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Coachella Music & Arts Festival 2011


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(c) 2011 Goldenvoice/AEG Live

Thank You: Dani Lindstrom, Stacy Vee, Eric Fleming, Darlene Roker, Matt Lovejoy, Adam Stover, Kaley Bolt, Ashley Nichols, Vanessa Sanders, Bryan Linares, Nate Rogers, Chloe Walsh, Todd Roberts, Joni Lefkowitz, Jennifer Lee, Jason Chung, Kozyndan, Steven Ellison, Sara Ajiri

Illustrations: Amy Kett, Xavier Schipani

Images: Sebastian Artz, Mike Buckner, Kristin Burns, Dan Dennison, Kristian Dowling, Bryan Derballa, Gavin Elder, Benedict Evans, Frazer Harrison, Michael Ivankay, Matt Jones, Jeff Kravitz, Christian Lantry, Olga Laris, Matthew Little, K Mazur, Sebastian Miynarski, Dan Monick, Aliya Naumoff, Pavel Oleinik, Muti Randolph, Alicia J. Rose, Caesar Sebastian, Ed Sirrs, John Shearer, Matt Simmons, Rae Threat, Christine Unten, Karl Walter, Steven Walter, Theo Wargo, Kevin Winter, Andrew Whitton, Autumn De Wilde, Vaughn Youz

Words: Charlie Amter, Nicole Balin, Cassie Carpenter, Ryan Coleman, Daiana Feuer, Jessica Jardine, Noah Levine, Kristen McElwain, Elaine Reyes, Areti Sakellaris, Celeste Tabora

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Camp: Vol. One No. 2

Infografics Austin Peralta Creators Project Early Artists Ask Lindsay Coachella Bass Cee-Lo Bloody Beetroots Bobby Hundreds Suede Coachoosers Cochella Art Desert Guide Essays Coachella Kids Aquabats Caifanes Bright Eyes LA Beat Conductors Coachella Hip-Hop Coachella IQ

April 2011

austin peralta By Cassie Carpenter Photography by Kristin Burns

WHEN YOU THINK OF FLYING LOTUS’ BRAINFEEDER RECORD LABEL, CERTAIN ARTISTS SPRING TO MIND—THE GASLAMP KILLER, SAMIYAM, AND TOKIMONSTA—BUT ONE NEWJACK REPRESENTS FLYLO’S LUST FOR UNIQUELY DIFFERENT MUSICAL LANDSCAPES. MEET JAZZ PIANOPLAYING PRODIGY AUSTIN PERALTA. Peralta, the son of skateboarding legend and fi lmmaker Stacy Peralta, has already played with the likes of Chick Corea, Hank Jones, Ron Carter, Erykah Badu and Shafiq Husayn. His third self-produced album, Endless Planets, crosses genre lines by combining his jazz and classical background with electronic manipulation from Peralta’s best friend and labelmate, Strangeloop. “People would always tell me about this genius jazz pianist,” Flying Lotus wrote on the Brainfeeder website. “‘He’s like 17 or 18 and already sounds like McCoy Tyner!’ I had to go and see what was up, so Strangeloop introduced me, and I got to hear this amazing record. We had to put it out.” The very defi nition of a child prodigy, Peralta was already a classically trained pianist by age five. His parents tried to turn him on to Led Zeppelin and Dead Can Dance, but Peralta only wanted to hear composers like Mozart and Chopin. At 10, Peralta discovered jazz pianist Bill Evans, and by 12, his parents were dropping him off at jazz clubs for jam sessions so he could perfect his improvisation technique. He released his fi rst album at age 16 on the Japanese label Eighty-Eight’s, and four years later is ready to bring his unique talent to serious music fans worldwide—even if he’s still too young to buy beer. Is it true that you didn’t have to re-record anything on your demo in order for Brainfeeder to release Endless Planets? Yeah, that’s the cool thing about [Flying] Lotus. He’s all about the individual artist’s perspective—not tampering with that. Letting people speak how they want to speak, not trying to mess up their vision. Do you think Flying Lotus connected with your music because of his genes, being the great-nephew of Alice Coltrane? I think so. It’s just in him, like it is in the rest of his family. It’s a hard thing to describe, but you can feel the spirit. Speaking of genetics, your father, Stacy Peralta, was the world’s top professional skateboarder by the age of 19. You’ve released three albums and you’re only 20. Talk a bit about that Peralta family ambition. Yeah, that’s funny. I don’t usually think about that, but I guess that’s definitely in me—the “Peralta ambition.” I’ve

never heard that, that’s cool. I would say I’m ambitious and so is he. You want to retire at 30? I’m down. Growing up, did you ever feel pressure to skateboard like your father? Not at all. I did skate a little bit just for fun. I can still do it and ride around. I’m not very good. I imagine he put you on a skateboard early. He did. I think there’s a picture of me when I was like one year old, when I just learned to balance, and I’m actually on the damn board by myself. It was just cute. I mean, he wasn’t trying to push that on me. Once he saw that I was playing [piano], that was the numberone priority. Actually, I messed up my wrist one time trying to skate a pool and he was like, “You shouldn’t do this. Play the piano.” So that was the end of that. Growing up around skate culture, did you wear brands like Vans and Powell-Peralta as a kid? As a pre-teen, I was a bit strange. I donned tuxedos and generally anything fancy I could get my hands on. But around the turn of the millennium, I started wearing the authentic blue Vans almost exclusively, inspired by the skaters of the ’70s. Funny thing is, those shoes hadn’t really come back into vogue yet, so I was sort of once again wearing something strange. Now everyone seems to wear them. To this day, I wear Vans shoes almost exclusively. I suppose I got addicted, or I am a creature of severe habit. You said in an interview that you wish you hadn’t received such high praise at a young age because it went to your head. What were some of the reality checks that brought you back to Earth? Nothing too specific. It’s just been more the breadth of life experience I’ve had since then. I’ve grown up more. I’ve traveled. I moved to New York at the end of 2009. That in itself was a huge reality check. That place confronts you with your bullshit instantly. What’s next for you? I recently joined the Cinematic Orchestra, so we’re doing some touring. I’m also preparing for new projects down the road and traveling.

crew view

COACHELLA is a three day weekend for you, but for the staff who makes it happen, it’s a year-round adventure


Food Fight

NAME: Stacy Vee JOB: Talent Coordinator YEARS WITH COACHELLA: 9 FAVE PART OF YOUR JOB: Working with the staff at Goldenvoice. We all care so much about what we do. Everyone is supportive and really funny! SURVIVAL TIP: None! Sometimes barely making it out alive can be a lot of fun.





NAME: B-Tec JOB: Festival Architect YEARS WITH COACHELLA: 4.396 FAVE PART OF YOUR JOB: The best part is arriving with no one and nothing on the site but beautiful green grass and scenery, then creating an environment to provide the attendees with what some call, “The weekend of their lives”. SURVIVAL TIP: Bring your swag and express yourself freely. Don’t be shy—make some friends and bring your dancing shoes. NAME: Amanda Gray JOB: Box Office Manager YEARS WITH COACHELLA: 4 FAVE PART OF YOUR JOB: All the people I get to meet! SURVIVAL TIP: As a redhead: BRING SUNSCREEN!!!

NAME: Justin Ferreira JOB: Camping Director YEARS WITH COACHELLA: 11 FAVE PART OF YOUR JOB: Getting to throw parties for a living, because I love to party! SURVIVAL TIP: Don’t swim in Lake Eldorado, it has vicious corgis in it!








On The Waterfront Lake Eldorado offers campers a great way to chill in the desert sun.

Fact, the town of Indio was founded as the halfway point between Yuma and Los Angeles for trains to re-fi ll their water supply. Fact, average rainfall in Indio is only 3.5 inches per year. Fact, without irrigation, you wouldn’t be sitting on the cool green grass, reading this magazine, in the middle of the friggin’ desert. So why not enjoy a little man-made lake splendor to go with the un-naturally occurring agriculture under your feet. Lake Eldorado offers a serene alternative to the constant bustle that is the main campground. Prebuilt safari tents for two or four campers come stocked with cots and sleeping bags, while mobile showers and flushing toilets keep the H2O flowing. Nothing can top waking up in the early desert sun and feasting your eyes on the beautiful pond, with palm trees and mountain tops reflecting off the glistening surface. Now you’re refreshed and ready to battle the desert dehydration all day. Drink it in.



Feed yourself at the Farmers Market. by Daiana Feuer

Gone are the days of eating three day old sun-melted cheese squares from the bottom of a cooler, along with endless mushy peanut butter sandwiches. Last year, Coachella introduced a certified farmers market to the campground, open all weekend from 7AM to 2 PM. A dozen farmers from within a hundred miles of the Indio bring their 25-foot long refrigeration trucks full of berries, artisan bread, oranges, avocado, fi ne cheese, apples, watermelon, honey, organic coffee, tomatoes and more. Campers lined up by the hundreds for “the green drink,” a liquid pick-me-up with ten types of greens, yerba mate and agave. The festival’s food vendor coordinator Christine Anguiano has gotten to know the audience palate over the years. While spicy pizza pie remains popular, she says an organic, pesticide-free farmer’s market fits the Coachella demographic. “In general, the attendees are healthy. There’s lots of vegetarians and vegans.” And, of course, L.A. people love caressing fresh, crisp, kale on a warm weekend morning while sipping from coconuts to cure their hangovers. Paul Palodichuk and his wife Giacomina manage all the certified farmers markets in the Coachella Valley. To them, the campground market is special, if only because of the stories that don’t usually occur at a regular weekly market. “Last year was a great success,” Palodichuk recounts. “In fact, when the watermelon vendor announced that he was down to his last watermelon, a guy from the back of the line paid him $100 to get his hands on it. True story.” That individual’s indulgence turned out to be a good deed in disguise, since the farmers market donates proceeds to a worthy local non-profit. This year, the Palm Springs Cultural Center will benefit from every latte, croissant and persimmon sold. And since many people asked last year, we’ll tell you in advance that, no, a persimmon is not a tomato—although it looks like one. Try it, it’s sweet! The farmers return in 2011, with new confections to entice hungry campers. You can feast on goat cheese popsicles, raspberry sorbet and organic date shakes. Everything is fresh, in season, and locally farmed, so don’t ask for bananas and pineapple (there are no tropics in this part of the desert). But there will be yoga in the morning to stretch out the kinks from sleeping in a tent. Also, please don’t try to bathe in the farmers’ sinks again. That’s just undignified hobo behavior.

the Creators Project Coachella’s new art partners take tech-art global. by Leslie Madill

The Creators Project is an innovative venture hatched between computer giant Intel and independent-thought bible Vice in 2010, determined to bring forward the world’s most amazing up-and-coming artists who use technology in an innovative way. “With The Creators Project, we wanted to create a platform to showcase these talents, to showcase these emerging artists and, furthermore, to take it beyond the conventional media channel and create a multifaceted, multidimensional institution, a global salon for creative ideas,” says Eddy Moretti, Creative Director at Vice.

Be it through audio or visual mediums, the project has helped strengthen the global art community by providing access to high-quality production tools. It also provides “Creators” with a worldwide forum for exposure through various initiatives, including a video website (thecreatorsproject.com), a documentary TV series, and event partnerships such as this year’s Coachella festival. The Creators Project is the ultimate showcase for front-runners in the international art community. “Leading and emerging artists, musicians, fi lmmakers, and designers from across the world were pushing technology to its limits, providing stirring examples

photos: (top 1-r) Muti Randolph’s “Tubo” @ San Paulo Event by Muti Randolph; Muti Randolph’s “Cube” @ New York Event by Bryan Derballa; Muti Randolph’s “Cube” @ New York Event by Muti Randolph; Kele Okereke @ London Event by Dan Dennison; (bottom l-r) Radical Friend’s “The Digital Flesh” @ London Event by Dan Dennison; Crowd @ London Event by Dan Dennison; Emicida by Fernanda Negrini; London Event by Dan Dennison

of innovation and originality,” David Haroldsen, Global Partnership Marketing manager of Intel explains. “We had to tell their story. The Creators Project brings technology to life in all the very best ways…allowing people to interact with our company in entirely new places.” One of those places is Coachella, where United Visual Artists (UVA), the famed UK art and design collective specializing in interactive lighting experiences, have been bestowed the honor of working with headliners to create their main-stage set design. “We really wanted to create a strong visual statement that would create an initial sense of awe as people approach,” says UVA artist Ben Kreukniet, who will not only be attending Coachella for the fi rst time, but also innovating it. “Expect things to change. The artists aren’t on our stage. They’re in it.” On another part of the grounds, 2010 Creator Muti Randolph, a Brazilian audio-visual “masterbuilder,” is back to design the Sahara dance tent. Out to create an immersive experience, Intel’s Haroldsen continues, “We are out to give the festival-goer as many ‘wow’ moments as possible. It’s going to be fun.” Also attending the festival for the fi rst time is Brazilian rap superstar Emicida, who is producing, releasing and distributing his album through The Creators Project’s latest endeavor, The Studio. “Whether it’s in fi lm, music or the fi ne arts, a lack of access to production and distribution has left some young artists disenfranchised and frustrated,” said VICE Founder Shane Smith about The Studio. “The Creators Project created The Studio to show the world that there is another model for supporting creativity, a model where the artist and the artwork come fi rst. To show our commitment, we will produce and distribute artworks globally while allowing The Studio artists to own, forever, any of the work that they create for us.” Echoing those sentiments, Emicida explains that technology means different things depending on what part of the world you live in, stating “you talk about

technology and third world countries, these are things [that] seem to be unrelated.“ On the flip side, Creator Hojun Song also hopes to break barriers and stereotypes about technology’s function in the art world. “People who see tech-artwork seem to be more into the tech side of the artwork. But I want to show how technology assists our artworks to come alive, and I want to show and make a point of why we use it.” For the Korean artist, the thought of attending Coachella is eye-opening, as he explains that there are definitely no similar festivals in his home country. “People in Korea really enjoy music festivals but don’t have access to so many current musicians in one place. So a festival like Coachella is a dream for them; a far away dream!” Coachella has long been a destination that inspires typically underground musicians to live out their dream of performing on a larger stage, and that same attitude has been rightfully extended to the arts community, who have found in the festival a rare chance to be seen by a lot of eyeballs. The Creators Project seeks to have that same amplifying effect on a global level, with those at the head of the project determined to out-do past successes with every new endeavor. “We didn’t really quite wrap our heads around the magnitude of the global appetite for innovation. This comes from the collision of art and technology,” said Deborah Conrad, Intel Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Last year, we celebrated a new generation of creative and artistic geniuses. In our second year, we’ll continue the celebration, but evolve the program to become a patron for the creative process.” Conrad continues, “We’re going bigger, better, richer and deeper in 2011 to empower even more creators in unimaginable ways. Prepare to be wowed.”

FRANCIS AND THE LIGHTS Francis and the Lights is a New York-based party band with a propulsive and funky synth vibe that will take you back to ’80s Prince. Singer Francis Farewell Starlite has the chops and swagger with just a touch of crazy. He’s often overcome by frantic fits of frenzied dancing, be it twirling across the stage, imagining himself in a Gene Kelly movie musical or clutching his chest to accompany his Otis Redding-styled soulful moaning. With looks like a cleaned-up Lux Interior from the Cramps and a touring stint with Drake on the resume, Francis and the Lights is worth a look.

EARLY RISERS: Band before 3PM.

TRAMPLED BY TURTLES Gotta love a well-played mandolin and some banjo at warp speed. Minnesota’s Trampled By Turtles fi rst came to Indio last year to play Stagecoach, which means they can hang with the real country folk. Now they’ve crossed over to show the Coachella audience how the fiddle can shred. The band has its ballads, too, inspired by the cold, lonesome landscape of the North Country. But when they go fast, it’s like a wagon wheel, putting the “shake your ass” in bluegrass.

Can’t decide if you should have “just one more” before crawling into your tent? Perhaps these early Coachella performers can help make your decision to call it a night a bit easier. by Daiana Feuer

Eliza Doolittle, Cold Cave, The Henry Clay People, Off!

MENOMENA Menomena sound a lot like their hometown of Portland, OR—clean cut but laidback. Using advanced D.I.Y. tactics, the band creates catchy and unusual rock songs, with a saxophone and glockenspiel often involved. The tunes are melodic but untied, tame on the outside and experimental on the inside. Who else makes music by playing a meticulous improvisation game involving a Digital Looping Recorder where they pass the mic and make sounds on the fly? THE JOY FORMIDABLE Wielding a traditional setup—drums, guitar and bass—The Joy Formidable’s instruments strive for epic proportions without elaborate ceremony. Upbeat indie rock with an adherence to the Grunge Law Of Dynamics (which states that every loud part must alternate with a soft part), this three-piece band from Wales could hang with The Breeders in 1993. The music gets scuzzy, but singer Ritzy Bryan has a sweet girlish voice that never becomes abrasive or whiny. Audiences generally responds with friendly head banging. Fun fact: a fan once made a video of himself masturbating off-screen to the band’s fi rst single, “Cradle,” which was banned by YouTube. Don’t do that.

Francis and the Light, Trampled by Turtles, The Joy Formidable, Menomena, Freelance Whales, Glasser

FREELANCE WHALES The dream-like Freelance Whales took a very short trip from busking the subways of New York to appearing in Starbucks commercials. In fact, these five musicians look as if they met on the subway, drawn to each other because they all wore the same Ben Gibbard t-shirt on the same day. Singing in unison, the second band on this list with a prominent glockenspiel plays a few other “old time” instruments—banjo, harmonium, some mandolin—in their newfangled way.

COLD CAVE Cold Cave’s brand of well-crafted dense electro pop is dark and gloomy while still somehow upbeat. Futuristically cynical lyrics sung by Wesley Eisold and Caralee McElroy hook around beats and patterns that pile up between the two of them and bandmate Dominick Fernow. The group usually performs in dark places with the band silhouetted against a bright colorful screen, but at Coachella, Cold Cave ventures into the daylight.

GLASSER Glasser began as a one-woman band, a bedroom project conceived by Cameron Mesirow in Los Angeles. She composed all of the music and then added some live musicians to fi ll out the lush orchestrations. Call it electronic folk: beat-heavy with hypnotizing celestial loops, colliding together, alternately hitting at hard and soft angles. Sometimes her musical creations resemble outer space, if outer space had a magic necklace that turn it into a person so it can fly inside itself. She dances like a cat playing with a butterfly, so defi nitely check that out.

ELIZA DOOLITTLE A cherubic babe with mermaid hair wearing short shorts, Eliza Doolittle hit number three on the UK charts last year with her retro-inspired bubbly pop. Sprinkle some Lolita and Gossip Girl in the mix, and you’ve got something good, like Amy Winehouse’s little sister returning from a semester at an all girls’ boarding school. Even her stage name is jailbait sexy; Eliza Doolittle being the Cockney flower girl who learns to speak like a proper lady in My Fair Lady.

OFF! Punk rock isn’t supposed to breed supergroups. But that’s damn near what Off! is, featuring Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven Shane McDonald (Redd Kross), Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/Rocket From The Crypt) and legendary inciter Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerk ). The group recently ran into some trouble in Arizona, getting arrested for stealing used cooking grease to fuel their bio-diesel powered tour van, proving that just because the dreads are getting a little grey doesn’t mean these hardcore legends can’t still aggravate “the man.”

HENRY CLAY PEOPLE The Los Angeles music scene is often classified by neighborhood. Over the last five years, The Henry Clay People have become the unsung leaders of the Silver Lake tribe by playing a grip of local shows—until they started getting invites to tour with Airborne Toxic Event, Silversun Pickups, and Ben Harper. They are a feel good band you can depend on for wholesome fun sprinkled with Neil Young inspired moments. Photo: Francis and the Lights by Benedict Evans; Trampled by Turtles by Steven Walter; Menomena by Alicia J. Rose; Off! by Dan Monick; Eliza Doolittle by Andrew Whitton; Glasser by Aliya Naumoff; Cold Cave by Sebastian Miynarski

Ask Lindsay

Illustration by Xavier Schipani

Once you step onto the Coachella grounds, you’ve entered a world where the normal rules of etiquette and good manners don’t apply. Where anything can happen, and even “common sense” is a vague concept. To help you navigate the dubious waters of proper Coachella behavior, we asked Lindsay, Goldenvoice’s Queen of Conduct, to guide you. You meet an amazing guy who is camping onsite, but your friends all have a big party house nearby. Do you venture to spend a night in a tent, or do you try to kidnap him back to your luxurious crash pad? If you are sure you’re ready to commit to your Coachella hook-up, I would say hit it in the tent and quit it. Just remember that a tent affords even less privacy then college roommates do. The walk of shame from a tent comes with the knowing eyes of your camping neighbors. But hey, a good hook-up is a good hook-up and a good story can last much longer than the three days of the festival! It’s all about the memories; good and bad. Liquor before beer never fear. We all know that one. But when you’re out all day at a festival, how do you imbibe and still avoid the inevitable crash? Use water as a glorified chaser. Make sure to have some before and after every drink. Or better yet, I’m a big fan of Vitamin Water & vodka. Hydrate and de-hydrate at the same time! A friend wants to ditch a set before the final number to avoid the massive crowd dash. You simply must hear this band up until their very last note. How do you convince your pal to stay? Newsflash! We’re doing everything we can to help with the massive crowd dash. It’s not worth missing any bands to sit in your car or get home a few minutes early! Send your friend on the shuttle, or dangle the car keys—that should shut them up pretty quickly. There are so many cool and friendly people at Coachella. How can I tell if this guy/ gal I just met is my new BFF, or someone just trying to pick me up? Uh, who cares? It’s Coachella, not Burning Man. The future of your temporary civilization isn’t at stake. My boyfriend wanted to see Band X while I was dancing to DJ Y, so he went off without me. I’m fine with that, but how long do I have to wait for him to come back before I go off and find my own fun? You have other friends at Coachella, right? In the days of cell phone technology and the Coachella iPhone app, go do your thing and meet up with him later! Food is essential at a weekend-long festival, but most of it isn’t healthy (or attractive). Is it ok to eat that giant messy sausage covered in onions and mustard? Bacon-wrapped hot dog carts are found outside every club in Los Angeles for the same reason funnel cake and pulled-pork sandwiches are so close to the Sahara Tent: everyone is sloshed, and no one is thinking about their diet. Big YES. Also, if you are not following the water rule from above, you’ll probably just throw it up anyway. You get to the field at noon and of course it’s scorching. But by evening the desert will be freezing. Fashion tips? Dress whore-y, leave whore-y! And by that, I mean: wear the least amount of clothing on your way in, and steal someone’s awesome sweater on your way out. Think American Apparel’s bright colors or spandex and you pretty much can’t go wrong. If it’s cute, and you’ve never worn it, it’s totally fashion forward. Math problem. I have two extra VIP wristbands. I’m hanging out with my best friend, who is hanging out with her ex-boyfriend, who brought along his friend who I think is pretty cute. Who doesn’t get the VIP? Neither dude, for sure. I shouldn’t even need to answer this one. Have fun!

Eight awesome Coachella bass players. by Joshua Glazer, Leslie Madill and Richard Thomas

If you’ve paid attention to rock music for the past decade, you might find yourself a little concerned over the art of the bass guitar. Sure, Flea and his Chili Peppers still put out good records, and ex-Interpol Carlos D was the most fashionable guy with a four-string since Sid Vicious, but one look at Coachella performers the Black Keys, Sleigh Bells and the Kills—all without bass players—might make you think the instrument was headed for extinction. Not if these musicians have anything to say about it.

Tyler Pope (!!!) What good is disco-punk without the funk? Having played in the studio and live with LCD Soundsystem, Hercules & Love Affair and Out Hud, Tyler Pope is a one-man genre-creating machine. Seeing him on stage with his original posse !!! is where you’ll get the best taste of his effortless groove. JG Nikolai Fraiture (The Strokes) Kings of Leon bass player Jared Followill once cited fellow Coachella headliners the Strokes as the reason he wanted to start a band, saying, “The title track [from This Is It] was one of the fi rst bass lines I learned.” Now that they’re all old enough to drink whiskey and talk about Grammy nominations, mentor and mentee come together to share the Coachella stage. LM

Photos (clockwise from top): Tyler Pope by Christine Unten (christineunten.com); Jenny Lee Lindberg by Matt Jones (LegendaryPhotoImages.com); Nikolai Fraiture by Theo Wargo (Getty Images); John Taylor by Gavin Elder; Leo Williams, Brian Truax by Pavel Oleinik (flickr.com/murdoc21inc); Jesse P. Keeler; (center) Brian Gibson

Leo Williams (Big Audio Dynamite) The co-founder of Big Audio Dynamite with his pal and former Clash guitarist Mick Jones, Williams went on to form techno-dubreggae innovators Dreadzone after B.A.D. disbanded (the first time) in 1989. That’s him playing on the deliciously weird “E=MC2.” RT Jesse P. Keeler (DFA 1979) Imagine if Jack White only played bass instead of guitar in the White Stripes. Now imagine if Jack White’s other gig was as half of superstar electro DJ duo MSTRKRFT. It might make you shake your head, but that’s exactly the life that Death From Above 1979’s Jesse P. Keeler is living. JG John Taylor (Duran Duran) Eighties star Taylor comes from another era when the bass guitar was being rapidly replaced by electronic boxes. Thirty years later and we still nod our heads in funky ways when the bass solo on Duran Duran’s mega-hit “Rio” comes over the radio. JG Brian Gibson (Lightning Bolt) Equally inspired by Japanese rock legends the Boredoms and minimalist composers like Philip Glass, Lightning Bolt appeals to both your inner riotgrrl as well as math nerd. Gibson plays his bass tuned to cello! How cool (or uncool depending on where you’re standing) is that? LM Brad Truax (Interpol) With the departure of Carlos D—one of the few iconic bassists from the ’00s—Interpol filled the space with multiinstrumental legend David Pajo. With Pajo recently departed, it’s now up to Brad Truax to fill these doubly big shoes. With a CV that includes stints in Gang Gang Dance, Animal Collective and Home, we suspect it won’t be a problem. JG Jenny Lee Lindberg (Warpaint) That white Rickenbacker 4003 Lindberg slings around ain’t light, and she plays up and down that fretboard like her fingers are trying to plug leaks in the hull of a sinking ship. Get up close for this gig so that ten years from now, you can say you were there. RT

Deep cuts from the shapeshifting soulman, Cee Lo Green.

“The Crookers transformed this tank into a crazy bouncing ball.” 13. Project Bassline – “Drop the Pressure (Jack Beats Remix)” The best in innovation for that year. There isn’t much more to add to a track that seems perfect. 14. Tiga – “Mind Dimension (Bloody Beetroots Remix)” My fi rst remix under the Bloody Beetroots name where I used a TR-808. When you hear the kick drum nothing else matters. Huge! 15. 3 is a Crowd – “What is a DJ” Probably no one knows that this is a sample from Logic’s sound library. It does the trick! I haven’t heard many electro pieces with a jazz break. Fun! 16. Les Petit Pilous – “Wake Up” One of the longest and most efficient climaxes ever thought of. Really nice! 17. Motor – “Death Rave” I heard this piece for the fi rst time in Denver. I immediately wanted it to open my sets. It is really rude and has no respect. 18. The Bloody Beetroots – “Warp 7.7 (feat. Steve Aoki)” Wow! This is a huge piece. At the time, I was experimenting with a single synth to uphold the whole song. I’d say that fi nding this nice instrument harmonized in 5th helped me a lot to understand the use of the essential. 19. Bird Peterson – “Essence” Bird! Bird! Bird! I don’t understand why Bird isn’t as famous as he deserves to be. He’s extremely good, original, and he surprises me with every production. I’ve used this piece both as the third track in my DJ sets, and as the third to last. Complete.

The Bloody Beetroots return to Coachella in 2011 with their current live incarnation, the modestly named Death Crew 77. CAMP looks back four years

5. Prodigy – “Omen (Hervè’s End of the World Remix)” I didn’t like the Prodigy’s last album very much, but luckily, Hervè spewed out this atomic bomb. 6. Jokers of the Scene - “Baggy Bottom Boys” This is truly a great piece, with a ’90s feel to it, but redesigned for the future. I’ve played it a lot.

ago to the duo’s devastating daytime DJ set with a track-by-track account from Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo.

Photo: Kristian Dowling (Getty Images)

1. The Bloody Beetroots – “Warp 1.9 (feat. Steve Aoki)” Who would have thought that “Warp” would get so big in such a short time. This song allowed my project to become known even in the mainstream. I remember I composed it and recorded it in my parents’ basement in no more than ten minutes. 2. Gigi Barocco – “Puah” “Puah” is the word to be used when you see Gigi Barocco on stage and this is the perfect song to describe his charm. 3. Mr. Oizo – “Positif ” Oizo is one of the few people who doesn’t care about music, and because of this, he manages to produce something that can be traced back only to him. He’s a positive genius of modern music. 4. Redman – “I Hold the Crown (Gigi Barocco Mix)” I commissioned this remix to Gigi because I lacked the time. They had asked for me and Aoki, but we were too busy with the RIFOKI project. So I called Gigi, who gave me a heartfelt “yes” and produced this remix in a week.

7. Proxy – “Raven (Crookers Remix)” “Raven” was a hit in the underground. The Crookers transformed this tank into a crazy bouncing ball. 8. Boys Noize – “My Head (Para One Remix)” These two are a nice pair, always looking for style, and you can hear it. Neither one of them is ever predictable and you can hear that as well. One of Para One’s best remixes to date. 9. Digitalism – “Homezone (Proxy Remix)” Biggest party ever! I have many memories about this track. Proxy is a guarantee if you want some really dark and deeply inspired drum ‘n’ bass. He destroyed and reconstructed this song in the best possible way. 10. MSTRKRFT – “Bounce (The Bloody Beetroots Remix)” I listened to this mix recently—maybe I compressed it a bit too much! Lol! It was really a lot of fun to remix MSTRKRFT. I think I did a good job. 11. Bingo Players – “Get Up (Diplo Remix)” What can I say? Diplo is always a guarantee. 12. Beastie Boys – “Sabotage (DJ Kue Remix)” How many remixes has DJ Kue made? 10,000? Every time I get a new bootleg I am amazed. This guy has no limits and “Sabotage” has an awesome hook.

20. Joachim Garraud – “Moi Y’aime Bien Moa (JFK + ST MANDREW Edit)” Nice house vibe edited by the cousins! Cyclical, perfect to keep the dance going. 21. Audioporno – “Choo Choo (Bloody Beetroots Remix)” This is the song I use to begin the ending of my sets. I love to cut off the climax and play with the CDJs. I remember I even burnt one in a sudden frenzy. 22. RIFOKI – “Sperm Donor” Mixed especially to be played in an electro set. Efficient, straight, short and fun. 23. The Bloody Beetroots - “Cornelius” What can I say about “Cornelius?” It was my tribute to Michael Moorcock. An initiation to chaos theory associated to the name of Bloody Beetroots. Violent. Oy! 24. Daft Punk - “One More Time (Bloody Beetroots Remix)” / Daft Punk - “Digital Love (Bloody Beetroots Remix)” To tell the truth, this is a bootleg I produced by cutting two Daft Punk tracks. I wanted something that could come close to my compression and that wouldn’t be too long. So I built it myself, adding on kick drums and snares that I usually use, and adding harmonics to make these two electronic milestones sound “extreme.” 25. The Bloody Beetroots – “I Love The Bloody Beetroots” This is the track I use to say goodbye to the public. It’s long, very long, structured harmonically. 26. The Bloody Beetroots – “Warp 1.9 (feat. Steve Aoki)” A little end-of-set surprise. Delirium.

Fashion and lifestyle brand The Hundreds redefines what a simple T-shirt can mean to its wearer. by Charlie Amter Photography by Rae Threat

The Hundreds’ flagship store in Los Angeles is easy to miss. Located on tiny Rosewood Avenue just off Fairfax, the all-black shop is small and unassuming. But make no mistake, behind the small store lies a growing global empire of cool. “The biggest thing for us is that Hundreds is a very personal brand,” reveals Bobby “Hundreds” Kim, the 30-year-old co-founder of the clothing company that appeals to a diverse array of teens and twentysomethings around the world, from Japan to Germany. “When people buy our clothes, they’re not necessarily

just buying pieces of apparel; they are tapping into us as personalities.” Since 2003, Kim and his partner Ben Shenassafar have been releasing T-shirts the way indie labels release records, rolling out each new “release” with detail and thought behind the designs. “It’s basically how a band would write songs. That’s what would go into the T-shirt’s designs,” he says. “You would fi nd out about the T-shirts and the stories behind them by the website.” While The Hundreds’ philosophy of connecting directly with their audience is not novel in an era where huge brands now routinely interface with fans via Tumblr and Twitter, Kim and Shenassafar were way ahead of the game—building relationships nearly a decade ago. “We have a direct connection with our customer; that used to be a foreign idea,” explains Kim. “Now it’s becoming a prevalent notion to have a blog and a Twitter account where you can follow what the owner of a company is doing or what kind of music they are listening to, but that didn’t exist in 2003. “When I was growing up I was a big fan of Stussy, but I didn’t know what kind of music Shawn Stussy was into. I didn’t know his sense of humor or where he lived. All I knew is he was a surfer. I wanted to break down that wall.” Coming from Riverside’s close-knit punk rock scene, Kim applied that philosophy to The Hundreds. So perhaps it’s more than incidental that his clothing appeals to musicians of all stripes; from rock to rap. Countless bands are fans of the brand and everyone from Morrissey to Rihanna has dropped by the small LA store. The music connection made itself more obvious last year when The Hundreds x Coachella collaboration T-shirt made its debut. A second version of the tee is being prepared for this year’s show. So far, the formula has worked well for Kim and Shenassafar. They now sell in over 20 countries worldwide and oversee small Hundreds stores in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. A Santa Monica store is the latest branch of the bourgeoning brand. Still, the label remains just below the radar enough to maintain its edge. “We’re still so underground,” Kim insists. “Even in our own category of skate wear, a lot of people haven’t heard of us.” Perhaps the most interesting aspect of The Hundreds might be the unlikely appeal across multiple demographics. Rappers, rockers, skaters, hipsters, fashionistas—anyone with an investment in leadingedge style seems drawn to the signature bomb with eyeballs. “That’s the beauty of our brand,” Kim enthuses. “In the hardcore scene, there are kids that think The Hundreds is a hardcore thing. But in the BMX community they think the same thing. In some high schools, the skaters are the ones who wear The Hundreds. In other schools it might be the athletes. It’s black kids at one school and the white kids at another school. You see that if you hang out at our store one day. It could be a ’hood kid who comes in or a skinny gutter punk.” On the day of our visit to Hundreds HQ, it wasn’t just kids coming by to look at hats and shirts, but Japanese twenty-somethings, too. Now, fans of the brand have more to look at when they drop by the Rosewood Avenue shop. Kim and his partner have recently taken over both adjacent storefronts and are already exhibiting photographs in a small pop-up gallery in one of the new spaces. “People know they can fi nd us here,” said Kim. “We’re a destination.”

When grunge was king, “The London” Suede set the stage for the ’90s British Invasion. by Celeste Tabora and Elaine Reyes Photography by Ed Sirrs I recall shamelessly squealing at my friend’s television. He had some bootleg VHS tapes—Top of the Pops performances, handheld live footage, videos never played by the fading promise of MTV. The video quality was poor—you could tell it had been dubbed a few times over—but this didn’t prevent the British sass and snobbishly handsome faces of Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler from shining through. I was eventually dubbed my own copy, and with this slightly more degraded version of these precious moving images, I became the envy of my friends.

I was lured in by the velvet curtains, the unbuttoned top, and the androgynous dancing of a lead singer who might have made a better girl than me. What kept me coming back was the precisely-tuned guitar rock and whip-smart lyrics that told the story of a UK underground I could only dream of, yet felt immediately akin to. Suede (“The London” came later, and only in America) were one of those rare bands that made an indelible mark and set the bar for my musical tastes. Songs like “Beautiful Ones” and “Trash” became frequent faves at the local “alternative” clubs, where we danced in a circle of friends, mouthing the words and pointing at one other. I realized you didn’t need a mosh pit to have an anthem, and that songs can be dark and dangerous in a different way. For Suede, it all started with a listing in NME’s October 28, 1989 issue: “Young guitar player needed by London based band. Smiths, Commotions, Bowie, PSB’s. No Musos. Some things are more important than ability.

Call Brett.” This charming little ad was answered by none other than Butler, who joined Anderson, Mat Osman and Justine Frischmann (later front-woman for Elastica). Suede 1.0 was incepted.

By 1992, Suede had released what is now cited as their breakthrough single, a glammy slice of Smiths-meets-Marc Bolan pop perfection called “The Drowners.” At the time, American grunge still dominated the airwaves. But, like a pebble thrown into a still pond, Suede began to cut a path for yet another British Invasion, one where Oasis and Blur would play the part of the Beatles and the Stones. Anderson claims the group was “never really a part of Britpop,” but admits that the group is often cited as its instigators. “I just think that it’s so belittling to label us like that.” Britpop or not, Suede spent the next few years on the UK charts, peaking worldwide with their third album, Coming Up. Through the next two records, the band felt the ebb and flow of their craft amidst the waters of commercial success, and began to feel that itching sensation that comes with questioning a band’s longevity. In 2003, though still beloved in their home of England, Suede played what they called their fi nal five shows in London—each one dedicated to an album—followed by one last performance to close out the year. But it was only a matter of time until they, like many of their contemporaries, would resurface. “I think there’s always nostalgia for good music,” Anderson concludes. “If it was good then, people are going to want to hear it again.”

coachoosers Can’t decide? Ask an expert.

THE BLACK KEYS - Five Grammy nominations and three wins? Pretty amazing group. I love hearing their songs playing in commercials. DURAN DURAN - This takes me back to my childhood, listening to them on FM radio. (The one with an antenna!) Classics like “Rio” and “Hungry Like The Wolf” will never go out of style.

ARCADE FIRE - One of my favorite bands, their music is so uplifting; like church hymns. They just won a welldeserved Grammy for Album of the Year, and Coachella is where they made their breakthrough. I can’t wait to see them, this time with Main Stage status.

Pasqualle Rotella (CEO, Insomniac) THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS Psychedelic, electronic and groovy, with a splash of rock and roll swagger, the Chems have been rocking dance floors for more than a decade. They always deliver, whether they’re playing live or DJing. They’re perfect for the polo field. EMPIRE OF THE SUN - Coachella’s always recruited top artists from around the globe and this year’s no different. This Australian duo killed it with their singles “Walking on a Dream” and “We Are the People.” There’s a J. G. Ballard short story with the same name as this band— Ballard’s the guy who wrote Crash, that crazy story about car wreck fetishes. THE STROKES - You know what makes electronic music even better? Taking a time-out with NY’s finest rock and roll. The Strokes are just what the doctor ordered. STEVE ANGELLO - Swedish House Mafia rule. One third of the trio, Steve is a can’tmiss DJ who rips off epic house sets time after time. Big room, big house, lots of remixes with big pop stars. He headlined 2010’s Nocturnal Festival and was very, very popular with the fans.

BOYS NOIZE - Another great in the long line of German DJs, Boys Noize drops techno and searing electro tracks. He’s got lots of energy and a really strong stage presence. He’s verwundernd! (That’s “awesome” in German—I think.)

Brad Ramos (Chief of Police, Indio) with a little

AFROJACK - He’s the new up-andcomer. I like him so much that he played Electric Daisy Carnival last year on both days. Just look through the tunes he has remixed and you know what he’s about, “Hey Sexy Lady,” “Let’s Make Nasty,” “Toyfriend.”

LAURYN HILL - I love Lauryn Hill, solo and with the Fugees. I can relate to her lyrics, she has awesome vocals, and I can listen to her music while dancing or trying to relax.

AXWELL - Like I said, Swedish House Mafia rule. Everyone in Swedish House Mafia who’s playing the festival should get some Coachella fan love—count me in for Axwell. LAIDBACK LUKE - This Dutchman will be flying right into the hearts of the crowd. He plays everything under the sun with a generous contribution of fun remixes. He works with David Guetta, Steve Angello and Axwell, so there’s no question he’s got great musical taste. MAGNETIC MAN - Benga, Skream and Artwork. With original monster tunes, live remixes and customized visuals, these guys are the hottest live dubstep band in the world. They are crazy. Crazy good.

help from his daughters

GOGOL BORDELLO - I saw them for the first time at Coachella a few years ago, and they left such an impression on me that I couldn’t wait for them to come back. It’s the perfect setting to watch this band. Crowd participation is at an all-time high, dancing to the pounding gypsy beats. They’re a spectacle! KANYE WEST - As cocky as he is, he’s made some pretty damn good music throughout his career, and he’s unmistakably a hip-hop genius.


THE STROKES - I’m glad they’re performing despite rumors of them breaking up after Julian’s solo career. I love the bass in “Reptilia,” and can’t wait to hear music off the new album.

YELLE - I’m not a big fan of pop music here in the States because it’s usually too glossy, but bring some of Yelle’s French pop over here and I’m dancing all over the floor! I don’t know a word she says since she sings in French, but I have just as much fun trying figure what the heck she’s saying.

Photo: Pasqualle Rotella by Matthew Little Photography


Neil Schield (Owner, Origami Vinyl) GLASSER - Cameron Mesirow, a.k.a. Glasser, layers gorgeous vocals over experimental beats and soundscapes that pay homage to the more obscure textures of Bjork’s Homogenic and PJ Harvey’s vocal seduction. One of my top 10 albums of 2010. WARPAINT - Warpaint really broke out this past year with their debut album, The Fool, but for me it’s all about how hard these girls rock live. The interweaving of the guitars combined with the funky bass grooves put you in a trance. Oh, and Stella has got to be one of the best drummers out there today, period. WIRE - This band is one of the reasons a lot of these other bands playing at Coachella exist today. How they manage to stay relevant and continue writing groundbreaking music after 30-odd years befuddles me. You should really take this unique opportunity to see this band live. You may not have another chance. DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - I was totally caught off guard about these guys playing Coachella. I was lucky enough to

Drew Thomas (Videographer & Director, Coachella: The Movie) THE NATIONAL - It seems like there is a dearth of smart, non-ironic indie rock bands right now. The National is one of the few, and one of the greatest. “Mr. November” is an anthem. BEARDYMAN - Beatbox is like comedy. When it is great, there is nothing better, but when it is bad, there is little worse. Beardyman is a master. Seeing him live, one wonders if you should dance or simply stand there—mouth agape—and observe. OMAR RODRÍGUEZ-LÓPEZ - With Frank Zappa gone, where does one go for a glimpse of the truly groundbreaking and avant-garde? I suggest Omar RodríguezLópez. Throw in some guitar stunts and acrobatics to help the medicine go down. SLEIGH BELLS - Sleigh Bells is simply one of the most exciting new bands of the past five years. Their on-stage intensity offers a welcome counterpoint to the worrying return of shoegaze. LEFTFIELD - I’ll say it: the Sahara Tent is the most consistently great venue at Coachella, and this from a guy who

is not an electronic music connoisseur. Returning from an eight-year absence, Leftfield will be one of the most memorable sets at Coachella 2011. PHOSPHORESCENT - The Avett Brothers’ set at Coachella 2010 was a highlight. As long as Phosphorescent isn’t buried in the Gobi at noon on Sunday, his set could be a wonderful refuge from the heat and incessant BPMs echoing across the polo fields. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE - Over the years, there have been many bands and sets that I was convinced would be “epic,” “memorable,” and “destined to be in the next film.” I’m wrong as often as I’m right. I’m not wrong about the Animal Collective. This is not to be missed. BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE - Leonard Cohen, Metric, and the Arcade Fire are just a few Canadian greats to leave their mark at Coachella. After playing an explosive set years ago, Broken Social Scene return, hopefully with all 11 members. Oh, and Emily Haines is my heroine. THE BLACK KEYS - Admittedly, the Black Keys are a bit overexposed now. The jewelry-store ads just bug. But the Keys have always made deeply honest music and will undoubtedly put on a riveting set.

see them at the El Rey six years ago and felt assaulted (in a good way) . I can only imagine what these two are gonna do when given a huge soundsystem to work with. Get as close to the stage as possible because the hearing loss is totally worth it. PJ HARVEY - A few years back, I caught PJ Harvey at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles in support of White Chalk. Let’s just say it’s in my top three shows of all time, and I’ve seen a lot of fucking shows. MENOMENA - Menomena released my number one album of the ’00s, Friend and Foe. Their song craft and playing skills are pretty unrivaled in my opinion. I have made a vow to catch these guys every time they play LA. HEALTH - Oh my God! Don’t miss HEALTH. You will hate yourself on Monday when everyone says this was the band you should’ve seen but didn’t. Don’t be that person! PHANTOGRAM - I haven’t taken their album, Eyelid Movies, out of rotation since it came out. This was my top three records of 2010 and I’m sad to say I have yet to see them live. Which is the perfect reason why it’s a must to see them here and now.

desert jewels Coachella art installations are more than just convenient meet-up points by Jessica Jardine

For many, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival becomes, simply, Coachella: the three-day music bonanza. That extra tack-on of “Arts” in the title can fade slightly into the distance, especially for those who are yet to experience the event. It makes sense, given the high-wattage star power of the musical acts Coachella is able to book for its annual desert retreat. From Jay-Z and Madonna to Radiohead and Arcade Fire, the high caliber performers have helped to make the once-tiny festival-that-could into the worldwide standard for eclectic, genre-melding music gatherings. Once you walk on to the polo grounds, the visual art is immediately what sets Coachella apart from the pack. Coachella Art Director Paul Clemente is the man responsible for the eye-popping installations that pepper the Empire Polo Field each year. He brought in last year’s enormous crane sculpture—which became the go-to meeting point for the entire festival—and the electrifying Tesla coils that return spring after spring to light up the purple mountains. Ahead of this year’s festival, Clemente talked with CAMP to shed a bit of light on the careful process that goes into selecting the art for each year’s event, and how to best absorb the mind-boggling work that goes into each piece carefully placed on the grass.

“Coachella is known for discovery,” Clemente says, on a bright February day in LA. “After you’ve checked out one of your favorite bands at the main stage, you start making your way over to the Sahara Tent. But your experience is not put on hold until you get there. The art at Coachella is used to connect you from one stage to the next; from the known to the unknown.” Anyone who has attempted crossing the massive polo field knows that the journey between stages is where myriad adventures take place. Between the outlandish outfits—from full-body glitter and fairy wings to people on stilts—and the breathtaking natural skyline that pops above the white tents, Coachella’s art installations demand your attention. People kicking around fire-covered soccer balls melt into a carousel of bicycles you can hop on at your leisure, while strings of balloons stretch far into the air and 3D LED-lit passageways deposit you in front of the thumping dance music tent. For Clemente, a great deal of inspiration naturally comes from another desert festival that’s blossomed in recent years, but it’s not as simple as carting a sculpture from one patch of sand to the next. “The Coachella art program owes a great debt to the Burning Man Festival, as much of the large-scale installation art on the West Coast is being done for Burning Man,” he explains. “Almost all our artists continue to show there every year. It would be too easy, though, to just pick the best art from last year’s Burning Man and show it again at Coachella, so we have moved towards commissioning artists to do new work for our show.” Accomplished visual artists Michael Christian, Christian Ristow and Gerard Minakawa are all creating completely original pieces for Coachella 2011 and, while it’s significantly more expensive for the festival, Clemente strongly feels that “it’s worth the investment to provide our fans with a new and unique experience.” That dedication to enhancing the quality of the overall experience is exactly why Coachella has become the must-see destination for music and art lovers around the globe. Beginning in early September, Clemente and his team begin the selection process by collecting over 100 proposals from artists around the world, which are then whittled

“The art at Coachella is used to connect you from one stage to the next; from the known to the unknown.” / PAUL CLEMENTE down to a final list of 15 to 20 pieces by the new year. With four months to complete their approved project, the artists set to work, crafting one-of-a-kind installations that range in size from 50 square feet to an entire acre. There are, of course, those artists and performance groups who’ve become mainstays at the festival, like Syd Linge’s aforementioned twin Tesla Coils and Darren Barnes’ HotShot the Robot. More recent additions include the steampunk-meets-sideshowcircus known as the Lucent Dossier Experience and Do LaB, an LA-based production and lighting design collective that utilizes natural materials and found objects with shimmering, entirely magical results. As the camping contingent of the festival grows, so has Clemente’s attention to detail for those sleeping on the polo grounds each night. Sarah Scheideman of the Coachella Valley Art Scene blog will manage the camping art studios for the third year in a row, where she effectively “taps into the creativity of local valley artists to lead as many as ten distinct studios [and] enable literally thousands of music fans over the weekend to walk away with their own creations,” Clemente says. Meanwhile, campers have access to Makeover Mechanix, where a team of stylists, hair and makeup artists help fans transform into part of the show, even if that involves becoming an “alien rock star,” according to Clemente. He adds, “To even stand by and watch these kids become something they never thought possible can be really inspiring.”

Back on the concert grounds, this year will debut the Creators Project, which pairs international artists with several headlining acts to create set designs and installations that will appear on stage and throughout the festival. Yet, Clemente and his team know that the most alluring art imaginable still pales next to the otherworldly landscape that Coachella calls home. “We have perfect weather framed by blue sky, mountains and palm trees,” he enthuses. Because of this, Clemente asks that all the artists acknowledge the “scale of the natural environment” while working to break the continuity of the surrounding palm trees and allow people to “experience it the way you want; from afar, or under it, or in it.” All too aware of the festival’s primary draw, Clemente adds,“While [Coachella’s reputation] is mostly achieved through the music and the highest value stage productions available, the festival producers do everything in their power to retain this natural setting while simultaneously creating the possibility for music fans to have a truly transcendent experience.”

Photos: Cyclecide’s “Ferris wheel” by Sebastian Artz; Flaming Lotus Girls’ “Serpent Mother” by Jeff Kravitz; Buphalo Tomkiewicz’s “Fire-pod” by Frazer Harrison; Mike Ross’ Big Rig Jig by Matt Simmons; Crimson Collective’s “Ascension” by John Shearer; Darren Barnes’ HotShot the Robot by Michael Buckner. All photos courtesy of Getty Images.

RESTAURANTS Cheeky’s, Palm Springs Possibly the best breakfast in the Coachella Valley. Get there early or you will have to wait 30 minutes to be seated, but it’s defi nitely worth it. Breakfast and lunch only. Menu changes daily. Must try the Bacon Flight. Salsas, Cathedral City I’m 100% Mexican and grew up on Mexican food, so believe me when I tell you this is one of the best Mexican restaurants in the desert. Try the grilled garlic shrimp with a chavela. Rincon Norteno, Indio Another good Mexican restaurant. The food is extra greasy but sure tastes good. They have the best salsa in town, hands down. Cheap and located close to the concert in Old Town Indio. Keedy’s, Palm Desert This is your classic all-American diner. The breakfast is good, fast and cheap. Service is awesome. Not much has changed since they opened in 1957. Located in the center of the valley off Highway 111.

Koffi, Palm Springs The best coffee in the Coachella Valley. Try the Matcha Citron Green Tea Soy Latte. You’ll thank me later. Luscious Lorraine’s Organic Food & Juice Bar, Palm Desert Located inside of the independently owned health food store, Harvest Health Foods. Best place to go after a night of partying at the concert to pick up a Kombucha and eat a healthy, all-organic meal. SHOPS The Record Alley, Palm Desert The only independent record shop in the desert. They have a great selection of music and memorabilia and the staff is awesome. I’ve been going there since I learned to walk. Epidemic Skateshop, Cathedral City The desert’s premiere skate shop. Best selection of skateboard and clothing. Their skate team is super dope. Before you head to the festival, make sure to stop by and pick up the limited edition Alf Alpha x Epidemic Skateshop sunglasses.

Atoyac Market, Palm Desert The best Mexican meat market in the valley. Super clean. Come for all your BBQ needs. They sell fresh salsas and guacamole, plus they have their own bakery, and even a bank. This place is heaven. Gypsyland Thrift Store, Desert Hot Springs This is my favorite thrift store on the planet. They have what you are looking for. Family-owned, the staff is friendly. Great selection of vintage treasures. Revivals Thrift Stores, Palm Springs Very clean and organized thrift store. I always fi nd something good. BARS Amigo Room, Palm Springs Voted Best Hotel Bar in the world by Details Magazine, The Amigo Room lives up to the hype. This is my favorite bar in the desert. The vibe inside is super chill and there is always good music playing. I DJ the last Saturday of every month for my “World Famous” dance party hosted by the Coachella Valley Art Scene. Party is always cracking.

First in the alphabet and last on the poster, Palm Desert beat-making newcomer Alf Alpha gives CAMP a tour of the area surrounding Coachella that he calls home.

Sun Spots: Alf Alpha’s Guide to the Coachella Valley

Space 120, Palm Springs Good bar and live music venue. Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. Bartenders are fast. Best place in the desert to catch a live hiphop show.

Indian Canyons, Palm Springs The Indian Canyons is sacred land that the native Indians of Palm Springs still own. After a scenic hike, you can take a swim in the waterfalls. The cost is $10 to get in, but the experience is priceless.

Birba, Palm Springs New bar in town that serves artisan pizzas and drinks for a good price. Everything is outdoors so you can look at the stars while you sip some brew. I recommend the Spicy Jalapeño Margarita.

Painted Canyons, Mecca Located on the eastern end on the Coachella Valley, the Painted Canyons offer great hiking trails with views of the Salton Sea. Take a scenic drive along Box Canyon Road. Camping is allowed, but stay on the trails. Hikers are always getting air-lifted out.

The Red Barn, Palm Desert The #1 dive bar in the desert. Every local has a crazy Red Barn story. SITE SEEING Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree A 45-minute drive up Highway 62 will take you on a spiritual quest through the most captivating National Park that this country has to offer. Be prepared to have your mind blown.

Salvation Mountain, Salton Sea Get the rare opportunity to meet an 80-year-old desert legend in his very own colorfully painted, hand-crafted mountain made from dirt and water. About 30 minutes past the concert venue, heading east in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Bring lots of water and a camera. While you’re out there, visit the free RV oasis known as Slab City and meet some interesting locals.

Desert Hot Springs Skate Park, Desert Hot Springs Drive across the 10 Freeway to the beautiful city of Desert Hot Springs (known by the locals as “The Dirty D”) for the best skatepark in the desert. HOTELS The Ace Hotel, Palm Springs Hippest place to crash in the Coachella Valley. Rooms feel like your dream apartment. DJs spinning poolside and breathtaking views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Indie celebrity sightings and eye candy for days. The Travelodge, Palm Springs When the Ace Hotel is sold out, head down to the Travelodge. Hip, affordable rooms. Pools aren’t crowded and you can walk over to the Ace, which is next door, when you feel like crashing a party. GOOD READS The Coachella Valley Art Scene www.TheCoachellaValleyArtScene.com When looking for good music shows and venues, art gallery openings, or just cool, cheap things to do around the desert, this site has it all. It’s the one-stop shop to fi nd out what the local kids are up to and what’s happening week-to-week.

one to eleven A Coachella newbie and a grizzled veteran both agree that every year is a leap of faith worth taking.

THE VETERAN Richard Thomas hasn’t missed a day of Coachella...ever! Here’s why. Things I remember from Coachella ’99: Being able to run at full speed from one end of the field to the other. A DJ set between every Main Stage act. Lamb in the Mojave Tent. Kool Keith as Black Elvis. Completely forgetting where I parked. I mean, completely. That it all went down in October. What I remember most, however, is how grossly unprepared I was. There was no precedent, no secret shortcut in, no All Access wristband, and, as I learned around midnight, no vacancy. After getting turned away at four different motels, my friends and I pulled our rented Ford Expedition into the parking lot of a Super 8, folded all the seats down, and slept in the truck. That’s how we did it, mostly because it was the only way we could do it. I haven’t missed a single day of Coachella since. If there was a badge, I’d have unlocked that shit back in ’05. I’ve upped my lodging, parking and VIP game, and I’ve seen Perry Farrell perform more times than I’d like to admit. Regardless, that sense of adventure, uncertainty and desert camaraderie is just as strong today as it was back then—maybe even more so—and I think I know why. This year’s lineup has been a point of contention for some. For others, it’s the most amazing assemblage of musicians they’ve ever seen. Every February, when the lineup poster is revealed, the Coachella community transforms into a herd of art directors, fervently debating the importance of font size and placement on a page. For me, it’s nearly irrelevant. Sure it makes for great Status Updates, but to use an old sports adage, I don’t play for the name on the back of the jersey, I play for the name on the front. The whole is more than the sum of its parts, and when it comes to Coachella, the parts aren’t necessarily the performers to begin with.


There will always be “that naked dude.” There will always be “that incredible sunset performance.” “That celebrity” will always show up in the VIP and “that one band” will inevitably train wreck on stage. Chances are you’ll miss an incredible set in the Sahara Tent because “you don’t like techno,” but oddly enough, some folks don’t leave that stage all weekend, and never feel like they missed a thing. You will, however, miss the band with the early time slot because “that dude who couldn’t get his shit together at the house” made everyone late. And of course, you will have that amazing moment when you fi nally reunite with the people you came with but haven’t seen all day because cell reception sucks and they weren’t in that place they said they’d be at the time you agreed on. These are Coachella’s absolute truths, and it has only taken me the greater part of 11 years to figure them out. I don’t stress so much about set-times anymore because amazing performances are everywhere and Spicy Pie is never more than a few yards away. I don’t sweat where to stay because something invariably opens up at the last minute, and if it doesn’t, there’s always my car. I just worry about being able to stand up straight come Sunday, but that’s because I’m not 22 anymore. By the time you read this, I’ll be roaming the polo field like a lost dog, my stomach full of just the right mixture of alcohol, water and food that isn’t Mexican. I have no idea where this festival will be 11 years from now, but wherever it is, I’ll be there, too.


THE NEWBIE The legend of Coachella looms large for the first-timer Kristen McElwain.

I have never been to Coachella. I moved to Los Angeles from Austin, Texas, in May of last year. Straight out of college, towing a U-Haul attached to my ‘92 Corolla, I embarked on the 27-hour epic journey with my best friend in the passenger seat. Those who have made this drive know how mind-searingly dull it can be. Just when we thought we could bear it no more, we reached Indio. From the freeway, it could have been any small town in the vast desert. Smothered in heat and surrounded by an endless vista of snow tipped mountains, the flat expanses seemed to be holding in a dusty breath, as if this sleepy retirement destination was waiting for that one week each April when tens of thousands make their pilgrimage to Coachella, to exhale with youthful vigor. It is the idea of “pilgrimage” that has always made Coachella stand out in my imagination, apart from the urban festivals that I am well familiar with. Getting to Indio is not a quick meander down the street. You can’t just catch a bus to Coachella. As veterans will usually warn you, to do it right takes effort, planning, funds and foresight. Like a musically-led Oregon trail, the decisions you make before you head to the desert can make the difference between the life and death of your Coachella experience. Bobby Teenager scrounges away his hard-earned dollar bills, Lizzy Twentysomething turns in her vacation request to her grumpy boss, Yuppie Couple hires a babysitter for the weekend, Sam and Sally Single hit the gym, Tom Midlife steps up his music-blogging game tenfold, Fabio Industry secures his VIP wristband (plus one, please), and everyone goes through the timehonored tradition of honing their list of friends to choose those special someones to share the Coachella experience with. And they go. They go and they face mobs, lines, potential heat stroke, maybe even heartache, but they go. I have never been to Coachella, however, the dedication it fosters speaks volumes. And at the source of that dedication is trust. Trust in the experience. Trust in the promoters. Trust in those who preach the Coachella gospel, who pass down stories year after year. Coachella sold out in a record-breaking five days this year, without the tens of thousands of ticket holders being certain of anything. Some may have seen the lineup and made an informed purchase, but most people I talked to had their minds made up long before the poster came online. Those people aren’t spending the money to see a couple of favorite bands. They are making an investment in their memories. This year, I will make the same pilgrimage. Like many of others, this will be my fi rst Coachella. A milestone in my new Southern California life. I will make all the preparations—bum a ride, secure shelter, study the lineup and craft my schedule with Jedi-like concentration. But before I do all that, I have to surrender to the trust. Trust in Coachella to deliver something worth waiting for. Worth saving for. Worth planning for. Worth repeating.

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For some families, Coachella really is an all-ages adventure.

Bring the kids or get a sitter? It’s the question asked by families all over the world every year as Coachella approaches. While many opt to leave their little ones at home, an adventurous few pack up all the wipes, juice boxes, SPF 50+ sunscreen, and DVDs necessary to complete the daunting task of introducing their young child to thousands of their loudest and sweatiest friends. It’s not easy, but the moms and dads who have successfully risen to the challenge will tell you that it’s an experience unlike any other. Below are snapshots of four Coachella Kids.


Before going to Coachella with Daschel, it was just about the music. When we brought him, it was a completely new experience seeing it through his eyes. He enjoyed the music, yes, but he enjoyed all of the interactive parts just as much. The music became the background through which he experienced all things Coachella. It was fun and exciting in a whole new way. - Erin Swinfard, mother of Daschel

We had planned to skip Coachella the year our son was born, but then he came and was such an easy baby that by the time Coachella arrived, we knew we didn’t want to miss it. Music is a big part of our world, and what better way to introduce him to it than by getting him started early on our annual tradition. We scrambled for last-minute tickets, had a great time, and I’m guessing that at only two weeks old, he’s likely one of the youngest kids to ever have gone. It’ll be a pretty fun story to tell his friends one day. - Carol Heller, mother of Owen

Starting a family is such an amazing experience, but you go through a lot of changes at once. I quit my job and threw myself into motherhood 100%. After a short time, I found myself feeling a little lost as far as the old me versus the new mommy me. It sounds silly, but taking the kids to Coachella really melded those two versions of myself and made me realize that I didn’t have to sacrifice one for the other. The two can be in complete harmony together. I’ve gone to Coachella during both of my pregnancies and experienced the most generous and amazing acts of kindness from complete strangers both times. It’s amazing how giving an eight-months pregnant woman a cold bottle of water can make her feel a little better about the world and feel confident about bringing another life into it. - Caryn Hoffert, mother of Stella

When Ethan was two, he became a big fan of Depeche Mode. During the holiday season of 2005, our local alternative station in the Bay Area was broadcasting from the Metreon in San Francisco. Ethan spontaneously walked up to the DJ and started talking to him about Depeche Mode. The DJ told him, “I’m not supposed to tell you this, but Depeche Mode is headlining next year’s Coachella festival.” From that point on, it was non-stop: “When are we going to Coachella?” At the end of the second day, Ethan fell asleep right at the end of Tool and we had to carry him back to the car. My wife complained that the experience had been too much for a three-year-old, and that next year I should just go with my friends. When we were driving back to the hotel, Ethan woke up and asked, “Who are we seeing tomorrow?” I told him the festival was over until next year. “Who are we seeing next year?” he asked. Since then, he’s been to every Coachella. - Bruce Slavin, father of Ethan Photos (clockwise from opposite page): Ethan by Bruce Slavin; Stella Rose by Caryn Hoffert; Daschel by Erin Swinfard; Owen by Carol Heller


If departing from Los Angeles for the drive out to Coachella, pay close attention as you hit the maze of freeway interchanges to the east of Downtown LA. Read the signs carefully where the 5, the 10 and the 60 all merge, or you could accidentally end up heading straight into Orange County instead of out towards the desert. Before you know it, you’ll fi nd yourself in the place where the California Dream meets suburban sprawl. Where Disneyland and Denny’s and a million Pho restaurants dot the landscape—not the direction you want to be heading for musical adventure. Yet, for most of the ’90s, this land “behind the orange curtain” was the breeding ground for one of the most popular scenes in music history.

The sales figures are staggering. OC legends No Doubt have sold 28 million albums worldwide. Another 10 million for Sublime. The Offspring (technically from Long Beach County), another 35 million. It’s hard to think of another music scene that moved as many radiofriendly units as Orange County in the late ’90s, and in the midst of it all was the Aquabats from Huntington Beach. Formed in 1994 by a bunch of former punkand skate-obsessed OC musicians, including singer Christian Jacobs (MC Bat Commander) and bassist Chad Larson (Crash McLarson), the band has gone through a myriad of personnel changes over 17 years. One-time drummer The Baron von Tito went on to join fledging San Diego County group Blink-182 (35 million albums sold) and became Travis Barker. But the specific lineup hardly matters in a group where all the players dress as masked superheroes and pretend to battle enemies on stage. Like all good superheroes, the Aquabats story involves a great origins tale. “When we started as a band, everything was real hard, fast, loud—almost like tough-guy bully punk rock. You’d go to shows and people would want to fight you and there were a lot of racists and Nazis,” recalls Jacobs of the Orange County hardcore scene that dominated the community before the multi-platinum swell. “When we were listening to punk, the whole idea was about having fun and doing something different. The reason the bands played the way they did was because they didn’t really know how to play their instruments, so they’d play fast and loud and put their bottled-up

energy out there and sing about things they were dealing with. It was cool, but it kind of devolved into a violent thing. “At the same time,” he continues, “We started going to ska shows like Sublime, No Doubt and Hepcat. You know, bands that were doing something cool. It seemed like a punk scene where everyone was together and had each other’s back and everything was having fun, which reminded me and Crash about what punk used to be when we were kids.” So the Aquabats were born, but in familiar comicbook fashion, our heroes didn’t completely understand their superpowers right away. The group’s first records, while often amusing, didn’t exactly make them the coolest kids on the block. Their cartoonish skewing of the bigger bands around them is likely what kept them from scoring the same MTV millions as their peers. “I think first impressions last a long time,” Jacobs explains. “And in the beginning, we were a satire of that sort of thing. We came from punk/ska bands before the Aquabats, and being in the band was like having a laugh at the ska-punk thing.” The Aquabats are still having fun today, which is why the group requested they be photographed at the Vans skatepark near their homes. The five current members—Jacobs and Larson, plus longtime keyboardist/saxophonist James Brigg (Jimmy the Robot), drummer Rick Falomir (Ricky Fitness) and guitarist Ian Fowles (Eagle “Bones” Falconhawk) —pose and mug for the camera while latchkey skate rats whiz

by on their boards. In a brief moment between shots, the Bat Commander borrows a board from one of the veteran skaters and drops down into the pool, brazenly ignoring the strict helmet and pads regulations. (“I guess the superhero mask is kinda a helmet,” he quips.) Once the camera is put away and the costumes are removed, the three most senior members of the Aquabats—Jacobs, Larson and Briggs—sit down for the interview ritual, one that easily devolves into glib one-liners at almost every turn. Jacobs has the most to say, perhaps because his day job as the creator of children’s television hit Yo Gabba Gabba has gotten him most accustomed to giving interviews. Or perhaps he is just the most naturally energetic, leaping out of the deep end of the skate pool, while the rest of the band members walked to the shallow end before climbing out. With the masks off, the three 30-something musicians display a comfort level that comes from living happy and productive lives outside the band. Getting together for the occasional performance—like opening for Blink-182’s reunion shows in 2009—is a rare privilege. But the real treat comes in the opportunity to spend time joking around with old friends. A typical exchange: CHAD: [Coachella], it’s a polo field. Orange County’s famous for polo. CHRISTIAN: Well, I go to the skate park. Do they play polo at the skate park?

JIMMY: The horses love it. CHRISTIAN: They just duct tape skateboards to their hooves. JIMMY: It gets a little rough. A lot of them get put down. [everyone laughs] But when talk turns to the Aquabat’s latest album, Hi-Five Soup (Fearless Records), the three start to approach something resembling serious conversation. It’s the Aquabats’ first record in six years, but the band sees it as the continuation of a direction they started on their previous record, 2005’s Charge!! “I think our new record is a lot more progressive,” explains Jacobs, while the others nod in agreement. “The perception of what the Aquabats are to people is that we’re a ska band or a skunk band. If you listen to our last two records, they defy categorization.” 2011 marks the Aquabats first time playing Coachella, so it’s surprising to learn that two of their early albums, The Fury of the Aquabats! (1997) and The Aquabats vs. the Floating Eye of Death! (1999) were both released on the Goldenvoice record label, the latter coming out the same month that the company produced the first Coachella festival. Jacobs even worked for the festival its early years, driving artists to and from the festival grounds. “I was driving the Libertines backstage and they were fighting because they thought the set-time was

7PM and it was 5:30PM. They totally missed their set,” Jacobs recollects. “They were fighting in the van while I was driving, speaking this weird language that sounded kind of like English. I think Pete Doherty was still in the band and I think that was one of their last shows together. They were a mess and it was pretty awesome.” With such a direct connection to the Coachella family, why did it take over a decade for the Aquabats to be invited to play the event so close to their home town? As they explain, sometimes with your pals, you have to work even harder to gain respect. “We’ve been friends with Paul Tollett for a long time and you would think we would’ve played earlier than now because we beg him every year,” Jacobs semi-jokes. “And he would just laugh; but I think for some reason it just made sense for us this year. I don’t know why, either!” The others chime in: CHAD: It’s like if a friend asks you to drive him to the liquor store, you’re like, “OK, that’s cool.” JIMMY: You give him the “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” but you don’t give him the ride! CHRISTIAN: Honestly, with being friends, there might have been that question, “Are the Aquabats only playing because they’re friends with the event organizers?”

CHAD: So you’re saying we had to earn it? JIMMY: Is there some sort of policy in your contract with them? CHRISTIAN: We couldn’t play, we were on probation. The band tries to wrap things up, but it proves difficult, as there’s always one more silly conversation worth having. Evan, the band’s roadie, keeps everyone enthralled with his seemingly bottomless knowledge of the Orange County music scene. (The guy should really write a book). CAMP begins to ponder the brutal rush-hour drive back to Los Angeles while the band packs up their belongings. Inevitably, the topic of Charlie Sheen comes up. “I hope we see Charlie Sheen at Coachella this year,” muses MC Bat Commander. “I hope he starts a band. It’s amazing how you can be a complete doofus and your popularity goes up in this country. I think he’s now more popular than ever.” “Obviously one of the smartest men in show business!” Jimmy the Robot interrupts. “The smartest man on Two and A Half Men,” the Commander interjects with the punch line. “It’s unbelievable! At some point you think it would go away, but then he just tops himself. Kind of like the Aquabats. You think they’ll go away and they just outdo themselves.”

A new and original sound is growing, one that is not as ‘Latin’ as it used to be. -Bomba EstErEo

UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE Con el cartel de Ozomatli, Bomba Estéreo, Omar Rodríguez López y la reunificación de Caifanes, la música latina tendrán tiempo de sobra para brillar en Coachella. by Areti Sakellaris

Much has changed since Saul Hernandez and his band Caifanes released their last album, 1994’s El Nervio del Volcan. A collapsed economy, ravaging wars, and the destruction of the traditional record business are subtexts in the background, but for the band’s iconic leader, the difference is something deeper. At the root of this year’s highly anticipated Caifanes reunion is Hernandez’s realization of what he calls “a new form of expression and musical development.” Nowhere is this new form more visible than onstage at this year’s Coachella, where artists from across the Latin Diaspora—Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain and the United States—dot the lineup. And with Caifanes leading the pack, Coachella presents a unique opportunity for so many artists influenced by the same band to perform on one bill. During Caifanes mid-’80s to mid-’90s peak, Hernandez walked on water. Throughout Mexico and Latin America, rock music was still an outsider’s art form—a concept foreign to Americans who are wont to forget rock’s racially charged origins as rebel music. Joined by Alfonso André on drums, Sabo Romo on bass, Diego Herrera on keys and sax, and Alejandro Marcovich on guitar, the Mexico City five-piece was among the founding fathers of Rock en Español. Their extensive touring within and beyond Mexican borders inspired others to explore their own cultural roots through musical endeavors. In the United States, and certainly Southern California, the genre referred to as “Latin Alternative” is indelibly linked to Caifanes. The word “caifanes” loosely translates to “cool dude,” and Hernandez and his crew would frequently don black clothing, wigs and makeup, a style inspired as much by UK contemporaries the Cure and the Smiths as Mexico’s own desperado archetype (fi ltered through punks like the Clash). Their radical break from the cultural norm highlighted a recurring theme of transformation that seeped into the band’s catalog, and Latin culture at large. With such a massive impact, it’s no wonder Coachella booker Paul Tollett compares the Caifanes performance to another infamous reunion—the Pixies. Coachella will actually be the reunited Caifanes’ second performance, following a debut at the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City the weekend prior. For Hernandez, who has spent the past decade fronting the immensely popular Jaguares, reconnecting with his old band mates is more than an exercise in nostalgia (or a cynical money grab). “We reunited to get to know each other again,” he insists. Equally important, it’s a chance for a new generation to get to know Caifanes as well. Caifanes’ fi rst major single, “La Negra Tomasa,” was a cumbia tune supercharged as a rock anthem. Today, cumbia’s African-inspired syncopated rhythms spread like wildfi re across the Internet and onto the dance floor. Simón Mejía from Bomba Estéreo knows a bit about that allure. He explains, “It’s dance music that comes from very deep and strong places like Africa, (and it) unites us all.” Mejía, along with Bomba’s ferocious lead singer Liliana Saumet, are an unstoppable force that parlayed a choice gig at SXSW ’10 into a nationwide tour before landing on the Coachella bill this year. Bomba’s grassroots beginnings in the sweltering nightclubs of Bogotá, Colombia, helps them maintain the band’s visceral connection to the audience, no matter how far from home they travel. “A new and original sound is growing, one that is not as ‘Latin’ as it used to be,” Mejía concludes. “In Bomba’s particular case, we´ve found out that our music goes beyond language barriers.” Like Caifanes and Bomba Estéro, Grammy Award-winning band Ozomatli commands a strong crossover appeal. The LA-based multi-cultural crew fi rst met at the Peace and Justice Center of Los Angeles in 1999, and have gone on to perform for an amazing cross-section of audiences—from global festivals like Fuji Rock in Japan, Glastonbury in England and Tennessee’s Bonnaroo gathering to appearances on Sex and the City and Dancing With The Stars. They have played with everyone from Carlos Santana and Gregory Issacs to Wu-Tang Clan and dozens of punk bands on the Vans Warped Tour. The group also holds the title of official U.S. State Department cultural ambassadors, a distinction that has afforded them the opportunity to travel to far flung lands such as Africa, Mongolia and even Myanmar (ie. Burma), a highly restricted nation visited by very few Westerners. Photos: (previous spread l-r) Bomba Estéreo; Mexican Coachella fan by Kevin Winter (courtesy Getty Images). This spread (clockwise from top left): Saul Hernandez in 2010 by Olga Laris; Omar Rodrígez-Lopéz by Vaughn Youz; Ozomatli by Christian Lantry; Caifanes circa 1994

Music was my weapon... -Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

Always a fan favorite, Ozomatli’s signature maneuver brings the band into the crowd, sharing a physical space typically designated for the audience. “The whole going into the crowd samba-style started as a competitive thing in the clubs in Hollywood—basically trying to rock the other bands on the bill,” explains saxophonist Ulises Bella. “But it transformed into a communion with the audience.” Despite all the platitudes, Bella points there is always a doublestandard, even for a group as widely accepted as Ozomatli. He gripes, “It’s ridiculous that here in Los Angeles, which is one the most multicultural cities in the world, it’s still strange to see an international act paired up with some indie (or) rock act.” But undeterred, Bella knows the best way to change the standard is to keep rocking the crowd. “We’ve never had a bummer Coachella show,” Bella boasts of the band’s three previous performances in 2001, 2002 and 2007. What makes for a successful show? “Tons of people shaking that ass,” he pauses before chuckling. “Shit. It’s Ozomatli. When doesn’t that happen!?” Omar Rodríguez-López knows a bit about lighting up a crowd. The live-wire guitarist and producer from the Mars Volta grew up in a lively Puerto Rican household before moving to El Paso, TX, where he formed the legendary post-hardcore group, At The Drive-In. Despite the group’s punk roots and English lyrics, the members of ATDI’s distinct mix of backgrounds—Puerto Rican, Mexican, Lebanese and Caucasian— meant that their heritage was never far removed from the equation. “Music was my weapon,” Rodríguez-López attests, reflecting on a youth spent absorbing racial slurs outside the family household. His special relationship with music is inextricably tied to the Latino culture he experienced at home, where celebrations revolved around food and music. He embraces his Latin roots in a more pronounced manner on his current solo records and a number of film projects near and dear to his heart. “Music is a celebration,” he asserts, even though his festive associations work against the preconceptions one might get when faced with his chaotic and often dark musical style. He also bristles at the notion of being a “rock star,” despite the grandiose guitar pyrotechnics he is known for. “We are all in this together,” he says. “I want to get rid of the sickness that we are taught.” For Rodríguez-López, the creative process is a healing one, and the journey is more important than the final product. Every choice he makes asserts a level of control over his identity—itself a powerful statement that has helped him achieve the status he commands in the music world. That control over identity, whether reluctant guitar god, cumbia-powered dance machines or rambunctious party starters, has helped a new generation of Latino performers defy the expectations that come with the color of their skin—both inside and outside their home nations. Other acts on the Coachella line-up, Erick Morillo (New York house music), Delorean (Spanish electro-pop), Los Bunkers (Mexican indie folk) and CSS (Brazilian art rock), further redefine what it is to be a Latino musician by making generalizations pretty much impossible. “I am grateful to Coachella precisely because they are against that [exclusivity] and they [put on] a multicultural festival and are open to the freedom of art and music,” exclaims Caifanes’s Hernandez. In his mind, this new view of music leads to “equality in circumstances.” “We are a culture of very big syncretism,” he concludes. “Over time, that has created a language that, musically, it turns out, is very nutritive and diverse.”



hen the Coachella gods heard that a new Bright Eyes album was in the works,

they immediately invited the band to play for the first time since 2005. It’s been a while since indie folk favorite Conor Oberst appeared as this incarnation, but it’s not a reunion per se. Billboard chart topper Oberst doesn’t feel he needs to retire Jay-Z style every time he wants to work on a different project, but having started Bright Eyes in the mid-’90s, the guy’s got to mix it up a bit to keep things fresh. Over the last few years, he’s appeared as Monsters Of Folk (with Jim James, M. Ward, and Bright Eyes mainstay Mike Mogis), as Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band, and as Desaparecidos with some Nebraska friends. It’s always Conor, and he’s not a one-trick pony. This time around, Bright Eyes core members Oberst, Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott are joined by a new backing band culled from their Omaha scene, and they’ve gone poppier than ever on new album The People’s Key. Think of his career of musical chairs like wine making—you mix the ingredients, let them ferment, crack open a new bottle every few years and the flavors get that much tastier.

“Every project I get involved with is a learning experience.” People are calling this a Bright Eyes reunion, but is it that for you? We haven’t really retired, but it has been a few years since our last record. We’re getting back out there and doing it again. I find a lot of inspiration collaborating with other people, approaching making music and playing live in different ways. That’s something that keeps me excited and I hope to continue doing it. There’s no real strategy to it, but it will be nice to experience playing together again. And Coachella has always been kind to us so I’m glad we’ll be there. I think I’ve played there three times and it’s always enjoyable. When you try out a song with different musicians, are you ever surprised by what it reveals about the song? “Oh, this could be a metal song. This could be a country song.” Totally! Bright Eyes is a strange band in a sense because there’s three of us that are always involved, but we play with different musicians every time and usually have different instrumentation in the band. It’s always nice to go back to some of the older songs and experience them in a new way with different arrangements. I think it can bring out things about the song that maybe you missed the first time. This summer I played with the Felice Brothers. We went on a little tour and they were my backing band. They have such a distinctive sound, the way they play. Hearing the songs filtered through that mechanism was great. It made me feel like I was in the Felice Brothers for a second, and that was a little fantasy of mine. With Monsters of Folk, you took turns not being the front man. What was that like? Playing James and M Ward’s songs and being a sideman to them was really new and interesting and I enjoyed that a lot because it’s a totally different experience from playing my own songs. Standing up there and strumming along, it’s a different mindset. It’s actually more nerve-wracking to accompany people and play their songs. It’s challenging but nice to put your mind in a different place. For me, it works some other part of my brain than when I’m singing one of my own songs, which is my more natural state. What did you observe or discover about songwriting from those guys? I admire both Jim and Matt and I’ve loved their records so much, so I got a front-row seat to their approach and their process. Matt is really good about finding space in music. We would work on a song for a while and at the 11th hour he is suggesting to take out one of the main parts and have it come in later. At first the idea doesn’t make sense in my mind, but then we try it and all of a sudden it’s much cooler. There are so many different ways to think about music. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s all about experimenting and trying new approaches. Every project I get involved with is a learning experience. Even if it’s not consciously, it informs the next thing I do. What conscious choices did you put into the new Bright Eyes album? One thing we talked about going into it was to avoid some of the folk acoustic sounds of our past albums. We didn’t know the record we wanted to make but we knew the one we didn’t want to make. It was about

exploring, trying different things, also having a little more economy in the arrangements. The last Bright Eyes record was very ornate. There were orchestras and choirs and all that, which is nice, but we really wanted to do something concise, a few less ingredients in the pot. It’s more pop, I suppose. How would you explain the difference between folk and pop? Old leather boot and a light-up pump sneaker. But the album is called The People’s Key. Isn’t that a folky idea? Everyone can access it and do it. I think of that, too. It’s slightly misleading. I don’t mind that. Misleading is nice sometimes. Maybe accessibility is at the heart of folk and pop in some way. There’s certainly crossover. Especially at this point with modern music, everything is a fusion of sorts. There are elements of all genres intertwined in modern music, with the exception of purists who are trying to go completely into retro mode.

One second he’s talking about love and the next he’s talking about Hitler. If you were asked to explain what love is about, what would you say? I think you know it when you feel it. If you can do anything to promote it in your own life or in a more universal sense, it’s a good thing to do. We’ll be better off for it. It’s one thing worth fighting for. Some of your songs express negative feelings, going mad, being angry, but people love it because of the poetic word choice or how the music sounds. Is that music’s magic? I think one of the qualities of music that I’ve found as a listener—and if my music can do this for anyone, I’d be happy—but one of the things music can do is make you feel less alone in the world in all the things that you’re experiencing. Music can do that directly and indirectly. That’s a form of love in a way. Or at least it’s a positive thing, making it so you don’t feel alone. I know that for me it’s always been something that brings me up instead of down. Hearing music and playing it. Commiserating can be a good thing. The audience can appreciate that you’re disappointed. Are you a poet or a philosopher? No comment! That’s what we call a trap! How many times in your life have you felt reborn or new again? Not enough! It’s something I’m always looking for: perspective, a new chance to see the world with fresh eyes. When was your most recent experience of that? It’s been a while, I guess. I was floating in a pool today. I woke up early because I’m jet-lagged and I wouldn’t say I never felt like that but it’s been a while since I’ve been up that early in the morning and seeing the ocean and floating around in water, it felt pretty new.

Would you consider the field recordings on your album to be a retro or modern move? It seems kind of retro to me. There’s a lot of that on our old albums too. I can see it both ways. What do you think? It’s retro because it’s like an old psychedelic idea. But it’s modern because you don’t always see that on a pop album. I agree, depending on how you look at it. It’s hard to do something completely new or without any kind of precedent at all. Do you spend time looking for weird recordings? Most things we use I record myself. I like to carry a dictaphone. On the album, that’s my friend Danny Brewer. He has a great band called Refried Ice Cream. I heard him talking about those things before and I asked if he’d record it for me. I was expecting 15 minutes and he sent me 90 minutes of him talking with his son! We edited it and added some music. He’s a really interesting person and I find a lot of things he talks about inspiring. All the Bright Eyes albums start with a sound collage. When we were making the record, he popped into my mind because at least some of the seeds of the songs stem from conversations I’ve had with him.

Who is Conor Oberst at 30 compared to who he was when Bright Eyes first emerged? I think in a lot of ways I feel the same as I always have, basically from the point of exiting childhood. There’s a point when our minds are formed and that makes you essentially, your personality, who you are. I think I’m sort of the same but I try to learn from things and I try not to repeat mistakes too many times. I’d like to think I’m a little wiser but I don’t know. I try not to let things bother me as much as I used to. Everything is so temporary. There are things that are important, but I used to worry and think about things a lot and I’ve learned not to do that, take things as they come. What should someone look for in the desert, outside of the festival? Last year I went on a river trip in New Mexico with some friends and you go and raft down the river and sleep on the banks. They call that the high desert, it’s not barren, and you can find that landscape outside Coachella. It’s incredibly cool to be out far away from anything. When you’re lying there you can actually see the curvature of the earth. You have to go pretty far out to see that it’s actually like a dome, like they tell you. Normally it seems so flat, but it’s true, it is a dome. The world is round.

Photos: Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band at Coachella 2009 (left and inset) by Fraiser Harrison; Bright Eyes at Coachella 2005 (above left) by J. Shearer (Getty Images)


From Dr. Dre’s pop chart dominance to J Dilla’s infamous LA years, Los Angeles has a long history of inspiring brave new worlds of sonic architecture. And with the utter explosion of artists like Flying Lotus and Gaslamp Killer (and the now legendary Low End Theory party), the entire world is paying attention to a new generation of drum machine addicts. From South Bay newcomer TOKiMONSTA to Santa Monica-raised veteran Daedelus, CAMP captured this exclusive portfolio of 2011 Coachella performers who are repping the City of Angels’ most prolific musical export: beats.


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Kanye West by K Mazur

barometer to measure the music’s current landscape.

Future—hip-hop at Coachella continues to be a unique

talent—the now iconic Yeezy, Nas, Wiz Khalifa and Odd

a packed Friday-night polo field. And, with this year’s

rap’s biggest artist, Jay-Z, rocked the headlining spot to

Kanye West just two days before the event, and last year,

2006, Coachella surprised fans by adding chart-topper

world, the hip-hop talent has turned flossier as well. In

the most esteemed three-day music festivals in the

from a two-day celebration of all things DIY to one of

Coachella-approved. But just as Coachella has grown

Mos Def and even headliners Beastie Boys were safely

lower half of the bill, while credible crossover stars

and national indie acts El-P and Mr. Lif filled out the

obvious. Local underground faves like Souls of Mischief

the festival’s early years, the bookings were rather

becomes more contentious, and more interesting. In

discussion gets louder as hip-hop’s presence at Coachella

the annual event. And, with each passing year, the

discuss and dissect the hip-hop talent booked for

in with laser-guided precision. Their goal—to identify,

announced, a certain segment of the audience moves

Every year, from the moment the Coachella line-up is

by Nicole Balin

The Past, Present and (Odd) Future of Coachella Hip-Hop

Microphone Check: Check:

Like many of Coachella’s most infamous bookings—from the Pixies’ triumphant reunion fever to Daft Punk’s return to dance music dominance—the shift signifies the times, according to Jeff Weiss, writer for the Los Angeles Times and editor of hip-hop blog, Passion of the Weiss. “The divide between underground and mainstream hip-hop has eroded,” asserts Weiss, who has attended the festival every year since 2003. “Coachella bridges that divide really well.” Journey back through the history of Coachella and the transition is apparent. In 1999, the festival’s first year, heads had to search for Ugly Duckling, Kool Keith and alternative Bay Area DJ collective Invisibl Skratch Piklz performing on side stages in between Beck, Morrissey or Tool. “We blazed in and blazed out,” laughs Steffen Franz, former tour manager for the Piklz’s Mix Master Mike, as he recalls the ’99 show. “The wind was blowing so hard, the vinyl was flying off the turntables. I was catching records and passing them back to Mike. But it was momentous. It was one of the last times Invisibl Skratch Piklz performed together.” After a hiatus in 2000, Coachella picked back up in 2001 and booked more under-the-radar talent: Aceyalone, Z-Trip, Medusa and Souls of Mischief, along with some slightly bigger names, like Del the Funky Homosapien, Gangstarr, Mos Def and the Roots. “I was chiefin’ then, tough, so you gotta work wit me,” quips Del, as he tries hard to evoke Coachella memories. “Deltron and Both Sides of the Brain had just dropped, (as well as) the Gorillaz album. I’m not sure how many people in the crowd were Del fans, but I know they was funkin’ wit us regardless!” According to LA rapper Aceyalone, when Coachella first started, most heads considered it a rock-oriented festival, with hip-hop as only a sideshow to the main acts. “We had separate hip-hop festivals like Smoke Out and Paid Dues,” declares Acey. “But it’s different now. Coachella is more of a cross section.” After another thin year in 2002 (KRS-One, Medusa, Z-Trip, Mos Def), Coachella stepped-up the hip-hop in 2003 when they announced that one of music’s most commercially successful groups, the Beastie Boys, would headline the first night. Talib Kweli and N.E.R.D. performed as well, but it was the entire Definitive Jux crew: EL-P, Aesop Rock, Murs, Lif, and RJD2 (who performed right next the Red Hot Chili Peppers) that impressed Weiss. He describes the Def Jux performance as one those Coachella moments when you realize the trials and tribulations of attending a weekend-long concert in the desert is all worth it. “There was no one scheduled to perform after them,” Weiss describes nostalgically, “so they kept playing after their time slot. It felt like there were almost as many people on stage as there were in the crowd. But the talent and the passion they brought to the show was incredible. There aren’t many places where you can see something like that.” “There was hardly any hip-hop the first year I played,” notes DJ and producer Peanut Butter Wolf of Stones Throw Records, who also performed in 2009. “It was very early in my career. It was an honor just to be on the bill. The second time I was booked, it felt much more like ‘OK, now I’m at Coachella.’ I went on at the same time as Morrissey, Silversun Pickups and Girl Talk, but my tent was still packed. It was more a testament to hip-hop than to me,” he adds. Peanut Butter Wolf’s all-time Coachella highlight? “Watching DOOM and Madlib smoke weed out of an apple backstage.” 2005 could be called the year of the UK rapper for Coachella, with Dizzie Rascal, M.I.A. and Roots Manuva all on the bill, as well as a reunited Black Star and Oakland hip-hop duo Zion I. “We played at twelve noon on a side stage,” explains Zumbi, MC of Zion I. “There were only about 1,500 people or so since it was so early, but it was

Photos: (l-r) Murs by Michael Buckner, Souls of Mischief (courtesy of Coachella), Busdriver by Karl Walter

still really cool. It’s usually dedicated hardcore fans who come to our shows, but at Coachella you have electronic music fans, indie rock and alternative rock fans. It was fresh to play for a different crowd.” Zumbi’s most memorable show of that weekend? A fairly unknown female MC from Sri Lanka via London named M.I.A. “It was her first album. It was new shit and most people didn’t know who she was yet,” recalls Zumbi enthusiastically. “She got up on stage with Diplo and there were air-raid sirens, gunshots sounds. They killed it!” Critics called it a career-making performance, and it was the first encore during a daytime timeslot at Coachella. “The staff had to put the stage back together after dismantling it,” recalls Zumbi. “The whole audience was demanding that M.I.A. return. The audience was chanting, ‘M.I.A!’” Coachella turned decidedly flashier in 2006, when Goldenvoice announced that rapper Kanye West would appear on the main stage right after the rapper Common. “That was the Madonna moment for hip-hop at Coachella (Madge performed in the dance tent that same year),” explains Weiss. “Kanye represents the shift from indie to the mainstream artist. He can draw huge crowds, but embodies the spirit of the underground in that he’s not willing to compromise his art.” In addition to performing that year, indie rapper Lyrics Born saw Common and Kanye’s afternoon main stage performance. “They had great energy together,” he says and then describes his performance: “I remember playing in a tent in the blistering heat to around 7,500 people who were all singing my choruses. That was amazing! I think Coachella was the first time I realized my previous years of humping it on the road and putting

“She got up on stage with Diplo and there were air-raid sirens, gunshots sounds. They killed it! ” out album after album had paid off, and it had reached a critical mass.” So while Coachella hip-hop has incorporated the mainstream, there is still plenty of space on the polo field for lesser-known acts to shine. “We’d wanted to play the festival for years, but never got booked,” recalls producer Thes One of LA underground faves People Under the Stairs (P.U.T.S.), who’s family ironically is from Indio, CA. “We were nervous as hell!” he recounts. “I remember the tent totally cleared out when the DJ before us left and I thought, ‘This is it. We’re over.’ Once we started playing, people kept walking by. When they heard the music, they’d stop and come inside to check it out. We were doing something right. By the end, we were rocking it so hard that the tent was packed!” Thes adds that Coachella gave P.U.T.S. a certain amount of credibility that they hadn’t had before. “We

were just put in front of a different crowd of people. A representative from Vans came by the tent after the show and offered us a sponsorship. It was dope.” The next night, Minneapolis group Atmosphere played one of their most memorable show on the Outdoor Theater stage, according to front man Slug. “Our first year was ’04, and it was difficult because the heat actually warped our albums on stage, making our set a technical disaster,” he recollects. “The next time [in ’09] we didn’t want a repeat, so we came back with a live band, and thankfully the heat did not warp the keyboards! It was after sundown, so it was difficult to see how many people were watching us, but it felt like one of our biggest draws ever. “I’m not sure how many of those people were fans versus concert goers,” he adds. “Maybe some of them were in line for the porta-toilets?” And if those two shows weren’t enough to satisfy the hip-hop fan, legendary political rap group Public Enemy performed their 1988 classic album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in its entirety while Flavor Flav stage-dived in the audience. 2010 marked another turning point for the festival. In addition to De La Soul, Wale, B.o.B. and DJ Z-Trip, rap super-star Jay-Z headlined the Friday night show. After entering on a platform from beneath the stage, Jay rocked the stage for over an hour, packing the field as he performed one hit song after another. He brought out protégé Memphis Bleek for “Is That Your Chick,” and later his wife Beyoncé made a cameo appearance for “Young Forever” as a fireworks display filled the desert sky. In case you missed it in prior years, hip-hop had arrived at Coachella.

“The wind was blowing so hard, the vinyl was flying off the turntables. I was catching records and passing them back to Mike. But it was momentous. It was one of the last times Invisibl Skratch Piklz performed together.” 2011 is even shinier: Kanye, Nas, Lil B, and Wiz Khalifa are on this year’s bill. To round it out, also booked is the most buzz-worthy—but least known—hip-hop act in the world right now, OFWGTA, an acronym for Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (or just Odd Future). A loose collective of ten or so skater kids from LA’s Fairfax district, Odd Future isn’t exactly garden-variety hip-hop (it’s been called horror-core, punk rock, skate rap), nor is it typical Coachella hip-hop. But recent events, like a memorable performance on Jimmy Fallon, have the band on the lips of a lot of influential people. “Booking Odd Future was a very savvy move for Coachella,” remarks Weiss, “because a group like that embodies the spirit of Coachella. They’re raw and hardcore and just don’t give a fuck. Coachella fans are open to a group like that.” “I’m a giant Kanye West fan,” declares Odd Future rapper Domo Genesis, who also says that he always wanted to attend the festival in the past, but couldn’t afford the price of admission. “I’ve never seen the man perform live, so my first time will be taking the stage alongside him. That’s just crazy for me.” Indeed, Domo and his crew shouldn’t disappoint the Coachella camper. “We plan on giving them a show like OFWGKTA always does. We don’t half-ass our fans. Even when we’re 80%, we give 112%.” At the same time, OFWGKTA beat maker, Left Brain, has less ambitious plans for his first time on the polo grounds. “I want to be able to chill with the fans and smoke and drink,” he states. “I wanna be out there just like the fans; I’m nothing special.” Nothing special yet, but if the list of Coachella’s hip-hop veterans is any indication, Left Brain and his Odd Future cohorts should be looking forward to long and legendary careers.

Photos: (top) Kid Sister by Karl Walter; Ghostface Killah by Frazer Harrison

Photos (clockwise from top left): Peanut Butter Wolf by Michael Buckner; Jurassic 5 (courtesy of Coachella); Del the Funky Homosapien (Courtesy of Coachella); De La Soul by John Shearer; Atmosphere by Frazer Harrison; Mos Def (Courtesy of Coachella); Luckyiam by Kevin Winter; Boots Riley by Michael Buckner; Flava Flav by Frazer Harrison All photos courtesy of Getty Images except where otherwise noted.

Test Your Coachella IQ There’s one in every Coachella posse: the self-proclaimed festival expert who wows the gang with trivia all weekend long. Are you that prized person in your group? Take the official CAMP Coachella IQ Quiz to find out if you’re a scholar or a straggler, and no cheating on your smartphone (that is, if you can get a signal in the desert)! by Ryan Coleman Photography by Caesar Sebastian


What DJ performed between Ben Harper and headliners Rage Against The Machine at Coachella ’99?





What year did Coachella fi rst sell out?

Who had to shut down their stage due to noise bleeding into Paul McCartney’s 2009 headlining set?


What well know graffiti artist painted Roger Water’s inflatable pig that floated away in 2008?

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Who is the only artist to have performed at every Coachella? 10

What year was the 10-for-1 water bottle recycling program introduced, forever tidying up the festival grounds?

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Which two-time Coachella performer made their North American debut at 9PM in the Mojave Tent in 2001? 11

Name the only singer to have performed in both the opening time slot on the first day as well as the closing slot on the last day?

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Which tent changed orientation from North-South to East-West? 12 —————————————————————————————————



Which three non-headlining artists have closed out the Main Stage after the official headliners?


How did Gnarls Barkley dress up for their sole Coachella appearance in 2006?

Which year had the hottest day on record for Coachella?




What prompted a quick and unscheduled break to M.I.A’s breakthrough performance in 2005?



Name all of the various bands in which Jack White and Tom Morello have appeared at Coachella (not together).


Get the answers at coachella.com/campquiz

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Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2011

CAMP 2011  

Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2011

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