Monday, April 23, 2012

25 Acts Due for a Coachella Debut

The Orange County Register recently published an article listing a hundred acts they want to make their Coachella debut. There are some impressive choices on the list, such as Sparks and A Tribe Called Quest, but Simply Fuss Free's take is that it's too focused on big names, many of whom are questionable for America's most popular festival. Here's a list of 25 more acts that would make Coachella, or any festival, one for the ages.

Asobi Seksu: The band really wants to play. That has to count for something. Asobi Seksu is no mere shoegaze-revivalist act. Their blistering live set is the rarity that makes the body conflicted between jumping around in their best dancing shoes to those punchy pop hooks and standing there in a trance overwhelmed by the thunderous waves of psychedelic noise.
The Avalanches: After years of teases that the new album is coming soon, I've given up hope on it ever happening. However, there was a DJ set in Sydney last year.
Bat for Lashes: According to Natasha Khan, the long-awaited third album is coming "soon." When? Still no word. The desert was made for an otherworldly songstress such as Bat for Lashes to come in and bewitch the masses.
Boards of Canada: Will never happen. Moving on.
Boris: Never the same band twice, Boris released four albums last year. Surely that was enough to guarantee an appearance from Japan's metal oddities? Next time, then?

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: We need to know who is truly the sleaziest frontman: Cave or Cocker. It's already too late for Grinderman, so let's have this before they call it a day, as well.
Clinic: Considering the amount of dust in the air, nobody will blink when they take the stage wearing surgical masks. Sure, hardly anyone would be in attendance, but the Coachella debut of Clinic would be a guaranteed highlight of the weekend for those precious few. And the festival has a reputation of offering esoteric treats for those with more discriminating tastes,
Emmy the Great: If Coachella is an attempt at bringing something like Glastonbury to America, then Emmy the Great needs to make an appearance on the lineup. Preferably every year, and the dual weekend format takes care of the multiple gigs side. Yes, at the 2009 edition of Glastonbury, she played four sets throughout the weekend. Last year? Twice, plus an appearance with Billy Bragg's Big Round Up. Every year, there's at least one songwriter from England performing in the Gobi tent and it's never one with the raw emotionality and lyrical brilliance of Emmy the Great.
Erasure: A little respect, indeed, because this would be one hell of a party.
The Knife: Word on the street is they're asked every year, but always turn it down. With a new album in the works for 2012, will next year finally be the year? Will the cult of Karin Dreijer Andersson have a more potent "best bad trip ever" than the Fever Ray 2010 performance?

Lush: Imagine you're waiting up front at the Outdoor Theatre. Once the anticipation becomes too much to bear, Lush takes the stage at for the first time since 1996 as the sun starts to go down and they go into the opening chimes of "Light from a Dead Star". It's the ultimate dream pop dream. One of the finest acts associated with shoegaze, a Lush reunion would reignite the festival's tradition of bringing the genre's greats back together. Lovelife is also widely considered a proper Britpop album, so here's a chance to have the best of both worlds. The band's surviving members have expressed interest in reuniting in the past, so this should have happened already.
The Mountain Goats: Great band that's been around for ages and wants to play, but never has. You know the drill.
Mono: Every other post-rock band has played the Empire Polo Club. Just sayin'..
Nisennenmondai: It's no secret that this Japanese noise outfit captured my heart at Primavera Sound. Read why here. Surely someone at Goldenvoice saw them open for Battles at the Glasshouse or Mayan last year?
Eric Prydz: The light show monkey in me wants to see the massive spectacle that is officially called "Epic", and I know I'm not alone on this.

Röyksopp: Too downtempo for the fist-pump extravaganza that is the Sahara nowadays, the delightfully genre-blending Röyksopp would be a perfect Mojave closer, allowing the adults in attendance to have a dance. Let this happen the same year as The Knife, so we get those essential guest-vocals from Karin Dreijer Andersson.
Ulrich Schnauss: Schnauss produces electronic music that harkens back to those shoegaze greats. Another best of both worlds/two birds with one stone deal.
School of Seven Bells: These dream popsters have evolved quite a bit over the years, and even endured a lineup change, but what has remained constant is their absence from all Coachella posters (and no, the occasional fake doesn't count). They played the Echoplex on April 19, which is the day that at least 100 Coachella bands played gigs in Southern California. It has to mean something, right? Probably just an unfortunate coincidence.
Shonen Knife: The Japanese punk trio is the closest we will ever get to having The Ramones at Coachella. Speaking of which, is it too late for an Osaka Ramones set?
Slowdive: Shoegaze. Reunion. Overdue. Need I say more?

Supergrass: One of the few Britpop bands to survive until the end of the 00's, it was always a head-scratcher why Supergrass never played Coachella. The inevitable reunion tour, then?
Swans: Give them an extended closing slot in the Gobi or Mojave, and Coachella will have a moment of earth-splitting wickedness from which it may never recover.
Tears for Fears: There's a token 80's band every year, it seems, and Tears for Fears are still going strong. Who wouldn't want to visit this set and have some proper singalongs? Debbie Downers, that's who.
The Unicorns: Honestly, I just barely prefer Islands' debut Return to the Sea to the albums of The Unicorns, yet they are near the top of my reunion wishlist. The last two Islands albums? Yeah, it's time to get the band back together.
Yellow Magic Orchestra: How can anyone not want to see the band that is often called "the Japanese Kraftwerk"? They played America last year for the first time in decades, and here's hoping it's not the last.

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