This Past Week In a Few Paragraphs

The week that was started off last Thursday at Le Prom de Ultragrrrl thrown by SPIN (see right). Stepping inside Rothko, we instantly felt like we stepped into indie prom heaven. Boys in penquin suits and ladies in fancy dress. The Killers provided live music, all the while decked out in formal attire. It was awesome.

Mine, all mine

Let us note that Rothko has like no ventilation system whatsoever. Because of that, everyone ran outside as soon as The Killers played their last note. 45 minutes after we stepped outside we were thrown on top of a car and molested, had our ass grabbed, and had our ass kicked. This is what happens when you let friends drink vodka.

Friday it rained like a motherfucker. Just complete downpour which thrwarted plans to go see Farenheit 9/11. Instead watched Unhook the Stars and One Night In Paris. One Night In Paris was absolutely wretched. The dude, what’s his name? Rick Soloman? He does commentary before each of the four segments on the DVD. He’s all like, “Oh in this one Paris is real shy because it was our first time filming”, blabhalbhalbah. What an asshole! Paris darling, why you keep pickin’ up trash? (See Nick Carter.)

Saturday while eating brunch we gawked over the prettiest boy in a New York band then tried to see Farenheit 9/11 again. Unsuccessfully. We walked over 100 blocks and then we went to MisShapes for Karen’s Birthday/Open bar/Killers listening party. The moral of Saturday evening was don’t let us drink vodka, even if we look really cute doing it.

Sunday we finally saw Farenheit 9/11. Our “President” is a fucking moron. Later we watched the worst movie to come out last year, Love Actually. Who let that piece of crap get produced? Dear lord, it was awful!

Monday we saw Surefire headline Mercury Lounge, which was totally awesome. There were totally groupies up in the front. It was totally rad.

Last night we saw The Streets and Dizzee Rascal. We have no fucking clue about anything Dizzee Rascal said but it was fun. The Streets were superfly, and the last song of the encore was “Don’t Mug Yourself”. Mikey threw raw vegetables at the audience. Hooray.

The Boys Are Back In Town: The Strokes at MSG Theater

Tonight the Strokes debuted a new song they just recorded. We don’t remember a single word from it, but Regina Spektor did backing vocals for it. Somewhere in a straw hut, Damon Albarn is pissing his pants.

Regina Spektor also feels the need to hug every Stroke as she walks onto the stage and off of the stage — like she never sees them… ever.

In the celeb-spotting, the usual suspects: Drew Barrymore, Ben Kweller, Liv Tyler, etc.

Oh yeah, and Stillwater… sorry, “Kings of Leon,” played.

Being Old Is Easier Than It Looks

As we descend further and further into old-lady-hood, we’ve discovered we’d rather watch “Miss Match,” Cody Banks, “Endurance 2,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” and the Kylie “Fever” DVD during our weekend downtime rather than partaking in the CMJ festivities by seeing The Cooper Temple Clause at Irving Plaza, trying to hit on hot boys at the Etnies party, or doing some ’80s dance moves to Grace Jones at the Paper, A|X shindig. (We do the ’80s dance moves at home anyway.)

So you can imagine everyone’s shock and horror when we dared to venture outdoors to catch British Sea Power on Thursday night as part of the Rough Trade showcase at Bowery Ballroom. True, we did leave before the set was done to (unsuccessfully) catch The Thrills at Mercury Lounge, but we were outside… so the rumors are untrue. WE ARE NOT DEAD!

Way to Take Things Too Seriously, Buddy!

Sure the Siren Festival is great for things like music and carnival acts, but what it’s better for is HIPSTER BINGO. If you never thought you’d see the day someone actually took this thing seriously, well congrats, because you’ve seen that day. We took it upon ourselves to print out a copy of the now infamous Hipster Bingo card created by CatBirdSeat and have a bit of fun. The rules of Hipster Bingo include the fact that you can’t use anyone you know. (Believe us, we could have won in a heartbeat!)

Armed with our Bingo card, a pen, and a digital camera, we approached unsuspecting victims, shoved a camera in their faces and snaped a picture without telling them why. We then whipped out our Bingo card and quietly crossed off the appropriate box as they looked on in (bemused) embarrassment, said “thanks,” and then walked away with no further explaination.
Here are some of the results:

B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O!
B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O!
B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O!
B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O!
B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O!
B-I-N-G-O!

Believe it or not, we did run into some resistant hipsters. We wanted to take a picture of this guy with a perfect “circa-1968 jagger haircut” but he was all “no no no no!” “But you’re on our Hipster Bingo!,” we tried arguing to no avail. Bastard. Then some dude walked by us and dropped a pack of Parliament cigarettes, and we fumbled for our camera. He picked up the smokes and we shouted, “Hey can we take a picture–,” but he just started walking away, so we continued shouting, “…you’re on our Hipster Bingo, YOU A**HOLE!”

(If any of these people are your friends, hey, it’s not our fault you’re buddies with hipsters.)

Part 2 of The Best of the Westerns

The Week The Modern Age Pretended to Be From California
Read Part 1

APRIL 27, 2003

Wait a minute — there’s ANOTHER day of deadly heat and music? Dear Jesus. Gathers body parts, leaves Palm Dessert around 11 AM. Drives to Indio. Spots “Westward Ho” again. Still funny. Laughs.

Whirlwind Heat -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

Heads to press tent and meets up with Melody Nelson and Vince. Spots The Polyphonic Spree doing a photoshoot by the fountain. Loses track of time and ends up running over to Coachella Stage as Whirlwind Heat start their set. Crowd surprisingly receptive to the band. The boys are sporting the now standard Terry Richardson shirts, “poo brown” pants, and white karate shoes. Jack White, wearing a black suit with a red tie and shoes and a black bowler hat, stands sidestage watching his proteges wriggle, squiggle, and smash around the stage in the haphazard nature of most WH sets. Clap clap clap wooh!

The Soundtrack of Our Lives -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

Next up is The Soundtrack of Our Lives. Having previously seen them open up for Oasis and calling them “Spinal Tap personified,” our expectations and excitement level was on the low end. In a sea of Swedish bands we don’t get, they top the pile of Swede bands we really don’t get. A few days later Alyse stated to us with bafflement in her voice, “I didn’t know they were so classic rock.” Indeed.

TSOOL’s lack-luster performance slips from our memory as soon as it happens, minus one thing. One of the guitar players wears a nifty British flag blazer, which is a far better fashion choice then the last time we saw him wearing an open gold-lame shirt, but far more confusing because, yes, we could swear that he’s not British. Having never really come across Swedish Anglofiles (usually we only spot Anglofiles of the 15-year-old girl nature, wearing argyle socks), we’re caught a bit off guard. But no matter — we’re hungry — time for food.

Grabs a real hamburger for lunch. While standing underneath the beer garden tent, spots Carrie Von Bondie then Jason Von Bondie than Marcie Von Bondie. Spots Mister Jack White going toward the tour trailers, still wearing the black suit. Soon after he walks past us, we spot a herd of 5 teenagers clad in black t-shirts and baggy jeans walking 7 feet behind him. Eventually we see them stop him and have him sign a number of things and take pictures. He complies. Later we see this same herd stop the un-uniformed members of Whirlwind Heat. Apparently a traveling group of Michigan-band fans.

A crazy looking man wearing a sleazy ‘stash, huge sunglasses, and too-tight shorts rides recklessly in a golf cart around the fountain in the VIP area. Someone films him. He throws trash bags and causes general havoc. Don’t know who he is, don’t care enough to find out.

The Polyphonic Spree -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

The Polyphonic Spree crew sets up the stage for the 25+ members. Melody Nelson unexplainably shouts out to one of the crewmembers asking for his Polyphonic Spree mesh hat. Clearly the sun is getting to her. Harps, horns, oddly arranged microphones cover the stage. The Spree come out, all clad in the requisite white robe with contrasting hemline rainbow color. We came to hear them do “Solider Girl” and they do it so we’re satisfied. People are dancing around like neo-hippies and it’s sunny. Tim DeLaughter announces that there are robes in the back if anyone wants to come join them on stage. We spot a man weaving through the crowd. As he passes we hear him say “going to get a robe.” Most likely he was going to the bathroom or to go check out another band, but it was a good line.

The Von Bondies -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

We head over to the Mojave Tent to catch The Von Bondies, and some reason by the time we get there it’s already begun. We rush in as Jason Von Bondie is howling about some girl that did him wrong, which isn’t a very helpful description — almost a redundant one at that. We’re basically saying we came in while Jason was singing a Von Bondies song.

Two songs later we find ourselves on the side of the stage where we spot the first sign of being caught in the Bermuda Triangle of music: Behind us, wearing a red halter top and shorts, Juliette Lewis is dancing to the music. A song or two later, Jack White is sitting against the back of the tent (still wearing the suit — the man doesn’t sweat, that’s for sure). We realize Augie and Sammy Mooney Suzuki have been standing next to us as we see the rest of the band filter in. And Audrey from Polyphonic Spree is there as well.

The Von Bondies -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

A few songs later, Juliette Lewis positions herself so she’s standing NEXT to Jack White. Whirlwind Heat are in the back of the crowd, to the left, and then a blonde mowhawked Kelly Osbourne slides in with her roaming posse and stops next to the Mooney.

Before the end of the Von Bondies set, Juliette Lewis finally gets a picture with Jack, Kelly Osbourne leaves as soon as she came, and we realize Carrie Von Bondie is the skinniest person on the face of the earth. (She looks great with her new short, choppy hair.)

Falling upon a time slot of no bands to see, we catch some chow mein from the food court. After food’s done we head to Coachella Stage to catch a bit of Sonic Youth. We don’t dare try the photo pit — it’s obvious from a distance that it’s elbow-to-elbow in there. Alyse spots us and we end up munching on Valerie’s funnel cake.

Heads to Mojave Tent for The Libertines’ rescheduled 5:40 set. They successfully complete their set, getting into various stages of undress as the songs go on. By the end, they invite audience members to come dance on stage with them. A few brave souls make it up and shake away. We momentarily think about joining the fray, but decide to maintain the little dignity we have. Libertines surprisingly more attractive then in pictures, but musically the live show falls a bit flat. Not that we’re really fans of their music in the first place…But whereas The Vines substitute shaky music pedigree with Craig’s crazy show spectacle, The Libbies just don’t have the same flair to make up for the mediocrity of their music. Maybe we’ll change our mind later, or maybe we won’t.

We decide against heading to Gobi Tent for the T.B.A. (rumors had been circulating it was going to be Radiohead, other speculation said The Vines. It ended up being neither — it was a DJ set by Perry Farrell.) Instead we went to Outdoor Theatre for Primal Scream.

Melody Nelson tells us about Hard Glitter’s belief that Bobby Gillespie is Alison Kills. We sorta see it.

Before the end of Primal Scream, we head over to one of our two MAIN EVENTS for Coachella — THE WHITE STRIPES on the Coachella Stage. The pit is already filled by the time we get there. By the time the Stripes go on, bodies are everywhere. The sides of the stage are brimming over with VIPs and musicians, and the crowd gathering in front of the stage is massive.

The White Stripes -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

They begin with “Black Math,” but soon after the start, Jack starts yelling out to his tech. There’s some problem with the equipment and they can hardly hear each other on stage. He starts again with “When I Hear My Name” and soon stop, this time really shouting and emphatically motioning to tech that equipment is not working properly. Jack wears a ripped/sewn-up red shirt (with black stitchwork) with the red/black pants. Meg wears white shirt and red pants. High winds whip both their hair around their faces.

As reported by Dean on the White Stripes message board (with some modifications):


    The White Stripes -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

  • Black Math (partial – equipment failure)
  • When I Hear My Name (partial – equipment failure)
  • The Hardest Button To Button
  • I Think I Smell A Rat -> Take a Whiff on Me -> I Think I Smell A Rat
  • Jolene
  • Hotel Yorba
  • Dead Leaves & The Dirty Ground
  • Death Letter -> Motherless Child
  • Seven Nation Army
  • I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother’s Heart
  • We’re Going To Be Friends
  • Small Faces
  • In The Cold, Cold Night
  • You’re Pretty Good Lookin’ – last half acapella (in half time)
  • Hello Operator
  • Ball and a Biscuit
  • Screwdriver
  • Baba O’Riley (Cover of The Who)

Jack changes lyrics in “Ball and a Biscuit” to “Ask your red-headed girlfriends and see if they know”. Raises eyebrow.

Eats hamburger. Mmmm food. Overhears journos waxing poetic about White Stripe set (something about nature reacting to Jack White, causing the winds to change as they went on stage and some other hippy-dippy stuff)/ talking about Detroit gossip, which they get completely wrong. Resists urge to hit them.

The Stooges -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

Next up on Coachella Stage, THE STOOGES!!!!! The third song is “1969,” and we verge on loosing our marbles. Within feet of Iggy Pop as he sings the words, “It’s 1969 okay/ All across the USA/ It’s another year/ For me and you” we decide this is one of the best moments of our lives. They go on to play classics like “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “T.V. Eye,” “Funhouse,” and “Dirt.” Iggy pulls his usual tricks of humping amps, writhing, and jumping into the audience. The man’s still got it! We fall on the grass and start convulsing. Toward the end, Iggy introduces the band (including “On bass, The New Guy — Mike Watt”) then introduces himself (“And I’m FUCKING IGGY!”). We thunderously applaud and “woo.”

By this point, nothing else matters, so we head over to Outdoor Theatre just as Blue Man Group are winding down. Looks like fun. We get up there and the stage looks a mess as they clear up for Interpol, who is the last band to play the stage.

Interpol -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

Interpol has a false start due to technical problems. They play and stuff. Paul wears a British Sea Power patch on his sweater. We head over to Mojave Tent to catch a bit of Fischerspooner because we’ve never seen them. We get to the tent in time to take one picture of ladies dressed up in feathers. Casey Spooner is the grand master in this production of weird smoke and bright lights. They’re doing interpretive dancing and there’s flashing lights. The tent PULSATES AND SURGES with electro-energy, which scares the BEJESUS out of us, and we run out before something happens to us.

We sit on the bleachers facing Outdoor Theatre stage and are pleased that we didn’t miss “Obstacle 1” (the only Interpol song we whole-heartedly like) due to our Fischerspooner incident. We merrily sing along with Paul through our chattering teeth as he sings, “Her stories are boring and stuff/ She’s always calling my bluff,” one of the least eloquent lyrics ever sung in alternarock.

We spot the rest of our Coachella Crew and head off into the night as we hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers sing “Californication” on Coachella Stage.
We thank God it’s over and we’re still alive.

CONCLUSION OF SECOND DAY OF COACHELLA 2003: THE STOOGES CHANGED OUR LIVES

APRIL 28, 2003

We wake up and take a swim in the pool in a last-ditch effort to get some color. Yesterday’s all-day outing fails to produce a tan due to the usage of 30SPF sun block. Everyone jokes that there’s a secret third day of Coachella that we should attend.

On the way back to Los Angeles, we stop by the Dinosaurs — a ritual all the Californians assure us is a “must-do.” Taking their word for it we take pictures with the dinosaurs.
We pass the rows of eerie windmills that generate power for the desert people. We roll down the window and cause the rest of the car to lose their hearing due to the deafening sound of 80 MPH winds whipping through the vehicle. Oops.

Stop at “The Outlets.” No Dave Grohl but the boys gain toys. The boys decide to climb on top of things, as does Sarah. Take pictures.

Say goodbye to everyone. Fall asleep in car. Say goodbye to Remi before leaving from LAX. Fall asleep again. Arrive back in LA, don’t remember what we ate, fall asleep.
APRIL 29, 2003

Bums around Santa Monica pier.

Drives around L.A. Sees HOLLYWOOD sign.

Goes to Amoeba Records. Is a loser and only purchases the Original Broadway Cast Recording of “Crazy For You” for $5.99. Has a conversation with cashier about what our “I <3 JACK” pin means. “Jack who?” she asks. “Jack White,” we respond. “Ah. Who’s Jack White?” “Jack White of the White Stripes.” “Oh is that his name?” “Yeah it is.” “So tell me, are they brother and sister or were they married?” Groans.

Eats at some steak place, yet orders pasta with grilled chicken. Says “O-pa!” when someone at another table breaks a plate, then has guy sitting across from us repeat the phrase in an attempt to get our attention. Burries head in hand.

APRIL 30, 2003

Mid-afternoon leaves from L.A. for San Diego.

Eats at a Carl’s Jr. for first time in life. Gets regular burger and fries.

Gets car tan.
Arrives in San Diego. Locates Soma venue which is located IN A MINI-MALL near the sports arena. Horrified to see not one, not two, not three, but many many many people dressed up in combinations of red and white. A line full of people in red and white. Checks tickets, confirms status of show as being all-ages. Finds corner, hides.

Later witnesses three teenage girls go absolutely ga-ga over Jack White, jumping up and down, squealing, telling them they prayed that they would see him. “Praying works,” was Jack’s reply. They take a picture with him, and are so excited having just met Mister White, one of them nearly gets herself run over by a car.

Showtime, enters venue, which looks like a pit of hell. A room for 2,300 people to die in a black-box with red lights and a handicap ramp in the back.

Whirlwind Heat open to a less than enthusiastic audience. David Swanson opens the set by telling them, “You might get this… or you might not.” Most don’t get it, are a bit baffled and confused. When Swanson tells the audience about WH’s recently released LP, his comment of “It was produced by this guy named.. Jack,” is met with the deafening sound of confusion.

White Stripes well-received although (to our happiness) the set list leans heavily on material from the first three White Stripes albums and cover songs. Writes down the set list on our hand with contraband pen:

  • Black Math
  • Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground
  • Hardest Button to Button
  • Union Forever
  • Jolene
  • You’re Pretty Good Looking
  • Lord Send Me an Angel
  • Let’s Shake Hands
  • Clarabella (anyone know who originally sang this song?)
  • Cold, Cold Night
  • Look Me Over Closely
  • Apple Blossom
  • Death Letter
  • Small Faces (Public Nuisance cover)
  • 4-String Serenade (Arthur Lee cover)
  • Hotel Yorba
  • I Wanna Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother’s Heart
  • Seven Nation Army
  • We’re Going to Be Friends
  • Isis (Bob Dylan cover)
  • Sugar Never Tasted So Good
  • Screwdriver
  • ————-
  • This Protector

Driving back to L.A., we stop by Denny’s (another first). Orders The Sampler.

Pulled over by California highway patrol.

Sleeps.

MAY 01, 2003

Leaves from LAX to JFK.

Surrenders scissors to airport security. Catches plane 45 minutes before it’s departure.
Lands in NYC. Has plane tugged in. Training tugger causes delay in embarking plane.

Sleeps.

Part 1 of The Best of the Westerns

The Week The Modern Age Pretended to Be From California

IF THERE EVER WAS A TIME to write about our visit to the Left Side, it’s now. That’s because we feel a bit unstable and delusional thanks to the 104 F temperature yesterday morning. (Our body temp has now subsided to a pleasant 100 F. Guess we don’t have SARS.) We take it as a sign from God that the spirit of Lester Bang’s psychotic ramblings should naturally live on without the combination of cough syrup and speed.

APRIL 24, 2003

JFK —> LAX

Leaves New York City 7AM. Arrives in Los Angeles 10:08AM. Alyse picks us up. Sleeps. Eats chicken quesadilla. Sleeps.

APRIL 25, 2003

Leaves LA for Indio late afternoon. Pit stop at LAX to pick up Remi. Makes request to eat at In-N-Out. Orders regular burger combo. Sprite soda. Finds burger satisfying. Worth the request. Mystified by elaborate wax paper wrapping of burger. Burger juices drips down sides of hands. Notes the red and white color combination of the decor. Takes picture of inside of In-N-Out, scaring little children sitting at opposite table. Sees child wearing In-N-Out paper hat, gets jealous. Remi obtains paper hat for us and stops our whining.

Stop by Eddie’s for pick-up. Catches part of Elimidate featuring three large-chested bimbos and one greased up himbo. Our mouths drop to floor and we shake our heads at the poor state of American television.

Car ride down to Indio soundtracked by a Hot Hot Heat sing-a-long. Also featured, Blur, Madonna, Portishead.

Arrives in Palm Desert around 9PM. Last minute supply stop at Ralphs. Immediately associates with ‘ralph’ being a slang term for vomiting and laughs to self that an establishment would call itself that. Debates whether or not to purchase a pair of blue, sea green, and black aqua socks for $5.99 to wear to Coachella. Decides not to buy the socks.

Settles into sleeping destination. Tries out Lay’s Guacamole chips. Immediately addicted. Eats green grapes. Barely stays awake for arrival of rest of Coachella party. Gets Alyse to flip from Kilby to Conan just in time to see White Stripes play. Scares the lot of the Coachella crew by freaking out over White Stripes. Flips back to Kilby. Doesn’t miss any of Blur’s TV time. Everyone happy.

APRIL 26, 2003

Leaves Palm Desert around 10:30AM. Drives to Indio. Along the way to the parking grounds, spots a street called “Westward Ho.” Laughs.

IT’S HOT IN INDIO. Within minutes of getting out of the car, we realize that our whiter than white flesh is already on fire. Thrilled at prospect of getting tan.

They start letting people into the grounds at 12 noon. Semi-frightened our pens and candy will be confiscated due to the seemingly strict Coachella policies. (See their list of things NOT to bring.) Breezes through security without so much as a second glance or a pat-down.

We head to the Press tent. We get dangerously close to a group of girls sitting on a black leather couch when we realize it’s The Donnas. That bassist sure looks hungry. There is a whole bowl of candy sitting in front of them, but we aren’t about to try our luck. Inching away slowly without any sudden movements, we escape with all limbs in tact.

South -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

We locate Melody Nelson and Vince by the Mojave Tent. We head over to the food court to jam in some food before the music starts. We choose a vegan sloppy joe concoction for our lunch. And water. Mmm water.

South is scheduled to go on at 1:20 in the Mojave Tent, but they don’t go on until 1:30ish. This makes us grumpy. One late act in a tent will make everyone else late — and mess up our scheduling.

South does a nine song set featuring a bunch of new songs off their recently wrapped new LP:

    South -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

  • Same Old Story
  • Paint the Silence
  • Keep Close
  • Recovered Now
  • 9 Lives
  • Live Between the Lines
  • Colors in Waves
  • Motiveless Crime
  • Dolphins

We run through the crowd after South and spot two guys toting baby pink Mooney Suzuki #1 fingers which we assume were given out during their 1:30 spot on the Coachella Stage. (The next day The Mooney tell us that the Coachella folks wouldn’t let them sell them at the merch stand, so they decided just to give them out for free.) We ask the guys to pose, and we snap a picture.

Next up in the Mojave Tent is Idlewild. BIG FAT BLUR in our minds. Roddy looks real cute in his checked shirt and jeans. We still wonder where Bob is. Set list:

    Idlewlid -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

  • Little Discourage
  • You Held the World in Your Arms
  • I Am A Message
  • I Am What I Am Not
  • 10 Words
  • Modern Way Of Letting Go
  • American English
  • When I Argue I See Shapes
  • Rusty
  • A Film for the Future
  • Roseability

California’s very own (by way of New York) The Rapture bring on the grooves to Mojave soon after. The place gets sweaty really fast. We find ourselves staring at a guy in the middle of the crowd wearing a white blazer, jeans, a bare, tanned chest, and tinted shiny sunglasses. Melody Nelson asks us “Hey, is that Casey Spooner?” We never can identify Casey Spooner even if he’s standing right in front of us, so we take Melody Nelson’s word on it due to her superior celeb-spotting skills.

The Rapture -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

Hot Hot Heat bassist, Dustin Hawthorne, crawls out from backstage to check out the DFA darlings and we see Damon Gough on the sidelines, wearing a wooly cap, jean jacket, and jeans. We sweat just looking at him.

Soon after “House of Jealous Lovers” hits us hard, we can’t believe our eyes when we see the man previously identified at Casey Spooner go over to Damon and start talking to him. It’s a brief exchange, but it ends with Casey handing Damon a pin, and Damon nodding. Only at Coachella will you get Fischerspooner pimping out to Badly Drawn Boy.

The Hives -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

We head out of Mojave-land for the big boys and a little sun. The Hives take Coachella Stage on time sporting spiffy white and black triangle ties and the standard black on black shirt/pant combo (but with BLACK BELTS). Pelle is fantastic as “loud shouty foreign guy” but the crowd gives him some heckles, because mid set he starts razzing on some guy by saying something like “You should talk, you don’t even have any hair” then saying “Doesn’t it look like I could kick anyone’s ass?” Other highlights of Pelle crazy-talk included, “After The Hives all the other bands are dessert.” etc etc.

Blur -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

Next is Blur. As you may remember, the last time we saw Blur was in March at the Bowery show and our main conclusion of the events of that evening were Damon Albarn was on the drugs. But this time he seems less on the drugs (or are we more on the drugs?). The sun is setting, and the sky is a beautiful blue. There’s a slight breeze. It’s perfect weather. “Out of Time” makes us want to get out a lighter and raise it high in the air. It feels good to see Alex actually play with Dave and Damon. Oh yeah, and The Verve’s Simon Tong was there too. Yeah yeah yeah.

We catch some food mid-Blur set. As we chow down on a veggie burger, we see Ben Kweller walking about sporting a blue and black check shirt and jeans, hair just as moppy as it’s ever been. He heads over to the Press tent and chats with journos. We hear the sounds of thousands of people shouting “WOO HOO” as we finish our meal. On our way to the Coachella Stage we almost get run over by Tommy Lee and friend as they recklessly weave through crowds on some of those stupid Segways.

Heading back to Coachella stage for Queens of the Stone Age we spot Jared “30 Seconds to Mars” Leto with long black hair and red streaks and no Cammy Diaz (who was spotted earlier in the day frolicking with gal pal Drew “This is my boyfriend Fabrizio Strokes” Barrymore). Having just come off a 2-day My So-Called Life DVD marathon, we’re stoked. We get a picture with him and laugh our heads off.

Queens of the Stone Age -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE
Granted, we don’t know much of the QOTSA song catalogue, so we are resigned to just making devil horns and head banging throughout the set. Some dudes next to us are dancing all funny weird, so we start dancing like them just to amuse ourselves.

We go back to Mojave Tent and soon find ourselves in the midst of an angry electro crowd. Scheduled to go on at 8:30, Ladytron is waaaaaaaay behind due to some equipment problems’as in none of their equipment is working properly, and neither are the microphones. We already hate Ladytron, so this doesn’t make us happy at all, we start screaming out ‘Let’s go you international motherf*ckers!’ ElectroKids give stop-and-go spurts of boos and various other noises of discontentment.

Ladytron -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

Whoever made up that term “Better late than never” was wrong. How about “Better you not go on at all than mess everyone else up”? But alas, we don’t run the tent, so ONE HOUR AND 20 MINUTES LATER Ladytron go on stage. We wonder how this will affect The Libertines 11PM slot. Groove Armada is supposed to go on AFTER Ladytron, but Ladytron is just STARTING when Groove Armada was supposed to. We sulk in the corner.

Beastie Boys -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE
Back to Coachella Stage for a little Beastie Boys action. The photo pit borders on an insane asylum. Photogs coming out of our ears, all of them with the sharpest jabbing elbows known to man. Our squatting skills are put to the test by less than kind requests by the security people not to stand on the risers out of fear the crowd might get angry and start a riot. We can’t be bothered with all this hullaballo and get the hejezus out of there with as much of our sanity as we came with.

Groove Armada -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

We have nothing against Groove Armada, but we have no strong inclination to like them. They go onstage at Mojave Tent around 10:50 or so. And they play and stuff. By this point in the evening we’re so tired we really don’t care about much. We sit on boxes filled with gear and swig down bottles of water to pass the time. We have an internal debate as to weather or not The Libertines will get to play at all. This goes on for Groove Armada’s entire set.

After Groove Armada, the Tent kinda clears out, but some people are still coming in. We’re hazy with times but near 12 midnight an announcement is made over the PA: “We appologize for the delay — Next up is The Libertines.” Hooray! They’ll perform.

The Libertines -- CLICK ON FOR BIGGER IMAGE

10 minutes later The Libertines swagger onstage, pop open bottles of champagne and spray the audience, throw red shiny confetti, and make a grand spectacle of themselves. About two songs later, the cops bust in and pull the plug on them. Peter throws down the mic stand in a fit of rage and everyone is ushered out of the tent.


CONCLUSION OF FIRST DAY OF COACHELLA 2003:
LADYTRON SUCK

Read Part 2

Gallery: Blur @ Bowery Ballroom, March 16, 2003

There are only so many words to describe how messed up Damon Albarn must have been at Sunday’s Bowery show (most of them start with “DRUGS” and end with exclamation points — see some of our posts below). We think this picture pretty much sums it up:

Damon's real BLURrrrry

We were just looking at our pictures from the show, and even we can’t believe stuff like this happened:

He can read!

During “Brothers and Sisters,” Damon stuck it to all those who said Hooked-on-Phonics couldn’t work for him.

Damon

Jude Law, no. Damon Albarn, yes.

Damon lost his head

In this picture, Damon Albarn seems to have lost his head. Figuratively and literally.

Pull my finger

Watch out God and Adam — looks like Damon’s taking a stab at being a famous finger holder. We hear he wraps tighter than Chinese handcuffs.

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