Monday, April 26, 2010

coachella wrap up

here it is, one week later, and i still feel like i'm catching up with my life a little bit - still trying to find my groove again. it's coming; it's just trippy how much time it takes for me (and for f, we're learning) to get "back on track" or whatevs after we've gone out of town for a bit. after all the lead-up to the coachella weekend, and then the non-stopness of all three days, and then f being so happy we were home (as were we, of course) but then mad at us for leaving - it's been a nutty week. and i've been meaning all week to jot down some of my coachella weekend highlights, to present them all neat and juicy like a bacon-wrapped anything. but now that a full week has gone by, i fear i may have forgotten some of those awesome details that make coachella weekend such a cool experience. let's see.

my first interview of the weekend was with vampire weekend, and they showed up right at 10am, right as i first cracked the mic. our engineers had set up the broadcast in the upstairs living room and we hadn't even had a chance to test out the connection when the band arrived. i was nervous! i always get nervous before interviews - i wish i didn't! but i do. fortunately, the guys, chris & ezra, were chipper (!), friendly, and talkative. about halfway through our interview i began to relax and realize that everything was going to be ok. and you know what? it was. all weekend. every band - every one! - was cool and friendly. every band seemed happy to be there. some artists even hung out for a while at our house and made themselves comfortable, like andrew and ben of MGMT who ate lunch with us, or chris and ezra from vampire weekend who let my j cook them some breakfast sandwiches while they all listened to the new broken bells record. overall, it was the best, most joyful, most peaceful coachella weekend i've ever had. good good good.

after vampire weekend finished their egg sandwiches and left, mark and gerry from devo showed up. gerry especially was quite chatty and it was the one time during the weekend when i felt like i was truly in the presence of legends, you know? it was awesome. the british band one eskimo came next and were soundchecking their equipment right up until the moment i cracked the mic to start their interview. they were in a good mood and their performance (we have mics set up in case bands want to play some acoustic songs for us) was stunningly, surprisingly great. they harmonized like there was no tomorrow and i got the feeling everyone in that living room was converted. that afternoon, MGMT, tokyo police club, and britt from spoon all stopped by the house too. and that night (after an insanely silly walk through campgrounds and mud to get to the festival), them crooked vultures , jay-z, and lcd soundsystem blew us away.

day two brought sune and sharin from denmark's raveonettes to the house - they were serious but talkative, and they told us they were a little stressed because they were going to have to perform as just a duo that night at the festival; their bandmembers were stranded in europe, thanks to the icelandic volcano disrupting air travel. worth noting: the raveonettes arrived with a full documentary film crew who set up and filmed the interview (and subsequently interviewed sharin and sune downstairs in the family room) and who were being funded by none other than little steven van zandt. trippy! fortunately, the film crew was chock full of interesting new yorkers who ended up hanging out at the house for the rest of the afternoon with us, drinking beers in the pool and instigating some shenanigans.

the cribs were supposed to come by the house too, but none of them made it out of europe and they had to cancel their coachella performance entirely. bummer. band of skulls came by and performed - they sounded great. ed from grizzly bear came by next and he was so relaxed, chatty, and regular-guy seeming, it was awesome! he impressed me so much. just very genuine and friendly, not snooty indie rock god guy in the slightest. he was pretty funny and entertained us all with the story of how he became friends with jay-z and beyonce.

came by and had a ton of good energy, and they played along with our plan to turn the tables on them and film it all,which made me like them even more. they walked in and we stopped them and asked if instead of them performing for us, could we perform for them? and maybe they could give us (our staff band, which was really just woods from the morning show, amanda from big sonic chill and i) some pointers. they sat on the couch looking a little confused, but the gig was up as soon as we started playing a very, VERY bad version of poison's "every rose has its thorn". their bass player jeremy even joined us on the acoustic bass! it was pretty awesome. they played along and sang along and were generally just champs about letting us have a little fun. i think at that point we were all a little stir-crazy from having been in the house all day.

and then, after dinner and garett's coachella-tradition of mint juleps around the pool, we headed to the festival for night two. faith no more killed it, MGMT were great, muse were flamboyant and loud and good, and we ended with the surreal scene backstage before the dead weather's set - it was me, j, garett and travis, hanging out drinking beer with jack white, alison mosshart, tony kanal from no doubt, giovanni ribisi, and beck and his wife and two kids running around. it was a pinch-me moment and also, one of those moments that just makes me thank my lucky stars. crazy.

sunday was relatively mellow; thomas and christian from phoenix came by (and charmed amanda and i with their kindness, senses of humor, and accents) and then just as i was getting ready to be done with my shift, white rabbits showed up and decided to play live on the air. that was the icing on the cake. they were super cool (i'd just nterviewed them a couple months back for our holiday show) and they were friendly and relaxed and when they played live? holy CATS. may have been the best performance of the weekend in that house. unbelievable. spot on vocally, great harmonies, really interesting acoustic interpretations of their stuff - it was so rad.

and that was it! as soon as 3pm rolled around and white rabbits wrapped up, j and i packed our stuff and headed out. all we both wanted at that point was to get home to see f. we both kept talking about how much we missed her and we were on a mission. i was so glad j had come with me for the weekend. he hung out and shot a bunch of pictures throughout the weekend, and he chilled with everyone in the house while i was working. going to the festival with him at night was a little slice of heaven too. so we drove home up over the mountains and down to temecula, which was a beautiful way to go. we listened to the avett brothers and wilco. it was a great ending to a great weekend. now i kinda can't wait for coachella 2011.

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