Wednesday, January 24, 2007

COACHELLA UPDATE: Full Day-By-Day Lineup Including Jesus & Mary Chain & Happy Mondays Reunio

And the good news just keeps on coming!

Needed more reasons to start checking out airfare to the SoCal festival? Well, the Coachella folks are here to please. They've decided to pack this year's event full of historic reunions and rarer than rare appearances, so you'd be completely unable to pass up the 3-day pass. 

A couple of buzz-worthy highlights to whet the appetite, before the nitty-gritty details of the 3 day lineup (at bottom)...

1. Jesus & Mary Chain: Making their first appearance since disbanding after their 1999 tour, the groundbreaking Noise Pop pioneers from Glasgow are back.  This is huge. It's a shame that the younger set may not even remember their seminal 1984 release, Psychocandy, which went on to influence a whole generation of groundbreakers in the 90s. Think My Bloody Valentine. Think Dino Jr. Their fuzzed out, feedback-drenched pop was darker than their American counterparts, Sonic Youth, so they are often associated with the Goth brethren like Bauhaus. But it is wonderfully apropos that they'll share the SoCal sun with Sonic Youth, just the same. It's an opportunity to see them live that most of us never thought we'd live to see.

2. Rage Against the Machine & Zack de la Rocha: This is the shocker that the Coachella publicity machine came out of the gate with. And justifiably so, as it's just perfectly jaw-dropping enough to send shockwaves rippling across all news outlets, both broadly pop and defiantly indie. But the real news here is Zack de la Rocha. Though Tom Morello may be the most adorable socialist activist ever, his return to Rage material is slightly old news, being that he pulled out a handful Rage classics on both of the tours behind Audioslave's first and second albums. But Zack? He's been mysteriously among the missing for years! In fact, his inexplicable absence has merely served to deepen the outspoken frontman's mystique. Yes, we've heard rumors of a solo album from time to time. But nothing came of them. So this is both a Rage reunion and a reintroduction of de la Rocha to the world stage.

3. Crowded House: Something so strong as the nostalgia for Neil Finn's gorgeous pop melodies couldn't long be denied in this bring-everybody-back-from-the-dead-for-another-tour era.  And what better way to reintroduce themselves to American audiences (who have always been the slowest to catch on to Crowded House, in comparison to their platinum-hood in NZ, Oz & the UK) than reunion/reappearance/reinvention convention, Coachella 2007? According toBillboard,  their Coachella appearance is the precursor to a brand new album and full world tour, but Split Enz fans will be saddened to learn from Australia's that Neil's brother Tim Finn is not part of this reunion.

4. Happy Mondays: After Shaun Ryder's reignition in the public consciousness with the Gorillaz' uber-hit, D.A.R.E., it was just a matter of time before he got the itch to get back in the game. Seriously, I remember wondering when the Happy Mondays reunion would happen as I watched him dance around the stage of the Apollo, lollipop dangling from his cheek while he sang his bit in Damon Albarn's masterful recreation of the second Gorillaz album, in its entirety, live. Not sure why the reunion of the fathers of the Manchester Scene isn't creating as much of a hub-bub on the wires as the rest. I think this one's about as shocking as the Jesus & Mary Chain announcement -- particularly considering all the drug addictions that had to be overcome to make it a reality. Or at least, let us hope they've been overcome.

5. Bjork:
No, you can't really call this a comeback, as the nymph from Iceland has never paused more than a few years between records. But it IS the first time in countless moons that I can remember actually having an opportunity to see her here in the states. Can I get an Amen?!

6. James: They've reformed, too. Up to you how excited you get about this one. I have no beef with the band,I'm just indifferent. But I certainly recognize that this is a big deal to a lot of people.

7. Jarvis Cocker: Where you been, man? Last time I saw your face, you were dressed in full-on wizard-rocker gear for Harry Potter's ball scene. And Pulp fans haven't seen you since you went off the radar after the accolades for your last album (2002) died away. I trust you'll be as coolly stylish, wry and smug as always. And that's exactly how we like you. Don't change a thing.

8. The Good, The Bad & The Queen: This band is like a reunion of people who've never been in bands together. So, no, it doesn't officially belong in this category. But with this lineup, it's undiable that this is a future renion in the making. Two words... Damon Albarn. OK, fine, the Blur and Gorillaz mastermind is not the only noteworthy member of this supergroup. On the contrary, they've got Paul Simonon (bassist for The Clash), Simon Tong (guitarist for The Verve), and Tony Allen (Fela Kuti's drummer). And Danger Mouse does mix-master duty, just as he did for the Gorillaz' last album. But whether he'll make an appearance, sans Donnie Darko bunny suit or not, is anyone's guess, considering his continent-hopping success in Gnarls Barkley. One can only hope.

9. The New Pornographers: Yes, this is another band that doesn't officially belong in the reunion category. But it's our first shot at seeing Neko Case back with her band after jaunting around the country in support of her (amazing) solo album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. (Go buy it!)

And as Fader Mag so eloquently pointed out...
• Willie Nelson is playing both Coachella and Stagecoach, because dude is so dude...
• The possibility of The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, !!! and Hot Chip playing right after each other on Saturday would be insane...
• Explosions in the Sky's set on Sunday will hopefully be on the second stage as the sun sets and will hopefully totally destroy us and turn us into little weeping babies.

And lastly, here's the full 3-day lineup, direct from the Coachella peeps.

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