Editorial: Coachella Music Festival 2007 - Publication: Independent Film Magazine Back to Editorials

There’s something liberating about the Coachella festival that offers healthy escapism. With a global focus, the festival’s earthy and fraternal energy defies the overwhelming nepotism and cheesiness of Los Angeles’ music scene.

Miles away from assorted rock dinosaurs, and their self serving plugs for redundant reality shows and clothing lines, Coachella’s pagan meets hippy vibe spells a back to basics forum that’s all about the music 

Yes it was good. In addition to  the highly fashionable and hedonistic parties for  the likes of DKNY, GQ, Hugo Boss and more at a variety of exotic resorts and private homes, Coachella offered some seriously quality music for all to enjoy.

Cliché for some is discovery for others - The acts were an assortment of tried and true big drawers and confirmed up and comers. Oldies But Goodies included the Likes of Rage Against The Machine, Chilly Peppers, Lemonheads, Jesus And Mary Chain, Happy Mondays. New(ish) people were Placebo, Interpol, Arctic Monkeys, Air and a few others.

A brief recap – Jesus And Mary Chain, they were in tune Jim Reid sang all the hits, in key and displayed timeless vocal range, the musicians could play too. The band even paid homage to the use of Sounds Like Honey in the film from a few years back Lost In Translation, with Scarlett Johansson trying to sing the word Honey repeatedly. I had a Goth girlfriend back in the day and this reminded me of her - moderately interesting after a few drinks..

Lemon heads – Evan Dando still has long hair, plays guitar wildly an reveals his drug intake onstage , it is over ten years after the fact and he behaves like it was a week ago. I wonder if Kurt Cobain would have been the same had he lived ? No one really seemed to care what they were doing as some other band called Rage Against The machine were on simultaneously.

Happy Mondays - Having spent several years in London in the nineties when ecstacy wasn’t taken in combination with Viagra by gay men vacationing in Mexico, I have a soft spot for this band.

Leads singer  Sean Ryder was a little croaky, though the hot black chick on vocals backing him up was excellent. LA local Mickey Avalon also offered some great support and brilliant rapping giving the band a newfound appeal for  the majority of the crowd who weren’t really too old to be there.

Rage Against The Machine

Rumor has it that the reformed band scored just under 500k to reform. No wonder they played so tight, this was for many the climax of the three day festival. The band delivered all their testosterone fuelled hits, summoning an aggressive response from many young homies on hand, many of whom were in nappies at the time of the LA riots. Still its localism and admirable camaraderie I guess.

 Rage  still embody a brash polemic that strikes a chord, all the hits were there and the crowd lapped it up. Personally I left after three songs as I didn’t want to queue in the parking lot for four hours like the previous night.

 Crowded House

Being Australian born all assumptions would suggests I should have been riveted to this band. Swilling beer and near weeping as Don’t Say Its Over charmed me like a home cooked meal from my adolescence.

But alas no, my mother likes this band, while I find them the aural equivalent of watching paint dry. They did rock out for a bit which made them seem a little less geriatric, I watched 1.5 songs and went to catch the Happy Mondays.

Fresher Stuff

Artic Monkeys. - I kept looking for their babysitter, but there was none. They are brash, and poetic, with a laddish sensibility that really doesn’t suggest they’d be understood by the average Orange Country resident. Isnt Favorite Worst Nightmare  the kind of pun Oasis might use, say rather than I’ll Never Forget Whatshisname?

Despite these guys looking like a group of 15 year old pals, they embody a charcter and charm that is everything uk. Moments of  the Buzzcocks, Blur, The Jam,  and everything in between make them quite adorable – Britpop for the new millenium

DJ Shadow

Playing at Hollywood Bowl this Sunday, June 24 , this guy mixes with a good ear, eyeing BPM, melody mood and lyrical strength, not simply mashing what’s on the top of the CD pile together. Radiohead and Curtis Mayfield an odd combination, he should have played longer.

Written by Craig Stephens

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