Coachella 2009

The festival is run quite well. Parking is a breeze and it's but a 15 minute walk or so to the gates. There are more than enough bathrooms. The food is surprisingly good for a festival. A bottle of water only runs you $2. Sure, it's scorching hot during the day, but this is known going in. There's a slight overflow of sound between the two main stages, but it's not enough to overpower or ruin a performance.

Brief Reviews of the Bands I Caught

M. Ward Run-of-the-mill set from Ward. If you've never seen him, I'm sure it was enjoyable. I was a bit bored.

Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band I've never been a fan of Bright Eyes, but I did find myself listening to his latest solo record a bit. That said, his set was pretty bad, and he has the charisma of Bobby Jindal. This guy should *not* speak in between songs.

Leonard Cohen I've never understood the whole *legend* status thing about Leonard Cohen. However, it was a good set. I was thrilled to hear "Everybody Knows."

Morrissey A very pleasant surprise. I'm not a Smiths fan. I suppose that could change soon.

Paul McCartney "Blackbird" alone was worth the eight-hour drive. I can't believe I'm confessing this, but we left early. It was a mistake. But I'm old and grumpy.

Henry Rollins Always entertaining.

Calexico Always kinda mediocre. Alright, slightly better than mediocre.

Fleet Foxes Boring. Oh my god, they have great harmonies! So do about 34,000 other bands. The harmonies alone don't carry these mandle-wearing-greasers.

Band of Horses Quite nice.

M.I.A. Ever since she's buddied up to the hip hop folks, her shows have suffered. I saw her at Amoeba around the release of her first record and it was mighty fine. Now it's just a bit too over the top. And the attitude's getting just silly.

Okkervil River These guys just get better and better.

Brian Jonestown Massacre Fantastic. No antics, just full-throttle damn rock n' roll. Perfect set.

Antony & The Johnsons I could only bear three songs. Awful.

Paul Weller Quite nice. He brought Johnny Marr on for a tune which was a nice bonus.

My Bloody Valentine I can't believe I'm going to type this, but I actually liked their set quite a bit. We sat in the back and I kept my eyes on the sky during their entire set. It was pretty powerful.

I shot the following video of Okkervil's "Black" on my awful Sony digital.