Thursday, March 28, 2013

Coachella acts playing headline shows in Pomona, Calif.

A version of my story originally appeared in Foothills Magazine. 

Each April, the crème of the alternative rock, electronic, hip-hop crops and more head to Indio for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Both weekends are sold out, but a dozen acts will do their own headlining gigs in our area between appearances at the world-renowned event.

Below are some highlights:

The Postal Service


A decade ago, Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley and Jimmy Tamborello put out the indie pop/electronica-tinged CD “Give Up.” The platinum seller (second only to Nirvana in Sub Pop Records’ sales history) spawned three hits, including “Such Great Heights.” A deluxe reissue just arrived in stores.

How to Destroy Angels

The industrial music project from Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, his wife/former West Indian Girl singer Mariqueen Maandig, Reznor’s longtime collaborator Atticus Ross (the pair won an Oscar and Golden Globe for “The Social Network” score) and Rob Sheridan finally released full-length effort “Welcome Oblivion” this year.

The xx

This acclaimed London rock trio won the UK’s Mercury Music Prize for their brooding 2009 self-titled bow; latest effort “Co-exist” continued a minimalist approach.

Modest Mouse

Emerging in 1993, the quirky Washington State band led by Isaac Brock found major success in the 2000s via the top 10 modern rock radio hits “Float On” and “Dashboard.” The latter, from chart topping CD “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank,” featured ex-Smiths guitarist/short term member Johnny Marr.

Vampire Weekend

A mainstay on college and modern rock radio, the scholarly indie rock quartet from New York City updated Paul Simon’s Eighties Afro-pop sound on its eponymous 2008 debut and a follow up two years later. Highly anticipated album “Modern Vampires of the City” is due in May.

Dinosaur Jr.

Formed nearly 30 years ago in Massachusetts, this noise rock trio was an early influence on Nirvana and The Pixies.  It lured a broader audience on the heels of the mid-‘90s Seattle grunge explosion with the CDs “Where You Been” and “Without a Sound” before fizzling at decade’s end. Returning to active duty in the late 2000s, the band unveiled “I Bet on Sky” in 2012.

The Selecter

Pauline Black fronts the seminal 2Tone ska band from England, whose 1980 debut “Too Much Pressure” is considered a genre classic.  Initially together for just three years, they later inspired and toured with No Doubt in the ‘90s. The latest incarnation has released albums on a more regular basis lately, including the newest digital one, “String Theory.”

The Three O’Clock

Recently reunited, this L.A. group was a leading light of the 1980s Paisley Underground scene with The Bangles and others. Fusing power pop and garage rock, they were best known for the KROQ fave “Jet Fighter” and put out a final album through Prince’s Paisley Park label.

301 S. Garey Ave., Pomona;
April 10 – How to Destroy Angels
April 15 – The Postal Service
April 16 – Modest Mouse
April 17 – The xx
April 18 – Vampire Weekend

200 W. Second St., Pomona;
April 6 – The Three O’Clock
April 10 – Beach House
April 11 – Yeasayer
April 15 – The Selecter, Lee “Scratch” Perry
April 16 – The Makeup
April 17 – Dinosaur Jr., King Tuff
April 18 – Portugal The Man, Lord Huron
April 22 – Japandroids, Cloud Nothings

Empire Polo Club, 81-800 Avenue 51, Indio

April 12 & 19 – The Stone Roses, Blur, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, Jurassic 5, Passion Pit, How to Destroy Angels, Grinderman


April 13 & 20 – Phoenix, New Order, The xx, The Postal Service, Sigur Ros, Grizzly Bear, Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand

April 14 & 21 – Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Vampire Weekend, Social Distortion, Wu-Tang Clan, the Lumineers, Dead Can Dance, James Blake

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