First used as a rock music venue by a Ticketmaster-protesting Pearl Jam in 1993, the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California has gone on to become the annual site of the super-popular, hyper-diverse Coachella Music Festival. Coachella has developed a reputation for featuring top notch bands from many genres, and as the headlines that plastered the interwebs this week made apparent, this year is no different, with The Black Keys, Radiohead and Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg taking top billing. A stellar lineup as usual, but with all due respect to the headliners, we want to call out 5 of the other amazing bands that have us psyched for the fest.
We’ve been into multi-instrumentalist Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) since the tantalizing arrangements on her first LP Marry Me in 2007. But our love was supercharged this past November when St. Vincent put on a stunning live set for MTV Hive’s Live In NYC in support of her latest LP Strange Mercy. Her enchanting stage presence is clearly apparent in the live rendition of “Your Lips Are Red” below.
We can’t possibly explain how psyched we were last March when we found out Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) would be hosting our very own mtvU Woodie Awards. We couldn’t help but to hope that the Community star’s hip-hop alter ego Childish Gambino would make an appearance at the event. He ended up delivering 16 bars with Skrillex on the decks. Not too shabby, but we can definitely expect more from him at Coachella. Skip to 1:43 to go straight to the freestyle.
The Black Angels
Austin psych band The Black Angels manage to stuff a ton of amazing 60s inspirations into their tunes (think The Doors, The Velvet Underground, The Kinks, The Seeds, etc.) in a way that is never derivative and always catchy. They first caught our attention as part of our Indie Music Month celebration last March with their black & white video for “Haunting At 1300 McKinley” and their unique brand of psychedelia is likely to be musical peyote in the middle of the desert.
Elly Jackson & Ben Langmaid launched a synth-pop sensation as La Roux with their single “Bulletproof” in 2009, and fans have been clamoring for a new LP ever since. We still don’t know when that will happen (though it is in the works) but are nevertheless looking forward to La Roux’s bouncing hair and pulsating beats at Coachella.
Since their self-titled debut in 2009, much has been said about the ease with which indie rock band Real Estate composes crisp, ethereal songs. Their latest LP “Days,” just released in October, has upped the ante again and we’re looking forward to hearing the new and even stronger material live. In the meantime there is some excellent use of cute dogs in their new video for “It’s Real.”