Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Coachella: The Movie

Just got back from what I believe may have been the only Houston screening of a new documentary about the 2003/2004 Coachella music festival held in Indio,CA. Lots of fun. Crowd was in to it and the music was super-duper. A few thoughts.

Arcade Fire: Missed them at Vegoose. Great performance and excellent bass-driven song. Didn't know there were girls in the band. Red headed guitarist is taunted(playfully) with a black sheet by a fellow band member the whole song. Ends up completely tangled up in it and on the floor by the end of the song.

Belle & Sebastian: Another fun song. Band having a great time and really mixing it up with the crowd. Encouraging everyone to dance. Bringing dancers on stage. One of the funniest moments in the movie is, as the band arrives at a quiet moment in the song, you can hear the Foo Fighters gigantic volume floating above theirs as it comes in from across the concert grounds. In recognition of their noise, the singer of B&S adds lyrics to the song about hearing the Foo's from across the field. Very light hearted and hysterical.

Bjork: Sings like an angel and looks like a huge white butterfly in her outfit. Very sweet love song. She's always smiling and wonderfully beautiful.

Bright Eyes: My companion(Joe Bathroom) didn't like this cat at all. He made "ppfffft" sounds at his pretentious song. I agree, it was a bit hokey. But at times rang true. Googled it, and the song was called "Lua". Reading the lyrics didn't do much for me. But the singer seemed to be feeling it and that definitely translated on screen. Thinly veiled song about a long night of narcotic abuse. Not that I've ever done drugs. Both of us lost it though when, at the conclusion of the song, the camera turns to reveal a chubby sunburned girl on the rail whose eyes are bloodshot red from sobbing. Tragically funny.

Chemical Bros./Crystal Method: Lots of very high people dancing and having hallucinations all over the place. Some very cool visuals. Lots of tripping tents for all the high people. Some funny interviews with tripping people. Lots of break dancing, too. GOOD break dancing. Guess it's a West Coast thang.

Flaming Lips: Sang "Yoshimi pt.1". Wayne's so killer. I luvs him THIS much. Brief montage of them setting up their equipment. Fixing problems. Wayne with the nun puppet during the sing along. It just never gets old. Especially when he has the puppet enunciate the "ts" at the end of "robots". Has him descending on to the audience in a gigantic bubble. Cool. Love this band more than I can ever say.

Iggy & The Stooges: Unbelievable performance. Iggy Pop is all over the stage. Hurling the microphone all over the place. Wrapping himself up in the chord. Jumping around like a hypnotized chicken. Hurls his body off the stage and on to the security and crowd while screaming something about wanting to "fuck things up!!!" Ends up climbing on top of a strapped down 6 ft tall Ampeg bass stack and dry humping it with all his might. Rest of the band looks surprised/confused at the songs conclusion. Like they don't know what kind of crazy-ass shit to expect from him next. True dat.

Kool Keith: "WHEN I SAY BLACK, YOU SAY ELVIS!!" Complete with Elvis wig and a satin collar a mile high. He should have let his performance do the talking for him, though. In an interview following his set, he rambles on about his band catching up with time or something like that.

Mars Volta: We got in a bit late and they were playing when we walked in. I believe several instruments were destroyed in the process.

Morrissey: High-larious interview with a guy who looks just like Morrissey but is identified on screen as "Not Morrissey". Tells the story of a girl he just met who had traveled all the way from Japan to see the show. She was bummed when he cancelled in Las Vegas a few days before and now the question in everyone's mouths(of the voices in this guys head)was whether Morrissey was gonna show at the festival at all. Obviously, Morrissey was a way of life for this guy. Another gut busting part of the film is during Morrissey's performance, the camera catches several "frat" type guys scaling the barrier in order to get on stage to hug him.

Nu-Mark & Cut Chemist: I don't know who this is.

Oasis: Song was good but seemed like it was edited toward the end. Song & band very much petered-out at its conclusion. Or maybe they just lost interest. These guys are too cool for school. Interview with a VERY stoned/drunk Noel that has him strumming on an a beautiful acoustic Gipson guitar. Bunch of inane shit about it being great to be here and all and how at England's festivals they like to get dirty. However, in one of the most compelling parts of the film, the screen cuts between Noel Gallagher and Saul Williams as they each discuss their personal views on the power of music. Not surprisingly, Noel is jaded and bitter claiming the "men in suits" control everything. While Saul is very positive, stating music can have a significant change/effect on the world/people. I feel like I'm crazy pills. On any given day, I have the same feelings as both.

Pixies: Numerous interviews with concert goers and bands members professing their respect for this band. Band closes their set with a spellbinding "Where is My Mind". Frank howling out a droning vocal line as Kim wails the "Oooooohs" along with a crowd of 70,000+. An interview with Wayne Coyne of the Lips has him discussing the beauty of that moment the following day. Saying the world could have ended ended there and probably should have. Describes a fantasy scene in which, at the conclusion of the song, Kim Deal yields her bass above her head and triumphantly smashes "Charles" aka Frank Black with it, bringing their renunion to an end after only 1 show. Very very funny.

The Polyphonic Spree: Fun song. I don't know why I hate the lead singer of this band so much. He's a bit too corny for my tastes. And the band in matching robes has that kind of an "Up With People"/crazy religious cult feeling to me. Spooky and stupid don't mix well with me. I did love Ghostbusters I & II, though.

Prodigy: These guys are very high and very intense. Insane British techno-something.

Radiohead: Never seen them perform live before(even on television). Thom Yorke seemed less intense and less brooding than I would have expected. Smiling and making goofy shapes with his mouth the whole time. Dig the band and it's music. Maybe someday I will dive in feet first.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: This band just isn't my thing. A bit too "Hollywood" for me, ya know? There is a cool reply and respond duet jam between Flea and guitarist John Frusciant that precedes the song, though. Song performed is "Californication". Ehh

Roni Size/Spearhead/Squarepusher: I don't know who or don't recall seeing them in the movie.

The White Stripes: In a backstage interview during the 2003 festival with Mos Def, we see him ranting on about why the Stripes were not performing at that years festivities. "Too much bass in their songs?!", "'Cause they're from Detroit!?", "'Cause there are only 2 of them in the band!?". Quite funny. Of course the film them immediately cuts to "The Following Year..." where the band is just coming on to a darkened stage to thousands of flash bulbs and cheering fans. And then proceeds to blast their way through a frantic "Hotel Yorba" sing along. I love Meg White. I mean it. I love Meg White. Let it ring from the muthafucking hills. I_FUCKING_LOVE_FUCKING_MEG_FUCKING_WHITE. There.

Zero 7: Lovely R&B song wrapping up the final day of the festival. Love is everywhere and all that nice stuff. A nice cool down from the Flaming Lips performance that came just before.

Beck: No performance. Just quietly tooting his own horn in a interview about how he comes to check out the festival every year regardless of whether he's performing or not. Too cool for school all dressed up like an innocent hipster. Love him. Lots.

Perry Farrell: Surprisingly no mention of his own Lolapayola. Lots of cosmicspeak from him, though. If you can dig it, man.

Great movie. Great music. Six thumbs up.
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