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« Prev - DATABASS SESSIONS 19 - Saturday May 11th 2002 | Billy Marks has a passport - Next »

Exclusive etnies report from the frontlines of the 2002 Coachella Festival

May 7 2002 / Tuesday

Coachella Day One - Hippies Suck And I Want To Get Drunk
by Carrie Tucker
For the second year in a row, Etnies was proud to participate in this
year's Coachella Arts & Music Festival. Unlike last year, the 2002
event was a two-day festival. It was organized brilliantly and the weather
was pretty perfect. Plus, most of the time, the drinks were free (thanks
again, Cindy Denton and Goldenvoice) - that's where we got into trouble.
I don't even want to talk about the fact that it took us five hours to
drive from L.A. to the Empire Polo Field in Indio. It probably didn't
help that upon exiting the freeway, we immediately got lost and wound
up in Coachelita, city of tire shops and one horse farm.
Once we arrived at Coachella, I decided that alcohol would be my savior.
I mean, really, what better way to liven up a party than with Red Bull
and vodka? And Jack and Coke? And beer?
We missed many bands that I had wanted to see: KRS One, Cornershop, Princess
Superstar. We managed to hear the Charlatans U.K., my favorite Manchester
baggy band, from the parking lot. By the time we made it up to the entrance,
they were done. Oh well. "The Only One I Know" sounded pretty
good from about 500,000 feet away.
By the time Queens Of The Stone Age came on, I was on my second Red Bull
& vodka. Halfway through Queens, I got bummed that they looked (and
sounded) more drunk than I, so I trekked back to the VIP section for more
booze, leaving the Queens' raw, 1969-ish new sound behind. The new songs
sounded good, and while I'd like to say that they sounded amazing with
Dave Grohl on drums, I really couldn't tell the difference. Maybe it was
those outdoor acoustics. Jack Johnson played the main stage (Coachella
had two stages and two tents for bands and DJs), and he sounded just like
Dave Matthews and there were TONS of hippies running around with no shoes
on, trying to form drum circles.
I downed about five more drinks in quick succession. We watched the not-so-triumphant
return of Siouxsie & The Banshees. Now, I've been a fan of Siouxsie
since my gothy, black-eyeliner-and-nailpolish-wearing days. As a matter
of fact, I played Once Upon A Time: The Singles three times on the drive
to Coachella. I was hoping for a little "Love In A Void" or
"Mirage". No such luck. All we got was a wobbly, off-key "Cities
In Dust", along with a bunch of new stuff that didn't make sense
to me. Siouxsie looked beautiful, in a nice pin-striped suit and ironed-out
hair, but I would have rather listened to her between-song banter about
taking off her top than the rest of her set.
The Beta Band was pretty good, but it's hard to fuck up when you've got
a computer on your side. I kept running into Piney Kahn, Etnies pr manager,
and her sister Lily, who is one of the funniest girls I've ever met. I
hope I didn't embarrass Etnies too badly, because by this time I literally
lost count of how many drinks I had.
By the time the Vines went on I was having a good ol' time. The Vines
are this great new band from Australia, who the press is already cheesing-out
about and calling "the new Strokes". Forget that, they sound
like super-old Nirvana, and I mean that in the best way possible. I was
slightly chagrined at their acoustic cover of Outkast's "Miss Jackson",
but their original stuff pretty much kicked ass. Look for their record
out on Capitol Records some time this summer.
We caught a little bit of Jurassic 5, which was cool. We made it back
to the main stage in time to see Bjork, who sounded amazing - "Human
Behavior" indeed. "Sssank you," she kept saying, and it
was charming.
The (International) Noise Conspiracy was one of the best acts all day.
They looked and sounded great. They mostly played stuff off their new
record, New Morning Changing Weather, and a few older songs like "Smash
It Up" (no, not the Damned song). I was hoping for some goodies like
"I Wanna Know About U", while I think others in the audience
were hoping for some Refused songs.
At the end of their set, we met Chris Goss (producer extraordinaire, creator
of the excellent Masters Of Reality, and the big bald guy that played
guitar with Queens that day) backstage to say "hi" to the Queens
guys. I wound up eating all the Queens' sour cream and onion potato chips,
and drinking a good portion of their vodka in some kind of warm concoction
that tasted like grape cough syrup. I yelled at a few people on the way
back out to the parking lot, and immediately passed out in the backseat
of our rented Explorer.
Thanks again, Cindy and Goldenvoice, for treating Etnies like gold and
contributing to my alcohol party!
Coachella Day 2 - Virgin Tears and Jerk Chicken
by Piney Kahn
A LOT of greyhounds in the sun, much belligerence. I can only remember
so much, so here it goes.
Arrived at about 1pm. Somehow, still missed SO many bands I wanted to
see. Missed Elbow, MixMaster Mike, Cut Chemist. So sad…
The worst thing I saw all day - A guy with spiked hair, an upside down
visor, giant jeans with green satin accents and giant butterfly wings
trying to breakdance.
The best thing I saw all day - Virgin Tears. The most inspiring band that
has come out of the US in the last decade. I cannot believe that they
are not signed yet. It's obvious that a lot of people just don't get them
and with a musical range like that, it isn't surprising. The Virgin Tears
are the equivalent of the Mensa society of music. Sometimes poignant,
sometimes glib, always an experience.
By the way, thanks to the V.T. crew & DJ B-Leave for sneaking us in
the back door of the venue when some of us lost our tickets…
I caught a bit of the Strokes and they were pretty good. Everyone has
told me that they suck live, but I liked them. Saw a little Foo Fighters…same
as it ever was. Heard Oasis in the background, but couldn't see them.
They sounded exactly the same as they do on the radio. Watched about 2
minutes of the Dilated Peoples set. By the time I plowed my way to the
front of the crowd, I decided it was too packed and pushed my way right
back out again. Mos Def was good, he always puts on a good show. Only
problem? His undercover political agenda. He said "respect the middle
east", but really quietly. If you are going to say something, at
least say it loud, punk.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the jerk chicken. No, they aren't
a band. Seriously bangin chicken, BBQ'd baked beans and corn. Fabian's
(soul food restaurant in LA) had a booth and my sister Lily kept freaking
out and dragging me back there. She also kept telling everyone that she
was going to have sex with the chicken cause it was so good…
I have to commend Coachella on an amazingly well run event. Out of the
countless concerts I've been to in my life, this is the only one of any
size where I didn't see guys fighting or chicks crying. If you've attended
many concerts, you know exactly what I'm talking about. There's always
some dillweed who has had too much Budweiser and looks really red trying
to kick some guy's ass cause the guy looked at his girlfriend or leaned
against his lowered truck. There's also always some girl balling in a
corner and guy trying to comfort her, looking totally confused with no
idea what the hell she's crying about.
Coachella was the best. Great line up, diverse crowd, good (not guido)
security, and beautiful weather. I can't wait for next year…

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