The Coachella 2005 lineups have been announced. My first reaction to this list was disappointment, because it didn’t match up to the list that was “leaked” back in November or so, which included David Bowie, Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse, The Postal Service, and Frank Sinatra. Well, none of those guys are coming, and while Bowie can do whatever he wants FF and MM are so central to music right now that they’re conspicuous in their absence. The “leak” ends up looking less like a leak and more like the organizers’ Christmas list.
However, given time to contemplate the real list, I’ve become excited again. To be sure, this year’s lineup is not as strong as last year’s when it comes to headliners; it’s hard to top Radiohead and the Pixies. At the same time, the second- and third-tier bands are definitely on par with last year’s, with both Confirmed Greats (Wilco) and Rising Stars (Arcade Fire, the Futureheads) on tap. Though the Big Acts were great last year, as much of the event’s success was credited to the smaller performances like Stellastarr*. So I’ve decided that this Coachella will be nearly as good as last year’s. To prove it, I’ve set up this little comparison:
British stadium rockers headlining night #1:
Dark gothish band headlining night #2:
’04: The Cure
’05: Nine Inch Nails
Poppy Scottish band backing up the headliners:
’04: Belle & Sebastian
’05: Snow Patrol
Advantage: It would be B&S but they weren’t very good last year so I’ll say Even.
Brooding young indie darling:
’04: Bright Eyes
’05: Bright Eyes
Overly portentous band:
’04: …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
Advantage: ’05 (especially since AYWKUBTD stunk last year)
Effervescent electronic pop band:
’05: New Order
Band making a comeback:
’04: The Pixies
’05: New Order, NIN, Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, Gang of Four
Advantage: Even, Even, ’04, ’04, ’04. And an extra advantage to ’04 for not fielding five comeback acts.
’04: Dizzee Rascal
’05: Aesop Rock
Weird, fun American band:
’04: The Flaming Lips
Advantage: Hard to say, I don’t know Weezer very well.
Weird experimental band that doesn’t always put breaks between songs:
’04: Erase Errata
’05: Fiery Furnaces
Poppy Danish Band:
’04: Junior Senior
’05: The Raveonettes
Guitar-heavy American indie band
’04: Death Cab for Cutie
Dark horses (for me, anyway):
’04: Sahara Hotnights, Broken Social Scene, The Thrills
’05: Rilo Kiley, The Faint, Arcade Fire
Advantage: I guess we’ll find out, won’t we?