I'm not in attendance this year, but I will be watching the webcast. Keep reloading this post for my musings as they happen. Watch the webcast here.
3:53PM: Skrillex? Is he playing this year? Oh, no, just an interview from 2011. No wonder the Sahara lineup is so laughable this year. Once Skrillex has been inside you, there's no turning back, is there?
3:57: James was supposed to start two minutes ago, so here's yet another Art of 2011 interview.
4:00: Still no James, but GIVERS are now on Channels 1 and 2.
4:04: GIVERS are one of those bands that I just can't into.
4:06: James finally surfaced on channel 1, but I'm too distracted by a Pains of Being Pure at Heart interview from 2011 on channel 3.
4:09: Is that Joe Pantoliano's character from The Matrix? Cypher?
4:11: Full disclosure time. I've never really known anything from James besides that American Pie song, but they're sounding pretty good. I will have to investigate their discography. Hopefully I don't become a fan because like most British bands from the 90's, they don't tour the colonies much.
4:17: honeyhoney is one of those bands that's good at what they do, but what they do doesn't really strike my fancy. Nevertheless, I'm digging it. It seems they have a liveliness that's too infectious to pass up live. I feel bad for them because their crowd is pretty small.
4:20: Everything is just a way to pass the time until Pulp, really.
4:24: Not enough bands use megaphones. Go, James.
4:29: I have too many windows open to look, but how did James get their name? I know it's wrong, but band names that sound like the name of a solo artist often frustrate me.
4:32: I've lost interest in James and am jumping back to honeyhoney.
4:35: 10 minutes until Neon Indian? Good, good.
4:36: "I don't want to keep saying it, but it's really fucking cool to be here." Reference to everyone being high. The singer is saying she might crowd surf. $5 says she doesn't.
4:37: Back at James. Those clouds look nasty. Coachella wants to be Glastonbury, and it's now one step closer.
4:38: "So this is Coachella, huh? Friday afternoon. I hope you can handle the pace and the amazing bands that are on later. Do everything your parents wouldn't do or wouldn't tell you that they've done."Sounds like they are about to close their set.
4:39: James frontman is seizure dancing Thom Yorke style.
4:40: Relatively small crowd at the main. Where is everybody? I wonder how many are camped out for Pulp.
4:42: It's that song from all the American Pie trailers. Random hipsters dancing with them onstage. This looks like a lot of fun.
4:46: Still James and no Neon Indian.
4:50: See last comment. Neon Indian is an act I've been wanting to see, so I'm getting annoyed.
4:52: Back at honeyhoney. This riff sounds a lot like Radiohead.
4:54: Finally, Neon Indian. And we're at the start of their set. They were supposed to start 14 minutes ago, so either both of the big stages are running late or the webcast is just behind. How will this affect Pulp and Mazzy Star? Just as long as neither of those gets a shortened webcast, I'll be content.
5:00: Those aren't rain clouds; those are tornado clouds.
5:02: Neon Indian is not sporting any neon, but a little bit of purple.
5:04: You know who should be at Coachella and would be absolutely perfect mid-day in a tent, but never gets booked? Hint: they toured with Neon Indian last year. It seems every band they play with gets to play Coachella, but never them.
5:06: Neon Indian sounds tight enough, but there's something missing. I think a lot is getting lost in the open air. Chillwave is best indoors, perhaps?
5:07: I've only been watching Gary Clark, Jr for 10 seconds, but I'm calling it now. He's a guitar god.
5:10: Technical Difficulties just killed channels 2 and 3.
5:14: Channels 2 and 3 are back on. True story: in 2009, one of the few sets in the Bonnaroo webcast I cared to watch was St. Vincent. Only half her set was scheduled to air, and technical difficulties made for a blank screen except for the last three minutes of it. Hope that doesn't happen tomorrow.
5:20: Gary Clark Jr. is the set of the day so far. I am definitely watching him when I'm at Sasquatch next month. Now this is bluesy guitar rock done right. Unlike other acts with such vintage stylings, this doesn't feel forced and drenched with a distracting level of artiface. No bullshitting here.
5:21: If it weren't for the palm trees, I'd think I was watching another festival. Everyone's got their hoodies up and it's not even night. Monty Burns has blocked the sun, apparently. Will this weather persist all weekend? At normal Coachellas, it drops down to the 50's or low 60's at night. I wouldn't be surprised if the temperature drops to the low 40's tonight.
5:26: Neon Indian has gotten into their groove and is owning the stage. I'll be back in a few. Sasquatch set times have been released and I need to see those ASAP.
5:27: Sasquatch site has crashed due to traffic. Neon Indan has skillfully started out pretty chill, then built the tension to high levels, and then unleashed a sonic assault that's more tsunami than wave. Very good.
5:30: All that hype you've heard about "Midnight City"? It's true when it applies to "Polish Girl"...
5:49: Amon Tobin's ISAM setup is already up in the Mojave. Guess it's too big to roll out right before showtime. Dinner and chore time. Will be back in 25 minutes for Yuck.
6:05: I know something that cements someone in one of the bands in the webcast tonight as a total douchebag, but I can't say since it was shared with me off the record.
6:07: Oh damn, I forgot Yuck should be on now. Time to get back on.
6:10: I like Mariko Doi's cool, detached stage presence.
6:12: A buddy just IMed me that Yuck reminds him of a mediocre Nirvana. I disagree on the mediocre part and don't see Nirvana. I get comparisons to Dinosaur Jr, et al, but Nirvana?
6:15: I saw Yuck at Primavera last year and they sound as great here as they did there.
6:23: Is anyone actually reading? Feel like I'm taking to myself here.
6:32: Yuck is proof that guitar bands need not be a thing of the past.
6:42: Is it down for anyone else? I can't get any of the channels to load.
6:53: Has someone decided that Firefox is no longer allowed to view the webstream? I even disabled adblock plus, and every channel just pulls up a blank. Not even an attempt at connecting to anything. But it's working on Google Chrome.
6:55: The music of Arctic Monkeys has aged poorly. What happens when a band has nothing new or exciting to offer, but gets popular anyway, and keeps going? This.
6:58: If I were actually attending, I'd be in hell right now listening to Arctic Monkeys while waiting for Pulp. Group at back of crowd waving British flag. I'll be enduring the Ariel Pink trainwreck in San Francisco, so I guess that's actually worse. Screw this, I'll be back for Pulp.
7:52: Pulp time! Those questions across the screen? We got them via LASER at Primavera.
7:54: I wonder how many people are actually watching. Looks like Madness had a pretty big crowd.
7:55: Stream went out. NOT NOW! Still with the questions? I wonder if they've started yet or is the webcast on a delay.
7:58: Pulp sure knows how to build dramatic tension.
08:00: And...release. I want some crowd shots. Are they rowdy or lame?
08:02: They sound great. Jarvis Cocker has the moves of Jagger or Jacko.
08:03: Mis-Shapes! They did not play this at Primavera.
08:05: SHOW US THE CROWD! ARE THEY BUMPING OR NOT? Jarvis has gone on record as hating this song, but you wouldn't know it here. He's delivering it with passion and purpose. A true outsider anthem. Pulp has so many of those. It helps keep their music timeless. Some things are more relevant than ever.
08:08: Jarvis is throwing "confectionery" and grapes out into the crowd. So literate. "We were almost here last year, but it didn't work out." Interesting.
08:14: He's been talking for one minute. I bet a bunch of dullards are complaining at this very moment. I want that Joker-esque suit.
08:15: Babies into Disco 2000? They're really rushing through this set.
08:20: Talking about dry ice. I'm guessing this means "Sorted" is next!
08:21: Lasers always make for the best light show. ALWAYS.
08:25: They're actually playing F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E.? They usually omit that and most of the slower ones from their non-headlining sets. It's the epitome of sleazy perfection. BRING IT.
08:32: Jarvis flips the bird. Double birds. THE FEAR? Seriously? Holy shit. They've hardly played this at all on the reunion tour.
08:37: Jarvis is going into the crowd with the mini camera. He usually does this at the beginning of "I Spy". I guess there are some hardcore fans up front. Good, good.
08:43: Humping the stage? Who else but the Cocker?
08:53: "Let's fucking penetrate!"
08:55: "JAGGER strut" - someone awesome
09:01: State Farm and their nu-metal-esque interludes between broadcasts. Seriously?
09:13: Mazzy Star sounds spot on. It's an interesting example of contrasts having them after Pulp.
09:31: Why did it rain? To make the Mazzy Star set perfect.