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Coachella Breaks Records for Attendance…And Arrests

According to Rolling Stone, the first week of Coachella 2012 didn’t just break an attendance record – it broke an arrest record, too. The Indio, California police department has estimated that 80,000 to 85,000 people attended each day of the three-day festival. This is up 10,000 people last year, the previous all-time high. The police department claims that there has already been 130 arrests at the festival, as well. This is a big increase compared to last year’s 40 arrests. Due to the tremendous increase in attendance, most of the arrests are alcohol-related. Despite the seemingly large number, Benjamin Guitron of the Indio Police Department told NBC that this number was small “compared to other events-sometimes there are 200 arrests at football games.”

The second weekend of the Coachella Festival will begin tomorrow. According to Rolling Stone, the line up is essentially identical to last week’s. From what we can tell, some big names include Swedish House Mafia, Radiohead, Bon Iver, and of course Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and the now-famous Hologram Tupac for Sunday.

Click here to check out Coachella 2012′s full lineup.

Needle In The Haystack: French Cassettes

This week’s Needle In The Haystack artist French Cassettes hails from Ripon, California. And while we’re not sure if that’s anywhere near Indio, we think the winds of Coachella may have been blowing through, as whiffs of festival favorites like The Black Keys and Local Natives can be picked up in both their melodies and vocal stylings. The French Cassettes take it a step further, invoking both their moniker and Parisian singer songwriter influences.

Learn more about the six piece below, and stay tuned for more from the French Cassettes all week long.

For fans of: Arcade Fire, Cold War Kids, The White Stripes

Viewer Discretion Advised: Three Dimensions of Phish

There’s no arguing the current phenomenon sweeping our nation.  No, it’s not the KFC Double Down, or even Bieber Fever. It’s 3 dimensional viewing. Why watch anything in boring, old 2D like our parents when we can enjoy viewing everything from cooking shows to cartoons with an additional dimension.  Three is better than 2, right? Luckily, we’re not limited to fuzzy children’s monsters and larger-than-life bugs to feel out of this world anymore.  Musical acts of all varieties are  jumping on the bandwagon, and this year a slew of HD 3D concerts will be assaulting your senses. And we’re not talking Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers.

Now, there is one band that comes to mind when mulling the unlimited possibilities of 3D concert experience. Known for musical improvisations that  ensure no two shows are alike and a fan culture that arguably surpasses any other following of its kind, jam band Phish are the perfect candidates. And wouldn’t you know, PHISH 3D premieres tomorrow (Friday, April 30th) in theaters across the country — 3D glasses included.

The concert film features footage shot by AEG Live and Action 3D over the three days of the band’s Festival 8, which took place last Halloween weekend in Indio, California. We were lucky enough to catch an early screening of the movie on 4/20 (when else?) and we can promise you, this isn’t your little sister’s animated Pixar film.

The movie opens on the last night of the festival, November 1st, while the band is playing “AC/DC Bag.” The first thing you notice is the giant balloons bouncing throughout the crowd, nothing out of the ordinary for a Phish audience. However about a minute in you find yourself dodging one, and the stage is set for you to feel as if you are right in the middle of the awesome assemblage.

Continue Reading Three Dimensions of Phish

Coachella in Review

As the dust settles in the Indio, CA desert, it’s time to reflect upon another amazing experience at Coachella.  This year brought audiences lots of dancing, comfortable weather and some unfortunate cancellations due to the airline chaos caused by the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokwll glacier.  Natural disasters aside, varied acts like Jay-Z, Phoenix and DJ Lance Rock offered festival goers some surprises.  Overall, the three days of music resulted in some hits and misses.  Check it out!

Despite the long lines to get into the festival earlier in the day, She & Him started the day off with a sunny dose of poppy folk.  The always-cute Zooey Deschanel, clad in a baby blue halter dress, did most of the talking between sets.  Although nothing she said was too interesting, her effervescent smile and bright eyes made everyone smile.  Their set finished early, leaving time for the band to come back onstage to play “I Put A Spell On You.”  Zooey belted it out to thunderous applause and cheering.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé

Headliner Jay-Z kicked Friday night off right.  His better half, Beyoncé, graced us with her prescence when she came on stage during his set to sing “Forever Young.”  Even the hugest haters were on their feet cheering so it goes without saying this power couple was on fire.  Earlier in the night, LCD Soundsystem rocked it with an extended version of “All My Friends” and their new “Drunk Girls.”

Saturday got started with a shred-tastic set from rock/ska/punk band RX Bandits.  Bassist Choi destroyed on a drum solo near the end of their show.  What was most refreshing about RX Bandit’s set was seeing their label execs jamming on the side of the stage instead of staring at their Blackberry’s with arms crossed.  No one could deny that RX Bandits melted faces.  And the rock didn’t stop there. Portugal. The Man. picked up the energy right after.  They even had a toddler looking on behind the stage (with sound blocking headphones of course.)  You have to respect parents who can still play!

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UNDER COVERS VOLUME 2

Welcome to the second installment of “Under Covers,” a biweekly column dedicated to exploring the musical possibilities of artists appreciating one another’s work on both the OurStage and national level!

Perhaps it was the numerous family road trips spent crawling lethargically through the roasting interstates of the Midwest, with the cornfields, power lines and Lucinda Williams’ tired voice on the radio as the only signs of humanity. Or maybe it was just the fact that this time of year fulfilled affinity for laziness after a summer full of activity. Regardless, I’ve always associated the month of August with carefree leisure and folk music. Over the years, the late summer breeze has blown folk melodies of old and new my way; from Gram Parsons and Johnny Cash to Iron & Wine and Paper Bird. Yes, every musical genre undergoes some metamorphosis over time, yet time seems to have handled the folk genre a little more delicately. Icons have come and gone, but the sounds and generalized messages of today’s folk music hasn’t drifted too far from its roots. If you haven’t already guessed it, this week’s “Under Covers” topic is folk music for the heartland.

greatplains

Back in ’89, a Canadian singer songwriter named Gordon Peterson released an album on A&M Records entitled Big Harvest with his band Indio. The album’s single, “Hard Sun” got a little airplay, but the album was otherwise considered a flop and he was dropped, never to be heard from again. Literally, the guy pulled a Salinger and vanished into oblivion, and has had absolutely no presence in the public realm ever since. Since that ’89 release, Big Harvest has come to be considered an underground jeweland having not been physically pressed since its release until this January, this collectors item has gone for as much as $400 on Ebay.

Gordon Peterson

Gordon Peterson

Eighteen years after the initial release, Eddie Vedder popularized Peterson’s “Hard Sun” in a cover for the critically acclaimed Into the Wild soundtrack, and the work of Indio was dragged out of its cave and into the limelight. This time no one forgot.

For me, “Hard Sun” is a standby song; not a song to be played constantly, but more so on call for special occasions. But when those first guitar chords are strummed, they will make your day. Eventually, they might even trigger your reflex to take a deep breath automatically. With Peterson’s warmly layered vocals, dispersed percussion and hooky chorus, this tune will have you singing out loud for hours. The meaning of this song is ambiguous. The verses can be interpreted as a tribute to mother nature, a force that seems to have been a reassuring staple in Peterson’s life. Or, it can be translated to tell of his love for a real life “she,” someone who stayed with him through the good times and the bad. Peterson’s first person reassurance enters in the chorus, encouragement for “the big people” to find peace and resolve in the struggle under the “big hard sun” no matter where or who you are in the “big hard world.” It’s quite motivating, exhaling a “set forth on your mission and don’t ever look back” vibe. One half ode to a support to lean on, one half ode to the downtrodden workers of the world.

Continue reading ‘UNDER COVERS VOLUME 2′

 


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