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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Music News and Features

24 Apr 2017
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Since its inception in 1999, Coachella has continued to evolve—to the point where it’s now one of the most well-known festivals in the world. This year, it went through a large evolutionary step: The capacity went from 99,000 people to 125,000. The site was also reorganized, with the Outdoor Stage and the Mojave and Gobi tents pulled all the way back against Monroe Street. The Sahara Tent is a permanent fixture on the site, but the interior got all sorts of new effects. There is also a new tent, too: the daytime/early evening-only Sonora Tent. It offered an air-conditioned, club-like atmosphere and hosted a lot of punk-rock acts, like as T.S.O.L., The Interrupters, Shannon and the Clams and others. Many Weekend 1 attendees took to social media to complain about crowding in the general admission areas. There was some truth to those complaints, as I learned during Weekend 2. Still,…
23 Apr 2017
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Coachella attendees who braved Saturday’s hot temperatures got some great music to enjoy, including the day’s headliner, Lady Gaga. I must admit that I am not a big fan of pop divas, but I promised myself I would keep an open mind as I took in Gaga’s performance, rather than doing my usual full embrace of the “music snob” title that some have bestowed upon me. As for that performance: After Bon Iver’s Main Stage set finished a little before 10 p.m., most of the area was dead, as attendees crammed the Outdoor Stage area to take in DJ Snake’s performance. That let Gaga’s die-hard fans grab spots close to the stage. Gaga was scheduled for 11:10 p.m., and even though the stage seemed set well before that, she did not take the stage until after 11:30. I watched parts of last weekend’s Gaga show on the live YouTube stream.…
23 Apr 2017
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Camping accommodations at Coachella are pretty sweet—if you like to party. But what if you aren’t into partying, are Jewish, and are attending Coachella? Shabbat Tent has you covered. Coachella and Passover tend to overlap at times—as was the case last weekend. This weekend, on Saturday morning—during the Sabbath—I noticed Shabbat Tent and decided to stop in. There, I met Rabbi Yonah Bookstein. Before the service, Rabbi Bookstein’s volunteers offered attendees grape juice, wine or whiskey to drink during the service. One of the attendees raised his hand and said, “WHISKEY PLEASE!” He then added: “I LOVE JUDAISM!” During the brief Sabbath service, Rabbi Bookstein discussed giving freely to others without expecting anything in return, as well as the meaning of establishing healthy boundaries. Shabbat Tent doesn’t only show up at Coachella. When you look at the Shabbat Tent website, you’ll see it has appeared at numerous U.S. music festivals,…
22 Apr 2017
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Radiohead’s Weekend 1 Coachella performance was, by all accounts, a disaster. That was on everybody’s mind as the Friday headliner prepared to take the stage for Weekend 2. I wasn’t at Coachella last weekend, but I certainly heard about the sound issues, intense audio feedback and other problems that forced the band off stage twice during the set. Also … the band played “Creep” last weekend—a song the group almost never plays. Was it planned for the set list, or was it added as a consolation for fans who braved the technical difficulties? I may never get the answer to that last question, but all of my other queries and concerns were washed away: Radiohead’s Weekend 2 performance was fantastic. Ambient and atmospheric sounds emanated from giant poles, with speakers positioned throughout the Main Stage crowd area, before the band took the stage; it reminded me of Roger Waters’ Desert…
22 Apr 2017
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You’ve probably never heard of Klangstof. If that’s indeed the case … you really need to change that. From Amsterdam, the group has been performing together since 2015, and is now signed with Warner Bros. This year, Klangstof became the first Dutch group to ever play at Coachella. Front man Koen van de Wardt stopped by the media tent on Friday, April 21, and chatted with me about his Coachella experience. “It’s been amazing,” van de Wardt said, beaming with a smile. “It’s been everything I expected and a little bit more. It’s our first United States festival date, and it’s a very cool one as a first experience. Everything has been so overwhelming. All these people are walking around. Obviously, the heat is horrible, but you try to deal with it.” Van de Wardt said the band has played at festivals in Europe—but the experience here is rather different.…
14 Apr 2017
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Radio personality Brad Mercer is known for his long-running Bands ’N’ Fans radio show on local country-music station KXCM. However, his showbiz talents extend well beyond radio. Mercer’s show can be heard every Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. on KXCM FM 96.3/92.1, and streaming at www.bradmercersbnf.com. During a recent phone interview, Mercer talked about his true passions. “I’ve done so much in my life that it boils down to helping other artists get to where they want to go,” Mercer said. “I’ve done so much in my life that I’ve wanted to pass it on to the younger artists who are trying to get somewhere in the business. The only way I know how to do that is to help promote them in some way.” His showbiz career started rather inauspiciously. “It started when I got my first guitar, which was back in 1955. I cut my teeth on…
21 Mar 2017
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Local DJ Alex Harrington has made a name for himself as one of the Coachella Valley’s most in-demand DJs—but he’s also been spending a lot of time on the production side, creating his own house music. It appears that hard work is starting to pay off. He recently released a new EP, and has yet more new tracks in the works. During a recent interview in Palm Springs, Harrington—a former Independent contributor—discussed his recent goings-on. “I’ve been trying to focus on my production work, doing remixes, putting out EPs of originals, and also keeping up a presence with live gigs,” Harrington said. “As before, there was exploration involved. Now, I know the ropes and what I can do with them.” After doing some work with nu-disco and tropical styles, Harrington said he’s currently focusing on house music. Harrington added that stepping up his production game has helped him grow as…
02 Mar 2017
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters)—Lady Gaga will step in for Beyonce at this year’s Coachella music festival after the R&B singer, who is pregnant with twins, dropped out of her headlining slot due to doctor’s orders. Gaga, 30, made the announcement late Tuesday, Feb. 28, on her social media pages with an image of the three-day lineup at the festival and her name at the top of the second day’s schedule, accompanied by the caption, “Let’s party in the desert!” Beyonce, 35, was due to headline the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio on April 15 and April 22. She pulled out last week, saying in a statement that she was “following the advice of her doctors to keep a less rigorous schedule in the coming months.” Gaga’s Coachella headlining slot follows her performance at February’s Super Bowl, where she sang, danced and soared over the stage suspended on…