a mix for Coachella 2011

I’ve already mentioned how much I enjoy a good mix tape — both listening to and making one. One of my favorite annual mixes to make is a get-psyched-for-Coachella mix for my friends L and C. While I love the bands that flock to the California desert each year, I am not a big fan of the idea of spending three days in said dusty, hot desert. L and C, on the other hand, are ardent Coachella attendees. So instead of going to the festival I make them a CD to help them prep for their three days of musical nirvana.

This year, however, I’ve hit a bit of a snag. My computer crashed and I am (im)patiently awaiting the arrival of my new MacBook (more on that later). Fortunately for my pals and those of you reading this blog, I’m pretty crafty. I’ve enlisted the help of my trusty iPad and the really cool app SoundCloud to create an online mix, which I hope will serve as an effective, albeit less portable, substitute. I wasn’t able to find all the songs streaming online but I’ve included as many as I could.

So if I were going to Coachella 2011, I would want to catch these bands (kind of sort of in order, but not really). This list is not exhaustive, but in an effort to keep my word count down, I’m keeping the list to average mix size. You can check out the track name by clicking the “Info” button on the SoundCloud player.

1.  The Strokes are my favorite band of the last 15 years, so obviously they would be my #1 must-see. Fortunately I did see them in Australia this summer at the On the Bright Side festival (I am all over a one-day music festival). The band’s first new album in five years, Angles, is a delight — a little classic Strokes mixed in with some surprises that channel artists as varied as The Cars and Billy Joel (the latter an observation made by one of the awesomely astute DJs on Sirius XMU — I think it was Josiah). Here they are performing one of my favorite tracks from Angles, “Gratisfaction”, courtesy of Stereogum.

2. I should mention Arcade Fire here, because they are my second favorite band of the last 15 years. I am not including a song in the mix because I know L and C are already AF experts, however I would absolutely never miss their set. In fact, I don’t have to, as they are playing in Phoenix the day before Coachella begins and I will be there.

3. I have been mulling over a blog post about the women in rock who rock. This is likely to be my next post, and there is no doubt Alison Mosshart will be included in my round-up. She and her Kills bandmate Jamie Hince ooze cool. Here’s the first single, “Satellite” from their new album, Blood Pressures, which dropped this week:

4.  Another couple cool chicks are Bethany and Ali of Best Coast. Their low-fi sound makes for the perfect summer soundtrack:

5. Although I did hear that maybe indie darling Ariel Pink is less than stellar live, my curiosity would still get the better of me:

6. I came across Twin Shadow a few months ago and love everything about his part Roxy Music, part Gary Numan, part Echo and the Bunnymen debut album:

7. I don’t think I can “handle” Robyn, but I would love to see her do her thing. I especially love this one with The Cure “Close to Me” sample:

8. Cold Cave is one of those fun, synthy bands that I imagine goes over really well in one of the “rave-like” tents at Coachella. Okay, I don’t really know if they are “rave-like” (I don’t even know what that mean) but that’s what I imagine:

9.  You can’t go to Coachella and miss Interpol. Obviously.

10. I recently blogged about how awesome The Black Keys are live. You don’t want to miss them:

11. Being the diehard Smiths and Psychedelic Furs fan that I am, I also love the Brit dreaminess (even though they are from New York) of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart:

12.  I learned about Perth, Australia-based Tame Impala when I visited there last summer. They remind me of a Sergeant Pepper’s acid trip:

13. Menomena is not to be missed if only for their name, and for the intensity with which I assume they will play this song live:

14. I saw Duran Duran live in high school (L, maybe you were with me?) some 10-odd years since they became a band. Now here we are, nearly 20 years later, and Simon Le Bon is still pretty smokin’.

15. I shall close this mix list with the person I just might be the most excited to see, if I were at Coachella: Kanye West. At 9 minutes long, this one’s the perfect mix finale (this remix is only about 5 minutes):

Honorable Mentions: Angus and Julia Stone, Warpaint, The Joy Formidable, Crystal Castles, Sleigh Bells, Ms Lauryn Hill (is she kidding me with the Ms?), The New Pornographers, Empire of the Sun, Cults


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