It’s BACK!! Next weekend marks the beginning of the 2017 edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. As always, this year’s lineup is jam-packed with talent, so we picked our favorites to help you navigate the down time between the Main stage and Sahara sets.
1. The Lemon Twigs
Of all the wild things to appear at Coachella, The Lemon Twigs are sure to be among the kookiest, even giving Lady Gaga herself a run for her money. Teenage brothers Brian and Michael D'Addario from Long Island, NY rock a pastel-meets-retro glam aesthetic complete with a dip-dyed mullet atop the younger’s mug. Their modern sockhop pop sound is just as unique, driven by their natural knack for composition. If there were ever a reason to get in early on Friday, The Lemon Twigs are it.
2. Thee Commons
THIS BAND. Where do we start? These crazy Mexicali men literally run around the stage while they simultaneously shred ridiculous guitar solos on top of a thumping mariachi-meets-punk-then-goes-to-the-beach backdrop. Be prepared for fully costumed background dancers, a good bit of yelling, and a really fun time. It all happens Saturday.
3. Chicano Batman
Silky smooth vocals, groove-infused bass lines, and summery melodies abound in Chicano Batman’s artillery. They have been the name on Los Angeles’s lips as they come off of their third album, Cycles of Existential Rhyme. Many have cited Indio as the place that this band finally breaks into the widespread acclaim they undoubtedly deserve. We suggest you’re there on Saturday to see it, but only if you’re ready to get a little funky.
4. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
In addition to having the raddest name on the lineup, King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard pack a powerful punch. These masters of psych-punk from Melbourne will yank you by the cojones into the pit and whip you around until you wish you had more adrenaline to sweat out. Their set on Friday is bound to kick ass.
Tennis is the love child of husband and wife Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, who grew the band out of a project they made together documenting an eight-month sea voyage on a small sailboat for two. Now a full four-piece outfit with national acclaim, Tennis continues to incorporate the same easy-breezy feel of the ocean in their lo-fi indie pop pieces. They’ll provide a perfect environment to kick off your shoes and join a dance circle on Friday afternoon/evening.
6. Ezra Furman
When things start to drag in the Sunday afternoon sun, you can count on Ezra Furman’s upbeat jams to pick up the pace. When you catch this cross-dressing LA band, be sure to look out for their brass section. Their dueling saxophones are a must-see.
7. Twin Peaks
One of the downsides of music festivals is the immense size, which puts literal barriers between the artists and their audience. Twin Peaks, however, defies the laws of space and time with their engaging performances, drawing in their listeners and the parameters alike. These Chicago rock and rollers carry with them an unmatched vitality on stage, not to mention three catchy albums that will make you feel like it’s just you and the band.
She’s soft. She’s bold. She’s beautifully unconventional. And she’s been stirring up a bi-coastal buzz on the heels of her first self-released album, Puberty 2. To put her in any category somehow seems wrong, but for now we’ll call her alt-pop-rock. One thing is certain: this woman is a whirlwind, and this will not be the last you hear of her, so you might as well catch her set on Saturday.
9. The Paranoyds
These ladies know how to get gritty. The Paranoyds are the new kids with the old-school garage sound that the likes of the Dead Kennedys would mosh to. Just be careful not to stare too long at frontwoman and model Staz Lindes, or you might take a bass to the face.
Under the relentless Coachella sun, it’s bliss to step into a soothing folk oasis, much like the one provided by Whitney’s classic tones. Besides, where else are you going to find a drummer that sings at the same time? (Anderson .Paak isn’t on the lineup, we double checked). So grab your honey or any random person for a slow dance, it really won’t matter as soon as the band starts playing their sweet, sweet serenades.
Before you ask whether or not we can count (we can) take a moment to get lost in the ethereal headspace of Klangstof. You’ll understand why we had to expand the list a bit. They mix toned-down riffs with just the right amount of production to create real beauty, making an appropriate precursor to Radiohead Friday night. Just close your eyes, you’ll see.