Forget the headliners for a moment, and take time to plan your afternoon schedule. The big names draw crowds, but the mid day performances of upcoming bands, or those acts finally playing Coachella create a special festival experience in the sweaty Indio desert. Don’t worry if you’re unsure how to spend Saturday waiting for Animal Collective and Arcade Fire to grace the main stage. Sour Grape has got you covered.
Laidback Luke has put his constant world touring on hold to throw down a set at Coachella this year. The Dutch DJ has been a prolific producer for some time now, but his filthy electro beats have finally reached a state side audience with the rise of dance music in America. Unrivaled mixing skills on the decks and immaculate track selection that balances house, rap, and pop music distinguish a grimy Laidback Luke show from ordinary DJ sets. The massive Sahara tent relentlessly dedicated to the finest dance music in the world separates Coachella from most festivals. But nobody will rock the laser filled arena harder all weekend than Laidback Luke.
Hailing from Oxford, England, indie rock band Foals has flown under the mainstream radar despite releasing one of the best albums of 2010. The UK group’s latest release Total Life Forever is a complex record that engulfs the listener within a groovy dreamlike state. Led by frontman Yannis Philippakis, Foals have significantly matured since their debut album Antidotes and have amassed a following enamored with their funky alternative rock. With no other festival appearances scheduled in the states this summer, Foals will be giving fans somewhat of a treat at Coachella. Sour Grape will not miss this show for anything, and neither should you.
The French electro-pop trio Yelle returns to the coveted polo fields of Indio valley to showcase their dirty French house music we all can’t help but adore. Accompanied by a drummer and a keyboardist, this Mademoiselle creates sexy pop music that’s sure to urge festival attendees to get down and dirty under the Coachella sun. The band rose to prominence after posting a Youtube video titled “Short Dick Cuizi”—a not so subtle jab at the French rap crew member Cuizinier, that has now become their hit single, retitled “Je veux te voir.” On the track “Mon Meilleur Ami” off the group’s debut album Pop Up, Yelle sings loud and proud about her favorite romantic partner who is 6 inches long, multifunctional, and plastic…ooh la la! But Yelle manages to contain their raunchy attitude and always pull off tracks with class. If you’re wondering how to achieve this delicate balance, take some advice from the group themselves: “Dance like crazy animals, little finger in the air!”
The Queen of neo-soul Eykah Badu defines beauty. The singer songwriter of Nigerian descent can be immediately recognized by her eccentric fashion sense, but her lovely R&B ballads solidify Erykah Badu as a defining artist of the past decade. Fusing jazz, hip-hop, and funk, Badu promotes worthy messages with endearing positivity through her music. Erykah Badu’s latest release New Amerykah, Part Two: Return of the Ankh continues her futuristic vision of romance and captivates listeners with relaxing soul for the new era. Socially aware and politically conscious, Badu is one of the most important artists currently recording music. Her performance at Coachella is an absolute must see show.