Coachella - Day 2
April 26, 2008 - Indio, CA
By Lorène Lenoir
Photos by Lorène Lenoir
How come I end up not seeing either Minus the Bear or Dredg is still a mystery to me. The two bands were slightly conflicting, and unable to make a choice, I ended up sipping açai smoothies ('tis the stuff of gods, I tell ya) in VIP, uploading yesterday's pics on Flickr and being generally lazy. Then I found out that two of my friends were working the general store booth and that didn't help either.
However, since Greg Dulli from the Gutter Twins praised MGMT when I interviewed him, I'm not going to miss them. The very young men deliver a nice dancing psychedelic indie pop, for lack of a better word, which still needs a bit of practice live, so that they concentrate less on the music and more on the performance. Their album, Oracular Spectacular is indeed very good stuff. Buy it.
I then go to the Gobi tent where the Brazilian band Bonde do Role drives the Coachees crazy with their very exciting melting pot of hip hop, samba, and punk. I'd seen and loved them in France with their previous singer, Marina, who since left, giving way to a Pop Idol kind of competition on MTV Brazil when two new singers, Laura and Ana were chosen amongst a crowd of crazy female vocalists. They fit well. Really well. Crazy girls, with crazy guy, shouting crazy stuff in Portuguese, and everyone's having tons of fun.
So my mood was quite uplifted when I strutted towards the outdoor stage for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, who have recently been joined by Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney on drums. I remember Malkmus from the Pavement days, when he used to sing with his back to the audience. Maturity suits him well as we'll be able to see his face during the whole gig, and he'll even joke about the heat, singing some lines from Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" and saying he'd have sung it completely had they been on main stage.
I don't really know why I choose Death Cab for Cutie over Hot Chip. However, I'd heard so much bad stuff about Hot Chip's recent performances that I guess I needed something that was bound to be impeccable, if a little boring. I got exactly what I expected. DCC are sweet guys and make pretty, melody-ridden music, but it's definitely not what I'm looking for in rock'n roll.
Kraftwerk having an extremely tight photo policy (no pics apart from a distance during the three last songs), I just wander around, taking pics of the art, waiting for M.I.A or Animal Collective. I'll end up not shooting or even seeing either, though I can't remember why. Oh yes, I do, actually: that's when I lost my telephone, probably down a port-a-potty, and that telephone was incidentally the only thing that gave me the time. Meh.
I was therefore a bit upset when I walked back to main stage to shoot Portishead. Thanks heaven that gig was all I could expect from one of my favourite bands – I personally think Third is their best album to date. Even though Beth Gibbons can't stop holding her microphone as if she'd drown if she let go, and turns her back on the audience when letting it go at last, the pics turn out OK.
I then have some kind of misunderstanding with security about Prince's photography policy. I don't know why I understand that only film crews are allowed in the pit, but it was obviously not true at all given the amount of excellent Prince pics taken by everyone but me. I don't care, I'm shaking my butt at the back, squealing in glee when I recognize Radiohead's "Creep" and generally enjoying myself immensely.
From now on, no one will say "Coachella" normally: the Prince pronunciation, "Co-A-chella" is so much better. The Purple Dwarf graces us with a 2 hours and a half set, violating curfew and making people wonder if he'll ever stop. Thank you, Mr. Nelson.
- Lorène Lenoir