Friday, April 29, 2011

Videos of the Week

Just the latest videos that have been grabbing my attention:

Explosions In The Sky have been around awhile but I have never really been that into them. For some reason, they all of a sudden clicked for me. Their new album is phenomenal and I love this lead track.

Stunning visuals in this video from Hooray For Earth. Same director did Bath's video for "Lovely Bloodflow."

NSFW video for the witch house progenitors.

Beautiful video to go with a beautiful song.

Clams Casino : "Gorilla" from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

Great, dense track from Clams Casino. Video uses old footage of David Copperfield, which becomes more and more bizarre as the video goes on.

Video for Beastie Boys new single "Make Some Noise."

My favorite song on the otherwise just ok debut from Holy Ghost! This video has the duo's fathers playing them. It's a pretty great clip, which sort of borrows from the feel of their shot by shot cover of the New Order video for "Confusion," from their last single.

Fun video from rapper Wiley. Very inventive.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Unfortunately, my beloved Cowboys didn't make it through the latest episode of The Amazing Race. Here's hoping that Justin and Zev win!

Based on this trailer, if the movie is only 1/4 as good, it will be awesome.

Cody Ross is too damn cute. And he has a really good sense of humor.

Coachella 2011 is barely over with and my gang are already looking at houses for next year.

I think it is time for Survivor to go away. The past couple of seasons have been a huge bore.

The Lollapalooza lineup came out this week and, aside from a few bands that didn't play Coachella that I wish I could have seen (Lykke Li, A Perfect Circle, Friendly Fires, and The Cars), I was not that thrilled with it. Most of the bands played Coachella, so there really isn't much of an incentive for me to ponder going. It's still a good lineup, I just wish there were some more amazing grabs.

I finally watched Black Swan on DVD. Although Natalie Portman was fantastic, and deservedly won the Oscar, I thought the movie was just ok. The pacing was all over the place and I never really connected with the character of Nina all that much.

We also watched Skyline and Season of the Witch. That is a collective 3 hours I will never get back of my life. Stupendously horrible.

Lyrics Rattling Around My Head

"I feel the need to go
and distance is the goal
if memory serves me right
I've done this before

I used to close the door when everything went wrong
you don't need to call I ignore everyone
nothing against you but you dragged me for too long
too long

this is me in my sorrow
this is me at eighteen
this is me at my greatest
all my friends begin to weep"

Craft Spells
"You Should Close The Door"

"I salute you Christopher
I declare you as our king
Or queen, depending on your mood"

"I Salute You Christopher"

"Rather live out a lie than live wondering
how the fire feels while burning
for life is like a flame
and the ashes for wasting
so honey don't be afraid
to dance while we're waiting
we will live longer than I will
we will be better than I was
we can cross rivers without wind
we can do better than i can
so dance while you can
dance cause you must
love out of lust
dance while you can"

Lykke Li
"Love Out Of Lust"

Appealing Things

The new Beastie Boys album
Edwards' Hershey Chocolate Pie
Panda Bear
Zombie Smash
Hayden Panettiere in Scream 4

Annoying Things

Having to actually work at work
My book that goes on and on and doesn't really get anywhere
No administrative assistance
The movies Skyline and Season of the Witch

Lykke Li: "Sadness Is A Blessing"

Beautiful song from Lykke Li's great new album Wounded Rhymes. The video also stars Stellan Skarsgard.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TV On The Radio: Nine Types of Light

TV On The Radio
Nine Types of Light
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

TV On The Radio are probably the most restless band in the world, constantly evolving their sound, never standing in place for too long. From their electro/doo wop debut Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes, through the dense, damaged art rock of Return to Cookie Mountain, and the slick dance funk of Dear Science, it is always a surprise to see what direction the band takes. Their new release Nine Types of Light finds the band changing gears again, choosing to forgo the usual sonic exploration and downshifting to more lowkey, groove based compositions. This could easily be considered their makeout album, as the songs all come wrapped in a warm, fuzzy glow, tailor made for nights on the couch in the front of the fire with a glass of wine. Of course, it being TVOTR, there is always a mournful quality to their music.

As always, the album is sonically perfect; Sitek's production always taking the dense elements and making them meld together. "Second Song," leads off with a simple backing, accordian and percussion; Tunde Adebimpe's gorgeous croon steadily building, gathering strength with guitar and what sounds like piano from Simple Minds circa Once Upon A Time.

Most of the songs on Nine Types of Light are mid-tempo, moody and lush; sauntering through their arrangements, not in hurry to get to the final destination. "Will Do," the first single, is haunting and lovely, with lots of background noises adding texture and contrast to the lovely melody.

Adebimpe's mournful vocal highlights the droning, somber "Forgotten."

"You," propelled along by a trip-hop beat, and what almost sounds like a synth sample from U2's "With Or Without You," is a glorious highlight of the album.

And "Killer Crane," which is similar in sound to Dear Science's "Family Tree," features a typical gorgeous vocal and understating backing: strings, light horns, banjo and guitar.

Although Nine Types of Light is not primarily focused on stretching their sound in new directions, they do find avenues for exploration. "No Future Shock" is a densely programmed track with constantly shifting guitars and keyboards interlocking with each other.

"Repetition" begins tautly coiled, springing to live with intense drums, guitars, and mantra like singing.

"Caffeinated Consciousness" features roaring guitars and horns in a call and response against Adebimpe's forceful vocal.

Nine Types of Light is not as immediately grabbing as their previous albums, which is likely why I have not rated it higher. Admittedly, it took me many listens to really get inside this record. The more subtle approach TVOTR takes is initially offputting; keeping the listener at a distance, which is likely the opposite reaction they are seeking. Also, I really missed the constant sonic experimentation of TVOTR of old; finding them working within the same palatte on most of the songs takes some time to get used to. With that said, Nine Types of Light is still a strong record, and would be a brilliant record in most bands' catalogs; for TVOTR it just doesn't reach the masterful heights of records like Dear Science and Return to Cookie Mountain.

Rating Guide

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and peaks one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Junior Boys: "Banana Ripple"

It's All True, the new album from Canadian electro-pop duo Junior Boys drops on June 14. They already teased us with the single "ep" and are now previewing 9-minute closer "Banana Ripple," which finds the duo going outside their usual icy, minimalist style and venturing into joyous house territory. I love the Boys but was getting a little bored with their sound, and if this song is any indication, the new album should be a more welcoming entry into their catalog.

Junior Boys - Banana Ripple by DominoRecordCo

The Junior Boys also launch a tour starting in June. Catch them at the following venues:

06/09 – Toronto ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
06/10 – Ottawa ON @ Mavericks
06/11 – Montreal QC @ La Salla Rossa
06/12 – Cambridge MA @ Middle East
06/14 – New York NY @ Webster Hall
06/16 – Washington DC @ Black Cat
06/17 – Philadelphia PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
06/18 – Charlottesville VA @ Jefferson Theater
06/20 – Atlanta GA @ The Earl
06/21 – Nashville TN @ Mercy Lounge
06/22 – Louisville KY @ Headliners
06/24 – Chicago IL @ Metro
06/25 – Pontiac MI @ The Pike Room (at the Crofoot)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jamie Woon: Mirrorwriting

Jamie Woon
Rating: Grrrr

Jamie Woon occupies an interesting plot in the dubstep landscape; somewhere in the middle between the silence craving spaces of James Blake (who will be Woon's most obvious comparison) and the more pop leaning spectrum of artists like Katy B and Magnetic Man. Woon began his career as a soul singer, attending the BRIT School where he was a year behind Amy Winehouse, who he has opened for on tour. It was a meeting with UK dubstep/two step enigma Burial that changed Woon's path from traditional R&B, merging his velvety croon with more adventurous sonics. Burial produced his breakout track "Night Air," which made it into my top ten singles of last year, and lends his deft hand to two other tracks on Mirrorwriting. Even though he didn't produce the entire album, his influence seeps in and out of each track. Lots of ghostly samples, and haunting low end sounds push up against the more traditional elements. While not as experimental (and in my opinion lacking in soul) as James Blake's debut nor as willing to mine for pop stardom like Katy B, Woon's Mirrorwriting is a happy medium which, when playing to his strengths, is some of the finest music you will hear all year.

The album begins with a brilliant trifecta of tracks co-produced with Burial. The aforementioned "Night Air" leads off with dense, atmospheric electronics over a bed of instantly recognizable Burial percussion, warmed by Woon's luscious croon.

Things pick up with the insistent rush of "Street," the keyboards getting rougher and more staccato as the track progresses. Even when it seems like a track on Mirrorwriting is going to veer towards a standard sound, there is always something lurking in the background to surprise you, like the low rumbling bass and organ arpeggios.

"Lady Luck," the official first single from the album is one of the best tracks. Woon's voice getting more insistent as the track progresses, his vocals sampled and clipped, added as percussion throughout.

The album works best when he straddles the line perfectly between the traditional pop/R&B sound and more experimental dubstep leanings. "Shoulda" would be a perfect pop single, but is elevated to a higher place with the addition of more low end bass and haunting background electronics.

"Echoes" utilizes his falsetto well, the desperation increasing in the song, mirrored by jarring hits of snare drums and gurgling synths. "Middle" shows Woon's amazing range, the song a dubstep update of 50s R&B.

The album is less successful when it veers towards more traditional song structures. The back half of the album especially suffers with too many slow, singer-songwriter ballads that, while containing some interesting elements, just don't finish the album on an up note. "TMRW" plods along with no real melody. Woon's voice is lovely though. "Gravity" attempts to replicate Japan's great single "Ghosts" with haunting electronics, however, a promising beginning gets mired in MOR mawkishness. "Waterfront" ends the album with delicate guitar and organ, Woon's voice buttery and smooth, but the experimentation of the first half of the album is sorely missed.

Despite these minor missteps, Mirrorwriting is a very strong debut from Jamie Woon; consistently engaging the listener, and showcasing a brilliant collaborative partnership with Burial. Based on Burial's contributions, I would have liked to have seen a full on collaboration instead of just the few songs here. Woon definitely realizes that this is his strong suit, as many of the other songs follow and are influenced by that blueprint. Here's hoping he ditches the more traditional structures and continues with his dubstep explorations.

Rating Guide

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and peaks one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Clams Casino: "Gorilla"

Clams Casino : "Gorilla" from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

From one of my favorite producers Clams Casino comes a video for the instrumental track "Gorilla," from his upcoming EP Rainforest, due out on June 27th. The dense, sinister track is accompanied by visuals of early David Copperfield footage in all his over-the-top glory. Also check out his Grrrr rated Instrumental Mixtape that can be downloaded for free here.


Holy Ghost!
Holy Ghost!
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

Holy Ghost! have been around awhile, releasing amazing dance punk singles like "Hold On" and putting out amazing remixes for artists like LCD Soundsystem, Phoenix, and MGMT. Their debut album was always on its way but long delayed. In the crowded dance/electronic music field, it is not unheard of for artists to only put out singles, however, Holy Ghost! have always seemed more of the album artist variety. So, finally, the finished product is here. I knew it would either blow me away or leave me wanting. Holy Ghost! is not the second coming nor is it the disaster it could have been; its just a little north of disappointing. "Hold On" is included here in its original form, and there are songs that are of that quality: the bouncy "Wait And See," the sunny tribute to the late Jerry Fuchs "Jam For Jerry," and the dance floor ready "It's Not Over." But too many times, the beats get lazy and the songs journey into genericland. I am always the first to admit I am more of an album person, but when a band puts out an album that contains the singles they've released over the past three years and only a handful of new songs, it seems like a cheat. Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, Holy Ghost! should just stick to releasing singles, because, to be honest, they are what is pushing my ranking up from Meh.

Craft Spells
Idle Labor
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

Craft Spells' debut album Idle Labor travels in the same territory as 80s revivalists/chillwave acts such as Twin Shadow, Memory Tapes, and Toro Y Moi. The songs all feature delightfully tinny drum machines, echoing/chiming guitars, and soaring synths, borrowing from forbearers such as New Order, The Smiths, and Echo and the Bunnymen. I don't think it is just coincidence that the album cover blatantly recalls Power, Corruption, and Lies. When they hit their heights, as on lead song "For The Ages," with its gorgeous interlocking guitars and synths, and on "Scandinavian Crush," and its sing-song melody, you get the sense that the sky is the limit for this band. And for the first half of the album, the band is well on their game, unfortunately, by the back half, the melodies that were so fresh at the beginning get recycled and the ideas begin to run out. Idle Labor could have been a masterful EP, setting the stage for a proper debut that could have been classic. There is enough here though that shows this is a band to watch out for. Give them a little more time to mature, and some more money to get in a proper studio, and we'll be hearing a lot more of this up and coming band.

Kyle Bobby Dunnn
Ways of Meaning
Rating: Grrrr

Drone albums are notoriously difficult for me to review, mainly because there is such a variety of styles within the genre, it is hard to judge one against another. It really all comes down to whether I have an emotional connection to the music. Kyle Bobby Dunn's latest album Ways of Meaning, builds its tracks over guitar and organ, creating a lovely sense of space and time. The tracks are subtle; drawing you in slowly, hypnotizing you with their lucid power. Once enveloped in the album, your mind clears and it becomes a meditative experience. Each time I listen to the record, I find myself amazed at how quickly it passes, lost in my own sense of reverie. Dunn has stated that his tracks are born from personal moments, but that he wants "the minutiae of experience to pass through the grooves of the vinyl to the listener to act as a salve for our collective emptiness." I for one, am grateful for his art, which allows the mind to clear out the obtrusive noisiness of existence and find peace and clarity.

Kyle Bobby Dunn - Ways of Meaning (album preview) by experimedia

Peter Bjorn and John
Gimme Some
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

Writer's Block put Peter Bjorn and John on the map with the ubiquitous single "Young Folks," that was as impossible to dislike as it was impossible to escape from. Quite like a teenager rebelling against their parents' wishes, PB&J's follow up, Living Thing, did everything it could to be the anti-Writer's Block. Gone were the hooks and fun songs, and instead, what was left was a long slog through discordant material that was difficult to enjoy. Although it is not quite the home run Writer's Block was, Gimme Some is definitely a step in the right direction. Instead of fighting what made them great in the first place, they are embracing the hooks and strong songwriting that is their bread and butter. From the pop rush of "Second Chance," chiming "May Be Macabre," and Kraut-rock inspired "I Know You Don't Love Me," the album has way more hits than missteps, and is hopefully a sign that the next album will be a full on pop masterpiece.

Rating Guide

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and peaks one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Friday, April 22, 2011

IAMX: "Ghosts of Utopia"

My latest obsession is with IAMX, the cabaret/electro-goth project from Chris Corner, formerly of 90s trip-hop band Sneaker Pimps. I just got his latest album, Volatile Times, and it is full of great songwriting, strong melodies, and a fun adventurousness. Above is the video for the song "Ghosts of Utopia." The album is only available here on import at the moment, but is well worth searching out.

The Morning Benders: "Oh Annie"

One of the great disappointments about music festivals, especially when there is a wide variety of acts you want to see, is that inevitably, there will be two (sometimes more) acts you want to see playing at the same time. You have to make some hard choices, and it is always depressing. Case in point, The Morning Benders were up against two other acts I wanted to see more. Not that I don't love the band, I just had a hankering for the other two more. Though I am almost positive this wasn't done for my benefit (I am still going to think they did it just for me), The Morning Benders have released a track that didn't make it to their amazing second album, Big Echoes. "Oh Annie," is said to have been written after watching Annie Hall for the 100th time, and in its woozy, waltzy way, I can almost picture it playing during the end of the movie. It is a lovely treat from them. You can listen to the song below:

Oh Annie by The Morning Benders

Videos of the Week/Coachella Edition

As I was away on vacation and pretty much Coachella preoccupied, I didn't really post many videos this week. Here, in its place, are some Youtube clips of some performances from Coachella that I enjoyed.

Two Door Cinema Club was THE sleeper band of the festival. Watch this video and you will understand what an amazing experience it was seeing them live. The crowd was completely nuts for them.

!!! put on a phenomenal show; a nonstop groove made the entire audience dance their asses off.

Broken Social Scene got the pre-twilight set time on the main stage. I was able to grab a seat on the grass and relax and listen to their amazing set.

One of the best sets of the festival, HEALTH tore through their set like a bunch of kamikazes.

I was thrilled when Duran Duran played my favorite song of theirs, "The Chauffeur."

Fun set from Rye Rye.

A little too gothy to be playing a mid-day set, nevertheless, Cold Cave put on an amazing show.

By far one of my favorite sets, Foals locked into a tight groove early on and never let up. Here is one of my favorite songs from their last album.

Robyn never fails to give 100%. Her Coachella performance was stellar.

Interpol put on a rather lackluster set, however, their collaboration with David Lynch was a definite highlight of the festival.

Suede knocked it out of the park during their performance. Brett Anderson showed everyone what a real frontman is like.

YACHT was a big surprise at the festival. So much fun and the female singer was a brilliant frontwoman.

Wire performing their classic song "Kidney Bingos."

The Drums put on an excellent show even though the singer is a bit batshit crazy.

I was frustrated at the Cut Copy show due to the crowd of assholes that showed up for it. The band should have played a bigger stage. I left after a few songs because I couldn't see or hear anything. I did hear this awesome song before I left though.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Radiohead: "The Butcher" and "Supercollider"

Unfortunately, The King of Limbs Pt. 2 is only a rumor, however, Radiohead was sweet enough to release two additional tracks from their last recording sessions for Record Store Day. Those who already about The King Of Limbs should have gotten an email from Radiohead allowing you to download the tracks for free. In case you didn't order them, here are the tracks to listen to via Soundcloud.

Radiohead - The Butcher by Ragged Words

Radiohead - Supercollider by Ragged Words

Moby: "The Day"

First single from the upcoming Moby album Destroyed. The song has a definite Bowie vibe circa Low and The Lodger. I am actually enjoying the song; Moby seems to have gotten his groove back after releasing too many albums trying to replicate the glory of Play. The video is rife with religious imagery, with the wtf casting of Heather Graham as a nurse/guardian angel.

Moby 'The Day' Official video featuring Heather Graham from Moby on Vimeo.

Destroyed comes out on May 17. Here is the tracklist:

01. The Broken Places
02. Be The One
03. Sevastopol
04. The Low Hum
05. Rockets
06. The Day
07. The Right Thing 15 When You Are Old
08. After
09. Victoria Lucas
10. Blue Moon
11. Lie Down In Darkness
12. Stella Maris
13. The Violent Bear It Away
14. Lacrimae
15. When You Are Old

tUnE-yArDs: "Bizness"

Photograph courtesy of sarahana (

Do you ever hear something on the radio/internet/tv and go "what the fuck was that?" tUnE-yArDs puts out a lot of music like that. First time I heard the single "Bizness," from her new album whokill it sounded like a mashup between Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, and some gutteral afropop band. I had to listen to it several times before I could get a handle on it. Whether you like it or not, you won't be able to get this song out of your head. Plus, the video is really cool.


Coachella 2011 is sadly over and I am entering my phase of PCD (Post-Coachella Depression). It usually takes a couple of weeks to get out of my funk; then I can get excited about doing it all over again next year.

One of my favorite sets of the festival was by Barcelona band Delorean. They were so much fun and really got into the show. I sort of developed a big crush on the keyboardist, Unai Lazcano. He was so cute and had great energy.

Several times over the course of the festival, I kept seeing this little sound tech hottie. He was working the tatts and facial hair.

While it's not the Flip Flop Guy from Coachella last year, this is still pretty funny. Arcade Fireballlllll!

It is amazing how much drugs go on at Coachella. Kurt had a bad cold all weekend and carried in a bottle of Airborne to help with his symptoms, and the security guard sort of looked at him disappointedly when it actually contained legitimate medicine.

Lyrics Rattling Around My Brain

"Each secret you keep
Keeps me a bit far

But I want to know
Burn down the mysteries

Though I know I won't
I'll never know it
I could never stand
Not being closer"

"Stay Close"

"If she chooses girls, If she chooses guys,
Does she profit to fill her lungs?
I want to hold her breath.

Does it matter what? She sees red at night. Does it matter where? No one knows. If she markets herself for blood...
She sees red at night. how will she come back?"

"Die Slow"

"I feel schitzo ever so psycho, kicking at an old tin can
I feel real like a man, like a woman, like a woman, like a man
I make dead space feel like a head case
take it like a teenage tough
I feel real now watching those wheels and shaking that stuff

Singing "I can't get enough"

"Can't Get Enough"

"Waiting for the stars to align
there is a restless rain cloud in my mind
heavy eyes fixed in the middle of the room
if you're looking for a point to all that you do

I feel guilty for being alive
when so many beautiful people have died
I never thought that we wouldn't rule the world
I always think we will
I keep my fist clenched still

oh I'm coming
oh oh I'm coming
when you see me you should run and hide
oh I'm coming
oh oh I'm coming
it's the ordinary people who look good on the outside"

Cold Cave

"Sometimes it's just one of those nights
Ain't you never had it happen to you?
Then you go home too soon, go home too soon
You could blame it on the music
But it wouldn't be right
Because I've gotten lucky to some pretty bad tunes
Must be the moon"

"Must Be The Moon"

Appealing Things

Being on the rail for so many shows
Sleeping in my own bed
Corn Dogs
Spring rain

Annoying Things

Girls who sit on guys' shoulders during concerts
Lazy people at work
Getting slammed with work the minute you get back from vacation
Jet lag
Bed hog pets
Not having the awesome fajita taco stand at Coachella this year
The Oasis Dome
Crying babies on planes
Mothers with crying babies on planes who do nothing about their crying babies
DFW airport

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Arctic Monkeys: Suck It And See

Featuring the best album title of the year, and the worst album cover ever, the new album from the Arctic Monkeys, Suck It And See, comes out on June 7.

Here is the first single and video from the album. Not sure I like it that much. It is pretty generic sounding.

Coachella 2011 Day Three

The third and final day of Coachella is always a sad day, because you know when the day is over, the festival is done for another year. I had already seen some amazing sets over the previous two days, so I knew that it would be rare to find anything to top what I had already experienced. Funny then, that I saw my favorite show on this day.

First up for the day for me was Menomena. I've never seen them live and always heard they put on a great show, so I had to make a difficult choice to see them over Twin Shadow, who unfortunately was playing the same time. Menomena put on a professional, yet passionless show. I didn't get they were fully engaged with each other, and felt something was lacking. It didn't help matters that they didn't play "Trigga Hiccups," which, I think, would have gotten the crowd pumped up.

We left during the last song of Menomena so I could run over to see Delorean in the small Gobi Tent. With Klaxons cancelling, Delorean had become one of my defacto must sees of the festival. Despite some sound issues, and one false start, Delorean put on an amazingly tight, fun show. And I found my new boyfriend, the little, cute bear in the yellow shirt. He was very animated and you could tell he was having a blast. It was the one time of the festival I got my dance groove on. I was able to get close to the rail and was surrounded by a nice group of real fans who all danced and had a great time. I was basically wiped out after their set.

I had a break before a long stretch of bands, so we wandered over to the Mojave Tent to catch the end of MEN's set, which turned out to be a nice surprise. Fronted by a member of Le Tigre, they performed a tight set of electro-pop with a heavy, feminist-queer bent. Despite a bit of heavy-handedness, the set was actually a lot of fun.

MEN led into one of the most fun shows, Brazilian band CSS. The singer is just plain crazy, starting out in a toreador costume, and ending up in torn off jeans, half shirt, and her makeup streaming down her face like Tammy Faye Baker. During their blisteringly fun set, she spent the majority of the time crowd surfing. It was a lot of fun and really got my energy back from being drained by Delorean. Thanks to my friend Dan Nero for letting me steal the final shot of them.

Noise terrorists HEALTH followed CSS, and, not pandering to a festival crowd, started their set off with three dark and noisy tracks from their debut album before finally venturing into more audience friendly recent material that draws from shoegaze and dark electronica. I like both facets of the band, but I will admit I lean more towards the more groove based sound. It was a great set and a good way to end the first part of the afternoon.

By this point it was getting near sunset and I was worn out from the five bands I already caught, so I was debated what I wanted to do for the end of the festival. Based on a collective air of exhaustion, most of my group decided to check out Duran Duran and then leave. I had a couple other bands I wanted to see, but by that point, I knew I was just too exhausted. We got into position for Duran Duran by watching Death From Above 1979. This was their reunion tour, though, to be honest, I never cared for them to begin with and didn't miss them. Their set was loud and disjointed, and aside from some die hard fans, there wasn't a very positive crowd response.

Sunset is always my favorite time at Coachella.

Duran Duran put on an amazing set, even though they didn't play anything from Seven and the Ragged Tiger. I was thrilled that they finally played "The Chauffeur," which is one of my favorite songs. The rest of the set was a mixture of classics ("Rio," "Hungry Like The Wolf," and "Ordinary World") and songs from the new album. Even Ana Mantronic of Scissor Sisters came out to sing her part of the new track "Safe." It was a great way to end the festival, and I was glad to leave on a high note.  Thanks again to Dan Nero and Jeremy Brown for letting me steal some of their close-up shots.  They were die hards and went up close to see the show.

Aside from the blistering heat and ridiculous dust, it was a pretty good festival. The crowd seemed better, and the festival organizers did a good job of making it easier to move about the grounds. The only bad things were the usual conflicts between (similar) bands playing at the same time, necessitating brutal choices; the annoying placement of the Oasis Dome in a corner of the festival with no shade and all dirt floor; the lack of great DJs for the Sahara Tent; and the woeful selection of t-shirts at the merchandise tent. But all in all, I had a blast and am already looking forward to Coachella 2012.