Are you ready to journey to the center of the hipster universe? Can you wait to make that trek to the nucleus of all that is achingly cool? Are you prepared to worship at the mecca of current music culture? It’s Coachella 2012, Boys and Girls. New and improved with an encore weekend; two separate weekends! ZOMG! Freak. Out.

Coachella released the lineup yesterday afternoon (click image above to embiggen), as expected, it spread like a case of herpes in Charlie Sheen’s entourage. It went viral in a matter of nanoseconds. Amid the über-buzz, Coachella’s site has been crashed all day due to the overwhelming traffic (It’s still down, as of today). Presale for passes went on sale June, this past summer, remaining passes are being released this Friday.

I’ll be honest with you, hypebeasts and trendoids, it’s going to be tough securing those passes with the accumulating and accruing hype, buzz, and fervor that surrounds this thing; “it gets bigger every year” would be an understatement. It’s astronomic the expansive growth of this music and arts festival. Be prepared to drop double face-value and upwards of $1,000 for VIPs on StubHub. OR you can play ticket transaction roulette on Craigslist. Ew, Craigslist. Haha. So, good luck with that. Personally, I’ll be waiting for my VIP credentials to arrive in the mail (crossing fingers).

While all the twinks, yipsters, fops, and dandies are planning out their cutie-patootie, Cali desert, faux-hippie-delic, neo-bohemian outfits, let me pound out some snarky self-satisfied commentary and break down this year’s sonic selections…


One of the best parts of The Festival is checking out and sampling the industry newbies. Can you say ‘buzzband’? Some are true rooks of the actual game, some are just rookies at playing mega-sized audience in this type of festival setting. We’re looking forward to UK punkers WU LYF who wrapped up a solid year with their tour. Soul (and sole) rookie of the year and Superslice favorite, Odd Future breakout star, Frank Ocean, is a must see; be forewarned though, that’s going to be ‘teenybopper central’ right there. Frank will be surrounded by an army of swooning, pre-pubescent girls. Might be a tad bit annoying.

Do you like hippity-hop that’s from the boroughs of NYC, but sounds like it comes from the slums of Houston? Do you like the word ‘swag’? Better yet, do like to ironically say “fuck swag”? Then your ass better catch some A$AP Rocky, Bwoy! Swag.

Whatever you do, don’t miss SBTRKT, these literal headhunters are just plain dope musicians and producers. For Satan’s sake, I really hope that The Weeknd doesn’t suck. But I’m wondering how the mysterioso, too-cool-for-school Toronto druggy, leaned-out RNB is going to play in the bright sun and the desert heat. Oh yeah, and catch Kendrick Lamar.


M83‘s Midnight Sky should just be the official anthem of this week. Nothing screams SoCal desert vibe more than Midnight Sky. Boom. There you go. You’re welcome.

Buzzy buzz it out for buzzeriffic Neon Indian. Are you sick of that AWOLNATION track yet? I’m not, but I’m almost there. Extreme sports, Baybee! Do yourself a favor and check out one of our favorites, Breakbot. Breakbot was the only act to make both of our end-of-the-year lists, Superslice 30 and Soundsystem 25. You should know that we’re kingmakers (wink, wink). Just sayin’. Check out ATL rockers Black Lips just for the spectacle of it and the off-chance that these guys are going to whip out their cocks again, literally.

“Daft Punk is playing my Coachella after-party” is the new “Michael Jackson took a dump at my house”. AGAIN, there will be no Daft Punk this season (I was there in 2006! And saw them a year later at the LA Sports Arena in ’07. I will bring this up every chance I get.), but Justice ain’t a bad substitute; think of Justice as Splenda to Daft Punk’s pure/raw cane sugar. It’s not the same thing, but it kind of tastes the same, kinda. We don’t mean to undersell and/or oversell the French electro artists and Ed Banger Records scions, let it be known, Justice is always epic. As a sidebar though, we’re wondering if this Coachella appearance is the reason why they didn’t schedule Los Angeles as a stop on their world tour.

The heads are really pumped for the reunion of El Paso post-hardcore act, At the Drive-In. This will be a historic set, no doubt. Gotye‘s ethereal and experimental sound will fit in nicely at The Fest. ‘LOL’ at how everybody thought they discovered him this year with this track, reposting this marvelous music video ad infinitum.

You best not miss Metronomy. Seriously, hipsters, don’t fuck that one up. Also check out, if you can, choppin’ producer/DJ araabMUZIK, and Dutch electric trio NOISA. Hopefully, Amon Tobin, will have a condensed version of his groundbreaking stage setup. Friday Night Lights fanatics, can I interest you in the seductive and emotionally ambient sonic waves of Austin’s Explosions in the Sky? Flying Lotus is perpetually on point and will be fun for sure.


The Black Keys, saw ’em last year. The Black Keys are like pizza and sex, even when they’re not earth-shattering, they’re decent. Radiohead, sure, why not? I will not blaspheme Thom York, I don’t want death threats from all the radioheadz. It’s always interesting to see how “wistful” bands like Bone Ee-vare (Bon Iver) and Feist play out in the desert. What am I saying? These nature symbiotes will fit like a glove.


Dre and Snoop reunion to close out The Fest. It will be rad and legendary, but I didn’t see this one coming. Can’t wait to see all of those 2001 tracks performed live; I still put that album on repeat. Is Detox FINALLY coming out? Detox is hip hop’s equivalent to Chinese Democracy. Also, be prepared for a tribute to fallen comrade, Nate Dee-Oh-Double-Gee.

Cat Power, we dig her and all, but did Chan Marshall finally get over her alcoholism and stage fright? We hope it’s her triumphant comeback. A decent talent, not to mention that Chan is easy on the eyes.

Childish Gambino, just an awful pick. I mean, Donald Glover is a talented dude and a quasi-renaissance man and all, but selecting this novelty act is an insult to veteran musicians. He must have the most awesomest agent ever to exist in the forever universe. Shaking my head. Who’s the Community fanboy that put this one together?

Girl Talk, because when you pay hundreds of dollars to go the desert to see the best current music in the world, you want to see and hear a wave of predictable and forgettable mashups that you listen to on your iPhone when you’re working out. Great for 24 Hour Fitness, not great for the concert festival of the year. “Girl Talk had such a killer party vibe, Brah!” Whoa, these last couple of sentences sound hella bitter. No offense to Girl Talk, his stuff is fun and all, but we have only so much time and bigger fish to fry at the holy festival. I have no personal vendetta versus Gregg Gillis, I promise. But this one is for the musical neophytes, audio festival novices, sorority chicks, and fratboys. Hmmph. Kids.


A couple of huge omissions from our viewpoint. Who had a bigger year than emostep/dubstep elitist, James Blake? Someone dropped the ball on that one. Then there’s this year’s reigning buzzqueen, Lana Del Rey with her retro-sound, her manufactured Sandy-Olson-from-Grease-meets-Jessica-Rabbit persona, her faux-humility, quiet arrogance, and inflated, pillowy lips. She seemed like a shoe-in.

If Lana Del Rey was the queen of this year’s buzz, enter Kreayshawn as Princess Hype. Or should we say ‘hyphy’? The Bay Area newbie was surprisingly left off of the collection of artists.

Where is Diplo, king of the Mad Decent empire? Pfft. (UPDATE: Haha, Diplo slams Coachella (Sour grapes?) Thanks for backing us up, Dip’!)

Why wasn’t chillwave flavor of the year, Washed Out, included in the mix of acts? His track is used for the Portlandia theme for chrissakes. That alone should garner insta-enshrinement into the Coachella Festival pantheon. Speaking of chillwave, what about my boy, Toro y Moi, aka Chazwick Bundwick? The Coach-roaches would’ve dug Toro y Moi; cool sounds for the hot desert.

While we’re at it and indulging ourselves, why not introduce France’s Woodkid and Blood Orange as dark horses to The Festival? Bring back that Sleigh Bells noise, Man. Alexis Krauss and her boy have stuff coming out around this time. How about that bawse, Rick Ross?

Anyway, marinate on this until April, Kids. These are just musings of a maniac on the ballyhooed arts and music bonanza. Check out the fun video tidbits below. A cool and trendy, tilt-shift from 2010, and a time-lapse of last year’s festival in 2011. Get at the remaining passes this Friday. Peace out and get at me.