The 12 Days of Coachella: 9 Debut Albums

Posted by Amoebite, April 12, 2010 01:27pm | Post a Comment
"One man's attempt to dissect the method to 3 days of madness in the desert"
  - By Scott Butterworth

On the 3rd weekend of April my Coachella will give to me.....
12 DJ's.....11 Angelenos....10 Duos Duet-ing....

....and 9 Debut Albums:  

Passion Pit
The XX
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
The Temper Trap
Miike Snow
Florence + The Machine
Little Boots

Coachella 2010 Lineup Debut Albums

Each year, the stages of Coachella are graced by legends in music, many with careers spanning decades and musical catalogs expansive enough to fill the entire 3-day weekend. But there's also another pool of artists at Coachella each year -- usually found on the smaller "tent" stages or in the early hour slots of the main stage -- making a name for themselves in the music world on very limited but deserving musical output. Coachella promoters make a profession of spotting these artists early and presenting them to us before the "rest of the world" catches on. And it's not rare to see some of these artists, who are featured in the smallest font on the above flyer, go on to headline the festival in future years. The following 9 artists are playing Coachella this year on the strength of their debut albums. All 9 of them include singles that have permeated diverse avenues of pop culture within the past year, but all 9 artists have inaugurated their careers with "albums" that bite as hard as their "singles" bark. 

Artist Spotlights:
Hockey Coachella

The Portland, Oregon music scene of the past few years has been known for its indie singer-songwriters and bearded folk/rock hipsters, but its most recent export, Hockey, has the New York rock & roll swagger of The Strokes, and the dance-y, punk-y energy of dance-punk outfits popular in the early part of this past decade.

Still, something about Hockey makes me think they’re not just drawing influence from the downtown dance-punk scene of early 00’s NYC for their 2009 debut album Mind Chaos. Instead I imagine they might have actually been contemporaries of bands like The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem, and while invited out on one of The Strokes' notorious NYC party binges circa 2001, maybe they just passed out in a drunken stupor, waking up in 2009 to release their debut album and perform alongside friends LCD Soundsystem and Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) at this year’s Coachella, not realizing they had been blacked-out for the better part of the decade.

Shhhhh!!! If you don’t say anything they won’t notice. If Hockey asks why their friends (and assumed fellow up-and-comers) are playing the main stage, while they are stuck playing a smaller tent stage, just tell them that someone must have mixed up the schedule, and that the rest of The Strokes got sick, so Julian Casablancas has do it on his own this year.

"Too Fake" from the album Mind Chaos, (2009):


I didn’t know who this guy was until I started researching for this blog, but I have a feeling that he is huge in the mainstream world and I somehow have never heard the name. The only reason I have a feeling this guy is part of the mainstream world is because I didn’t recognize his name, I didn’t recognize the song title, I had no idea what he even remotely sounded like, or even what “B.o.B.” was. But as soon as I listened to this song on Youtube, I was singing almost every word to it. My familiarity with the song could be due to major-label propagandistic marketing; it could be from hearing it at bars, clubs, restaurants, or any other public places; or because I frequently love to blast Top 40 radio in my car on the way to or from work at Amoeba. One of these statements is true...but I’m never going to admit it.

"Nothin' On You" ft. Bruno Mars, from the album B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray (2010):

The XX:

The XX Coachella

The XX reminds me of heroin. I've never used heroin, yet I have a feeling they are similar. Let me explain. I all know about heroin. I know why people use it the second, third, fourth, fifth, and hundredth time. But I've never understood why someone uses it the first time. I see heroin use from the "outside," and nothing about it seems particularly appealing; life is just fine without it. But once on the "inside" (I'm assuming), it's something we cannot get away from; it's something we NEED! There was so much great music in 2009, I couldn't keep up with it. Many people had told me about The XX, and they saw what it was like on the "inside," but I didn't understand what drew people to it. Nothing from the "outside" looked or sounded necessarily appealing. I've heard that heroin feels like the warmest blanket on the coldest day imaginable. I have never used heroin. I have used The XX's debut album XX. Now I'm so cold any time I'm without it. 

Here's a cool profile of the band by CNN:

"Islands" from the debut album XX (2009):

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros:

When I see them perform, I start to ask myself the same type of questions that pop into my head when I see bands like the Polyphonic Spree. Did a cult decide to start playing music? Or did a group of musicians decide to start a cult? I’m sure these are very nice, decent people, so don’t jump on my case...but I’m just saying!

"Home" from the album Up From Below (2009):

Passion Pit:

You might not recognize the name...but I guarantee you'll recognize the track "Sleepyhead" from the Cambridge, Mass indie electro/pop-ers. It probably took you months to get it out of your head after hearing it in the Palm Pixi TV commercial for the thousandth time. Well now it's back in your head...sorry.  And that's just the "tip of iceberg" of the hypnotic synth-y dance jams that are packed into Passion Pit's debut album Manners.

"Sleepyhead" from the album Manners (2009):

The Temper Trap:

If you live in a town with electricity, you've definitely heard these Aussies at some point in the last year.  Their song "Sweet Disposition" was featured in the indie breakout film (500) Days of Summer, as well as in TV commercials for Chrysler and Rhapsody.

(I have to give a shout-out to Danial Glass -- owner of The Temper Trap's label Glassnote -- for being the coolest label head in the business. Not only has he released some the best indie rock albums of the past year, but he is a plain-and-simple cool dude.  A few months ago I randomly met him in the aisles of Amoeba Hollywood, and after a very brief exchange he insisted he put me on the guestlist to The Temper Trap's sold-out LA debut at the Roxy the next night!)

(By clicking on the following video, you hereby release me from any liability for you becoming completely infatuated with Zooey Deschanel. I warned you!)

"Sweet Disposition" from the album Conditions (2009):

Florence + The Machine:

Lock Sinead O'Conner and Lady Gaga in a room and tell them they can't come out until they've written a record together...and you get Lungs by Florence + The Machine. Guys...I dare you to watch the video for "Drumming Song" and not fall in love with her.

"Drumming Song" from the album Lungs (2009):

Miike Snow:

Miike Snow is not just one man, but a group of Swedes formed in Stockholm in 2007. Two thirds of its members also form the pop production and songwriting team known as Bloodshy & Avant, and are responsible for many pop hits of the past decade, including Britney Spears' "Toxic"...ever heard of it?? C'mon...all you hipsters know you had that song on repeat back in 2004. I don't know what it is, but every time I talk about something Swedish it makes me think of Tom Green's "The Bum Bum Song."

"Animal" from the album Miike Snow (2009):

Little Boots:

"Meddle" from the album Hands (2010):

(To see all posts in The 12 Days of Coachella 2010 series, click here. For Amoeba's full Coachella coverage, 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

Florence + The Machine (5), B.o.b. (3), Miike Snow (2), The Temper Trap (1), Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (1), The Xx (12), Hockey (2), Passion Pit (2), 12 Days Of Coachella 2010 (7), Coachella 2010 (12), Coachella (41), 500 Days Of Summer (2), Sinead O'conner (1), Lady Gaga (26), Bruno Mars (6), Tom Green (1), Britney Spears (14)