Welcome to 2019! First I’d like to thank everyone who read my year end posts. I hoped you enjoyed it. Secondly, this year I’m planning more posts this year than I’ve been able to do in the last year or two. In the coming months, I’ll be sharing articles in Florence and the Machine, Radiohead, and many others. Some of these are likely to be long and in depth, while others will be more tight and to the point. I’ll also be doing some reviews of festival lineups, and also more articles in films and whatever else brings me inspiration.
But, before all of that gets going, it’s time to talk about the start of festival announcements season. That means, at least for me, sharing my thoughts on the brand spanking new Coachella Lineup. I won’t be going over every single artist, but rather will be discussing some of my favorite sections of the bill, as well as some of the choices that we see presented. I hope you enjoy.
THE BEST OF
For months rumors had been swirling that the headliners were set as Gambino, Justin Timberlake and Kanye. Well as we all know now, only one of those is actually happening. Choosing Gambino is a no brainer, especially given his fall concert cancellations that disappointed a great many, including myself. But maybe the best pick to headline is Kevin Parker, aka Tame Impala. With three excellent albums already under his belt and a fourth expected to drop sometime before Coachella begins, this is sure to be a big moment for Parker and his backing band.
Now while two of top three round out this list, the next options helped to define varied and eclectic world of music. For Kacey Musgraves, who garnered a giant 2018 with an amazing country record, while Solange looks set to conquer alternative R&B with an album that’s likely to be among the biggest hits of the year. Finally we have Lizzo, who creates independently of the previous two. Having seen her a few months ago at Voodoo, I can attest to her live energy. It’s a don’t miss set that might just catapult Lizzo to the upper echelon of the music scene.
SURPRISES, GOOD & BAD
Every year more or less Coachella reaches deep into their bag of off the wall bookings and lead the way in increasing visibility for artists that perhaps normal Coachella goers wouldn’t naturally gravitate to. This year is no exception. khruangbin and their style of laid back world music is amazing, and while Idris Elba is a head scratcher(apparently he’s been doing electronic music for years now), they still manage to snag a once obvious booking of Weezer, their placement on the lineup is dubious. Bummed down to fourth billed of their day, it’s sure to be a big crowd pleaser, even if they haven’t released an amazing album in over 15 years. Beyond that we have the K-Pop phenoma Blackpink, who I’m not familiar with, but from what I’ve read lately it seems like this is a big deal and a huge get for the festival. Finally we have Aphex Twin, who in my opinion towers over every other electronic artist on the lineup. He’s been consistently brilliant most of his career and had operated mostly in the background, choosing not to become a household name wit ridixulous build ups and “bass drops.” If you like intelligent electronic, this is the must see show of the weekend. If you like being a bro and chugging beers while acting like a douche, maybe stick to Diplo and some of the others. Those are way better suited for limited capacity brains than Aphex Twin is.
HMMM OKAY I GUESS:
Within the last few years, the festival has strayed away from their landmark reunions and going toward a more hip hop/ pop infused lineup. This year is no different, though not as extreme as last year’s lineup. Ariana Grande is a massive star, but is more overproduced than anything tye festival has ever had. It reminds me that these days, it’s less about the bands playing and more of a name dropping type of thing that lets people brag about being there. That not to say though that she isn’t currently relevant. Kid Cudi is well known, but his high billing is surprising, since he hasn’t been a landmark name for a few years, except for the moderately good Kids See Ghost project. The two most surprising and not exciting acts for me though, are Diplo and Jaden Smith, albeit for different reasons. Smith hasn’t released a single thing that gets me going, and it’s darkened by my thinking that he’s only getting these moments and opportunities because of his family entertainment history, not for actual skill. Diplo is a different beast the music is a relic of the glory days from 7 years ago when EDM was giant, but I’ve heard things about his sexist behavior, and it just doesn’t appeal to me. Finally we have the 1975. While nowhere near as off the wall as some of the others, frankly I just didn’t like the new album, and overall haven’t been hyped on them. It’s ok though. I realize I’m one of the few. Oh well.
Either way, the lineup was excellent for some, and as is tradition, the first weekend has already sold out, and I’m sure the next weekend will soon go.
Landon Murray is a New Orleans native, who thrives on painting the world he interprets through the useful forms of all types of art he feels connected to. He's seen over 1000 bands, and had loved mostly every minute of it. He has an amazing 10 year old dog, and is loving life.
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