Coachella A-Z Part 8

Hi, I’m Kyle David Paul, and this is the second last Coachella A-Z column. That’s part 8 of 9 for those keeping track. Next monday will be the closing opus of this 9 week mega-mega preview of the largest concert in North America this year. But First! I get some angry, angry mail.

Well I must say, I usually find these reviews quite enjoyable, but I can’t believe that someone doing in-depth reviews on bands could skim over a band (The Blood Brothers) so poorly.

“I went over their bio at thinking that since they had a bio at they were popular or something. Maybe they are, I don’t know, but they come across in the interview as a rookie garage band trying to make a difference in the world with their horrible rhetoric and bad cliche’s.”

Well maybe you’re not very into the the underground music thing or non-mainstream music in general, but they are actually fairly popular (you probably heard of them because they’re not on MTV). Horrible rhetoric and bad cliches, eh? I’m not sure which lyrics out of the two songs you bothered to listen you’re talking about (I’m assuming that you wouldn’t lie that you didn’t attempt to look any further on the band because the only songs or videos for that matter are live)? Are you sure that you haven’t realized from looking up their lyrics so profusely (talking @#%$ on their lyrics clearly indicates you looked up more than one song) that they pretty much always write music that is metaphorical, symbolic and none of their lyrics are from their own perspective?

“Their music isn’t much different.”

Aha! To the untrained ear.

“They sound sort of like what Hot Hot Heat sounded like before they realized they changed lead singers.”

I might be incredibly retarded but I can still not understand what you’re trying to say here after trying desperately. I didn’t think that Hot Hot Heat ever changed singers. And at that, I don’t think they sound like Hot Hot Heat at all. If what you’re failing to succeed in asking is if The Blood Brothers have two singers, then yes, the two guys you saw walking around, holding mics in the videos you “watched” are the two lead singers.

“There’s a tinge of melody, but mostly it’s shouting and crashy drums that scream ‘minor league’.”

I had no ideas that hardcore bands screamed. Weird. Oh wait, both songs had constant screaming and crashing drums? You did watch the video where there isn’t screaming until the last minute and it only occurs for 20 seconds, right? Wait, neither of the videos had screaming that wasn’t extremely brief and those songs were some of their most calm. You’re not just saying you watched it and saying this band sucks because you’ve never heard of them before, right? You there Mr. Holmes?

“The fact that the only multimedia avaliable on their website is live video footage (and the venue looks like a freaking high school gym at that) doesn’t help.”

Holy @#%$ Sherlock Holmes, what a crazy-ass High School Gym with brick walls, a stage, camera flashes, and !!!! Looks like somebody needs to get their snooping magnifying glass checked.

“I understand that a lot of bands start out playing dingy little gigs and community centers out in the suburbs.”

I’m not sure a band that isn’t controlled by clear-channel is going to get huge gigs at stadiums. I didn’t know that all-ages clubs were considered dingy little gigs and didn’t know that they played community centers. I’m surprised that someone who looked into the Blood Brothers using two websites and obviously didn’t read them entirely knows something about The Blood Brothers I (a fan) don’t.

“What I don’t understand is that these guys have released three albums and seem to still be hanging out at the same places.”

The Blood Brothers have 5 albums out (not 3, Mr. Detective) and have been signed for at least five years now. Actually, they were even fairly well known when they were in high school as far as high school bands go. Oh and if you’re wondering about why they’re playing the same place in two videos recorded on the same night, then I think I can enlighten you. When someone records two videos at one concert, the videos will obviously not be at different concerts (case solved).

Someone as much of a super snooper as you to use two websites [that they didn’t read/observe entirely] as a source to create an opinion and profile of a band, I’m surprised you’ve never thought of looking at the videos on the Yahoo profile. Although I understand your fears in trying to hear non-live material and go to un-official websites because the free songs might be illegal (oh heavens). Well, I’ve actually taken the time to heavily research The Blood Brothers and find their Purevolume page which has free and legal songs, so you don’t have to worry about the RIAA cathching you. Actually, I’ll even send you some songs if you want. If you have Slsk, you can find me in the Coachella Chatroom.

Oh, and its Dresden Dolls, not Dresdon Dolls.

Edit: You’re right, Hot Hot Heat did change singers awhile back, but that question is still extremely hard to understand. – Jeffrey

My response (feeble, yes) can be found here, in order to save some time, effort and toes.

Also, to be fair

Loved your preview for the Blood Brothers. – Johnnypolite

Okay, lets get on with the show!


The Futureheads

Official Website

In their biography, they claim Devo, Queen, Fugazi and Katie Bush as direct influences. Perhaps the rest are in the subtext or the organization or something, but really the only one I hear is Devo, and boy do I hear a lot of Devo in these guys. The constant 4/4 drums, the robotic guitars, the snappy one liners and catchy brit-jingle choruses, this is all Devo 101. To be frank, your enjoyment of the Futureheads will depend entirely on whether you are a fan of Devo.

The futureheads belong opening for the Hives. That’s how their sound works. It will make you dance, not think. It will make you want to drink with comrades, not chug with frat boy brothers. You will impress your contemporary music professor if you say you listen to them, and they won’t piss off your parents either because, lets face it, everyone’s parents love Devo. I mean, it’s Devo. What’s not to love about Devo?

I’m penciling these guys in as definites to see at this show for two reasons. The first is because there’s only 3 or 4 other bands on the bill that sound like this and they’re all good. The second is to see if there’s anything actually original about them. The recorded material is enough to impress me on their prowess, but not their ingenuity. This is a test. I hope they pass it.

There are three songs you can download for free right off their main website.

The Kills

Official Website

Ah, the Kills. The first of two hot duet groups on this list that I adore. Why can’t all rock bands be this attractive? It’s not like they’re pretty in a pop music way. They’re beautiful in that CBGB’s sort of way, filled up on liquor, leather, and dirt. They play pop music the way it should be played; with a great bass line, great sass, and great attitude. Whether it’s a facade or not (all the mean reviewers say it is) these two drip all-American low down cool. The entire theme to their new album, ‘No Wow’ seems to be sweaty, hot sex. They want to provide the soundtrack to all the sweaty, hot sex you’ll be having in the near future.

In the middle of the desert in the middle of the day, these guys will play thier sultry southern rock and there will be some writhing happening, I can guarantee you that. Hair will stick to skin and the ground will pulse. You’ll want to be there then.

You can watch the sexy video, ‘real good ones’ by scrolling to the bottom of their extremely simple little website.

The Perceptionists

Official Website

There aren’t that many bands that get to provide the anthem to a team at the Superbowl. But that’s exactly what the Perceptionists did when the New England Patriots used their track ‘The Razor’, which was written precisely for the show. It’s one of those awesome ‘adrenaline’ tracks that professional wrestling breathes on.

This is another definitive Jux hip hop acts appearing at Coachella. Out of every hip-hop act though, these guys might be the most suited to making 70,000 people get up and move. These guys seem prepackaged for a huge party. Their beats are the biggest out of anyone. Their choruses are the easiest to sing along. Some are radically left wing, some are meant to drink down to, it all depends on their mood. As for the back-beats, these guys are amazingly diverse, mixing southern guitar loops with violins and cymbals and who knows what else. These guys are a party in and of themselves. You will be entertained.

There’s a couple tracks in the player on their main website.

The Raveonettes

Official Website

Everyone who is passionate about pop music has a band they call their own. For some, it’s Sonic Youth. For others, it’s The Polyphonic Spree or Tegan & Sara or Jeff Buckley. The list is as long as there are lesser-known artists. For me, it’s the Raveonettes.

I first heard of these guys about 2 and a half years ago. Has it been that long? I was DJing at my college radio station (still do. We’re just on summer break now is all) and I picked up The Raveonettes’ EP, ‘Whip It On’. I threw it in not knowing a damn thing about them. I took it out and immediately had a new favorite band. ‘Whip it On’ was 26 minutes of pure adrenaline. Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner put together the greatest pop songs of our generation, and I’m confident in stating that. They do this because they have a sense of purpose that few other bands posess.

In each album they have a process. ‘Whip it on’ was a ‘dark’ pop album. The rules were that no song could go over 3 and a half minutes, that they use no more than three chords in each song, and that the entire album be played in the key of B minor. The follow up album, ‘Chain Gang of Love’ is done the same way, but in B major, making it the ‘lighter’ pop album of the two.

As for influences, The Raveonettes is a marriage between Buddy Holly, The Beach Boys, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. They use the beautifully choreographed song styles of the first two and add in the punk rock fuzz of the later to create this harmonious dichotomy you have to listen to for weeks on end.

The new album, ‘Pretty in Black’, edges toward the Buddy Holly stuff and less Jesus and Mary Chain simply by accident. While on tour in Europe, they lost their fuzz pedals, and had to record the new album without them. It’s cleaner sounding and more pure. The songs remind us all of a simpler time when all teenagers had to think of was who to sleep with in their cars, looking over the ridge at the end of town.

The Secret Machines

Official Website

The first thing I have to say is how awesome the Secret Machines’ website design is. That’s pretty kick ass. The second thing I have to say is that the Secret Machines should be on the soundtrack to every television show in the history of the invention. They should be on MTV and Muchmusic every hour. You ever watch those stations and wish not that they changed their genre from pop to hardcore, but from bad pop to good pop? The Secret Machines is good pop. If they replaced every God damn Nickelback video with a Secret Machines one, the world would be a better place.

With both political and sexually charged themes (the album is called Now Here is Nowhere, if that’s any inclination of what side they lean on politically; as for the sex, it’s basically a charged, bass heavy record that’s great for punk rock girls to shag along with) The Secret Machines have that formula of awesome pop and indie cred (Pitchfork gave them an 8.2 for their efforts) that should propell them to some awesome heights.

If Epitonic ever comes on again, you can get several downloads here. If not, there’s almost a whole album avaliable in their player on the main website, as well as a few too-cool videos.

The Sexy Magazines

Official Website

OKay, that lead singer has a hell of a lot of mascara. I’ve heard a lot of hype about The Sexy Magazines. I’ve heard that they throw a great party. I’ve heard they play their tunes like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve heard that they are the last band in the world to actually give a damn about music in general and that they are here to save us from our own terrible tase in rock and roll. However, The Sexy Magazines are a small, new band with one fledging EP, so I haven’t actually heard what they, you know, sound like.

This is one of the few mysteries at Coachella that I’m going to check out, though. They’re on second, after K-Os, and I’m going to have to see somebody in that spot (and it sure as hell isn’t going to be the Bravery), but also because I’m curious as to how much the hype and the real deal correlate. If you hear me swooning about these guys at the beginning of the review in 2 and a half weeks, you’ll know they’ve succeeded. If I don’t mention them, then they’re better off not mentioned.


Official Website

Thrice’s website looks a lot like Linkin Parks’, and that scares me. Thankfully, they sound nothing like them. Instead, they sound like the older brothers of that emo band that plays in your community centre every friday. If that’s your thing, great, you’ll love them. They convey every single stereotype of an emo band, and they pull it off as good as anyone else. If you hate the genre of emo and want everyone associated with it to burn in eternal hellfire, then you’re probably best to avoide Thrice. There’s bound to be someone at Coachella who’se into the genre, and Thrice seems to be the only band that covers this genre, so the two will enjoy one another.

Thrice is a band much better suited to something like the Warped Tour; not a festival that has The Doves, Chemical Brothers, and Coldplay as several of it’s main eventers.

You can stream a couple tracks right here.


Official Website

It’s the second last column, and Weezer is our Second-last main event band (to kill the mystery, Wilco is the last one). You remember Weezer, right? They debuted in 1994, released a self titled ‘blue’ album that every smart girl in America owns, released a follow up album called Pinkerton that arguably started the whole emo genre, then disappeared for 4 years. In 2000, they released a self titled ‘green’ album, which every smart boy in America owns, released a follow-up album called ‘maladroit’ which everyone in America mispronounced, then disappeared for 4 years. Now their back and their breaking their tradition by naming their return album something, the something being ‘make believe’, which may be a great title or a stupid one depending on which side of the fence you’re in. I’ll still bet you any amount of money they release another album in 2 years then disappear again.

At some point or another, everyone has enjoyed Weezer to some extent. Their new single, ‘Beverly Hills’ sounds like it strays from the basic formula (lots of clapping, heavier chorus, less guitar solos) but it really isn’t. It’s still 3 minutes long. It’s still half-sarcastic. It’s still nerdy to the max. Just because the video was shot in the playboy mansion doesn’t make it any less nerdy. but ANYWAYS, what I’m trying to say is that the new Weezer is pretty much the same as the old Weezer, no matter what anyone tries to tell you. If you liked the old Weezer, you’ll like the new Weezer. Maybe not right away, but listen a few times and you’ll get it.

If you don’t know Weezer and wonder just what all the hoopla is about, go here. Every single video, a bunch of interviews, and some weird toury stuff is on there. A little while ago, they compiled it all into a 10$ dvd that sort of sucks when you watch it straight through, but is great if you nit pick.


Special Feature: Coachella Film Festival Shorts

Next week I’ll take a look at the two major films presented at Coachella. These films will be presented on a huge screen located between the main and alternate music stages, outside and free of charge. While there’s no definitive showtimes as of yet (just like there aren’t for the music gigs, either) expect these shorts to prelude the main screenings throughout the day. This information can be found at Since there aren’t trailers for the shorts, this is basically a cut and paste job. Don’t worry, I’ll look into the features with some good depth next week.

DIRECTOR: Geogre Meeker
A short documentary detailing the often confusing process of becoming a white hip-hop star… or not becoming one, as it turns out for L.A.’s own Hot Karl.

DIRECTOR: Charles Jensen
Our favorite degenerate monkey is back for more debauchery, and this time he’s brought along a friend… an underage friend.

DIRECTORS: Joey Ingram & Josh Mahan
Imagine waking up to discover your “face machine” is broken, leaving you only with horrific faces to live your daily life with. With Interpol’s music as its musical backdrop, AWAKEN unplugs a strong message on being true to who you are using stop motion animation.

DIRECTORS: Mark Woollen, Myles Bender
Tom, the guitarist for the band Ike, sums up this highly entertaining documentary this way: “You don’t know how much of a pain in the ass it is to audition drummers, man; do you know how many f*ck’n freaks there are?”

DIRECTOR: Shane Acker
RUNNING TIME: 10:49 mins
“9” is like a Tim Burton-esqe animated homage to Beowulf, reset in a post-apocalyptic world. Shane Acker’s 3-D computer-animated depiction of a people-less, post-war future has been realized to the last chilling detail.

DIRECTOR: Liz Blazer
RUNNING TIME: 5:25 mins
BACKSEAT BINGO, a humorous and honest cutout animated documentary about the romantic lives of Senior Citizens. All of the senior citizen participants that are animated for the film were artists, including musicians, writers, and one sculptor.

RUNNING TIME: 4:30 mins
See what happens when an alien crash lands into a concert and thinks a speaker is a life form from the planet Earth.

DIRECTOR: Don Handfield
Finding himself destitute and utterly alone, one man turns to the only people on the planet he feels connected to… other people also sharing his name: Jason Scott. MY NAME IS… (JASON SCOTT) is a soulful comedy about loneliness and redemption that addresses the lack of connectedness in today’s society and is driven by an engaging performance from French Stewart from “3rd Rock from the Sun.”

DIRECTOR: Rusty Nails
“The Ramones and I” is one filmmaker’s short, but sweet personal tribute to the Ramones as he details what the band was all about and what they meant to him. He does so in a monologue that runs over classic never before seen footage of the Ramones from 1976, as well as footage of the filmmaker, Rusty Nails, during his own early pinhead days. It’s a loving tribute and no matter how many times someone climbs on top of a mountain and screams their greatness, you still can’t believe that a band that amazing existed.


And That’s it for this week. Next week, I’ll finish off the A-Z list which includes Wilco, Wolf Eyes, Zion I, and Zap Mama. As well, I’ll preview all the bands that have been added to the concert thus far, including UNCLE, The Locust, DJ Z-trip, Ben Watt, Pinback, Midlake, and Nic Armstrong & The Thieves. On top of that, I’ll preview the two major screenings at the Coachella Film Festival.