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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Countdown to Coachella - 10 Days...

For me, Coachella is a very special experience. This year will mark the 5th time I've made the trek out into the middle of the California desert for the country's greatest music festival; my first being in 1999, the inaugural Coachella. Like last year, I'm counting down the days to the festival (like a geek) because I'm so damn excited I can't think about anything else. So, for the next 10 days I'll explore who I think are the most exciting acts playing this year. These acts are in no particular order of greatness or favoritism. But I'll start with four acts that I've already seen and can highly recommend.


Santogold was awesome when she opened for Bjork last September. Now, her debut album is finally coming out and I think Coachella will be her official "coming out" party. Expect Spank Rock and Diplo to join her onstage (as they did at Madison Square Garden). This is gonna be a great, great show.

Santogold - LES Artistes (music video)

BATTLES, New York City

Battles blew my mind when they played South Street Seaport last summer. The energy these guys create with their bizarre sci-fi funk sound is at times transcendental. Most importantly, you cannot miss these guys rip through the live version of the phenomenally epic robot track "Atlas".

Battles - Atlas (music video)


Black Lips are known for creating a certain level of chaos at their shows, though the one show I went to was rather tame. Whether it be urinating onstage, kissing each other, vomiting, or launching fireworks, a Black Lips show is never simply boring. Check out a NSFW clip of the band playing in Tijuana. Raucous or not, these guys deliver tight, hook-heavy rock n roll that sounds almost better live than it does on record. In fact, the Black Lips' first few albums were all recorded live.

Black Lips - Katrina (music video)

DAN DEACON, Baltimore, MD

Dan Deacon is another artist who creates pandemonium, but rather than doing it onstage, he does it in the crowd. As far as I can tell, Deacon never actually plays onstage. He sets up his wacky table of electronic gadgets, mixers and funny props in the audience and the party ensues around him. Often he instructs the audience in a sort of excercise, pulling you into the mix and everyone somehow becomes a part of the show. So don't complain if you never actually see Dan, just close your eyes and enjoy the euphoric madness that he creates on that wacky table.

Dan Deacon - The Crystal Cat (music video)

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