Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Neon Indian

Alan Palmero, who is the “Neon Indian,” is seriously talented.  As a live act though, I’m not too sure if Wilbur will demand that we follow him to their stage.  They use a lot of synths and sampled loops in their tunes and musically, I’m not sure how different their live sets have been from their recordings. On stage they play with a drummer (Jason Faries), keys/synth/vocals (Leanne Macomber) and usually a guitarist and/or bassist they pick up on tour (correct me if they’ve added a permanent member).  Alan brings a lot of energy as the frontman and many of their songs are fairly ambient in nature, so I am not saying  they need to be headbangin’ on stage, but their sound could be fuller and there could be more action in their performances.

Check out this recent clip of Neon Indian performing “Polish Girl” at the OFF Festival in Poland. There just isn’t much that is going on the stage to distinguish themselves from every other indie synth/pop band. They do travel with a full time lighting dude (Lars Larsen), but I think for Coachella they are going to have to step-up their game by adding more visuals and by bringing more energy to the stage. They could possibly add more musicians to fill out their sound.  Coachella’s the time to make a statement with their performance.  I have love for Neon Indian and am interested in seeing them but must admit they are not at the top of my list.

Watch: “Polish Girl” OFF Festival, Poland

Watch: “Should Have Taken Acid with You” @ MidPoint Indie Festival in Cincinnati

The Head and The Heart – Dawes – Bon Iver – Feist – Andrew Bird – Laura Marling – Other Lives – honeyhoney – The Sheepdogs – Feist – Cat Power – Jeff Mangum – First Aid Kit – Lissie – Other Lives – M. Ward – Fanfarlo – The Growlers

Click For Spotify Playlist Folk- Rock/Acoustic Spotify Playlist (click to play):

This year’s lineup includes a range of folk based acts. Featuring one of this year’s most prolific female vocalists, Feist, along with other female-driven groups such as First Aid Kit, Cat Power and Lissie. Bon Iver comes into Coachella with a ton of notoriety after a very successful year with their self titled album.

Follow the Wilbur- Dawes

The complete antithesis to their hometown culture, this Los Angeles based band has been receiving tons of accolades for their grassroots folk rock. Their Album Nothing Is Wrong has been voted one of this year’s top albums by independent radio stations across the country land this band has been touring with the likes of Mumford and Sons and Blitzen Trapper.

Watch- When My Time Comes 

Follow the Wilbur- The Head and The Heart

The Head and The Heart, another band signed to Sub Pop Records, is one of many leading folk based bands coming from Seattle. Best seen up close and personal.

Listen To: “Down in the Valley”

Wolf Gang – M83 – AWOLNATION – Justice – Dragonette – Neon Indian – Radiohead – The Horrors – Metronomy – Wild Beasts – Miike Snow – Housse de Racket – Gardens & Villa – EMA- Destoyer

Click For Spotify PlaylistClick Here For Electronic Rock/Pop/Synth Playlist

With the ever-growing implementation of electronics into traditional rock formats and pure production from the lab, some of the genre’s most influential artists will be at this year’s event. Radiohead, one of the fathers of this brand, will headlining and goes without saying, should not be missed. It’s been a while since we’ve heard much from Miike Snow, but who won’t love a little “Animal” in the life come festival time? Neon Indian has exploded on the electronic indie scene with their fresh album Era Extrania (there’s an enye in there).


What initially began as a solo project from Aaron Bruno, the bands previously “struggling” frontman, the album was written as a representation of the frustration he was going through personally and through his music career. AWOLNATION has earned itself a reputation for its high-energy, original, get-your-rage-on performances. “Sail”, one of the bands hit tracks, has cracked the top 10 numerous times in the U.S. Modern Rock Charts.

Listen- “Guilty Filthy Soul”


Follow the Wilbur- Justice

Not that these dudes need any introduction but their new album kicks arsenal with a heavier focus on Rock. Their DJs sets are second to none as well.

Listen- New Lands

Follow the Wilbur- M83

M83, AKA Anthony Gonzalez’s latest double-disk album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming lived up to its hype after we got teased with the single “Midnight City.”

Listen- Raconte-Moi Une Histoire

Aftrojack – Madeon – Alesso – David Guetta – Avicii – Swedish House Mafia – Kaskade – R3hab – Calvin Harris – Porter Robinson – Dada Life – Justice – Feed Me – Morgan Page – LA Riots – Mekon – Nero

Click For Spotify PlaylistClick Here for Playlist

Coachella booked some of the biggest names in House Music. Just about all of the artists on the card sell out every show wherever they go. As testament to House Music’s rise as religion in America, Swedish House Mafia sold out Madison Square Garden in under an hour.


This guy produces one dope, powerful blended elctrohouse track after another.

Listen- Feed Me to the Stars EP

Follow The Wilbur- Porter Robinson

This youngin’ is up and comin’, fast.

Listen To- Say My Name

Indie Rock/Pop

We Are Augustines – Grouplove – We Were Promised Jetpacks – Arctic Monkeys – The Vaccines –   WILD FLAG – Givers – Oberhofer –  Fanfarlo – Yuck – Girls – The Shins – Spector – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Kasabian – Manchester Orchestra – Kaiser Chiefs- The Big Pink – Gotye – WU LYF – tUnE-YaRdS – Florence + The Machine – St. Vincent – Santigold – Fitz and The Tantrums –  Real Estate – Beirut – Ximea Sarinana – Hello Seahorse! – Suedehead – The Big Pink

Click For Spotify Playlist Indie Rock/Pop Playlist (click here)

*The Weekend will not be at Coachella, THE WEEKND will. I misread the card. I made the corrections and edited the Spotify playlists. Check Hip Hop/Rap/R&B. My B, yo.

We are in an “indie” world, people. At this point “innovation” should replace “independent.”

Noel Gallagher of Oasis, by all means a giant, has continued to innovate his sound. Grouplove’s popularity skyrocketed after their “Tongue Tied” song featured on Apple’s iPhone commercial. Music greatness is in their blood-  drummer Ryan Rabin is son of Trevor Rabin from Yes. Beirut has been drawing big crowds for its varied style- implementing horns, electronics and a variety of acoustic instruments. Kasabian would be on the top line of any card in Britain. Fitz and The Tantrums is one of the few bands on the indie scene with a true Soul focus. WU-LYF has got some cool vibe going on, though it is a mystery which language they are speaking.



Watch “Colors”


Watch “Acid Turkish Bath”


Their popularity keeps going Up, Up, Up

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Listen- AKA What a Life

La Roux – Calvin Harris – Sebastian – The Rapture – Breakbot – Justice – Martin Solveig – Azaela Banks – The Midnight Beast – Jaqcues Lu Cont- Girl Talk

Calvin Harris, the producer most known in the US for his House tracks and collaboration with Rihanna, started out with full length, electro albums before house music took over the planet. Justice is all over the electronic category map as well. reinforcing why they should not be missed. Jacques Lu Cont is known for his remixes and Girl Talk’s mashups get the crowd going.

Click For Spotify PlaylistClick For Playlist


Leaders of the post-punk revival in the U.S., The Rapture blends rock and electronics into a disco-like mash of feet movin’ grooves.

Listen- “Sail Away:

Zeds Dead – Borgore – Datsik – Mt. Eden – Destructo – Sub Foucus – Flux Pavilion & Doctor P. – Zedd – NOISIA

Click For Spotify PlaylistClick Here for Playlist

When you want to feel your body shake from bass, Coachella’s got you. Datsik, Flux Pavilion and Zeds Dead are some staples in the genre. Mt. Eden puts an ambient like overtone on a lot of tracks but you definitely know when the dubstep hits you.
Flux Pavillion is known for remixing and will be sure to put his dub-like spin on some of your favorite tracks live. He and Doctor P. have teamed up to create their recently released album Circus One, which if your brain doesn’t vibrate while listening to some of their tracks, you are probably made of stone.
Follow the Wilbur- Flux Pavilion and Doctor P.
Listen to “I Can’t Stop”


The Black Keys – Gary Clark Jr – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Band of Skulls – At the Drive In – The Hives – The Dear Hunter – Suedehead-  Le Butcherettes – Sleeper Agent –  Madness – Pulp – Greg Ginn & Royal We –  Refused – Mazzy Star – Black Lips – Atari Teenage Riot – fIREHOSE – Buzzcocks – Squeeze

Click For Spotify PlaylistSpotify Playlist (click here)

A lot of throwback rock bands are featured at this year’s festival, featuring PulpRefusedGreg Ginn,  Atari Teenage RiotMazzy Star, Madness, James, fIREHOSE, Buzzcocks and Squeeze. The fest also commemorates the reunion of At the Drive In.

There are plenty of new bands that share that good ol’ pure rock sound. Headlining another major festival this year, The Black Keys have made it clear that pure rock and roll still lives in a modern era where electronics are being implemented into just about every top Billboard charting song. They churn out albums at a Rihanna-like pace. Their recently released album El Camino is a unique direction for the band, and it’s got some instant hits such as Gold on the ceiling”, “Little Black Submarines” and “Lonely Boy.”

Follow the Wilubr: Gary Clark Jr. 

This dude can rip it. A 27 year old phenom,  the guy’s stage presence,  bluesy vocals and complete control over his ax will leave you scratchin’ your head about his age. He played at the 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival (think Eric Clapton, B.B. King, John Mayer, Jeff Beck) and was named Rolling Stone’s “Best Young Gun” in 2011’s “Best of Rock.”

Listen- “Bright Lights”

Follow the Wilbur- Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

This chick has pipes. Grace has won numerous accolades as best female vocalist in numerous categories and last year her band was one of  2011’s must sees on the festival circuit.

Listen- “Paris”

Neo Psychedelic

Explosions in the Sky – Godspeed You! Black Emporor – Greg Ginn And the Royal We – The Black Angels

Click For Spotify PlaylistClick For Playlist

Follow the Wilbur– Explosions in the Sky

These guys have climbed up and up in the live music scene. Playing what they call “cathartic mini-symphonies,” their shows will place you on another planet and help you look into your soul.

Listen to “Trembling Hands”

HipHop/ Rap/ R&B

Frank Ocean – Childish Gambino – Kendrick Lamar – Thundercat – The Weeknd – Airplane Boys – Company Flow – Death Grips – Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre 

Click For Spotify PlaylistClick For Spotify Playlist

For a second year in a row, Hip Hop/Rap closes out Coachella with Snoop and Dre following last year’s Kayne West. A$AP rocky has been going around with the sweet trip hop beats of Clams Casino. Fitting for Coachella, Frank Ocean (from Oddfuture)’s song “Novocaine” references the fest. Sweet.

Follow the Wilbur Childish Gambino

Listen- “Heartbeat”

Kendrick Lamar Listen Hol’ Up


Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – Tim Armstrong – Jimmy Cliff

Click For Spotify PlaylistClick Here for Playlist

Unfortunately there’s only so much room for international acts this year but Coachella booked a good one with Seun Kuti and the Egypt 80. Seun is the son of Fela Kuti, the famous multi-instrumentalist Nigerian musician. Egypt 80 is the band his father used to play with.

Follow the Wilbur- Seun Kuti and the Egypt 80

Listen to “African Soldier”

Feed Me

Jon Gooch, AKA Feed Me, has been in the lab cooking up some fresh beats for his new record Escape From Electric Mountain on Mau5trap, Deadmau5’s label.  Gooch also goes by the name Spor, his drum and bass project he has been producing tracks under since 2004. Feed Me, focuses more on electro-house/dubstep. A little bit about this beat-hungry monster:  He hails from Hertforshire, UK, has released 5 EPs as Feed Me since 2008 and has 50 some-odd tracks under the Spor project.

Keep an eye on the mau5trap label. We are starting to see big things coming from the colossal-sized vermin head’s brand as Moguai just released new album Mpire.  

Below are 3 tracks from Escape from Electric Mountain. You can purchase the album on beatport, here

Listen To- “Trapdoor” (Ft. Hadouken)

Listen To- “One Click Headshot”

Listen To- “Whiskers” (Ft. Gemini)

Goose, on, does a great review of the sample tracks from the album. Check his post here

The Washington State based festival released it’s lineup for the event in May. Modern folk is huge out of Seattle, and to no surprise the festival represents the genre well, featuring local Sub-Pop label’s The Head and the Heart and  Blitzen Trapper. You start to see recurring acts on the major festival cards, so you know who’ll be actively hitting the circuit this year. Coachella shares artists such as Bon Iver, The Head and The Heart, Childish Gambino, Feist, The Shins, Beirut, Explosions in the Sky, tUnE-yArDs, Beats Antique, Wild Flag, Nero, SBTRKT, Gary Clark Jr., Girl Talk, St. Vincent, LA Riots, Grouplove, Sheepdogs, We are Augustines, Gardens & Villa and M. Ward. 

Sasquatch does plenty to distinguish itself by including some great rising groups like folk rock group Alabama Shakes, soul-man Allen Stone, indie Unknown Mortal Orchestra, ambient-rock group The War on Drugs, electro-pop STRFKER, experimental indie group Yellow Ostrich and what will surely be a late-night, get weird act, beat-dude Beardyman. The most eye catching act on the card is Jack White, having taken some time off to record his new solo album Blunderbuss. Can’t wait to see him on tour this year.

Headliner Beck along with electronic acts such as Star Slinger, Com Truise, Tycho, Pretty Lights and up and coming Purity Ring add to the diversity of the lineup. It’s worth checking out Sasquatch’s site and sampling tracks from everyone-

Have a great Superbowl Sunday. As a Jets fan, it’s rare I’ll say this, but LET’S GO GMEN!!

Bon Iver

Justin Vernon founded Bon Iver when he was living in a secluded cabin in Wisconsin. Kind of like where I’m writing these blog posts…not. It was during Vernon’s stay in this cabin, accompanied with a nasty case of “mono” when the name “Bon Iver” which is French for “Enjoy the Winter” came to mind and many songs on the first album For Emma, Forever Ago were written. Known for their vocal harmonies and emotionally charged live performances, Bon Iver has emerged as one of the biggest names in new Folk. A variety of instruments are implemented in both albums- horns, violins, guitars, a vareity of percussion instruments and electronic effects.

For Emma, Forever Ago has some serious accolades- reaching #1 in the U.S. Top Heatseekers chart, placing 29th in Pitchfork’s top 200 albums of the 2000’s and 11th on Stereogum’s “Best Album of the 00’s” list. “Skinny Love,” one of the most popular singles from the album was listed in Australia Radio Station Triple J’s Hottest 100 of All Time Countdown. Numerous tracks from For Emma have been featured on Television shows- “Blinsided” and “Flume” were featured on CW’s One Tree Hill, “Creature Fear,” “Bloodbank” and “Skinny Love” have been featured on NBC’s Chuck as well as ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy . “Flume” and “Woods” have been used in the UK series Skins. “Flume” was covered by rock legend Peter Gabriel in his album Scratch my Back.

Bon Iver, the second album, continued to be Vernon’s vision supported by a variety of notable musicians including Michael Noyce (vocals), Sean Carey (vocals, drums, vibraphone), Matthew McCaughan (vocals, drums and production), C.J. Camerieri (brass, horns), Michael Lewis (saxophones), Colin Stetson (clarinet, flute, saxophones), Greg Leisz (steel pedal guitar), Rob Moose (strings) and Carmen Camerieri (Horns). The Album debuted at #1 on the Norwegian and Danish Albums Chart, #1 on US Billboard Alternative, Independent and Rock Albums charts, #2 on the overall US Billboard 200 and has been nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammys. “Towers,” “Holocene” and “Calgary” are 3 of the many singles featured on the album.

More info-

Listen to: For Emma

Listen to: “Helocene, Calgary”


They were at Coachella in 2008, and now they’re back in 2012. Justice is the French electronic duo Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay. They started gaining popularity back in ’03, when they entered a Paris college radio station’s remix contest,  remixing Simian’s “Never Be Alone (We are Your Friends).” Needless to say, it won.

Watch: “Never Be Alone (Justice Remix)”

The video you’re watching won Best Video at the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards in 2006. Yea, it was re-released after they signed to Ed Banger Records in ’05 (artists include SebastiAn, DJ Mehdi RIP, Breakbot ). They’ve done a ton of remixing since then, including songs from N*E*R*D, Fatboy Slim, Daft Punk, Franz Ferdinand, MGMT and Soul Wax, to name a few.

was their debut album, released in 2007. On the album includes their first single “Waters of Nazareth,” first created in 2005, and hits “D.A.N.C.E.”, “DVNO” and “Phantom II.” was nominated for Best Electronic/Dance album at the 50th Grammy Awards.  In 2008, Justice released a DVD/Documentary film called A Cross The Universe.

Listen: “D.A.N.C.E.”

Listen: “Phantom II”

Justice’s new album, Audio, Video, Disco, was released late in 2011. The album has a heavier focus on Rock, implementing electric guitar samples and traditional 4/4 time high-hat and snare drums. They mix this style into voice-layering and the end product will make you cry from happiness.

Listen: “Helix”

Listen: “Civilization”

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