Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: Coachella Cram Session

Posted by Amoebite, April 16, 2009 06:43pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth

Artists 26-30: No Age, TRAV$DJ-AM, Throbbing Gristle, Mastodon and Shepard Fairey

Ladies and gentleman, we are on the eve of my favorite weekend of the year, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. If the past twenty five days of my Coachella blog and the following video hasn't convinced you to go to Coachella...then I'm not sure what will. But I hope you've at least found something you liked along the way. If you haven't read the last 25 band features, then you've got some homework to do, but for the last five band profiles of this 30 Coachella Bands in 30 Days blog, I'm going to throwback to an old college tradition...the "cram session." So grab a Redbull...and let's do this!

Artist #26 -  No Age:
No Age
No Age, another band from the Sup Pop mafia, the Seattle label that's throwing its weight (and talent) around this year's Coachella festival, is one my most anticipated performances of the weekend. Their debut album Nouns was, without a doubt, in my top three albums of 2008. No Age is a lo-fi fuzz/art rock duo, with one member on guitar, one on drums. But don't expect the White Stripes...They sound more like Sonic Youth. If you want to be able to say to the kids, "...I was there when (insert legendary band and time/place) happened....", buy this album now and go see them play live...anywhere!

"Eraser" from the album Nouns (2008):

No Age live at Amoeba Hollywood August 27, 2007:

Artist #27 - TRV$DJ-AM:

It's easy for a name to get overlooked in the massive 3-day Coachella lineup. Sometimes it just has to be spelled out for youTRV$DJ-AM...literally. TRV$DJ-AM is former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and Hollywood and Las Vegas' favorite mash-up master DJ AM. Coachella is one of the grandest forums for artists to introduce themselves to the masses, or to make their triumphant return to the musical scene after an absence from the spotlight for any given reason. With TRV$DJ-AM's performance at the festival this year, they will be doing a little bit of both. They performed a residency at The Roxy in Los Angeles this past July and have popped up here and there with one-off night club appearances, but Coachella will be their first large scale display outside of the Hollywood/Vegas nightclub party circuit. Coachella will also mark a return of sorts for the two. Saturday's prime time position in the Dance Tent will be their first major public performance since the tragic airplane crash that took the lives of all on board, sparing Travis and DJ AM, but not without horrific injuries.

The following video isn't the best example of the duo in action, but I just had to play it because it involves the two things that made me happiest when I was 15 years old....Metallica and crowd surfing!

DJ AM and Travis Barker live at The Mezzanine in San Francisco:

Artist #28 - Throbbing Gristle:
Throbbing Gristle
Throbbing Gristle is probably one of the creepiest bands I've ever heard/seen. The British industrial music and performing arts group were actively creeping the hell out of people from 1976 until their last performance in San Francisco in 1981. (What is it about San Francisco that causes a band's live career to end? Examples: The Beatles, Sex Pistols, The Band, etc.) The band reunited in 2004 and performed in London, creeping the hell out of people for the first time in 23 years. They spent some brief time in the studio to work on a new album that would just creep the hell out of people. The album Part Two was eventually released in 2007. Now they're ready to creep at Coachella with a rare live performance that's guaranteed to be as creepy as ever. To be honest, I'm so creeped-out by these guys...and I can't wait too see it live! Alright that's it...I gotta move on to the next band...I've been listening to these guys for the past 20 minutes...and it's creeping the hell out of me!

"Discipline" from the album 20 Jazz Funk Greats (1979):

Artist #29 - Mastodon:

This next one is for my lovely manager Brooke at the Hollywood Amoeba, who dared me to find her a band at Coachella that wasn't a bunch of "whiny indie kids." Brooke and I both share a love of Metallica's Ride The Lightning, but for the most part our mMastodonusical interests tend to wander in different directions. But metal music will alway have a special place in my heart. (As I am writing this, I almost knocked over my computer monitor during a spontaneous desk drumming session to Metallica's "Orion.") It was really my first love in music. It was the first thing that felt "dangerous," in an otherwise safe adolescence. Since then, my musical taste has evolved away from more contemporary metal, but Mastodon is a refreshing addition to Coachella. They're a good way to cleanse the palate throughout a day full of indie rock/alternative bands. It'll be like sniffing coffee beans between samples of cologne at the department store. And even if you're not into the metal stuff, give these guys a chance. Just think of it as Band of Horses with a little more distortion. It's going to be epic!

"Divinations" from the album Crack The Skye (2009):
Artist #30 - Shepard Fairey (DJ Diabetic):
Shepard Fairey
And last, but surely not least....the man behind the screenprint heard 'round the world! 

You'll probably never recognize him on the street, but if you don't recognize his work, I don't think you've been alive for the past year and a half. Shepard Fairey is the man behind the "Obey Giant" street art phenomenon, the infamous Barack Obama "Hope" poster, and some just plain and simple cool DJ sets at the hippest events around Los Angeles. His artwork is even hidden throughout Amoeba Music stores like easter eggs. Hint: album covers for Led Zeppelin, Black Eyed Peas, Smashing Pumpkins, Flogging Molly and Anthrax. This Sunday at Coachella, Shepard with be in the Dance Tent under the name DJ Diabetic, spinning musical sugar for our ears. I have a feeling he's got something up his sleeve for us. If I were you...I'd bring extra insulin!!!

(To see all the Coachella posts in this series, click here. And thank you to those that commented on previous posts. Please feel free to comment on what you like, don't like, and leave a suggested donation of $10.)

Relevant Tags

Coachella 2009 (26), No Age (16), Travis Barker (5), Dj Am (6), Throbbing Gristle (11), Mastadon (2), Shepard Fairey (11)