Saturday, April 29, 2006

Travelblogue, Coachella 2006 03: Continental Breakfast and Hipsters

After finally going to bed at about 2 AM, I slept like a rock until 8:50 this morning. Seeing as I had woken fairly early and fairly amiably, I decided to go take advantage of the continental breakfast, which was to close at 9:30. In doing so, I exposed myself to a most strange scene - a hotel lobby full of hipsters.

Of the people in the lobby eating breakfast, about 90% of them were young (late teens to twenties), and bearing all the tell-tale hipster signs. Too-tiny t-shirts with snarky slogans and punk-esque design elements. Distressed, moppy hair. Designer sunglasses, worn indoors. Carefully maintained not-quite-beards. I've grown quite used to seeing these types at concerts and the like, but to see so many assembled in someplace so sterile - and usually populated with seniors and young families - as a hotel lobby with continental breakfast is just straight up weird. I should have taken pictures...

So now I'm back to relaxing in the hotel room, killing some time until I go to the festival. In past years I've rushed to the festival as early as 9:00 AM, only to wait in line for hours before getting inside the gates, and then to wait for hours more - in deathly heat and sun, mind you - before any decent acts start playing. Based on that past experience, and some research, I've made an informed decision to go to the festival late this year. That way, I plan to avoid the worst of the lines, and to minimize my time waiting in the ungodly heat drinking $2-a-bottle water. I can also avoid eating the sketchy festival food this way. And minimize the time in which I have to subject myself to the soiled porta-potties. The big-time music writers never mention this stuff, eh?

A big help in my making of that decision was Goldenvoice's (promoter of Coachella) decision to publish the
set times of the festival before the festival. I believe they first did this last year, though they may have started it earlier - I don't really know. But I do know that in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, I went to the festival without knowing who was playing when, and I did not gain this information until in the festival gates, when the little festival guides were handed out. This year, not only are the schedules available, but also a nifty little tool that allows you to create your own, visualy-prioritized schedule. Here are my schedules for Saturday and Sunday, respectively:

The names of the acts in higher priority are printed proportionately larger. Very easy, very cool. I'm also glad to see that there are few conflicts for me. I lament that I'm going to have to miss Sleater-Kinney, but Bloc Party is, for me, mightier. And while it is also unfortunate that I'm going to have to cut out of Franz Ferdinand early in order to see the Juan Maclean, I imagine the Franz Ferdinand crowd is going to be obnoxious anyway... But, based on a little bit of MySpace listening this morning, I'd have to say the act that I'm the most excited about seeing at the moment, oddly enough, is Lady Sovereign. I honestly never thought I'd get the chance to see a grime act (grime is a weird UK permutation of hip-hop, heavily influenced by electronic music), not without traveling to the shadier neighborhoods of the UK. I followed this scene a bit back around 2001-2002, but I'd since kinda forgotten about it, and had assumed it had died. To have a grime act playing in the US, where I get to see them, is just too cool for words.

Enough for now. On to other things, and then other things will become going to the festival. Until then...


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