There comes a point where, no matter how hard you’ve worked to avoid the trite and tedious milestones that constitute adulthood, age starts to sneak up on you. Maybe it’s not the house in the suburbs, maybe it’s not the 2.3 kids, maybe it’s not the respectable haircut, but it’s out there and it’s searching for you, aging hipster.
Look around. Your friends are putting frames around the fliers they’ve scavenged from shows and drinking imported beer. There are power walkers with septum piercings and you live in an “Arts District.” And to top it all off, that band-the soundtrack of your alienated high school years, the one you lost your virginity to, the one that claimed it would never rock again-is reuniting.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. May I present the bloated and stinking corpse of…The Pixies! It’s official kids: the first Pixies show since 1993 will be this May in the beautiful California desert.
The feud between Black “Bob’s Big Boy” Francis and Kim “my twin almost kicked heroin” Deal that ultimately led to the band’s demise has at last been put aside and the two will be joining forces with Dave Lovering and Joey Santiago to reform the band’s original lineup.
After the breakup, Deal found a modicum of success with her projects The Breeders and The Amps, while Francis (as Frank Black and with his band, The Catholics), recorded more than ten albums. But despite Lovering’s stint as magician and Santiago’s film scores with The Martinis, no solo endeavors could capture the magic or critical acclaim awarded the original Pixies. If they can muster even a fraction of the chemistry that brought us such classics as Doolittle and Come On Pilgrim, then this is something not to be missed.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival rose from the ashes of the rock-tour-heavy1990s in Indio, California, outside of Palm Springs, in October of 1999. With an original lineup including Morrissey, Beck and Gil Scott-Heron, its success was a breath of fresh air for those exhausted from Lilith Fair, Lollapalooza and Horde’s radio-heavy mediocrity.
Modeled on European successes, like the Glastonbury and Reading festivals, Coachella offered things missing from its contemporaries, mainly water, food and good bands. In subsequent years, Coachella grew to epic proportions, with nearly every mentionable band on the radar having played on one of its stages and an estimated 68,000 attendees.
The lineup this year has been the cause of unbelievable Internet speculation and the confirmed bands have the clammy-handed fan base to justify it. Already scheduled to play the festival May 1 and 2 are electro-darlings Air, Sidestepper, The Crystal Method, Basement Jaxx, and Prefuse 73, as well as bleep-rock originators Kraftwerk. Radiohead is booked for their only North American date in 2004 and The Cure’s Robert Smith is already applying mascara to his drooping lids to headline second night.
The rock spectrum is well represented too, with everyone from indie-rock limp wrists Death Cab For Cutie and The Flaming Lips to Sleepy Jackson, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Sahara Hotnights and The Thrills. Rumored acts range from the brilliant Neutral Milk Hotel to presidential candidate Howard Dean. Even Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground are considering the desert festival and with 70 slots to fill chances are the hits will just keep coming. So pack your bags, grease up those tattoos, and hit the road, there are plenty of hotel rooms and campsites available. And don’t forget your ironic trucker hat; I don’t want any of you coming back sunburned.