Liner NotesBy Kevin Longrie
Coachella: the festival so expensive, hot and unpleasant has doubled its size this year. The largest concert event in the Inland Empire decided to augment attendance figures and water bottle sales by stretching the shows over two weekends instead of the traditional one. It will be the exact same line-up both weekends—“and what a line-up!” everyone was overheard saying on Facebook—so theoretically there would be no reason for you to attend both. But where there’s a will and trust-fund, there’s a way.
In all seriousness, Coachella did manage to pull quite a few impressive acts this year. With the exception of an underwhelming Friday, this is the best line-up that the festival has presented in years. Acts like Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (headliners of Saturday and Sunday, respectively) will most likely draw record crowds, and the various indie niches will be filled out by groups like Destroyer, Real Estate and a rare appearance by the J.D. Salinger of lo-fi himself, Jeff Mangum.
There are also a lot of reunions happening during that fortnight. Of these, perhaps the most notable and anticipated is At the Drive-In, the post-hardcore favorite whose jaws broke open in 2001 and spat out The Mars Volta and Sparta. Volta/ATDI frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala (known to his friends as Cedric “The Entertainer”) spoke about a possible reunion three years ago which had not materialized until now.
In non-Coachella news, the Red Hot Chili Peppers had to reshuffle its tour schedule due to “multiple foot injuries” sustained by lead singer Anthony Kiedis. According to a press release, “Kiedis recently underwent surgery to remove a crushed sesamoid bone and correct a detached flexor tendon.” There’s been no official comment yet on how Kiedis was injured, just that it all occurred under a bridge downtown. Surgeons are optimistic, saying they were able to clear away a lot of scar tissue and he should make a full recovery soon. Although some of the U.S. dates had to be pushed back, Kiedis’ reps say the group should be able to complete its current tour by late October—and hopefully take its new live show around the world the year after.
Jónsi, the pixie-like leader of Sigur Rós, has decided to score another film for Cameron Crowe. While his songs have been used in previous (and markedly more successful) Crowe projects, last year’s flop We Bought a Zoo was the first that Jónsi was asked to score. If nothing else, the Icelandic elf’s angelic and often grandiose music will make the trailer tear-inducing and make the film’s third-act revelation feel like a religious experience.
Björk, another wood nymph from that tiny and adorable island in the upper Atlantic (which, if you didn’t know, has its own Twitter), has announced that she will be holding a series of shows in February and March combining music and education. Her latest, Biophilia, was no less weirder than anything she’s put out before, but it had a particularly scientific bend to it. It used biorhythms and homemade instruments, for Jónsi’s sake! Björk plans on holding “interactive science and music workshops for middle-school children,” the responsibilities of which will be shared with co-sponsor the New York Hall of Science. Björk, known to some as the sweeter, less sexually obvious Lady Gaga, might not be teaching organic chemistry anytime soon, but she’s doing more to promote scientific education than most American politicians.
From Don Quixote to Oscar Wilde‘s De Profundis, there have been many great works written in prison. Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” helped change the world. As much as it pains me to say it, I’m not sure if the same impact will be had when Lil Wayne releases his upcoming prison memoir Gone Till November, written about his eight months spent incarcerated. Prove me wrong, Weezy. I hope you do.