Monday, January 22, 2007

Sirens in the Desert Beckon Again

The lineup for Coachella 2007 has been announced, and I'm concerned how we're gonna make this work.

I've known for a while that the festival would run for three days instead of two this year. When I got that news, I felt a sense of dread instead of excitement. Sure, an extra day means extra bands. But it also means that the talent pool each day will be even more diluted than it already was.

Aside from a concern about the talent, I was also concerned about getting everyone to show up for three days worth of sweating in the desert. It was hard enough last year as it was. I knew three days would be a near-impossible sell.

So the lineup comes out, and my sense of dread is affirmed. A couple of must-sees here and there sprinkled amongst a whole lot of "huh?" I mean, Willie Nelson? Makes even less sense than Madonna. I relented last year and dropped by the dance tent to catch a glimpse of Madonna. If I'm there for Day Three this year, you can bet that I won't be swinging by Willie's tent.

Of the bands on the roster this year, I'm most excited about seeing Interpol. I've been a huge fan for several years now, but I've somehow managed not to catch them live ... and they're from NYC.

I can still remember quite vividly the first time I heard about Interpol. It was March of 2003, and I was having brunch with someone who had just seen Interpol the night before. She raved and raved about them, but I had no idea what she was talking about. Part of the reason we were having brunch together was that I thought we had similar musical sensibilities. But her ebullient summation of the Interpol show made me realize that we weren't on the same page: she was living in the present whereas I was stuck in the 90's. I went home that afternoon and bought 10 new CDs. I think that was the beginning of the re-immersion process. Interesting how someone who drifts into your life for only a fleeting moment can have such a dramatic effect on the course of your development.

We'll see how Coachella 2007 shakes out.