when you can only pick just one…

15 Apr

Music festivals are by nature an exercise in conflict management. At any one time, two, three or even four choice bands could be playing at the same time. Factor in a massive venue like the Polo Fields in Indio, Calif. and dozens of iPhone-carrying friends who insist you give P.O.S. another chance (and they’re playing in the Gobi Tent right now!), and the result is an organizational meltdown akin to Lehman Brothers.

Fear not fellow Coachella-goer. Venues Today has poured over this year’s schedule and is tackling some of the biggest scheduling conflicts without fear or reservation. And while you will surely commend our bravery, be aware that we’re not going to hold your hand until 4 p.m. when the real scheduling conflicts begin. If you can’t decide between Camera Obscura or DJ Jason Bentley on Friday at 1 p.m., then you need professional help.


Conflict – She & Him vs. The Dillinger Escape Plan

I listened to the Dillinger Escape Plan on MOG to help me write this article. In spite of what is an otherwise brilliant band name, their music was mostly screaming and loud sounds. Like the noise you would hear in your head if you were being water-boarded. She & Him is fronted by Zooey Deschanel. She writes beautiful melodic songs that your parents or relatives would approve of. When they told you to “have a nice time at Coachella,” this is what they were envisioning.

We pick: She & Him

Conflict – Them Crooked Vultures vs. Grizzly Bear

Why are you even reading this entry? Only a total baby would go listen to serial whiners Grizzly Bear over the rock god trifecta that is Them Crooked Vultures. You see, Them Crooked Vultures have this drummer in their band named Dave Grohl. Perhaps you have heard of him. He was in this little band in the 1990s called Nirvana. He’s like Jesus, but with a Zildjian drum cymbal for a halo.

We pick: Them Crooked Vultures

Conflict – Jay-Z vs. Public Image Limited

Really, just another exercise in futility. While their sets actually start a half-hour apart, there’s probably only five people who will leave Jay-Z to catch this spin off reunion, and they’ve all promised to send out a notification on Twitter so they can find each other. Public Image Limited is fronted by John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame. Did you ever really like the Pistols, or did you just buy their album to piss off your parents?

We pick: Jay-Z


Conflict – Coheed and Cambria vs. the XX vs. Corinne Bailey Rae

OK,  so we start Saturday with an easy one. With the XX’s set ending at 7:10 and Rae’s set starting at 7:00, there’s not much overlap. That pits an indie buzz band (the XX) and a depressingly attractive soul singer (Rae) against a sometimes hardcore/metal outfit.

We pick: Check out the first half of the XX and then head over and watch as much of Corinne Bailey Rae as possible.

Conflict – Tiesto vs. SIA vs. Devo

Let’s just go ahead and cross Devo off the list right away. Yes they are awesome, but if you wait until summer, they will undoubtedly play your local county fair/rodeo/bar mitzvah. So that leaves two options — the chaotic, pulsing beats of Dutch super-DJ Tiesto or the ambient, opiated sounds of SIA. Most festival-goers will make this decision based on the strength of the MDMA they bought in the beer garden. Still peaking? Tiesto is sounding pretty good on the main stage. Grinding those teeth a bit too much? Come down with SIA

We pick: Tiesto (it will be more fun, we promise!)


Conflict: Matt & Kim vs. Florence and the Machine

Never before have two bands had such a similar sound, hipster appeal and overbearing sense of irony. We’re just going to throw a dart at this one and see where it lands.

We pick: Florence and the Machine (it must be the red hair)

Conflict: Phoenix vs. Sly and the Family Stone

Right off the bat, we’re going with with Phoenix because Sly and the Family Stone barely include Sly. Last time we saw Stone play, Sly came out for five minutes and we’re pretty sure he was attached to a dialysis machine. Phoenix gets points for full disclosure — they’re French, and they’re strangely not embarrassed about it. And if you have a chick with you, she’ll be geniunely more impressed by Phoenix. We can’t explain that one, but trust us.

We pick: Phoenix


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