For those just tuning in, this is A Thing We Do Here on Radio.com, in which two twenty-something editors — Jillian Mapes and Jeremy D. Larson — put down their iPads and log off Tumblr for as long as they can stand it, for a chat about a musical topic crucial to their generation. This time, it’s the 2014 Coachella lineup, that was announced last night (January 8). Here’s what transpired between these Two Millennials over Instant Messenger:
Jill Mapes: Can we agree this is a better Coachella lineup than last year?
Jeremy D. Larson: Yeah I think so. I love Blur and Stone Roses, but I think those choices were lost on the younger U.S. audience. Red Hot Chili Peppers were just de rigueur last year, and all years. I think this is a markedly better lineup— and the middle-card they have is really nice this year. OutKast will be such a party.
Jill: Most definitely. Last year was very high and lowbrow. The variety is nice, but it makes for very different experiences by day.
Jeremy: There just seems to be lots of headliner recycling— Damon Albarn (Gorillaz/Blur), Muse, Arcade Fire all have headlined Coachella twice in four years. And maybe that’s endemic of the giant fests in general. There’s a marked lack of classic rock at this, other than Motörhead which rules, and of course The Replacements.
Jill: Yeah, I was surprised at how few classic acts are booked this year.
Jeremy: Oh no okay there’s Bryan Ferry!
Jill: One guy!
Jill: Weak. Lou Reed played last year! 😥 What if, like, the Faces reunited at Coachella? Or the Kinks.
Jeremy: I think we would have to start http://whoarethekinks.tumblr.com. Such was the case with The Stone Roses. I’m not Coachella’s target audience this year, I’ve had the good fortune to see all of the headliners back in the day.
Jill: The Kinks are far more known to the youth, thanks to Wes Anderson films. I don’t think this lineup is intended for 18-year-olds. Teens do not care about OutKast.
Jill: People who graduated from high school 10 years ago care about OutKast.
Jeremy: What. Disagree.
Jill: “Hey Ya!” came out in 2003.
Jeremy: Everybody knows “Hey Ya!” that gets played on the radio all the time. Same with “Mrs. Jackson” I think. They’re not like Wu-Tang where only the hip hop heads are really gonna get down to it, in my humble opinion.
I don’t want to adultsplain.
Jill: I very much disagree with you.
Jeremy: Where’s a teen when you need one.
Jill: OutKast transcends hip-hop, OF COURSE, but they were of a moment in the pop radio sense. I remember, so clearly, hearing my parents sing along to “Hey Ya!” in the car in 2004. Then OutKast broke up in 2007, and while their name gets tossed around a ton and Big Boi has played many festivals and Andre has done some solid guest verses, I just don’t think a teen circa 2014 has an ounce of nostalgia for OutKast.
Jeremy: I’m not even talking about nostalgia, I’m talking about straight up having a good time from songs that they know. Like, find me a teen who’s turning their nose up at OutKast. I mean they’re probably won’t be able to finish the line “Cooler than a _______” nor do they have the whole Kim and Cookie skit memorized, but as soon as “Hey Ya” comes on or “B.o.B.” or Big Boi does “Shutterbug”, teens are gonna lose their shoes. Get with the program, teens.
Jill: Big Boi will NOT do “Shutterbug.”
Jeremy: I think there will be some Big Boi solo stuff!
Jill: Teens will know “Hey Ya!,” “So Fresh, So Clean,” “Ms. Jackson.”
Jeremy: If they do “Hey Ya” then they will do “I Like the Way You Move” and at that point it’s open season.
Jill: MAYBE “Roses.”
Jeremy: This just reaffirms my staunch “Teens: Get With The Program” stance.
Jill: We should have invited a younger millennial to special guest this chat.
Jeremy: I’m just going to Adultsplain and Teenshame myself all the way to internet jail. I feel bad, I’m being a grouchy Millennial Cusp right now.
Jill: I’m not trying to be anti-teen! I just don’t think teens who aren’t into hip-hop will know enough OutKast to really get into a full set. I just hope they realize how #rare an experience it is.
But, the beauty of the whole thing is that the vibes will be good and strong. The people who are into it will be REALLY into it, and celebrating. It’s not solitary music like I think Stone Roses are.
Jeremy: I’m the anti-teen!
Jill: No, I am. I’m not giving them enough credit, according to you.
(Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
Jeremy: Anyway, Teens and Adults alike can all enjoy Skrillex, whose show rules and you should absolutely go see.
Jill: Or maybe I’m not giving OutKast enough credit?
Jeremy: OutKast > Teens
Jill: Word. So… strongest day would obviously be Friday for most. But I am Feeling that Sunday lineup. Arcade Fire, Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel is an indie rock masterclass. Day two is like, A Snapshot Of What’s On The Radio. Day one is reunions, rarities, random smattering.
Jeremy: I would rank the nights like this: Friday, Sunday, then Saturday. Friday has the wow-factor and the big reunion, Saturday is the climax, the “okay we can afford to do more Molly” night, and Sunday is the comedown.
Jill: Do teens do molly to Muse, or you mean the Skrill?
Jeremy: There’s no delineation at Coachella—and there’s hardly even a delineation between Skrillex and Muse after the latter’s last album
Jill: There like one dubstep song!
Jeremy: At least two, either way their stage show is outrageous now. It looks like an Orwellean acid trip. Uh, full disclosure: I have never been to Coachella.
Jill: I just don’t know who’s all that excited about Muse headlining a festival at this point. This isn’t a comment on their music, and live I give them props on how much of a spectacle it is, but they’re too saturated.
Jeremy: This is a comment on their music: They have been aggressively disinteresting for at least three albums
Jill: But you used to LOVE Muse, right?
Jeremy: And I have no interest in seeing them do their riff rock breakdowns and seeing Matt Bellamy’s L.E.D. sunglasses and Chris’ complete disinterest in playing the bass part to “Hysteria.” Back when Showbiz and Origin of Symmetry and even Absolution and parts of Black Holes… I enjoyed them quite a bit. I was younger then — I saw Muse in 2000, and 2007 and 2009. Anyway the point is: Muse is a cop-cut headliner.
Jill: They’ve become the Chili Peppers with festivals.
Jeremy: They guarantee crowds because they have a dedicated fan base who, like RHCP, seem to be a perpetual state of arrested development. And I say this as being a fan emeritus of both bands, but come on, they are husks of who they were, both in relevance and talent. The only thing they have now is loads of money to put on the Muse Spectacular! and then they just Rock Out on Rage Against the Machine Riffs from 1992 between songs because they are sick of playing the same old riffs in their songs because they can’t write good songs anymore. This bothers me, clearly.
Jill: Clearly. Is this Coachella trying to be “safe,” or merely sinking time and energy into OutKast?
Jeremy: Coachella has been known to pay huge money to get bands to reunite.
Jill: Yes. But it’s not as though Muse is cheap.
Jeremy: I’ve heard The Smiths have turned down millions of dollars. God only knows what they offered The Replacements years before. Who are playing this year!
Jill: It was an obscene amount for The Smiths, and it will never happen.
Jeremy: I wonder if OutKast got seven figures.
Jill: Easy. I think this lineup is better than years past. And I do have to say, as much as I like Arcade Fire, it’s not fair for me to criticize Muse for over-saturation in the festival market when AF are going to be everywhere this summer. They’re already confirmed for the overseas fests, like Glastonbury.
Jeremy: Yeah as much as Arcade Fire, being another one of my favorite bands that has yet to turn my heart to stone, I’m side-eyeing that as a sort of a con headliner, too. And to be perfectly honest, the show is going to be a bit of a snoozer, I think, because from my experience Reflektor‘s songs land a little flat, live.
Jill: They have obvious gaps in their tour schedule, too. Right around when Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza are.
Jeremy: Oh yeah Arcade Fire will be everywhere this summer—neither exclusive nor all that exciting. Hey is that a Coachella parade? Cool let me go rain this hate all over it.
Jill: You saw AF in a big amphitheater last month, I saw them in a tiny warehouse in October. Curious how your experience compares to mine. Tons of energy on the new stuff when I saw them, and I’ve seen them absolutely kill at festivals in the past. ACL 2011, a lady turned around and asked me to stop screaming along so loudly to “Wake Up.” But I could see, you know, “Afterlife” not having a moment like that, as beautiful as that song is.
Jeremy: The problem with Reflektor‘s songs live, to me, is that they are very dance-heavy, but in a sort of laconic disco kind of way. The songs in retrospect sound perfect in a Salsa club, but in a large environment they didn’t really have a pulse to go with the kind of energy required to headline a festival. “Here Comes the Night Time” — perfect example of a song kids will have no clue what to do with it live.
Jill: I mean, yeah, this is why this is weird to me— this is their DANCE record.
Jeremy: Yeah but like Haitian dance, James Murphy dance, which are a little more complex than, say Skrillex or Calvin Harris. And TBPH a lot less fun when you’re drunk. At Coachella. I want it to be good, but I fear widespread forced smiles and exodus.
Jill: Exodus to what? They wouldn’t pit Beck against AF, would they?
Jeremy: Home 😦
Jill: So I’m guessing Calvin Harris…?
Jeremy: Perhaps. I think people will stick it out just to sing, “I guess we’ll just have to adjuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust”
Jill: Can we talk about the potential time slot match-ups?
Jeremy: Hmm yes, though conflicts are going to be completely speculative until the schedule drops.
Jill: I know, but for real, Sunday concerns me. Beck/Neutral Milk Hotel/Arcade Fire are going to overlap somehow and to me, those fan groups are very similar.
Jeremy: Unless Beck starts playing more songs from Midnite Vultures, his show is easy to miss.
Jill: He’ll be playing stuff from his new album, which I’ve heard (and no, not from the label) is impressive.
Jeremy: But wait, didn’t Beck say his album was like a continuation of Sea Change, the most bummer jams album of his canon?
Jill: Beck will have a more bummer set that Neutral Milk.
Jeremy: Neutral Milk Hotel will be a fun show to see—I think there was a respectable silence and reverence and “feel session” when Mangum played 2012. I think one doesn’t casually see NMH, I think one goes and sings every word. Beck, on the other hand, seems like a casual stop-off.
Jill: I saw the casual Beck stop-off at Governors Ball two years ago. So many people left mid-way I practically walked from the middle to the front. Anyway, let’s move along. Anything else to add about this year’s Coachella lineup?
Jeremy: I’m excited about: The Replacements, OutKast, Motörhead, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Pharrell, Classixx, Neutral Milk Hotel, The 1975, Future Islands, Ty Segall and Chance the Rapper
I’m disappointed in: 66% of the headliners, the lack of rap, that anyone still listens to Beady Eye, and that no one will be at Fishbone probably.
Jill: I’m excited about: OutKast obvi, Disclosure doing second year on the U.S. festival circuit, Waxahatchee, Bryan Ferry hopefully doing something from “Country Life” and not just his orchestra stuff, Pharrell, Fat Boy Slim, Arcade Fire even tho it’ll maybe be snoozy, Beck coming back, Neutral Milk Hotel proving me wrong about not being a festival band, Rudimental, how small the font is for Surfer Blood, and… Lana Del Rey bringing her hot mess train to more fests this year.
Jeremy: Surfer Blood, indie pariahs, headlining Parking Lot R.
Jill: I’m disappointed in: Muse being too safe (and this probably meaning they’re playing other U.S. fests this year), potential set-time conflicts on Sunday night, Ellie Goulding literally never getting time off from touring, how big the font is for Beady Eye, general font size injustices, and MGMT not just giving it a rest. Oh, and Coachella failing again at reuniting The Smiths. Weak. And Classixx also in the ‘excited’ column. They’re great!
Jeremy: So great! Add Classixx and Future Islands to your list, teens.
Jill: #teenadvice. We won’t steer you wrong.
Jeremy: What with your Razor Scooters and Game Gears.
Jill: XOXO, Two Millennials