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Music and Beer Fests ARE a way of life

Pitching Tents for Coachella 2012
Posted Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 by Naproxen


LA Riots - still got the power to make ya dance, even at 12:15 in the afternoon

Breakbot - I anticipated them to be good, yet instead they were amazing with a live singer for a few songs and the entire tent poppin off.  I only heard about them because Coachella posted a vid of them prior to the lineup being released.

SebastiAn - another good dance party DJ from the French-electro scene

Neon Indian - another fun performance, never had a dull time during their shows

Feed Me - I was looking forward to catching his set, the visuals were really cool (I love his logo) and danced tons

Death Grips - stark opposite of the previous sets, like a mix of hardcore and rap that hasn't been bastardized yet.

Madeon - this kid is like 18, french, and can throw down a dance party with finesse those twice his age fail to grasp.

Frank Ocean - Performing in the smallest of the tents, his crowd was overflowing all sides.  His voice is amazing and his general attitude on stage is refreshing and humble.  This one's for the ladies

The Rapture - YESSSSS!  They played during the classic LCD Soundsystem time slot and killed it.  Some of the happiest group dancing of the weekend.

Afrojack - I stayed the entire set which was almost 2 hours.  I dont know if his show this year or last year was better, but it was well worth it

Swedish House Mafia - a little too swedish and mafia for my tastes, but they did have some intense lasers going on.  I left after 2 songs

Amon Tobin - I get it, I just don't think I care too much in the end.  His tetris looking cube thing was cool but my interest waned after a few songs....if they even were different songs.



[Friday's Lineup, with a little Sixpoint shoutout]

Feed Me

[Feed Me]



Amon Tobin

[Amon Tobin]



Keep Shelly in Athens - LOVED this early, underattended set.  Mellow groove and a gorgeous voice

Childish Gambino - Much more polished than his FFFfest performance, he is doing really well and was a hit early on the main stage

AWOLNATION - stayed for half a song to kill time....meh

tUnE-yArDs  - I enjoyed this better than FFFfest, maybe because the sun was out or my mood was different.  Really worth checking out live, I've never actually listened to them recorded.

Zeds Dead - I don't recall much of what I saw, but I saw them a few months prior and it was fantastic

Martin Solveig - I heard his name before but didn't know his music, better DJ set than I anticipated.  I'd catch him again locally.

Sebastian Ingrosso - It was so nice of Coachella to let Swedish House Mafia play multiple times this weekend, because singularly they all play the same damn shit.

Flying Lotus - FLYLO!!!  New set premiered and it's the tits

SBTRKT -  Live!  I loved their DJ set, but live is where it is at fo sho

Radiohead - Despite Thom Yorke being all Yorkey and allegedly insulting the crowd I thought it was a good performance and setlist



[Keep Shelly in Athens]


[Cooling off in the Do Lab]




[taken from the ferris wheel of the middle of Coachella]

[Blake Anderson (workaholics) doing improv in the campground]



Morgan Page - a few of us went in early to check his DJ set.  He had a 5 minute tech glitch 10 minutes into his set, but surprisingly the crowd was more supportive than angry.  It was early.

NOISIA - I got some sun lying outside the back of the Sahara during most of their set, I enjoy their sound

Santigold - I knew more of her songs than I thought I did.  Her stage show reminded me mildly of MIA, without the annoying parts or eardrum shattering screeching...I mean singing.  Santigold is awesome.

Beats Antique - Can't go wrong with these guys, crazy gypsy dance music with a sexxy belly dancer or three on stage.  Check them out!!

Dada Life - I skipped their set to go get drunk at camp as I needed to and had seen them a month prior (great show), and to my happy surprise I could hear their set perfectly from camp while indulging.

The Hives - didnt plan on catching them but I happened to re-enter and walk by as they played I Told You So, which was fun.

Nero - Always a good live show!  They played a long set but we had to move on to catch Justice

Justice - THANK YOU FOR NOT SUCKING.  Haters were talking smack all weekend about how their latest shows were meh, but they opened with Waters of Nazareth/Let there be Light, so suck it haters!  Another top performance for me.

Company Flow - I'd seen El-P before, but never with the legendary CFlow.  I wish I took better pictures but I was...incapacitated.

Calvin Harris - probably my most anticipated and biggest let down.  There were sound issues which made the bass out of synch.  I think we were the only ones who noticed in the sea of bro-ravers though.  And still I managed to smile and dance my heart out. 

DJ Shadow - last night a DJ saved my life, and his name is Shadow.  ZACH DE LA ROCHA came out for the last song, but my camera had died earlier in his set.  What a good fucking show, top runner for favorite of the weekend.

Dr. Dre/Snoop/Eminem/50 Cent/Hologram Tupac - Very well produced and executed!  A shorter set than anyone would have liked though.  We heard the rumors of the hologram Tupac so no real shock there, except they chose to break out that trick AFTER doing California Love without his part.  Eminem sounded great, 50 doing In Da Club was soooo much fun.  This was a great finisher, I just wish it was longer.  Coz it's 1-8-7 on a muthafukin cop!


beats antique

[Beats Antique]


[thebestever and I during Nero]


[super fan during Justice]


[Best shot from Company Flow]

calvin harris

[I don't care how bad the sound is, CALVIN HARRIS!!!]


[DJ Shadow in his Death Star DJ Booth]


For the entire set of pictures I took of Coachella this year:



Coachella 2006-2009
Posted Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 by Naproxen

As I am recounting the numerous stories from this year's Coachella and Dark Lord trip, I started getting all nostalgic about the previous 4 years and how much everything has changed since 2006.  I do a "7 Day Countdown" each year focusing on favorite performances from years past leading up to Coachella, but I haven't paid homage to the social side of the trip.  So while I am still putting together recaps from the vacation, here is a tribute to the past four years of California love!


2006 - No school, got work, need vacation

2006 Lineup

 Andrea, Aliza, Jessica

My best friend Jessica and I had graduated from college and both obtained fulltime positions immediately after.  We had taken short trips together before, but were looking for something bigger and better.  Our friend Andrea had just moved to San Francisco the year prior and brought to our attention this 2 day festival in SoCal, Coachella.  It took all of 10 minutes to decide this was our fate, Depeche Mode and Tool were headlining and Daft Punk was playing as well, possibly the first/last show in the US in years.  We flew into Ontario Aiport, as did Andrea, rented our car and made East to Indio.  Our good friend Paul moved to LA from CT a couple years prior and also met us out there.  It was a grand weekend of CT peeps, sun, and Daft Punk's pyramid.  I literally cried when driving back on I-10 through the wind turbine fields, I knew I would be back next year.  We didn't have time or money that year to explore the area beyond walking around Palm Springs, we arrived Friday morning and left Monday afternoon.


2007 - Begining of the +1's

07 Group

You may think that there is too much camo in that picture, but on the day Rage Against the Machine reuintes to kick your capitalist ass 4/6 guerillas prefer the camo.  2007 saw the addition to our group of Steve, Jessica's boyfriend (now husband) on the right.  The kid to the far left was a single traveler from AZ camping next to us, who we adopted pretty fast, and Paul in the middle that year was a bit emo goth.  Coachella expanded the fest to 3 days that year which was absolutely the best idea ever.  Jess, Steve, and I extended our vacation that year as well, camping at Joshua Tree and exploring Temecula, Newport Beach, and Palm Springs (PS has become a shitty tradition, but tradition none the less).  I was a year older and wiser to the fest and spent the majority of my time solo, seeing the bands I wanted and partying with "festival friends" all weekend.  This might be my favorite year, it is a hard competition with 2008.


2008 - The Begining of the End


08meAnother addition to our group came in 2008 when Andrea brought her beau Sean.  Quite the character, laid back, a perfect fit.  Other relationships, namely mine and Jessica's, were unfortunately faultering due to differences in lifestyles and relationships.  Her and Steve we moving in together, I continued to be single since late 2005, and we butted heads more than once before coming out and afterwards, making a rift that would last until this year.  As with 2007 I spent 90% of my time alone, making new friends and making Coachella mine, living it up in the Do Lab and Sahara Tent.  Paul scraped the emo goth look for natural color and a beard, and an army supply of SPF 100.  This would be the last year our group attended Coachella, Paul and I would be the only two who continued to go.  I did continue the post-Coachella trip this year, driving back with Andrea and Sean to San Fran for a few days including a beer trip to Russian River, then hit Las Vegas for 2 nights (yes, solo!) on my way back home.

2009 - Rolling into new territory

09 poster  09group Because I'm free, to do what I want, any old time.  Jess and Steve were on the fence up until February on wether they could afford to go with their wedding coming up the year after.  Andrea and Sean were out as well for money issues, and Paul drives from LA early Friday morning so he was out for picking me up as well. I'm extremely comfortable with traveling alone and have many times for business and pleasure, and with my intensive post-Coachella plans I knew my only worries would be saving money at every turn to make this happen. I put it to the Coachella boards, a commmunity I had become pretty active with the year prior.  Coachella is interesting in that so many people travel from all over the world to get there, and most are just figuring out their shit as they go (hitchhiking, bus rides, etc).  I hooked up a ride with Reza, a SoCal kid, who offered to give me a ride from the airport and was picking up 3 kids flying in from Mexico.  I also had a ride setup with the "Camping All Alone" group I was part of, from Indio to Vegas on Monday morning, where I would be meeting up with my Brother and Dad for some Bailey's in Vegas shenanigans.  Everything fell right into place for my only year to do Coachella solo.  I pulled Reza, Antonio, Myra, and Jackie into my camping group when we arrived Thursday and we were an international family for the weekend.  Reza and I kept in touch, hitting up Electric Zoo in NYC on labor day weekend.  Even better, he picked up Antonio again this year and they joined our 2010 group.


This is the face of California bliss, Venice Beach 2009


2 days til Coachella, and I almost wore sock monkey slippers to work
Posted Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by Naproxen

I didn't even notice how comfy and cute my feet were this morning until walking down the stairs to the front door:

Keepin' it classy

Why? My mind is in California, in the desert on a polo field partying til 5 AM.

This will be my 5th consecutive year going to Coachella.  What started as a girls reunion weekend back in '06 has turned into a yearly pilgrimage for me.  It is more than just the performances.  Camping in itself is a constant playground party from Thursday til Monday morning (a roller derby and pinball challenge are new this year), I will be dancing in the Do Lab at any given point of the day, and the art installations that come are on par with Burning Man (never been). 

Coachella has heard the cries of the inebriated this year, we can bring in beer and wine!!  Canned and boxed of course, so goodbye vodka filled water bottles.  I already stashed 6 cans of New England Brewing's Sea Hag, might be getting some new Ghandi Bot early to bring, and will stock up on Oskar Blues and Maui brewing at a Bev Mo. 

Back to camping, as the grounds open Thursday only for those camping for the weekend.  It has been a tradition of almost everyone to decorate their camp sites.  It is not just for fun, it provide function as well (locating your site at 3 AM while coming down from whatever, not easy).  This year I opted to represent CT the best way I can:

Never Forget

For $8 at Ocean State Job Lot, I got a Martha Stewart white canvas shower curtain, fabric paint, brushes, 2 other print shower curtains for side-shade on the canopy, and glow in the dark sticky stars.  I printed out a guide for myself for the logo and in the end I'll be flying this bad boy loud and proud:


I'm not sure what else I'll add to the flag, sometimes simplicity just looks better, but I'm open to suggestion.  I'm not even going balls to the wall here, there is one group that has made a teepee volcano, complete with fog machine for smoke, every year.  Hell last year to honor Sir Paul the group I camped with and I went all out with a Yellow Submarine theme:


The only thing that sucks, is that a week from now it will all be done for another year :(

HOWEVER.... the adventure does not end there.

San Diego will meet its match for a few days while I drink all the beer I can, Minneapolis gets to hang with us for a night, and then Dark Lord Day. 

Detox?  Rehab?  GTFO.



I can finally write about my adventures and not feel annoyingly gay about it
Posted Thursday, April 8th, 2010 by Naproxen

Until I lost $12.99 in a weird internet scam, I hated on blogs/bloggers/Candyass for being so caught up in themselves they actually believed others cared what they ate for breakfast.  Not no more people, now that a blog comes free with this subscription I'm all over this.

With all the traveling I do, festivals I attend, and trouble I make I might as well document it once so I don't have to repeat my BAMF stories to everyone.  Or, more realistically, this will only serve as a warning to others.

All this just in time for the most wonderful time of the year, Coachella and Dark Lord Day 2010.

I still hate C-you-next-tuesday.

Edit:  Names have been altered above to protect TBS ;-)