The Unofficial Guide to Coachella ’10

Posted April 15, 2010 in Feature Story

The rest of the year, Indio’s just a dry, heat-blasted piece of IE real estate. But something magical happens every April that makes this solar-drenched city the primo destination for thousands and thousands of music lovers worldwide. Yup, the Coachella Music & Arts Festival sets up shop this weekend with three days of sunburns, questionable drug ingestion and all-killer music. This fest never disappoints, so let this extra-special COACHELLA ISSUE serve as your mistress of music, your countess of cool, your executrix of excellence and check out this generous sampling of one helluva lineup. NOTE: All set times and lineups confirmed at press time but last-minute changes are always possible. Full disclosure.


(All artists were given their just desserts by Melissa Fowler, Tyler Davidson, George Donovan, Lauren Fry, Nate Jackson, George A. Paul, Matt Tapia, Arrissia Owen Turner, Amber Valles and John A. Waterman. Smack was talked about a few artists. But that’s OK.)




Friday, April 16



Get ready for these two jet-setting DJ producers from Brussels who are going to rock your socks off with remixes like “Bodies” or “Baby I Can’t Stop.” Mixing pop with an electronic flavor, Aeroplane makes music without boundaries. Grab your bags. (LF)

5:15PM Sahara



We can’t get Erol Alkan out of our heads with his psychedelic songs and remixes of Bloc Party, Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk. Alkan gave electro aficionados a place of worship through his London club Trash from 1997 through 2007, and still remains relevant with his solid gold mixes. (LF)

9:05PM Sahara



Dramatic and somewhat epic, New York’s As Tall As Lions find themselves landing as a mix of a more soulful and upbeat version of Death Cab for Cutie, or perhaps a more relaxed, yet less engaging iteration of Muse. Frontman Dan Nigro’s upper-register delivery is sparkling and resoundingly smooth, even (rather sparingly) summoning some of the same grasping vibes of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. There isn’t a ton to roar about, but the band’s certainly found their sweet spot after several years and a few releases on the shelf. (GD)

3:10PM Mojave



North Carolina neo-bluegrass brotherly duo Scott and Seth Avett are bringing sexy back to alt-folk. They’re those Matthew McConaughey, aw-shucks down-to-earth type troubadours that women swoon for, slurping up every last bit of country-tinged pop. Their latest Rick Rubin-produced release, I and Love and You (2009), is so unbearably upbeat that you will want to wrap your arms around all of human kind, even the shirtless, sweaty guy playing hacky sack by the beer line. Check out “January Wedding” and “The Perfect Space” for a little taste of the golden-voiced goods. (AOT)

3:20PM Outdoor Theatre



Thrust into the role of “token metal band,” Georgia’s proggy sons have quite the task ahead of them. They may harsh the gigs of those who come to Indio for softer, keyboard-twinged fare, but at least they’ll do it with some good ol‘ Southern style. Buzzkill, indeed. (TD)

2:00PM Mojave



He may be considered the 10th most popular DJ in the world, but as far as Coachella is concerned, Benny Benassi is the festival’s No. 1 song selector. A native of Milan, this expert mix master has reworked radio hits from stars like OutKast, Madonna, Public Enemy and Flo Rida into hard-thumping, one-of-a-kind rave anthems. He makes a return appearance Friday night to reclaim his throne under Coachella’s sweaty tent section. (NJ)

10:15PM Sahara



Now that they’re done eating llama fetus and visiting shamen, stepbrothers Residente and Visitante, a.k.a. Calle 13, are getting back to making salsa-infused irreverent hip-hop. The Puerto Rican duo offers up their version of rap and reggaeton with a narrative. After mega-success, snagging 10 Latin Grammys, two Grammys and just about every genre award within reach, they ditched the limelight to take a spiritual journey through Latin America. Since 2006, inspired by a bus drive with miners in the Peruvian Andes, they filmed the documentary Sin Mapa (Without a Map). Cameras followed their every move during the road trips visiting tiny villages and taking home reality-check souvenirs. Residente and Visitante will surely serve up hits like the naughty “Se Vale To-To” and anthemic “Atrevete-te-te,” and maybe even the protest song “Querido F.B.I.” Don’t be afraid to let your inner Latino take hold of your hips. Just don’t accept any dried snacks that promise good luck. These guys are like a hip-hop Anthony Bourdain. They have no reservations. (AOT)

3:50PM Coachella Stage



Bringing her soulfully seductive Brazilian charms to the stage, São Paulo-born songstress Céu uses her remarkable, jazz-inspired vocals to make waves in the realm of world music and just about any other genre that her enchanting and eclectic songwriting skills manage to take her. (NJ)

10:45PM Gobi



Johnny Marr is like some magic musical elixir: add him to any band’s equation and everything suddenly sounds better (see: Modest Mouse, Pet Shop Boys, The Pretenders). Now, the ex-Smiths guitarist has taken up with this Britpop-leaning sibling trio and helps elevate their anthemic tales of alienation to new heights on fourth album, Ignore the Ignorant. (GAP)

4:30PM Outdoor Theatre



Grabbing awards for “Best New Artist,” “Best American DJ” and “Best Electro Track” at the 2010 International Dance Music Awards, DJ/producer deadmau5’s career is almost as big as the iconic foam mouse head he wears during his DJ sets. Though he came onto the electro/house/trance scene only five years ago, his larger-than-life skills and persona are a deadly combination that have followed him through eight albums in just three years, each one readily devoured by new fans, including his latest release, ’09’s At Play 2. (NJ)

11:35PM Sahara



Gruff and gravelly Americana is the main ingredient of Providence, Rhode Island, band Deer Tick, whose penchant for dusty country rhythms and raw vocals inspire a bucking brand of indie rock on albums like 2009’s Born On A Flag Day, rich with weathered tales of the highs and lows of the human experience. They’re surprisingly deep for a band named after a bug that sucks blood off a deer’s ass. (NJ)

2:10PM Outdoor Theatre



For more than 10 years, East Coasters The Dillinger Escape Plan have been leaving audiences’ ears dumbfounded with their trademark brand of mathy thrash-based hardcore that’s seemingly more complex and intricate in its assembly and understanding than any human genome project. Blast beats and wildly angular tangents are par for the course here, as the band’s machine gun spray of metallic bullets continues to shred conventional musical armor on its fifth installment, Option Paralysis. (GD)

5:45PM Gobi



There are those who get a little wigged out by the orange-clad DJ who enjoys dance-offs with a pink phallic-like children’s character. What they don’t know is that he’s actually a real DJ, and was one long before Yo Gabba Gabba surfaced on Nick Jr. Prior to his move to L.A., he fronted the band My Other Self in Missouri and owned his own record store, Deep Grooves. Once he moved west, he was a member of the Raymakers. He was manning turntables and working at Amoeba Records when indie rock band Majestic’s Scott Schultz discovered him—if by discovered you mean have lengthy discussions about vinyl and imports over crates of wax. When it came time for Schultz and Christian Jacobs of the Aquabats to put together the dream cast for their kids’ show, he knew just who was zany enough to be the ringleader. Rock’s music knowledge is vast, so don’t assume his DJ skills are for show. His showmanship skills run deep. (AOT)

2:15PM Sahara



Singer Ian McCulloch—once dubbed “Mac the Mouth” by British music scribes due to his constant slagging of such 1980s contemporaries as Bono and Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr—continues to craft crystalline, psychedelic pop-tinged tunes alongside inventive guitarist Will Sergeant. Last year’s stellar The Fountain and orchestral performances of 1984 opus Ocean Rain proved the old spark still remains three decades on. (GAP)

8:35PM Outdoor Theatre



Karin Andersson’s deep-one-second-shrill-the-next vocals are perfect for Fever Ray’s chilling theatrics (they don masks!) and dark, spacey stage show complete with loads of requisite lasers and smoke machines. After years of sharing talents with her brother in the Swedish electronic duo The Knife, Andersson unleashed her self-titled debut in January 2009 with alluring, electro-goth incantations. (AOT)

11:10PM Mojave



This globetrotting DJ makes both classical music and pop music part of his crate-digging—and he rocks Beatport for inspiration. (MT)

6:25PM Sahara



This singer-songwriter went to the same girls’ school as Amy Grant and Reese Witherspoon—but make no mistake as she’s actually quite cool and recently spent a tour of duty slinging her pop-filtered rock to the Warped Tour kids. (MT)

1:00PM Outdoor Theatre



You’ve probably heard the choral sighs of “Two Weeks” in a heavily played TV commercial for Volkswagen (it debuted during the Super Bowl), yet there’s more to these Radiohead and Paul Simon(!)-approved Brooklynites than meets the eye. 2009’s critically acclaimed Veckatimest is a sophisticated, pastoral wonder filled with chamber pop, jazz and folk shadings that unveils more nuances after repeated listens. (GAP)

8:05PM Mojave



Someone give this DJ some white-label dubstep vinyl, some exclusive basslines and stand back. Low-end theory types, take notice. (MT)

1:00PM Sahara



Though their fervent mix of pop-punk, electro, hip-hop and dime-store lyrics can seem a bit asinine at times, L.A.’s Iglu & Hartly provides an absurdly sunny bridge in the form of a grab bag of sugary styles that will probably be just what you want after dragging around the desert for a few hours. Tracks like “Whatever We Like” and “Day Glo” are the perfect sing-along jams that will lift you up right as you’re about to collapse from the heat. (NJ)

2:25PM Gobi



Her taste in hairdos, questionable. Her lyrical and vocal chutzpah, utterly sublime. (MT)

9:20PM Mojave



Imagine Bob Dylan covering Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al,” and you might have a decent idea what Hockey’s latest single, “Song Away,” sounds like. “This is novelty music,” croons frontman Benjamin Grubin. With all the hipster mustaches and low-cut, V-neck T-shirts sure to flood the crowd during Hockey’s set, he may be on to something. (TD)

4:35PM Gobi



Brooklyn’s favorite son Jay-Z is hands-down a must-see headliner this year. Working on his second coming after his short-lived retirement, the Jigga man is hard at work promoting the third installment of his Blueprint series. While Jay-Z is sure to enthrall a large crowd, let’s hope he doesn’t bring Kanye West with him to ruin the fun. (MF)

10:50PM Coachella Stage



Harking back to the Eighties sound and detached stylistic aesthetic of Eurythmics and Heaven 17, La Roux, the British synthpop duo led by young androgynous lady Elly Jackson, has caused quite a commotion across the pond. Their self-titled debut, with sharp songs about sex and betrayal, is tailor-made for the dance floor (“Bulletproof” was big in clubs here). Should go down a storm in one of the late evening tent slots. (GAP)

8:20PM Gobi



Dance-punk mainstays LCD Soundsystem garnered a Grammy nod for 2005’s “Daft Punk is Playing at My House.” At this rate, they may just become big enough to inspire “LCD Soundsystem is Playing at My Festival.” Hey, weirder things have happened at Coachella (see Thom Yorke’s entry). (TD)

9:05PM Coachella Stage



Put your dancing shoes on for Little Dragon’s Machine Dreams. Their avant-garde artistic approach will blow your mind into realms beyond the conventional. (LF)

9:35PM Gobi



While some punk bands are pulling hard right turns, veering into the now-commonplace abyss of a more rootsy sound that’s long been tagged as alt-country, longtime alt-country punk outfit Lucero is toddling one step ahead. Case in point: Their latest (and major-label debut), 1372 Overton Park, finds the act shaving some of its twangy leanings for a more soul-full experience, replete with horn accents and an overall shift in sound. But they’ve got a license for change, having done their time, clocking in six albums in the game. (GD)

6:50PM Mojave



Kate Miller-Heidke is a classic beaut, and no, I am not f’’n’ kidding; this Aussie’s album Live At The Hi-Fi is as enchanting as she is. Our friends from Down Under are not getting her back without a fight. (LF)

12:30PM Gobi



Deriving their name from an ultra-cheesy euphemism for drive-in movie theatres (one I’m willing to bet nobody uses), Massachusetts’ Passion Pit saw their stock shoot way up in 2009, having their music featured in television, commercials and video games. Get that paper, guys. (TD)

7:00PM Outdoor Theatre



What—you didn’t know this art-rock impresario spent much of his post-Jane’s Addiction time spinning decks at the drop of a festival? Turn in your Coachella ticket stub. For shame! (MT)

3:00PM Sahara



Charged by punk passion and sharp-tongued rhyme delivery, Minneapolis rapper P.O.S. (born Stefon Alexander) harbors a style that navigates freely between musical genres in a way that few artists dare try. Growing up on the sweaty aggression of thrashing guitars and thwacking drum beats, the raw power of songs like “Purexed” off of his 2009 album Never Better carves a key niche within his highly-revered, home base, hip-hop collective Doomtree and his backpack-rap label, Rhymesayers. (NJ)

1:25PM Gobi



From Coltrane to Biggie, Pretty Lights meshes up genres like hip-hop and soul into a masterpiece. (LF)

7:50PM Sahara



Forming in 2004, Proxy didn’t drop their debut full-length, Between Screens, until nearly the end of the decade. The Londoners aren’t prone to resting on their laurels though, as their laid-back indie rock has garnered them significant attention, of the “Coldplay, with balls” variety (actual review quote). Though their MySpace claims their label as “Hapily (sic) ex-Island,” don’t expect Proxy to remain unsigned for too much longer. (TD)

4:00PM Sahara



“I sound like a bag of kittens thrown down the staircase.” That’s how the always self-deprecating John Lydon described one of PiL’s recent U.K. reunion shows (the first in over 15 years). While the sometimes Sex Pistol’s caterwaul is an acquired taste, there’s no denying the early noise and later dance rock music’s impact on the future Alternative Nation. The current lineup includes guitarist Lu Edmunds (The Damned, Mekons) and drummer Bruce Smith (the Slits); both were with the group for late ’80s efforts Happy? and 9. (GAP)

11:20PM Outdoor Theatre



After their original drummer’s tragic passing in 2007, Syracuse six-piece Ra Ra Riot bravely decided to truck on as a band. They’ve got a brand-new LP set for a summer release, so fans can expect some as yet unheard material from what Pitchfork called the “chamber pop crew.” (TD)

5:35PM Mojave



With a voice as gravelly as it is unforgettable, sage poet and songwriter Gil Scott-Heron returns to Indio on the heels of his Feb. 2010 release—I’m New Here (XL Recordings)—his first collection of original songs and spoken word in 16 years. (NJ)

6:55PM Gobi



After alt-folkster M. Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel first announced their collaboration, skepticism abounded. The earthy retro charm of 2008’s Volume One proved the naysayers wrong and showed the Hollywood starlet had impressive singer/songwriter chops. The equally charming Volume Two continues to mine a 1960s Brill Building/Spector-esque pop vein. (GAP)

5:45PM Outdoor Theatre



If blurry, distorted noisepop is your thing, vocalist Alexis Krauss and former Poison the Well member Derek Miller have got your ears covered. Straight outta Brooklyn, Krauss, a former teen pop star and elementary school teacher, matches her lush melodies to Miller’s jagged beats, perfect for a heatstroke hallucination. (AOT)

3:30PM Gobi



Although the original incarnation was short-lived, this influential English ska-revival band racked up half a dozen U.K. top 10 singles (“Ghost Town,” “Gangsters”) during the late 1970s/early ’80s 2-Tone movement. When ska went mainstream in the ’90s, a few members briefly reformed and played the Vans Warped Tour. This reunion is the first to feature vocalist Terry Hall. Unfortunately, keyboardist/creative mastermind Jerry Dammers is not along for the ride. (GAP) 

6:20PM Coachella Stage



Yes, even rap-rock gets a supergroup, this time in the form of former Rage/Audioslave axe-dude Tom Morello and Boots Riley of The Coup. Yup, another township rebellion. (MT)

5:05PM Coachella Stage



Another Dave Grohl side project extravaganza—this one featuring Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin! While the band recently released its self-titled debut, it’s hard to figure out how Grohl manages to be the frontman AND drummer for, like, every new band that comes out. Seriously . . . he’s almost as bad as Ryan Seacrest. (MF)

7:50PM Coachella Stage



Early on, the fresh scrubbed collegiate rockers dubbed their music “Upper West Side Soweto” and proceeded to craft an eclectic mélange of Afro-pop, calypso, surf rock and ska tunes on an eponymous ’08 release. Peter Gabriel was name checked on “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa;” the ex-Genesis singer ended up covering the tune with Hot Chip. Earlier this year, Contra—with a more expansive sound, literate wordplay, plus Toots & the Maytals and M.I.A. samples, debuted at No. 1. (GAP)

9:55PM Outdoor Theatre



Straight outta Nigeria (his parents, actually), this D.C.-suckled rapper recently clocked in a collaboration with Lady Gaga for his “Chillin” single.

2:35PM Coachella Stage



This German group splits its time between electronic dancefloor groove and rock-star fantasies. (MT)

11:55PM Gobi



Yeasayer’s latest release, Odd Blood, only a few months ago saw the light of day, and has received fantastic reviews thus far, garnering near-perfect scores from publications like The L.A. Times and The Guardian. Look for their brand of experimental rock to draw big numbers. (TD)

4:20PM Mojave



Saturday, April 17



Also known as the Belgian dudes in Soulwax and the Flying Dewaele Brothers, David and Stephen Dewaele are known for their mash ups and hard-hitting techno. It’s a little repetitive for our liking, but we hear the kids love it. (AOT)

12:05AM Sahara



The Berlin garage rock band is a musical team-up featuring members of The Black Lips and The King Khan and BBQ Show—and they’ve got an interesting story about what happened in India last year. (AV)

1:05PM Gobi



Colombia, I salute you for bringing to North America another cultural gem: yeah, other than that white stuff, delicious coffee and aguardiente (for those that don’t know, it’s a very tasty liquor). I am talking about the Velvety Ones, Aterciopelados, and their ability to bring the heat and seduction of Columbian musical traditions into a world of rock ‘n’ roll. (LF)

8:10PM Mojave



Fans of ’80s Brit-pop will definitely get weak in the knees when former New Order vox-man Bernard Sumner unholsters his latest alt-rock weapon. Stop in the name of the awe! (MT)

8:15PM Gobi



This British trio recently covered the Stones’ classic “Sympathy for the Devil” for a French television show, and if you catch them at Coachella, you’ll see why. One might expect a “Band of Skulls” to be composed of trenchcoat-clad goth-rockers, but B.O.S.’s groovy licks are not only upbeat, they’re downright satisfying (see what I did there?) (TD)

4:35PM Gobi



Bassnectar’s music is deep, probably deeper than most people know. Inspired by a mix of bone-rattling tempos and a sharpened, anti-corporate political mentality, each track he’s created over his decade-spanning career is fueled with a need to rattle your mind and your ear drums. From our experience, he manages to do both of those things very well. (NJ)

6:40PM Sahara



They might smirk at the “dream pop” tag, but that didn’t stop the Pitchfork elitists from labeling this Maryland duo their brand new toy. (MT)

4:25PM Mojave



Talk about entering a few decades too late: Camera Obscura’s reverb-drenched, layered production and sweetened female melodic fronting would’ve been perfect for fine tuning by the ears of Phil Spector and his classic “Wall of Sound” sonics, circa 1966. Unfortunately for this Scottish pop rock fivesome, their mid-paced consonance didn’t launch for another thirty-some years. There’s some Mamas and the Papas in this longtime indie outfit’s musical palette, shared with more contemporary artists, a la Blonde Redhead and, heck, even some Feist, too. (GD)

3:10PM Mojave



You probably know this already, but this was sure a new fact to me: Les Claypool and his band Primus made the original rendition of the South Park theme song. The remix currently heard is by Claypool and Frog Brigade. Interesting. (MF)

10:35PM Mojave



This prog rock-friendly group is made highly recognizable by frontman Claudio Sanchez’s strident voice—and hair style to match. The band is currently putting the finishing touches on their fifth studio album, Year of the Black Rainbow, which should be on store shelves by the time you read this. (MF)

6:40PM Coachella Stage



Fans of the FabricLive mixtape series take note: This DJ impressed somebody as he spent a stint as Kanye West’s turntable manipulator for KW’s Glow in the Dark 2008 tour. No Taylor Swifts interrupted, we might add. (MT)

4:05PM Sahara



Jack White doesn’t seem to be content to rest on his White Stripes laurels. Though he’s best known as the frontman of the coed garage-rock duo, White has since delved into additional projects, including The Raconteurs, and his latest setup, The Dead Weather. In this guise, he’s paired up with another female, Alison Mosshart, who herself has a long history in the underground rock world, including spending several of her formative years as the vocalist of Florida pop-punkers Discount and dark rock duo The Kills. (GD)

11:05PM Outdoor Theatre



Break out the flower pot hats and matching hazmat suits: the theory of de-evolution has become a reality and the wacky men of Devo have returned to drill their herky-jerky new wave tunes into your mind again. Back in the early 1980s, “Girl U Want,” “Whip It,” “Freedom of Choice” and others were staples of KROQ’s playlist. Flash-forward to the present and Devo is set to release its first studio album since 1990, hot on the heels of a new catalog reissue campaign. (GAP) 

11:50PM Mojave



In an interview, Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste remarked that Dirty Projectors’ 2009 release, Bitte Orca, was nigh impossible to categorize. “[The album] is so distinctly Dirty Projectors that I don’t even know how to begin to describe what genre it is, you know?” While this very well may be no more than pretentious indie posturing, it shouldn’t stop you from checking them out and figuring out for yourself just what the Dirty Projectors could be classified as. You might even like it. (TD)

6:55PM Mojave



An Aussie DJ’s take on house and techno should feel at home in any club. Love the name. (MT)

5:25PM Sahara



Some people say the band’s rap/rock/funk hybrid paved the way for nü-metal, but that would belittle Faith No More’s unique sound, which encompassed everything from prog-rock and jazz to film soundtracks and sarcastic takes on adult contemporary. Following the bombastic left-field pop hit “Epic” in 1990 and alt-rock chart topper “Midlife Crisis,” elastic singer Mike Patton’s onstage antics increasingly verged on the bizarre until the group’s dissolution in ’98. (GAP) 

7:55PM Coachella Stage



You can bet that most Adult Swim-o-philes and backpack hip-hop heads will drop whatever they’re doing to catch Flying Lotus at Coachella. Aside from creating most of the bumper beats during Cartoon Network’s best block of late-night TV, Fly Lo (a.k.a. 26-year-old Steve Ellison) is a certifiable mad man when it comes to creating Nintendo-centric rhythms spliced with soulful instrumentation and hallucinogenic vibes that never fail to take hip-hop into a long line of weird and wonderful realms. (NJ)

10:45PM Gobi



This anxious, yet autumnal five-tet got together in Scotland in 2003. With the release of their third studio album The Winter of Mixed Drinks, this indie rock band has proved to be everything but skittish. (MF)

2:45PM Outdoor Theatre



Something tells us that this San Francisco duo isn’t gonna have a tough time turning heads at this sun-soaked music festival. Diving headlong into a kaleidoscopic pool of dream pop, grungy tales of heartbreaking reality and great guitar melodies, Girls are a psychedelic oasis of sound. Since you’ll be checking out girls at Coachella anyway, might as well give this band a try, though we should probably mention there are no actual “girls” in the band—minor detail. (NJ)

3:25PM Gobi



Indie trio Gossip has drawn a good deal of positive attention, recently being nominated for GLAAD’s “Outstanding Music Artist” award. It’s not all smiles, though, as soulful plus-sized frontwoman Beth Ditto and other larger-than-life celebs were called out in a 2009 study for contributing to the fact that “being overweight is now perceived as being ‘normal’ in the eyes of the public.” Ouch. (TD)

5:40PM m Mojave



French DJ/ producer extraordinaire David Guetta has a plethora of awards sitting under his techno-flavored belt. To name a few, he won Best House DJ in 2008 for the DJ Awards, Best International DJ in 2006 and a Grammy for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical. His most recent endeavors in producerhood have been with the Black Eyed Peas on “I Gotta Feeling.” (MF)

9:00PM Sahara



It may be their third trip to Coachella in the last four years, but electro pop tribe Hot Chip always aims to make their fans sweat under a packed tent like it’s their first time. Armed with a new batch of pulsing beats and tender vocals—courtesy of their latest album, One Life Stand—this English five-piece are poised to drop some seriously synthtastic sounds. (NJ)

7:35PM Outdoor Theatre



Being the only son of country outlaw legends Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter are some awful large shoes to fill, but Shooter has shown he’s up for the challenge. After taking a slight detour down the rock route, Jennings has embraced the inner country singer within. (MF)

2:00PM Mojave



It’s sort of a mixed compliment when a remix of one of your songs wins a Grammy, and it goes to someone else. Kaskade knows all about it. So does Dirty South. But that was 2008, this is Coachella. The DJ has had his share of success, with multiple songs making it into the Top 20 of Billboard Magazine’s Hot Dance Airplay chart. He creates melodic house with all the requisite bells and whistles and glow sticks. (AOT)

7:45PM Sahara 



Also known as Josh Winkler, (yeah, DJ Klever sounds so much cooler), this Atlanta-born turntablist has been known to name-drop DJs Premier and Jazzy Jeff as prominent influences. (MF)

4:05PM Sahara



Congratulations are in order for the Connecticut rockers in MGMT as, well, that’s the name of their brand new album. The Grammy nominees wowed Coachella audiences in ’08, skipped ’09, and will return this year to show off their considerable chops. (TD)

8:50PM Outdoor Theatre



From Matt Bellamy’s high falsetto and pitch-shifting guitar solos to the prog rock, classical and metal flourishes on the albums (last year’s The Resistance features the three-part, 13-minute “Exogenesis: Symphony”), everything is huge for this English trio. Past Coachella headliners have brought their big touring productions out to the desert. Let’s hope Muse—whose current rock spectacle encompasses tall translucent platforms resembling hi-rise buildings—does the same. (GAP)

9:35PM Coachella Stage



This New York quintet has been recording since 1998 and is inspired by old-timey bluegrass, folk and blues from the 1940s and ’50s. See if you notice the Bob Dylan and Memphis Blues touches. (AV)  

3:00PM Coachella Stage



Having been around for over two decades, Porcupine Tree has been progging it up for about as long as most Coachella-goers have been breathing. Their tenth and most recent release, 2009’s The Incident, was received by rave reviews, and if the disc is any indication, Porcupine Tree will be the dark horse candidate for “Most Rockingest Live Set” at the festival. (TD)

1:35PM Outdoor Theatre



Having signed with Atlantic Records at the beginning of this month and sporting a brand-spanking-new album to boot (their fifth full-length in only four years), these indie darlings are riding a wave of momentum into the blazing hot Coachella sun, a far cry from their native Alaska. (TD)

2:15PM Gobi



British chanteuse Corinne Bailey Rae has plenty of reason to sing the blues. Her husband, jazz saxophonist Jason Rae, died of a methadone overdose, taking her hipster soul to a darker place on her January release, The Sea. Equal parts Dusty Springfield and Billie Holiday, Bailey Rae’s fluttering melodies and jazzy send-ups will have you feeling her pain in the best way possible. (AOT)

7:00PM Gobi



The Danish duo uses the visceral noise pop of The Jesus & Mary Chain and Ramones as benchmarks, but their reverb heavy gems with multi-tracked vocals also bring to mind Sixties girl groups (The Ronettes, Shangri-Las). In and Out of Control is darker than usual, containing songs about rape and suicide. (GAP)

5:45PM Gobi



This raucous ska-punk group made waves back in 1997 in Orange County and eventually ended up signing with Drive Thru records and making itself a Warped Tour regular. With a trombonist in the group, that sure sounds like something worth checking out. (MF)

12:25PM Outdoor Theatre



With a list of members that reads more like a ten-piece symphonic orchestra, this psychedelic indie-rock experiment is led by former Ima Robot frontman Alex Ebert. This group will be sure to croon the crowd after a long day of California sunshine. (MF)

5:10PM Outdoor Theatre



Sia has some serious back-up vocal cred, filling harmonies duties for The Bird and the Bee’s cover of “How Deep is Your Love” and on Flight of the Conchords’ second LP, I Told You I Was Freaky. That’s her on “Carol Brown” and “You Don’t Have to be a Prostitute.” But our favorite is her duet with Beck of “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease. But the Australian soul-pop singer carries her own as frontwoman, as well. (AOT)

12:00AM Gobi



Perhaps it isn’t too ironic that Steel Train’s rails are laid solely in the realm of decades past. First, there’s the band’s 1969 EP, which finds ’em covering (and paying homage to) some of the biggest artists of the period, including the Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival. And there’s even the ensemble’s comprehensive rock persona that falls nicely in line with that of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run-era E Street Band from the following decade (plus, they also hail from the Garden State, too). Quick, someone build these boys a DeLorean with a flux capacitor! (GD)

12:45PM Coachella Stage



Straight out of Melbourne, Australia, The Temper Trap has come from a land down under and seems to be embarking on a tour of the biggest and best festivals this year, not only securing a spot on Coachella, but also landing gigs at Bonnaroo, Roskilde and Lollapalooza. Just be careful when you see them live, as you might get sucked right into their catchy, upbeat stylings. As Admiral Ackbar might say, “It’s a trap!” (TD)

4:00PM Outdoor Theatre



Why, oh why do we love Tiësto so much with his ability to render crowds numbering in the thousands into a happy, or should I say ecstatic, state with his mixes? This may be one of the only DJs to have an online petition—by popular demand—aiming to get him to mix at this year’s upcoming Monster Massive. (LF)

11:40PM Coachella Stage



These garage rockers from Ontario, Canada, have spent the last few years touring with Weezer, Angels and Airwaves, Cold War Kids and Delta Spirit, making appearances on Desperate Housewives (no joke!) and encouraging their fans to steal their neighbors’ newspapers. While you may have missed their three breakneck-speed releases A Lesson in Crime (2006), Smith (2007) and Elephant Shell (2008) if you took a long blink, their catchy handclaps and anthemic ditties will stick with you forever. Coming up: LP Champ, ready to rock your world in June. (AOT)

5:25PM Coachella Stage



British folk-punker Frank Turner lays down some serious stories with every strum of his acoustic six-stringer—enough so that he even impressed Epitaph Records boss (and Bad Religion guitarist) Brett Gurewitz to offer him an American home with the company, helping to further popularize Turner’s unwaveringly heartfelt tuneage. With Turner’s lyrics that read more like journal entries (or blog postings), all you need to do is spend a few minutes with his tracks to feel like you actually know him. (GD)

12:05PM Gobi



Hell yeah. We have no idea what John Waters has up his sleeve, but we want to be front and center to see it. He’s got a one-man show called This Filthy World that is equal parts Henry Rollins and Elton John. (AOT)

1:00PM Mojave



You know the old story: band leaves Columbia, Missouri, and heads to Brooklyn, New York, to make it big, succeeds wildly and gets Britt Daniel of Spoon to sign them to produce their sophomore release. Wha? OK, so they are the luckiest band ever from Columbia, Missourah. But they worked for it, securing gigs at South by Southwest along the way, touring with The Walkmen, Richard Swift and the Kaiser Chiefs, playing their intense rhythmic choruses for anyone who’d listen, inspiring hips to shake with songs like “Percussion Gun” and “While We Go Dancing.” Add to that this slot at Coachella, and the next chapter may just have you jumping down rabbit holes for more. (AOT)

4:15PM Coachella Stage



Any name with multiple xs will cause ears to perk up. The xx is no exception as the band’s  British indie rock beats are bound to get crowds swooning. Our only hope is that we see this four-member outfit wearing less articles of clothing, or less black clothing in general in the blaring heat of Indio’s sun. Maybe black shorts will suffice? (LF)

6:25PM Outdoor Theatre



Word around the campfire is that despite breaking his collarbone a few weeks back, Z-Trip manned up and promised his genre-splicing style would still be heard somewhere under a tent in Indio. (MT)

10:30PM Sahara




Sunday, April 18



This Argentine rock outfit has scooped up a few MTV Latin America awards and has been around since the ’90s (supporting Soul Asylum, INXS and Depeche Mode). How do you say “retro cool” in Español? (MT)

1:30PM Coachella Stage 



This U.K. band is apparently no stranger to pink panty droppers (if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, give ’em a try)—and they’ve got a retro ’80s vibe. (JAW)

9:25PM Mojave



B.o.B. a.k.a. Bobby Ray: the Newbie on the hip-hop radar. He’s on the radar for his promising new talent and this rapper has garnered enough clout to merit special appearances by T.I., Eminem and John Legend on his upcoming album B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray. (LF)

2:40PM Coachella Stage



Dial your brains back nearly a decade ago and you might recall that back-to-basics garage rock was seemingly on the forefront of popular music, with acts like The White Stripes, The Hives and The Strokes landing their way onto the charts. Julian Casablancas is the Big Apple-based Strokes vocalist who converted many a mind of one-time nü-metal and electro-pop purists with his languid legato drawl, starting at the exacting point of “laaaaaaaaast niiiiiiiiiite!” Casablancas released his solo full-length last year. (GD)

5:35PM Mojave



French invasion! Hide the freedom fries! Here comes Club 75—and they come to party with their mix. (LF)

5:00PM Sahara



Is this the band that ends up forming if one were to force a collaborative effort between Deerhoof and Demon Hunter? Well, no (at least, not that we know of). This Atlanta quintet plays spacey, droney rock with enough effects to make one believe they’ve raided the guitar pedal display case at their local Guitar Center. It’s a cache of perfectly trippy tracks that’ll help form a sonic mirage after the desert sun bakes your brain for hours on end. (GD)

3:35PM Outdoor Theatre



The presence of iconic hip-hop acts has always been kind of a given at Coachella. But it appears the last thing on De La Soul’s agenda is to rest on their legendary status. Instead, the Long Island trio have chosen to stay relevant in a variety of forms—collaborating on the Gorillaz newest album Plastic Beach, recording an exclusive runner’s album for Nike (2009’s Are You In: Nike+ Original Run) and hitting the festival circuit, turning fresh faces into life-long fans. Good to see these guys finally pop their Coachella cherry. (NJ)

3:50PM Coachella Stage



Armed with synths, live drums, guitars, and dance beats, Delphic will energize the heat-exhausted Coachella crowd. Originating from Manchester U.K., this alt-dance band used to playing in warehouses has upgraded to sunny SoCal. (AV)

1:20PM Outdoor Theatre



Devine’s tunes are the type you’d expect to hear at a bellbottomed hippie flipping folk-fest. The acoustic melodies are crisp and cool, but the deviation between songs is a simple flatline blur. (JAW)

12:10PM Gobi



Lungs is an appropriate album title since flame-haired frontwoman Florence Welch really belts her intense, dramatic vocals out (imagine a young Kate Bush or Tori Amos). The toast of Great Britain, where she snagged a BRIT Award, No. 1 chart placings and a hit collaboration with rapper Dizzee Rascal, Florence says she writes her best songs while drunk (that would explain the song about poking someone’s eye out). (GAP)

4:30PM Gobi



Charlotte Gainsbourg, the sexy spawn of British actress Jane Birkin and French popstar Serge Gainsbourg, will never live down her singing debut in 1984 with her father on the racy, and relentlessly icky, “Lemon Incest.” She’s had quite the storied childhood, playing Catherine Deneuve’s daughter in the film Paroles et Musique in 1984 and appearing as Jane Eyre in a 1996 film. But it was with the success of her 2006 debut 5:55 (which had a Jarvis Cocker’s heavy hand throughout) that she was introduced to the hipster element in America. Her latest release, IRM, which hit shelves late last year, was produced and largely instrumented by Beck. After a water skiing accident that left Gainsbourg on the operating table undergoing emergency brain surgery, the songs off the new album are deservedly death-obsessed, laced with cheerful ditties about heaven and hell and the uncertainty of life. Uncertain, yes. Boring? Never. (AOT)

5:40PM Gobi



You can fill in the blanks with any color and noun you like, but it would appear that these Mafiosos have eaten enough of the love drug to drink the sea, so stay hydrated. But anyone who’s all love for the West Coast is chill in my book. (JAW)

3:45pm Sahara



Quirky cartoon group Gorillaz (a.k.a. Damon Albarn" Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett Co.) is busy promoting their latest work Plastic Beach. The album has five different editions—which means completists and diehards just spend five times more money than they ought to. (MF)

10:30pm Coachella Stage



Comprised of eight brass players and a drummer, this ensemble really does blow. Really. The sons of jazz trumpeter and composer Kelan Phil Cohran are used to playing the streets of Chicago and New York, gathering crowds with their mix of jazz, funk, and hip-hop strains. (AV)

1:05pm Gobi



What if your brain unexpectedly and suddenly decided to view things a bit differently? Just give yourself a cool 25 to 35 minutes with these infected mushrooms and you just might find yourself in a psychedelic, electronic induced trance. (JAW)

6:45pm Sahara



With Sigur Rós on the much-dreaded “indefinite hiatus,” guitarist/frontman Jónsi has that much more time to devote to his blooming solo career, including his latest full-length, Go, which dropped worldwide just a few days ago. As long as the Icelandic falsetto draws a bow across his guitar strings a la Jimmy Page, I’ll be good for the night. (TD)

5:55pm Outdoor Theatre



One listen to the King Khan track “Torture” tells you that frontman King Khan should, for all intents and purposes, be double his age, as it’s hard to imagine the song being made anytime post-1977 (the year he was born). According to stories told of their legendary live show, the groovy psych-rock of the Shrines is only matched by the “What will he wear next?” mischief of their frontman. (TD)

2:05pm Mojave



This 25-year-old English maiden has the ideal pop arsenal under her belt: a disarmingly attractive voice, the technical skill of a computer wiz and the dexterity of a piano virtuoso. She pretty much uses all three on any given song. Besides unveiling the wonders of the Tenori-on (Google it under “new-fangled Japanese beat gadget”), Little Boots (born Victoria Hesketh) continues to wow audiences with her musical multi-tasking and ass-shaking club grooves. (NJ)

8:10pm Gobi



Hailing from Silver Lake-by-way-of Orange County, Local Natives wasted little time this year becoming the “next big thing.” And after two successful, consecutive runs at South By Southwest, it was only a matter of time before they ended up on a hot desert stage in Indio, casting a wider net to music lovers who favor intricate and soulful pop songs that contain plenty of drum slamming, tambourine rattling and vocal harmonies. (NJ)

2:10pm Gobi



Consisting only of Matt Johnson (vocals/keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums/vocals), Brooklyn’s Matt & Kim might just be the dancey equivalent of The White Stripes, without all the paleness and all that pesky, last name-changing, “Are they siblings or spouses?” confusion. Fun fact: Their performance at the 2009 MTVU Woodie Awards doubled as an underwear party for their backup singers, who stripped in between contributing vocals to “Lessons Learned.” Heh, Woodie. The jokes just write themselves sometimes. (TD)

4:25pm Mojave



Sharp-dressed with Motown seeping from every pore of his wiry pale frame, Mayer Hawthorne and his band, the County, deliver some serious grown-and-sexy soul vibes that never fail to make an impression on any do-wop enthusiast. And thanks to big name Brits like Mark Ronson endorsing Hawthorne’s sound over the airwaves on BBC Radio, he’s become quite a hit across the pond with songs like “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out” and “Maybe So Maybe No”. With much of his music recorded entirely on his own (every instrument, every vocal), Hawthorne’s prowess to recreate the golden Motor City sounds he grew up listening to in his home town of Michigan is only surpassed by his ability to make them fresh again. (NJ)

3:20pm Gobi



These Aussies sing with quiet sighs; light and airy. But if you place an ear to the earth the verses echo with reverberation. Slow, lonely bends of metal strings resonate from a chapter out of Roger Waters’ book. (JAW)

12:15pm Outdoor Theatre



Miikey is definitely a dude with a mind for abstractions. Fragmented synths play composer to a son of a junkie who was born into money then sold down the river. Next time you find yourself in a bind, best escape through the keyhole before you fall victim to the eraser. (JAW)

6:45pm Mojave



In 2007, the well-dressed Crescent City post-rockers became a minor YouTube/MTV sensation, thanks to the hit song and video for “Typical,” which was actually performed backwards. Dense textures and skittering beats abound on current effort Armistice, which contains “Spotlight,” first heard on the Twilight soundtrack. Live, vocalist Paul Meany plays like a man possessed. (GAP)

3:15pm Mojave



Initially inspired by Kraftwerk and David Bowie’s glam rock style, Numan came across like an alien spawn of Ziggy Stardust upon emerging in the late ’70s. The paranoid lyrics and deadpan vocals in new wave classic The Pleasure Principle, icy smash “Cars” and subsequent releases were forerunners to goth and industrial music. Just as influential today, Numan has been lauded by Trent Reznor (who invited the veteran Brit to guest encore at several NIN farewell shows last fall) and referenced in hit BBC comedy The Mighty Boosh. (GAP) 

7:55pm Mojave



This lone Eskimo has that quiet form of confidence. The tunes are soft and subtle, but are presented with a particular poise. If all goes according to plan, this little Eskimo won’t get caught slippin‘ and his self-titled debut album’ll do just fine. (JAW)

12:00pm Mojave



Riding the wave of a wildly successful comeback in 2009 (after going on hiatus in 2004) English brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll have enjoyed a seemingly endless cycle of festivals—grand  opportunities to taut the legendary electro prowess that made them undisputed kings of their craft. Not only does Coachella offer them another opportunity for a heroes’ welcome, but it also gives a chunk of their estranged fan base a chance to trip out to their sounds under the stars for the first time in a long time. (NJ)

8:05pm Sahara



If you’re down with music that can only be compared to the scoring to some estranged stage play that you know never made it to Broadway, then you’re probably ready for Owen Pallett. I’m no one to pass judgment. Whatever it takes to get you to the great elsewhere can’t necessarily be bad. Though I probably would’ve sided with a vocalist who’s got a bit more range. (JAW)

2:25pm Outdoor Theatre



Repetitively remixed, these PAPARAZZI tunes lack variety. Something tells me it’d take a bit more than a handful of designer drugs, and a pair of robot ears to feel this. All kidding aside, I’m on the fence on whether or not this cat should be given props or tarred and feathered for remixing a Beatles tune. I’m leaning towards the latter; some things you just don’t mess with. (JAW)

12:00pm Sahara



During their 1990s heyday, Pavement was the ultimate slacker indie rock band. Onstage, the musicians were often lackadaisical (an infamous performance at the inaugural Coachella in ’99 was basically instrumental). Intriguingly fractured, yet seminal albums Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain were marked by Stephen Malkmus’ monotone vocals, cryptic lyrics and a distorted guitar sound inspired by The Fall and Velvet Underground. Now they’re back together after a 10-year absence and a new retrospective, Quarantine the Past. (GAP)

7:45pm Coachella



French alt-rock band Phoenix have spent over a decade trading in bold, dynamic sounds that both drive hard and are equipped to take on a wide range of sonic terrain; from ethereal pop to synth-laden arrangements with inventive, infectious rhythms at their core. For proof we highly suggest you check out their latest album, 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix for a lesson in their psych-infused version of French funk. (NJ)

7:10pm Outdoor Theatre



Doesn’t matter whether you’re made of plastic, metal or papier-mâché, if you intend on making music you have to understand that people need something at least vaguely resembling substance. Plastikman is allegedly one of the most revered electronic DJs mixing. (JAW)

9:30pm Sahara



Hong Kong Phooey ain’t got shit on this human bass whirlwind. Rusko is the highly favored, reigning one-punch machinegun of the dubstep scene. If you’ve got the need for a high intensity boost with just enough sway, this dude’s on deck. (JAW)

2:30pm Sahara



Singh’s ambient percussion is much more unique than classic bongo playing. The diversity of his tabla drumming with corresponding electronics circumnavigates what were once seemingly non-maneuverable skylines. (JAW)

1:30pm Sahara



While fans are skeptical that the enigmatic Sly Stone might actually show up for the band’s spot on Coachella, one would nonetheless be remiss to skip The Family Stone’s set. If he shows up rocking a platinum mohawk again, consider it a bonus. (TD)

7:00pm Gobi



This indie-influenced pack falls a bit short of a genuine Nicotine fix, but clever, questioning lines would appear to make up for it. Solid snare hits complement twanging guitar licks and lyrics, but I think it’s time to step it up to Reds. (JAW)

12:55pm Mojave



Traversing through varied indie rock terrain for 15 years, Spoon has outlasted most of their ’90s contemporaries. Unlike previous efforts, where the Austin band incorporated melodic pop and soul elements into their tense sound, Transference utilizes a more stripped-down approach. Singer Britt Daniel told NPR that if self-producing “meant it was somewhat amateurish, then that was fine. I wanted to live with those bits of humanity.” At Coachella, you’re bound to recognize songs heard in multiple flicks, TV shows and commercials. (GAP) 

6:30pm Coachella Stage



Sick of the quiet/loud, angelic falsetto/banshee scream oscillation that’s become insanely commonplace in the punk-based aftermarket? Well, you can thank bands like Fugazi, Rites of Spring and yes, Seattle’s own Sunny Day Real Estate, for nudging such a musical fashion to the foreground. While much of what’s come after these aforementioned pioneers has since been rather hit-or-miss, it’s a pretty sure bet that Sunny Day’s highly original emo leanings will sound as fresh and fulfilling as the day you ripped the shrink wrap off the band’s groundbreaking Diary disc. (GD)

4:45pm Outdoor Theatre



These tunes are a bit different than what we’re accustomed to on this side of the pond. The guitar licks are chill, but the tunes are lyrically lacking. And, ladies, I’d keep an eye on Yann here. The French can be a promiscuous bunch, and Yann isn’t exactly subtle with his innuendos. (JAW)

10:40pm Mojave



Man. You know you are in the music fan elite if you’re hip on Yo La Tengo. The Hoboken, New Jersey, veterans never won over the mainstream in their storied career, but they are critics’ favorites with a cult following. From 1997’s excellent Painful. I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One to the more recent Popular Songs in 2009, the band is nothing if not consistently in love with music more than their fans. Plus, they’ve got that whole East Coast pasty, big hair and glasses thing going, too, so let’s hope they remember their SPF or they will be SOL. (AOT)

5:00pm Coachella Stage



To say the man needs no introduction . . . well, just wouldn’t be enough of an introduction for somebody like Mr. Yorke. Just two years ago, we saw Prince inexplicably cover Radiohead’s “Creep” for the Coachella masses; would it be too much to ask for Thom to return the favor and bust out “Raspberry Beret”? (TD)

9:00pm Outdoor Theatre



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