Everyone is talking about this year’s Coachella line up, and we’ve had our own share of thoughts and questions about the highly anticipated festival and its diverse set of chosen artists. We’re rapt with the headliners, with veterans Radiohead and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg taking to the stage for what are sure to be momentous performances. And while we’re excited about first night headliner The Black Keys, we can’t help but be a little bit skeptical about the choice, given that super Britpop band Pulp were snubbed for the top spot.
In some respects, The Black Keys make an obvious choice for a headlining act. For starters, their number one album from 2011, El Camino, propelled them to the top of the pack and made them arguably the biggest rock band in America today. Their singles “Lonely Boy” and “Gold On The Ceiling” have seen a healthy run on the airwaves, Internet and television, not to mention their viral video for “Lonely Boy” being the talk of fans and industry alike in late 2011. But while The Black Keys have enjoyed a huge cult following for many years, it was only between the release of Brothers and El Camino that The Keys found mainstream fame, making them fledglings to the spotlight. Moreover, being a two piece band might not make for the exciting set that a full band could bring at prime time Coachella, rendering their music possibly more suited to a festival like Lollapalooza.
Pulp on the other hand, are a timeless, legendary UK band. Vanguards of Britpop, Pulp, alongside their contemporaries like Oasis, were seminal in shaping the genre and have enjoyed an ongoing popularity as such. Pulp reformed last year after a 9 year hiatus to hit the European tour circuit and played a roaring special guest set at Glastonbury. With allusions that this might be their last tour as a full band, it seems like somewhat of a misstep to not have them headlining Coachella given their veteran status and the importance of their reunion. However, it’s arguable that because they aren’t as well known in America as The Black Keys, or as “of the moment,” their second tier billing is justified.
We’re not exactly sure how we feel (as you can probably tell by our mixed emotions and adoration of both bands), so tell us what you think in our poll below and in the comments section.
[Photos: Getty Images]
We’ve been plagued with all sort of thoughts since the official 2012 Coachella lineup was unveiled last night. Mostly, we’ve just been wetting our pants with excitement (which isn’t doing much for our social lives), but between all the puppy dog-like urination we’ve been able to take some time to reflect on the line up — what we like and what we’re not so fond of, and how it all fits together with the 2011-12 music landscape.
Coachella 2012: Now Starring Every Buzz Band From 2011…
If it buzzed in 2011, you’ll find it on a stage at Coachella 2012: Girls, Yuck, EMA, Kendrick Lamar, SBTRKT, Azealia Banka, A$AP Rocky, tUnE-YarDs, Childish Gambino, The Weeknd, Wild Flag, Real Estate, Gotye, Wild Beasts, Gardens & Villas etc. Oh and FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN FRANK OCEAN.
… But Where’s Lana Del Rey?
Noticeably missing from the lineup is THE buzz artist of 2011, Lana Del Rey. We’re assuming this would have been a conscious choice on the part of either Coachella organizers or Lana’s team, but given that her debut album, Born To Die, is about to drop it doesn’t seem likely that Lana Del Rey would pass up the opportunity to promote it at Coachella, which leaves us wondering why her name isn’t on that poster.
Our You Oughta Know Friends
We called these ones in 2011, and now some of our favorite You Oughta Know artists are set to tear up Coachella which only makes us swell with pride. Our You Oughta Know friends in the lineup include Dawes, Ximena Sarinana, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and Fitz and the Tantrums.
Just moments ago, the official Coachella Twitter feed (@coachella) posted their 2012 lineup, which will feature headlining performances from The Black Keys, Radiohead, and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (!!!). Regarding the latter, this year marks the 20th anniversary of The Chronic‘s release, so we’re guessing that the pair might perform the classic album from front-to-back?
Also of note: It looks like Coachella organizer Paul Tollett is NOT a fan of indie chanteuse du jour, Lana Del Rey. At first glance, she seems to be the most obvious snub on this year’s lineup. More analysis to follow tomorrow!
Coachella 2012 Lineup [Stereogum]
The latest rock beef came this week in the form of The Black Keys‘ Patrick Carney spouting completely unprovoked vitriol at Nickelback, including, “Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world,” in a rather malicious rant in a Rolling Stone interview. The attack seemed petty at the time, and now seems pettier still given Nickelback’s response.
The band Tweeted yesterday, “Thanks to the drummer in the Black Keys calling us the Biggest Band in the World in Rolling Stone. Hehe,” and it seems like not only are Nickelback taking the insult on the chin, they’re taking a novel approach to beefing — not taking it so seriously. No matter what your opinion of Nickelback, it’s clear the guys have a sense of humor, and we’re giving them a standing ovation for their jokey spin on the comments, and for not engaging in a back and forth slanging match.
[Photos: Getty Images]
An excerpt from Rolling Stone‘s January 2012 issue’s cover story (on newsstands soon) has tongues wagging across the Internet today, as The Black Keys‘ Patrick Carney took what can only be described as a devastatingly large swipe at Nickelback. Speaking candidly to Rolling Stone, Carney said, “Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world… So they became OK with the idea that the biggest rock band in the world is always going to be sh*t — therefore you should never try to be the biggest rock band in the world. F**k that! Rock & roll is the music I feel the most passionately about, and I don’t like to see it f**king ruined and spoon-fed down our throats in this watered-down, post-grunge crap, horrendous sh*t. When people start lumping us into that kind of sh*t, it’s like, ‘F**k you,’ honestly.”
Speaking of “honestly”, we’re honestly a little bit dumbstruck by the comment — as a completely unprovoked attack, it seems a quite malicious and in poor spirit. We can understand why musicians have seen a void in rock music of late — what with the trend towards Euro-dance, high energy pop and Adele in 2011 — but we’re not sure that the attribution of blame for this is so quantifiable. And we’d like to know who exactly is “lumping” The Black Keys with Nickelback; to us, the two bands present two very different sounds, and we think it would be an oversight to say they are of similar influence. We’re not saying that The Black Keys should be Nickelback fans, we’re just surprised that Carney’s statement was filled with such unnecessary vitriol towards the Nickelback. Come on guys, there’s enough room on the charts for everyone, and we like to think that there will always be a place for rock & roll, no matter what other contemporary trends emerge.
Cover Story Excerpt: The Black Keys [Rolling Stone]
[Photos: Getty Images]
2011 has been a big year in music, and between the Grammys, new babies, viral artists and some great losses, the music world has been rocked over and over again. With only a few days left until we wave goodbye to 2011, we’re reflecting on the 10 biggest stories of the year…
1. Beyoncé’s Pregnancy
Forget actual music — who cares about music when the Queen Of Everything is pregnant? It seemed like all anyone was talking about in 2011 was Beyoncé‘s pregnancy, from the initial, dramatic reveal during her VMAs performance of “Love On Top,” to the controversy surrounding the realness of her baby bump. And now the world waits with baited breath for the chosen one to emerge from the most revered womb on earth.
2011 was the year of Watch The Throne, the universally hyped phenomenon that took on a life of its own. Yes, it was ‘just’ an album, but how could it have been any less than Biblical with Hov and the prodigal son joining forces for one of the biggest hip hop collaborations in history? The epic collab has got us thinking, as it seems like one really isn’t enough these days (unless you’re Beyoncé, of course) to keep public interest piqued for long, so the high-profile are increasingly joining forces with the high-profile, wingman-ing each other for the hits. After all, doesn’t everyone need a Goose? We’ve put together some of our favorite superstars for the mindboggling collaborations we’d like to see come to fruition in 2012 (hint, hint!).
Lana Del Rey and Nicki Minaj
We already know Nicki Minaj loves a good collaboration, and from what we’ve seen of Lana Del Rey so far, our suspicion tell us her “machine” have the buzz artist pegged for super stardom. Collaborating with LDR would give Nicki the kind of edge she got from “Monster” while for LDR the partnership would open her up to a whole new — not to mention powerful — army of fans/Barbz. We’re imagining this as super dark and sexy with a muddy bass line; lyrically, it would be largely Lana crooning about doing filthy things with her dirt bag lover and having her heart broken, while Nicki’s verse would be a no-holds barred, expletive laden, grimy scratching on Lana’s melancholy. It would probably only be a suitable formula for one song, but we’re anticipating it would be a cross-genre hit, captivating mainstream audiences and the more subversively inclined simultaneously.
VH1 is getting ready for a chilly winter by cozying up with some good tunes; to wit, check out our neat new promo video for the holiday season. Set to the sounds of The Black Keys‘ “Lonely Boy,” the video is a fast-paced, energetic montage of all your favorites from You Oughta Know‘s Bruno Mars to Daughtry. The best part is watching the stars transform from humans into illuminated cartoons — our favorite is “Countdown” Beyoncé finger clicking as a fluorescent illustration.
Merry Christmas, Michael Bublé! Bubés (which, btw, is our own personal nickname for him) has sold 480,000 copies of his Christmas album this week, which keeps him at the #1 spot on the Billboard charts — the seventh, and highest selling week, in the album’s shelf life. The album has sold 1.5 million copies in total and could potentially surpass Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way to be the year’s second-best selling album. So it seems that consumers are really getting into the festive spirit by way of music — but strangely enough the album hasn’t received the sort of critical attention or accolades that Born This Way, or say, Adele‘s 21 have. But still — with what’s turn out to be a faster-than-the-speed-of-light sprint at the end of the game, Bublé has managed to outstrip artists whose albums have been available for months. Talk about Christmas wishes coming true.
Hot on Bublé’s heels in the impressive/blink-and-you’ll-miss-it speedy sales stakes are The Black Keys, whose 7th album, El Camino, has sold 206,000 copies in its first week. This almost triples the sales of the Keys’ last release, Brothers (which sold 73,000 in the first week), and almost doubles the sales of Amy Winehouse‘s Lioness: Hidden Treasures (114,000, if you’re counting at home). Can anyone say “buzz band”? Perhaps The Black Keys strategy of not offering El Camino on music sharing services is paying off, after all.
Bublé Stays At #1, Sells Nearly Half A Mil In Seventh Week Of Christmas Album [Pop Dust]
The Black Keys just released their new record, El Camino, and are currently in the midst of a huge promotional push to get the word out about it. Still riding the crest of viral popularity of their video for first single “Lonely Boy,” the band has showcased their new songs on SNL and an MTV Hive livestream, but are currently causing waves with fans (including our own Kat George) by not allowing El Camino to appear on popular streaming sites like Spotify, Rdio and MOG.
Well, we were lucky enough to grab some time with The Black Keys singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney over the weekend and were able to ask them about this controversial decision. Carney told us that, “[Streaming services] are becoming more popular, but it still isn’t at a point where you’re able to replace royalties from record sales with the royalties from streams…For a band that makes a living selling music, it’s not at a point where it’s feasible for us.” He went on to explain that he endorses services like Pandora, where fans are able to sample and discover new music on a song-by-song basis, but commented that the Spotifys of the world are “set up to be a little more fair for the labels than for the artists.”
What say you guys, the music fans, about this hot button issue in the today’s music industry? Are you on the side of the Black Keys, and think that fans should support their favorite artists by buying their albums and singles through retail outlets? Or does the Black Keys’ decision not to allow El Camino to appear on streaming services like Spotify make you less likely to listen to their music? Let us know what you think in the comments below!