With Emily still recovering from Coachella, and Molly still recovering from Anthony Mackie in a Dan Marino jersey, the Girls decided to ditch the map this week and free-form jazz their way through their discussion of an eventful pop cultural week. (So eventful, in fact, that we didn't even get around to talking about Amanda Bynes's face! Apologies for going off-brand.) The highlights were of course Emily's weekend in Tatooine Indio, and the Grantland staff's (controversial!) Pain & Gain screening, but other topics discussed include:
This past weekend, Grantland editors Robert Mays and Emily Yoshida went to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Because we couldn't just let them go and have a nice time among the rave kids and B-list celebrities in Indio, we decided to make them do a scavenger hunt. Who won the weekend (other than Daft Punk)? Join us and find out!
Yoshida: We arrive at the box office to get braceleted up. Girl working the booth in the press line does not seem to be enjoying her job very much. I am starting to understand the exact level of mental and physical punishment I am about to endure, and am already worried about how to acclimate to it. This will be a complicated mental exercise.
Mays: Eight minutes. That’s exactly how long it took from the start of my first set of the weekend until I spotted my first ownerless cowboy boot. You can imagine, then, how upset I was when I realized that points for loose cowboy boots weren’t included when the final list was pared down. This could’ve started better.
Neither Chris nor I were in the desert for Coachella this weekend, but we still experienced something of a vision quest (1:30). Just the mere mention of the festival — and its underwhelming headliner, Phoenix — sent us down a rabbit hole of opinion, memory, and conjecture about the state of the music industry past and present. Is Daft Punk selling their new album with their new commercial or selling us on the idea that they're rock stars? Are Savages the next big thing or another hypebeast? And does it even matter? By the end of this segment, I was defending Fall Out Boy (as I do) and Chris was getting emo remembering Guided by Voices.
After our Ryan Seacrest–on-a-budget "premiere" of Miley Cyrus's new Snoop Lion–assisted single, "Ashtrays and Heartbreaks," last week, the Girls in Hoodies decided to conduct a general survey of how the tween stars of the aughts are holding up these days. We're feeling pretty good about the future of the former Miss Montana (and no longer future Mrs. Hemsworth) — which made Lindsay Lohan's disastrous Letterman appearance on Tuesday all the more sad-making. But first things first: We had a Mad Men season premiere and Stan Rizzo's beard to obsess over. The two-hour episode was weird, morbid, death-obsessed — and that's why it was so great! Finally, Tess and Molly helped Emily mentally prepare for Coachella this weekend, and we all discuss the pros and cons of the modern music festival. If only we could still see things through Huell's eyes.
All week I've been wringing my hands with anxiety over the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival, which I will be attending for the first time in my little Californian life this weekend, and all week people have been telling me to calm down: You'll have to wait in line to get in for only one hour; it's actually really freeing to not have a cell phone connection for three days; most types of skin cancer are not malignant; and so on. I was starting to relax a little, enough to actually start thinking about what bands I wanted to see instead of how best to ward off the armies of caftan-clad looky-loos devouring fistfuls of molly out of their Navajo backsatchels. My secret dream was that post-hologram Coachella would be deemed too tech-oriented for scenesters, and everyone would observe strict midnight bedtimes so they could wake up bright and early for their morning jogs before the sun started melting the BPA-free water bottles right out of people's hands. It would basically be like TED with swamp coolers.
From the Weezer Cruise to Holy Ship! to the — oh goodness me — R. Kelly Love Letter Cruise, the last few years have provided us with a rash of concert cruises contradicting the stodgy, stuffy stereotype of the institution. And now comes the trend's inevitable peak. Goldenvoice, the folks behind king of the jungle music festival circuit Coachella, have announced a seaborne counterpart to their main event. That's right: S.S. Coachella sets sail in December.
After tag-teaming Coachella’s first weekend, we here at Grantland managed, for the first time ever, to fight off our FOMO, and left the fest’s second weekend all alone. We didn’t miss much: The lineup from the first weekend was repeated in full down to Hologram Tupac, who was once again called up from the dark nothingness in which he resides. (Despite the insane level of scrutiny Hologram Tupac was facing this week, after that remarkable debut, his performance went off without a hitch. True professional.) But over a long three days, a few new wrinkles did appear. Here are four of them!
Yes, it's finally here. The "Trapped in the Closet" podcast. Reality Czar David Jacoby sits down with Rembert Browne and Jay Caspian Kang to talk about R. Kelly's masterpiece, with scattered discussions of Coachella, cruises, and holograms sprinkled in for good measure. A few of you will really, really like this.
I forget what you call the area where your car is searched pre-campground entrance, but they should name it the Intimidation Shakedown Station (ISS). Everyone camping is aware that some form of inspection will take place, but it’s impossible to assume that you’ll run into the ISS. Yes, the actual inspection is terrifying (even with nothing to hide), but the ISS approach is even worse, because all you see is large men ransacking belongings. There was definitely a moment when my two co-campers and I looked at each other and our faces screamed “maybe we should just drive to Vegas.”
It’s been a whole day since Hologram Tupac made his contentious debut performance at Coachella, so of course it’s time for some open-ended speculation. OK, ready for this? According to the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Dre is not content letting Hologram Tupac blow minds and then return to the mute darkness in which he resides — instead, Dre is actually considering bringing him on tour. Says the WSJ, “Representatives for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg plan to discuss logistics for a tour involving the two performers and the virtual Tupac, according to a person familiar with the discussions. One option would be a tour in stadiums, involving other hip-hop stars, including Eminem, 50 Cent, and Wiz Khalifa. Alternately, they could stage a more limited tour, featuring only Dre, Snoop Dogg and the virtual Tupac, in smaller arenas.” Adds Ed Ulbrich of Digital Domain Media Group, the company that birthed Hologram Tupac, “This is just the beginning. Dre has a massive vision for this.”
I haven’t stepped a foot inside Coachella and already I’m being propositioned into minor illegality. While I loiter outside the gate before heading in, a young man named Edgar, who is smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes, approaches, having taken me for a potential fence-hopping accomplice. I insist that I have a valid pass and official business to conduct, but he’s not so convinced. He tells me he’s broken in the last two years, and that while security has intensified this year — at some point he uses the phrase “tighter than a dolphin’s butthole,” or something similarly hilarious — there are always weaknesses, and he’s going to walk the perimeter to unearth some. And it almost sounds badass enough to try. Ultimately, though, I wish him well and head inside the normal way. Hope you made it in, Edgar.
Today the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicks off the 2012 music festival season. Over the past decade, the success of Coachella (and before that, Lollapalooza) has led to a proliferation of multi-day, multi-stage events across the country, where dozens of bands perform over increasingly longer spans of time. (Wear comfortable shoes! But probably not Tevas! It’s a bad look! Or so people tell me!) Most of the media attention goes to who’s headlining, who’s reuniting, and who are the handful of bands that might deliver breakout performances.
But there are hundreds of other acts appearing whose involvement is basically passed over. So in the spirit of spreading the spotlight, here is a guide to some of the artists who are listed literally at the end of these festivals’ lineups. Call them the bottomliners. We talked to some to let them know they're not forgotten, even if they're relegated to the small print on the bottom of the poster.
I have always been intrigued by the art and/or consumer science of festival flyer design. The festival flyer is not just a one-dimensional announcement simply announcing, “These bands are playing our music festival.” It is an important marketing tool to brand the festival experience and display artistic diversity across the festival lineup. As genres like ‘indie’ and ‘electro’ begin to fractal into chillwave, dubstep, and other made-up words, having a wide range of names that are strategically positioned on a flyer can change the entire consumer perception of a festival. Even if all of the wristbands are going to sell out no matter what.
One day we’ll look back at festival flyers like they are important historical artifacts that represent the intersection of music and culture. Just kidding--old flyers will just be forgotten .jpg files, chilling in internet eternity in the same digital graveyard as MySpace profiles. It is more important to analyze a new flyer when it is released in order to try to understand the current hierarchy of buzz.