Friday, April 27, 2007

Report From the Field at Cocahella -#2

Here are the Latest reports From Cocahella from the live blog from
the LA Times and from the Palm Spring Desert Sun.

the Palm Spring Desert Sun

[posted at 9:09 EST]
Satellite Party and Silversun Pickups attracted big crowds to the main stage despite the triple-digit heat. Post-set, Perry Farrell has been wandering around the press area and chatting up photographers and reporters.

Arctic Monkeys are pushing through soundcheck right now and should be on in the next 15 minutes

danny devito was once again the big man in the VIP area. The pint
sized star turned heads as he walked past food vendors through the bar
in the VIP tent. While there are many other clebrities and musicians
in the tent, Devito, who attends the festival every year, gets more
attention than any other. His presence is always jaw dropping, even
among this famous crowd.

silversun pickups

I've been a big fan of this band for a few months, and I was glad to
see that their live show does the record justice.

i just watched a woman walk by with electrical tape for a shirt. Lets
just say it was a bit see through. gotta love coachella.

The L.A. Times

Gillian Welch: banjo picker, Oberst-approved heartbreaker

"There's a small percentage of the population who finds a woman with a banjo unaccountably alluring," said Gillian Welch midway through her set in the Gobi Tent. And Lord, was she right. Decked out in a red and white Texas prom dress (read: lots of tassles and sequins), Welch spun demure folk tunes about being swept away by rivers and the trials of catching knuckleballs. "This one's guaranteed to bring you down," she said, introducing one lonely number. Compared to the ruckus of Silversun Pickups (more on them later) across the field, it wasn't party music. But for the crowd of curious Bright Eyes fans who dug her "Cassadaga" cameo, God knows Welch's tunes were anything but a downer.

Of Montreal: C'mon, get high

Maybe Kevin Barnes really is of Montreal and not Athens, Ga., because the normally flamboyant singer seemed wilted in the sunbaked 5 p.m. shift at the Outdoor Stage. During songs from the indie pop band's latest album, Barnes, with clown rouge and blue eyeshadow, frolicked about the stage, blowing kisses, and seemed to lose steam. But no matter: The five-piece's candy synths and guitars wrapped nicely around his art-weirdo-in-crisis lyrics about anti-depressants and hiding out in a friend's apartment in Scandanavia.

With several costume changes for Barnes (including black fishnets and a Spock-looking green top) and the rest of the crew in sparkly tops and feather boas, Of Montreal is really embracing a unique B-52's-meets-Burning Man aesthetic. So it was no surprise when Barnes, in what is becoming a concert tradition for the group, climbed atop a ladder and pulled a dress over the rungs and performed from the top. "How do you like me now?" he sassed at the hooting crowd.

Just fine, thank you

Just think of this as East Silver Lake

Silversun Pickups, the quartet from Silver Lake that has improbably risen from scruffy bar band to rock radio regulars and Coachella main stage act, announced its presence to festival-goers with sheets of guitar distortion and screeches from frontman Brian Aubert. And maybe coincidentally, the afternoon breeze picked up. The waves of noise seemed to signal that, yes, a rock festival had begun.

That the Pickups were even there -- playing a set not too unlike what 50 or 60 people might have heard five years ago at the Silverlake Lounge -- not only amazed longtime followers, who were present in force, but the band itself. Aubert always projects a just-happy-to-be-here demeanor and he is savvy enough to know how thin the line is between the spotlight and the shadow. "So why are we playing the main stage and not Blonde Redhead?" he asked the crowd humorously, name-checking a Coachella act with a similar musical sensibility. "I don't know. You tell me."

SSPU did all it could to prove it belonged. Aubert flitted around the stage, convening in the middle only to sing or coax more noise out of his pedals, while bassist Nikki Monninger's thick grooves got heads bobbing. Keyboardist Joe Lester and drummer Christopher Guanlao played as if this were never going to happen again.

It was the 50 minutes all bar bands dream about. And the 50 minutes that recalled all the hours they paid their dues.

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