1 - Kings of Leon, with The Yeah Yeah yeahs and the Decemberists. Also featuring: comedian Todd Barry, Animal Collective, The Doves, M. Ward, and something called Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band. That's an aces lineup, and I'm definitely giving Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band a chance if they go on when nobody else is playing.

Day 2 - Nine Inch Nails & Jane's Addiction. Also featuring: comedian Zach Galifianakis, TV on the Radio, The Walkmen, Of Montreal, and The Airborne Toxic Event. That's a must for the headliners alone. Hopefully, Mr. Starts-With-A-Gal-Ends-With-A-Kis doesn't overlap or I'm going to be superpissed.

Day 3 - Ben Harper and Relentless 7, with Erykah Badu. Also featuring: comedian Demitri Martin, Gogol Bordello, Silversun Pickups, Santigold, Explosions In The Sky, Girl Talk. I could care less about the headliners, so Demitri Martin, Explosions, and Girl Talk are all gold (unless by some perverse grace of god, they're all on at the same time, in which case, I may have to hurt many people/develop a cocaine habit). I may have to wait for an actual time schedule to be released before I can determine whether I want to go to Day 1 or Day 3 along with Day 2.

Either way, it looks like I'm going again. Second year in a row, whoopie doo. Although, Nate says he wants to go, so get ready campsite, here we come. When the tent's a rockin' ... that probably means I'm suffocating Nate with a pillow while he sleeps.