While immediate opinions have been decidedly mixed regarding this year’s Coachella line-up (which is to be expected, given the tsunami of rumors that had both the Rolling Stones and Daft Punk as virtual locks this year with neither making the cut), upon closer examination, the 2013 edition of the popular desert festival is chock full of amazing music, both old and new.
As thirty-somethings rave about the return of ‘90s Brit-pop favorites like Blur and the Stone Roses, for the current generation of music lovers, the bill is rife with new and emerging acts poised for long, illustrious careers.
Paul Tollett, the head of event promoter Goldenvoice and the mastermind behind Coachella, has always made of point of bringing music’s most cutting-edge and on-the-verge acts out to the desert show. In 2010, he famously presented South African psycho rave-rap duo Die Antwoord for their first American concert with a surprise performance that rocked the Sahara Tent. Only two years ago, Skrillex was just another random name buried near the bottom of the 2011 event poster.
Before writing off this year’s line-up, music fans will want to take the time to investigate the fine print for the many worthy acts all over the festival roster. There’s a pretty good chance that music’s next big breakout band could very well be slated to play the Gobi Tent in the middle of Sunday afternoon.
Dog Blood – This act is actually something of a genuine EDM super-group, featuring Skrillex and Germany’s Boys Noize collaborating as one. They already released one EP, Next Order/Middle Finger, with the A-side track hitting Number 1 on the prestigious Beatport techno charts.
Reignwolf – This wildly talented Canadian guitarist/one-man band has the skills to be crowned the world’s next Jack White. Combining blistering blues leads and his passionate, yearning vocals (he crushed the 2012 Sasquatch fest playing multiple rapturously received sets), the man born Jordan Cook has already recorded with members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam and is high on the list of acts to break out big from this year’s Coachella outing.
The Shouting Matches – Surprise! For those who know Justin Vernon of Bon Iver as a boring acoustic crooner who got clowned by Justin Timberlake on Saturday Night Live, prepare to get rocked – hard. In the Shouting Matches, Vernon channels his inner bluesman in this raucous, drunken band that features Brian Moen on drums and Phil Cook of Magafun.
Birdy Nam Nam & C2C – French DJs are taking it to the next level. Both of these multi-mixer bands feature DJs playing together like a band, with each member performing a different “instrument” on their respective turntables. Birdy Nam Nam has signed to Skrillex’s OWSLA label, and both bands will blow minds with their DJ dexterity (watch C2C rock the party here).
James McCartney – There’s rock royalty, and then there’s James McCartney, the only son of former Beatle Paul McCartney and his late wife, Linda. Having already worked on albums with his famous father, McCartney’s first two releases have been compiled on The Complete EP Collection. He cites Kurt Cobain, the Smiths and Radiohead among his main influences, telling American Songwriter that his long-term goals are “making a lot of music, and striving for more depth artistically. And always improving and evolving as a songwriter.”