Sunday, May 07, 2006

Coachella 2006

Hmm. Last year I rued out and only go through two thirds of the first day. The re-cap, that is. I stayed at the fest until the end... partially because I was right up front by Spoon and felt that it would've been rude to push my way out. Oh wel.

I've already gotten off track. This is why I am doing this. Right now I am posting Coachella 2006 via pictures. Yes, I actually had a camera this year. Some of the pictures were OK, even. The ones I like the most, though, are of the people I went and hung out with... though I'm not going to post those here. Yet. I always feel weird about posting pictures of other people. I may break through that, at some point, but not right now. Most of those pics have been distributed in other ways so whatever.

And the plan here is to update this and include lots of text, too. But in order to get something up I'm starting with the pictures. UPDATE (after starting): OK, I'm writing stuff. Sorry that it sucks. I'm saying that every band is good because, dammit, I liked almost everything I saw. Deal with it.

We camped behind and a bit over from the Coachella Stage (main stage.) On Saturday we walked all the way around the festival grounds and camping and much of parking (going East then South then West and North.) That night a few of the folks in my group learned that this was the long way around while I learned that if you look for Cat Power you can follow her out the artist exit. Anyway, despite the long walk I got that fine picture. But due to the length of the walk I missed the Section Quartet and/or Brother Ali.

The Mojave tent was rather dark for Rob Dickinson so the first decent pics I got were from the Platinum Pied Piper's set. I didn't have much in terms of expectations but I enjoyed their set, enough that I didn't leave real early (as planned) to see Hybrid.

I did leave a few minutes early so that I could catch a good portion of the set by the Walkmen. They were loud. I didn't stay but it was good enough that I'll probably check then out when they come to Phoenix in June.

I could barely squeeze my way into the Gobi Tent for Lady Sovereign. I stayed for a few songs and then decided upon finding shade.

This is the crowd spilling out of the Gobi while SOV was on. You can see her in that pic, sort of. Anyway I went to the Mojave for a few songs by Nine Black Alps... nothing special but there was room to move and shade.

After cooling off a bit I headed back to the Coachella Stage for the Duke Spirit. There weren't many people there watching so I got up close.

Most of the folks I saw there were the same people not paying attention to the Walkmen an hour earlier. The sound mix was a little off so I moved back a ways to see if it was better. It did, and what's more, I ran into a friend so we chilled on the grass watching the rest of the set.

Next up was Animal Collective; I didn't get any pictures of the band but I saw more friends so eventually there may be a few shots with the Outdoor Theatre in the background. Which would totally not be the reason to post them. Anyway, AC were, uhhh, interesting. I really liked the first song, the others... well, were interesting. Parts were really good but it was easy to get distracted so it was a fine excuse to chat with friends. We were back near the soundstage where it wasn't crowded at all so we weren't bothering anybody.

Near the end of the set we parted company and I went to the Mojave for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I took a few pics but 5:30 pm does not allow for get photos, especially when I was about three quarters of the way back.

I left CYHSY after 6 songs so as to not miss any of My Morning Jacket. I found my friend and we got a fairly good spot without being right up front. Not missing any of MMJ turned out to be a wonderful idea as they opened with "Anytime" and went on to play a stunning set. I had chills throughout my whole body by that first song, I was on the verge of tears due to the awesomeness as it went on. Between songs I could barely get anything out other than superlatives "oh my... amazing... wow."

I saw Sigur Ros with some friends from around the soundstage area. Perhaps I was not quite immersed enough in the sound to enjoy them as much as I did last time... or maybe it was the short set. I certainly have no complaints, though, as their last performance set a very high bar and I still had fun.

After Sigur Ros I found a friend and caught a few songs by Devendra Banhart (including one by the person he pulled up on stage.) I then made my way into the Mojave to catch the end of Ladytron. I saw them play "Destroy Everything You Touch" and "Seventeen" so I counted that as a plus and made a mental note to do better next time. I did better than 2003, though, where I only caught part of their last song.

While waiting for Cat Power I talked to two of the members of the Octopus Project and then ran into some friends and we stopped and waited. Her set was mostly culled from The Greatest with a few solo covers ("House of the Rising Sun" was amazing.) I liked it well enough and Chan seemed to be in a good mood. From what I heard this was her first show with the Memphis Rhythm Band backing her; I though they sounded great together, giving the music some weight as it tried to battle the thump from the Sahara tent next door.

After Cat Power I made my way into the Sahara tent putting in ear plugs for the first time all night. I caught most of the Audio Bullys' set but it didn't do much for me. After the ended we had about half an hour before Daft Punk. The one picture I took looks terrible and I haven't decided how to share the video I took (six short clips, the longest being about 75 seconds.) I was at the front tip of the sound booth, so dead centered and close up but with a rail nearby so I could keep my position. The tent was packed, the crowd was crazy and there was much jumping and dancing and cheering... by me. Daft Punk played for about 75 minutes (going until 12:20 am) doing a mostly continuous mix of their songs.

Sunday morning I got to watch this little ... umm... animal... transport dirt out of his undergound hole. I was tired.

OK, the rest of Sunday is just going to be pics for now. Bug me to write more later.

The Octopus Project

Theramin solo.

The Dears

Mates of State


Gnarls Barkley


Monday morning.