For those of us unfortunate souls who weren’t able to make it out to the desert this year for the music explosion that is Coachella, watch selected streamed performances here … from ALL THREE CHANNELS! The show starts now!
Katy Perry is a babe. She’s been able to be both America’s sweetheart and America’s pin-up at the same time without having to bear more than she has to. Class with curves. I’m hooked. Follow her on Instagram: @katyperry
KILLER COVER: Fiona Apple covers “Pure Imagination”
Written by the prolific composers and lyricists Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, “Pure Imagination” was written specifically for the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and originally sung by Gene Wilder who portrayed Willy Wonka. Though I never imagined that Fiona Apple would agree to perform a song for advertisement to a fast-food chain (even a healthy fast-food chain), I am glad she did as it yielded this gem of a recording. Your welcome.
FOR THE TRUE MUSIC NERDS (LIKE ME)
Below is a video of “The Oldest Song in the World”. You can click through the Youtube links to read a more in-depth history of the music in this video, but long story short, a professor deciphered clay tables excavated in Syria. Her conclusion? The inscriptions on the clay tablets reveal the oldest existing song in the world. Pretty darn cool if you ask me.
JUST FOR LAUGHS
Of all of the late night hosts that graced our television screens, Jimmy Fallon is by far the most musically inclined. His impersonation of Neil Young is always spot on. His cover of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”? Hilarious. The fact that he got Crosby, Stills & Nash to join him in the performance? Epic.
If you love watching professionally shot, live music clips, then you’ll love what Youtube has recently done. Youtube has worked out an arrangement with Wolfgang’s Vault (a private archivist/memorabilia shop) to publish over 13,000 amazingly classic never before seen live performances and interviews by historic and vintage acts. Everyone from Santana, to Aerosmith, Lou Reed, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen … the list goes on and on and on. If you use youtube, YOU MUST subscribe to the Music Vault account. Trust me … it’s worth your while. Her’e a terrific video of Van Morrison performing “Try For Sleep” below. I’m thinking I’ll be posting a weekly video from this account.
It took me a couple weeks, but I FINALLY got through all of the photos I took the first weekend of Coachella. The irony of it all was that this last performance was one that I almost didn’t go to. At the request of an Instagrammer (<- Is that what you call them?…), I was urged to take pictures of Jhené Aiko’s performance. I’m certainly glad I did.
Jhené Aiko is an L.A. based singer/songwriter whose music can be classified as contemporary R&B. Her new studio album (her second full length), was released this month and is titled “Souled Out”.
Her performance was solid. Her sultry looks (the high-cut dress didn’t hurt) perfectly complimented her soulful melodies and she had her fans eating out of the palm of her hand. She debuted a new song off of her forthcoming album (“Spotless Mind”) as well as performed songs she currently has spinning on the radio (‘The Worst”). In my opinion, her professionalism and stage presence needed no assistance, but of course, since this is Coachella, no punches were pulled.
Early in her set, she had Donald Glover p/k/a Childish Gambino join her on stage to perform their collaboration “Bed Peace”. Later in the set, she had Drake join her on stage to perform their duet “From Time” (the second weekend, she brought out her daughter and Kurupt). To be honest, I was at the next tent watching Slash and Motohead tear up “Ace Of Spades” when Drake got on stage, but I ran over to Jhene’s tent to at least snap a picture with my point and shoot camera of Drake.
I couldn’t find a setlist online, but if you happen to know all of the songs she performed, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll add them here. Thanks!
My first taste of Motörhead came in my fraternity days at college. I remember hearing “Ace of Spades” blasting out a brother’s room, and when I asked about the song, my buddy simply said, “You don’t know Motörhead? Lemmy rules!” That’s stuck with me ever since. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to see Motörhead perform live in the past, but for one reason or another (Lemmy’s health or scheduling conflicts), I was never able to make it out to see Motörhead perform live … until Coachella.
Their set was everything I expected. It was a barrage of shredding riffs, thunderous and frenetic drums, accompanied by Lemmy’s gravelly and ominous voice. I was particularly impressed with Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell’s playing. So vicious. So on point. So raw.
After getting booted from the photo pit, and not wanting to take a risk by joining the swelling masses in the tent for fear of damaging my camera, I meandered over to the next tent to take pictures of another artist. After getting the boot from that photo pit as well, I went back to Motorhead to catch the second half of their set. So thankful that I did. I think I got there for the tail end of “Just ‘Cos You’ve Got the Power”, and after a few songs their set had ended. At least I thought it had ended…
The next thing I knew, the band introduced “a friend” and Slash walked on stage. Holy Shit. Mind blown. Without hesitation, Slash comes in with the opening riff of “Ace of Spades”. Mind doubly blown. My frat brothers would have been going nuts.
Lana Del Rey’s fans are some of the most dedicated and passionate fans that I have ever met. Prior to her set, I chatted with several of them who were up at the very front of the barricade, with at least ten thousand other festival goers behind them. I asked them how long they waited where they were standing, and one of them said at least an two hours, having made their way up to the front during the prior act’s (Neutral Milk Hotel) set.
I scanned the line of fans at the railing (the greater majority of whom were young women … some of them probably girls) and most of them had their eyes fixated on the stage, as if they wanted to catch a glimpse of their songstress before the show began. One girl, standing between two friends who were having an animated conversation, was standing there quietly, when I noticed – no joke – her eyes well up with tears. Her friends paid no attention to her, but I sure noticed the tear that fell before she wiped her eyes with her left hand.
Almost on cue, security was called over to another side of the barricade as a girl was lifted from the crowd, apparently having passed out among the masses. Then another. I could feel the anticipation of the audience and its weight was palpable.
When the lights dimmed, the audience erupted. The music for “Cola” started playing, the shrieks got louder. When Lana took the stage, I was grateful I had invested in a pair of high quality earplugs. It was that loud. The payoff for the fans who had waited patiently for their siren to take the stage were rewarded when Lana made her way past the photo pitt to give out hugs to a lucky few.
Another highlight for her fans was the premier live performance of the first single off of her forthcoming, Dan Auerbach produced, album: “West Coast”.
I absolutely adore Little Dragon‘s music. Ever since their 2007, full length self-titled debut, I’ve been dying to see their music manifest live. It’s taken 7 years, but I finally got the chance to see them perform at Coachella, at it was absolutely marvelous.
I was pleased to see that they had packed the tent they were performing in, especially since their set was matched up against uber DJ Calvin Harris on the main stage, but this band from Gothenberg, Sweden (consisting of lead vocalist Yakimi Nagano, Kakan Wirenstrand, Erik Bodin and Fredrik Kallfren Wallin), proceeded to smack the audience in the face with their brand of downtempo, trip hop, and gave us exactly what we wanted.
Yukimi Nagano, in her flowing, bulbous dress captivated the audience with her understated vocal performance as the band expertly explored and delved into the futuristic sound that is present on all of their albums. Simply put, I loved their set at Coachella and I kicked myself wondering what took me so long to see them perform live. Well, better later than never. Though they’ve already wrapped up their west-coast tour engagements, I will certainly be keeping my eye out for tickets for when they are back in Los Angeles in the future.
As an aside, I just noticed that this year at Coachella there were many acts fronted by asian females (The Naked and Famous, Little Dragon, and Jhene Aiko [whose blog entry is forthcoming]). Being Asian (Korean) myself, and knowing how hard it is for Asians to break into the music industry, I am particularly proud of the fact that we were represented so strongly by women whose stage presence left a lasting, positive impression. Okay, enough of the social mumbo-jumbo. Enjoy the pics. 🙂
The Naked and Famous are an indie electronic/melodic pop, alternative rock band from Auckland, New Zealand. To the best of my knowledge, their performance at Coachella was the first after having recently wrapped up a stint opening for Imagine Dragons’ arena tour. They continue their touring in support their 2013 release “In Rolling Waves” with dates in the United States, Australia and Europe.
I enjoy their music. In fact, when I first heard their big single “Young Blood” years ago, I thought it was a Passion Pitt release, and I’m a huge Passion Pitt fan. My only criticism of their Coachella set is that I felt that their live performance lacked a bit of energy, which is odd because their music is so driving and lends to … well … energy. Now, don’t get me wrong … I enjoyed the set. In fact, I’d go see them perform again. I think I was perhaps just expecting a little more excitement. It may have had something to do with mid-day time slot, and perhaps their live act is much more suitable with an accompanying light show like this video on their youtube channel seems to demonstrate. It may have been the fact that I wasn’t entrenched in the dancing masses as I was watching them perform from the photo pit. If I do go seem them perform again, which I certainly would buy a ticket for, I’d make sure it was a club or theater venue as opposed to an outdoor festival. As another, inconsequential aside, I like Alisa Xayalith’s hair longer. She’s still a cutie though… 😉
Devonté “Dev” Hynes is a British singer/composer/songwriter and producer who performs under the stage name “Blood Orange”. What you may not know about him, however, is that he is a prolific song writer who has worked with high profile recording artists like The Chemical Brothers, Florence and the Machine, Sky Ferreira and Britney Spears, to name a few.
He performed at Coachella in support of his fourth solo album “Cupid Deluxe”. Critics have described his music as alternative dance, “chill wave” or indie electronic, but his 80’s and 90’s influenced music can simply be described as … for lack of better words … “sexy-time” music. The mood Dev Hynes sets with his compositions is amazingly seductive. I would have preferred a set time in the evening- that would have really enhanced the overall mood of the set- but even under the blazing, desert sun, I noticed couples grinding to the music.
For his performance at Coachella, he was accompanied by several of the vocalists who appear on “Cupid Deluxe”: Caroline Polachek of Chairlift (on “Chamakay” and “Chosen”) and Friends‘ Samantha Urbani (on “You’re Not Good Enough” (my personal favorite), “It Is What It Is” and “Always Let U Down”).
The surprise set of my Sunday at Coachella was Rudimental; an electronic music, quartet based out of Hackney, London. When I was doing research on them before the festival, I discovered that their first studio album, Home, had reached number one, and was certified platinum, in the U.K., and after watching a few of their live video clips online, I decided to make them a band I wanted to check out at Coachella. I was not disappointed.
Their set was AMAZING! Right from the start, their MC and hype-man, DJ Locksmith, whipped the crowd into a frenzy with his boundless energy, running back and forth across the stage, cajoling the late-afternoon crowd to join him and the band in their fervor. Though internet entries describe the band a a group of producer/DJs, they were backed by a full band and a full set of vocalists; each holding their own performing like their life depended on it.
Their infectious sound, which I would describe as a mix of R&B, dubstep, house and drum & bass, was perhaps the most exhilarating, live (i.e. with a full band), party-music I have heard since … honestly, I don’t even remember. Though I had to leave their set slightly early because I had to catch an act across the festival grounds (thus missing the their Fugees cover of “Ready or Not” and the surprise appearance of John Newman to perform their hit “Feel The Love”) I can honestly say that I was definitely impressed with their live performance, and would no doubt purchase tickets whenever they are performing in Los Angeles in the future.