Well, here we are again. Monday....ew. But for those of you who came along for the ride at Coachella 2009, the memories are probably still cycling around in your brain somewhere. Otherwise, you'd probably be getting some work done instead of trolling the internet looking for the next Albert Ching blog post. Sorry, but can we give this man a raise, honestly? Not only did he give you 3 days-worth of blurry iPhone pictures and up-to the-second coverage of the whole sha-bang, but he also Twittered you to death. I mean, it was like you were there, but not really. I was there on Saturday. Honestly, I didn't think that would happen. After weeks of vasciliating over whether I would be going as a journo on someone else's dime or pay full price as a die hard music lover, the latter ended up being the case.
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So there I was, wondering around Satan's asshole (with jeans on...wtf was I thinking?!) on my fourth trip to this sweat-drenched festival of the sun. I saw plenty of cool stuff which I had pretty much counted on, given the fact that most of the bands on Saturday were things that I had either heard or seen before. In fact, I had just reviewed one of the top bands on my list (TV on the Radio) days earlier at the Glass House. And it was a trip to see acts like The Killers, M.I.A., Theivery Corporation and Atmosphere on stage again. It seems like yesterday I was wading in clouds of blunt smoke watching some of these 2009-show stealers perform in the tent section. Of course there were a few bands that I had heard but not seen (i.e. Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, Dr. Dog, Jenny Lewis, Zane Lowe).
But with all the strobelight stages, car-smashing machine art and hippie love swirling around me, Coachella 2009 seemed void of any jaw dropping new-comers. In years past, the prospect of stumbling onto an opening band that I would ultimately spend months obsessing over has always been always been the icing on the cake of the festival. Last year it was Akron/Family. Before that, it was a toss up between Pop Levi and The Good, The Bad and the Queen. Anyway, you get the idea.
But this year, though all the bands I saw were sparkling reasons as to why I had decided to show up, the highlights were all too-predictable. But maybe I'm just being a pretentious music critic....damn it, and I wasn't even covering it! At the end of the day, as fellow OC Weekly journos Albert Ching, Andrew Youssef and I trailed a half mile through the midnight dust back to the car, I was more than satisfied with all that went down. That, and the fact that I managed to squeak out of there with only one spirit killing trip to the ATM (fuck,$ 3.95 surcharge just to take out a $20 bill...it's highway robbery I tell you!)
On the upside, my inner Black Flag fan was doing back flips during one of the more pseudo-intellectual moments of the fest when Henry Rollins spoke of Cambodian killing fields and bombing the middle east with Ramones albums. And even though I didn't find too much to celebrate off the beaten path, at the end of the day it's all about going somewhere, doing something and experiencing as much youthful adventure as possible. So in that sense, I was turned out to be one lucky son of a bitch this weekend. How about you?