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New York Cool - Music

Coachella 2008 (Continued)
April 25 – 27, 2008
Empire Polo Field
Indio, Ca 92201

Written by Joshua Williams
Photographed by Amy Davidson

Opposite Photo:
Cold War Kids

April 26, 2008 - Day 2

Cold War Kids

Day two found us checking out Cold War Kids first. Cold War Kids hail from Fullerton California. They are a basic indie rock four piece with singer Nathan Willet also performing piano duties. The first song “Avalanche” began with a haunting piano intro, with Willets not unpleasant voice soothing the crowd as the song built up into a nice staccato. After that however, I became a bit bored. The band has ability, but they seem to fall into a bit of the cliché of the indie band. Every song seems to be a slow angst ridden piece. It would have been nice to hear a four count now and then, and some good old rock. But they do what they do, and there were enough people there to see them in that omnipresent heat. So they obviously speak to someone, just not me.

Death Cab For Cutie

Next up for us was Death Cab for Cutie. An unfortunately, I have a bit of a problem with this band. The problem is, I really love “I will possess your heart”. It truly is a good bit of songwriting, from the bass intro to the vocal hook. It is a good song through and through. The problem is, every other song in their set had me bored to tears. I don’t want to like a band because of one single. I know this is the age of itunes, but I want solid albums filled with solid songs, not one really killer song, and a bunch of filler. Maybe I am not well-versed enough. I welcome recommendations for listening.


Next up was M.I.A., so we headed over to the Sahara Tent. It was…insane. This act should have been on the main stage, or at least the outdoor theater. If her career continues on its current trajectory, she will most likely be there next year. M.I.A. took off when she began to employ one of the greatest synthesizers ever made, the Roland MC-505 groove box. With it began a bit too long intro of gunshots. Then the beat of paper planes got the crowd jumping. And by crowd, I mean crowd. They spilled out of the tent and out onto the field. Well beyond capacity. After the previous two bands of angst ridden, morose indie rock, it was refreshing to see someone cut it loose, and get the place hopping. I have no idea how she was able to keep up that much energy for so long.

Beth Gibbons of Portishead

We then made our way to what became our final set of the evening. Coachella of course, is known for reunions and acts that you wouldn’t expect to see on stage again, and as mysterious as
Portishead is, it fits the bill of a band you may never get too see. They were there in support of their new album, Third, their first in eleven years. Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, and Adrian Utley brought down-tempo electronic trip hop to America for the most part. The new album is almost like being in the mid nineties again, yet it does not come across as stale. The three are definitely artists of electronica, and Gibbons voice is still as fresh as it was a decade ago. I wondered if some of the other bands on the bill that day would be as warmly received if they were to go on a decade long hiatus.

We were anticipating the arrival of the Purple One, but apparently he doesn’t like photographers. When we learned that we were not going to be allowed to shoot his set, we decided his set wasn’t worth our time, and the Casino down the street would appreciate us a bit more. So, as it turns out, Portishead was our final band of the evening.


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