Being a resident of the Coachella Valley, I've witnessed the growth of the Coachella Valley Music Festival. Admittedly I did have an inkling of a desire to go this year. Especially on Sunday because most of the bands that I wanted to see were playing that night, mainly My Bloody Valentine.
I was there the first year. That first year, I watched the collapse and the eventual breaking up soon after of Pavement, and witnessed the insanity of a Rage Against the Machine show who, also after playing that year, broke up mere months later. I also saw some really great music and met some wonderful artists thanks in part to getting a part time gig handing out fliers for Goldenvoice. Those days are over and I now stand before you jaded and bitter. Coachella was supposed to be a progressive event where many lesser known acts would be able to showcase their talents on a large scale. That isn't the case anymore. You get the occasional act like No Age, Vivian Girls, Haunted Graffiti, and Themselves but it seems it's about quantity and not quality. They seem to bring back the same acts year after year. Do we really need to see Perry Farrell, Thievery Corporation, Peanut Butter Wolf, Atmosphere, or The Chemical Brothers for the umpteenth time? This is also coupled by the fact that Coachella was sold to a promotion company that does nothing but do these huge festivals all around the country makes me sick. Not to mention the people who think that Coachella is the apex of musical taste.
I say FUCK Coachella!!! I say fuck this annual hipster convention!!! You don't need to spend over $200 per day!!! (Believe me, you will when you consider the cost of tickets plus food, drink and other things like merch) Go see some good bands for not much at all. Yeah, you may have to drive out of town and spend money on gas. But consider the other option, standing next to some sweaty, smelly, tweaked out, dude in the heat, while drinking a tiny $2 bottle of water knowing full well that you'll probably end up buying at least 5-10 more of those at the same price, watching a band that you could see at a fraction of the price elsewhere for a longer amount of time. I'll spend the $20 in gas, watch a good show for at most $10, in a well ventilated room, sipping on a big drink that I probably will spend less on than that $2 bottle of Coachella poison swill, and afterwards hitting up Alberto's or that kick ass taco truck parked near the Echo spending a measely $5 for a huge ass burrito all the while feeling contentment at the fact that you watched a fucking awesome show that a few years down the road people will pay $100 to see at Coachella when they become the hip artist to listen to. Yes, Wavves, sorry, but I'm talking about you.
Yes, you can go see Wavves now before they become hipster fodder at the Casbah on Friday the 17th along with some other really good bands like Christmas Island, The Dabbers, and Bi Polar Bear. So what, you're missing Paul McCartney. I'm sure your presence there won't be missed especially as he goes home to roll around in all the cash he raked in from Coachella, all Demi Moore style a'la Indecent Proposal.
This weekend is filled with lots of good shows so go check them out. I do feel that people should go to Coachella once if they've never been before and would like to know the feeling of being fucked by a huge promotion juggernaut. But if you're one to learn from example rather than experience take my advice; go to these shows instead. The bands will thank you for it.
As always check with the venue for any schedule changes or cancellations.