After you've decided to start ranking all the acts on the Coachella lineup, there comes a moment when you realize you've made a terrible mistake.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is way too big, too ambitious in scale and scope, too sonically diverse to be reduced to a mere listicle. No one could ever hope to come up with a ranking system that could fairly and accurately reflect its more than 180 performing artists, who collectively represent virtually every genre of music from every corner of the globe.
Unfortunately, you don't come to this realization until you're about halfway through your rankings. So you plow forward.
Inevitably, in its final form, ranked from worst to best (because starting with No. 1 would ruin the suspense), this list makes its creator (hi!) sound like a complete asshole for the first 30-odd bands. And hey, I probably am a complete asshole. After all, I actually thought it would be a good idea to rank every single Coachella act. But bear with the list, and I promise it gets way less dickish around No. 139 or so.
A couple of caveats.
First, I make no pretense or claim that this list is in any way objective. How could it be? Bands aren't baseball teams and this isn't a crib sheet for your Coachella fantasy league. These rankings reflect my personal opinions and mine alone. (Trust me, plenty of Dallas Observer writers and staff will read this and also think I'm a complete asshole.)
Second, this list includes not just every act on the flier, but also many of the acts playing the Do Lab stage, who were only just announced last week — but only the ones playing weekend one, because dammit, I had to draw the line somewhere. (I also decided to note within the list which acts are playing the Do Lab stage, since they're not on the Coachella flier — which makes it sound like I'm obsessed with the Do Lab stage. Which I probably am.)
OK. Ready to find out who you absolutely cannot afford to miss, and who, if you defy my advice, will leave you feeling cheated and empty inside? Then let's get this ranking party started!
If Asher Roth were bitten by a radioactive college mascot while doing a keg stand, he would mutate into G-Eazy, a frat-rap supervillain who flashes his white privilege like a gang sign as he raps about getting money and fucking your girlfriend.
179. The 1975
Former emo band discovers the '80s, decides they'd rather sing about how miserable they are over shiny synths and faux-funk bass lines than grinding guitars. So, basically, Cobra Starship with British accents. Explain to me again why these guys are so hot right now?
178. Lost Frequencies
176. Sam Feldt
175. Years & Years
In the year 2076, when today's EDM kids are pushing their tricked-out walkers (with blinky lights and telescoping selfie sticks) around the assisted-living facility, this will be what's playing in the elevators instead of Muzak. Wait, what am I saying? In 60 years, no one will listen to this shit.
They combine metal and rockabilly! It's soooo original! And I suppose it is, except that when you parse out the component parts, basically all they're doing is combining the worst aspects of latter-day Metallica and Social Distortion.
The Nickelback of EDM: inexplicably popular and/or inexplicably reviled, depending on your point of view. Count me among the revilers, because I can't dance when the lyrics suck this bad. Seriously, people: "Stranded together, our worlds have collided/This won't be forever, so why try to fight it?" Even Nickelback are rolling their eyes.
170. Rae Sremmurd
Swag rap that pretty much owes its entire existence to the fact that "stripper" rhymes with "tip her."
167. The Front Bottoms
How is hyper-verbose, John Darnielle–obsessed slacker rock still a thing in 2016?
I'm sure somebody somewhere heard this girl and was like, "We've found the Australian Adele!" Um, no, you haven't.
When the single most interesting, clever thing about your post-shoegaze garage-pop band is that the W in your name is actually two V's, it's not a good sign.
162. The Chainsmokers
Yes, "#Selfie" is one of the best, smartest EDM singles of the last three years, and if you wanna go HAM when they drop it in the Sahara Tent, you totally should. But lately, Chainsmokers have gone all, "No, wait! We're serious artists!" Which is almost never a good move.
161. Purity Ring
I know I'm supposed to like Purity Ring, but I dunno, something about them just feels corny and calculated to me, especially when they give their songs titles like "heartsigh" and "bodyache," which sound less like song titles and more like a line of scented candles for goths.
159. Jack Ü
One has "Harlem Shake," one has "Where Are U Now." One will likely play a set comprised mainly of air horns and "Harlem Shake" remixes, one will likely play a set comprised mainly of Diplo running around exhorting the crowd to "Make some fucking noise!" while Skrillex does all the work. Either way, I'll be in the Yuma Tent, guys.
158. Steady Holiday
157. SG Lewis
155. Moon Taxi
152. Nina Kraviz
151. Amine Edge & Dance
150. Alessia Cara
149. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
This is the part of the list where I run out of haterade and lack the strength to whip up a new batch. Do you want me to tell you why all of the above acts aren't particularly good? Sorry, can't do it. I'm all hated out.
Still with me? Congratulations. You've made it to the (mostly) good stuff.
147. Marco Carola
In baseball, there's a benchmark of mediocrity called the Mendoza Line. For Coachella 2016, I propose a similar concept called the Marco Carola Line. Being above it doesn't necessarily mean you're good, but it at least means that you're deserving enough of a festival lineup slot that dickhead critics like me should refrain from throwing shade your way. So with that theory in mind — and with a respectful nod to Mr. Carola, a perfectly respectable Italian DJ/producer whose fans all rightly hate me now — let's shift gears and start finding some nice things to say about this year's Coachella lineup.
146. Calvin Harris
Oh, crap. Did I say I would only say nice things? Shit. Um ... oh, wait, I got it! When paired with great pop singers like Rihanna and Ellie Goulding, Calvin Harris' cheeseball anthems are actually kinda great. (I'm trying here, people.)
145. Silversun Pickups
144. Cold War Kids
143. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
L.A. represent! I would rank all of these bands much higher if this were, say, Coachella 2009, but ... yeah. Let's just say they're all polished, veteran live acts and leave it at that.
142. Crystal Fighters
There's something a little ridiculous about these hippie psych-rock warriors, whose lyrics tend to sound like something a friendly homeless person shouts at passing rollerbladers on the Venice boardwalk: "Hear the same groove/Get on the wave, universal suns, one thousand suns!" But their music is sunny and festival-friendly, and they're a U.K. band with a song about Los Angeles ("L.A. Calling") that isn't about how much L.A. sucks. So rock on, you crazy hippies.
I'm not crazy about this Vancouver electro-pop duo's early stuff, but their latest EP, Water Water, is fantastic, with a mix of seductive house grooves and intricate synth lines reminiscent of fellow Canadian Caribou. One of several worthy acts playing the Do Lab stage the first weekend.
140. Nina Las Vegas
From Australia, not Las Vegas, where they know how to deploy a massive synth hook without pandering to the bottle-service crowd. She's (now formerly) on Fool's Gold, if that means anything to you (and it should).
Kudos to Coachella for booking some actual reggae in 2016 (no, Major Lazer doesn't count). Both these guys represent the next generation of the genre's Jamaican stars. Dub Club regulars should be front and center for both sets.
137. Speaker of the House
136. San Holo
135. Le Youth
134. Jerry Folk
I love the Do Lab stage. During the hottest part of the afternoon, it's an oasis of shade, Super Soakers and beautiful, smiling people, all vibing out to the kind of chill EDM you can move to without sweating like a lunatic even in Indio temperatures. These acts all specialize in that kind of music in different ways, so if you see their names on the schedule during a break between your must-sees, wander on over and lend your own beautiful, smiling face to the proceedings. You won't regret it.
133. Strangers You Know
This local duo's early stuff is the kind of sugary power-pop that can be fun, but I'm way more into their recent single "Queen of Venice Beach," which skillfully carves its own lane through the same electro-soul sounds as Sam Sparro and early Jamie Lidell.
132. Hudson Mohawke
Anyone endorsed by both Warp Records and Kanye West can't be all bad, and this Scottish producer's best stuff does have an army-of-hip-hop-robots-coming-to-party-and/or-crush-humankind quality to it that's pretty cool. I'd rank him higher, but sometimes the "crush humankind" part of his music gets to be a little much.
Twenty years ago, a friend of mine described Rancid as the "Sha Na Na of punk rock." Today, that description seems even more accurate. But hey, if California skater bros trying to sound like The Clash are your thing, it's hard to beat Tim Armstrong and co.
This Maine-bred, L.A.-based rapper can be a little corny, but he's also self-aware enough to bust rhymes about Seinfeld (on the legitimately funky "Cosmos Like Kramer") and his sound, courtesy of producers like Orphic, Sugarpill and the late Nick “Pumpkin” Alvarado (a much-loved figure in the Do Lab community, who recently died in a car accident), combines hip-hop and trippy, glitchy electronica in fresh, interesting ways. At the Do Lab stage.
L.A. producer David "Ghastly" Crow combines dubstep, trap and electro-house into a sound he sardonically calls "awkward drunk sex music." It probably would be awkward to have sex to, drunken or otherwise, but it's aces for dancing, especially at the Do Lab stage. (Have we established yet that I love the Do Lab stage?)
128. Soul Clap
This Boston duo keeps the old-school house vibes alive but mixes things up with touches of soul, funk and an occasional offbeat sense of humor. They've collaborated with George Clinton and been remixed by the likes of Louie Vega and Egyptian Lover, a co-sign trifecta that even James Murphy would probably bow down to.
A lot of serious techno heads would probably rank Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia, best-known as one-half of progressive-house duo Deep Dish, much higher. But while I certainly give the man props for following his muse back into the underground, his original tracks veer a little too much into repetitive, minimal techno for my taste. That said, if you like losing yourself in the kind of DJ set that sounds like one long, hypnotic, subliminally ebbing and flowing track, Dubfire's your ticket to dance-floor nirvana.
I'm probably supposed to rank these Brit rockers higher, too, and they're fine, in that long tradition of arty but slightly bombastic Brit-rock bands like The Verve and Travis and Doves and Bombay Bicycle Club. But I'd be lying if I said I understood why they get the second-largest font on the Coachella flyer. They're not adding much new to that tradition, as far as I can tell.
125. The Funk Hunters
I know, I know — "Funk Hunters" sounds like the name of the world's whitest Parliament-Funkadelic cover band. But check out some of their SoundCloud mixes and tell me you can't picture yourself getting down with your bad self to this stuff in the Do Lab tent. Well, OK, I can picture myself doing it. If that's a sight you'd rather not see, don't say I didn't warn you.
Can this veteran U.K. grime star, who has lately been making inroads in American hip-hop, become grime's first legit trans-Atlantic phenom? Who cares? Fans of Wiley and Dizzee Rascal who haven't yet discovered this North London MC's hard-hitting sound are in for a treat.
123. Zella Day
On her debut album, Kicker, this Arizona singer comes off a bit like a Southwestern Lana Del Rey, mixing dreamy-yet-doomed balladry with a hint of desert twang. I saw her at the Fonda last year and her performance felt a little tentative, as if she's still figuring out what her sound is, but her talent was undeniable — especially when she channeled her inner Stevie Nicks on a hair-raising cover of "Rhiannon."
122. Big Wild
This Venice-based producer is part of a younger generation of electronic music producers I'm pretty stoked about, the ones who mix pretty much every genre and subgenre under the sun into a big, gloppy ball of fun because they DGAF. So think Pretty Lights, Griz (whom he has remixed), maybe a little RL Grime or Trippy Turtle. If his biggest track, "Aftergold," doesn't put a big ol' goofy grin on your face, you're taking this shit too serious. At the Do Lab stage.
121. Beach House
What they should do is play that fake Beach House track that fooled Wayne Coyne into "premiering" it on his podcast. What they probably will do is lean heavily on new material from last year's twin LPs, the very Stereolab-ish Thank Your Lucky Stars and the spacier, somewhat more interesting Depression Cherry. Neither album carries the promise of a riveting live show, but all that hazy dream-pop sure will sound purty floating across the polo fields.
"Sounds like 'Diamonds and Pearls'–era Prince" is how we described this Maryland-born, L.A.-based singer when we profiled him last year. I'd add D'Angelo, The Weeknd and maybe even Backstreet Boys in full heavy-breathing ballad mode to the "sounds like" list. If he's playing one of the tents, it's gonna get steamy.
119. Mano Le Tough
Berlin-based Irish producer mixes the crisp, moody techno of his adopted hometown with the more melodic windchimes-and-synths sounds of artists like Caribou (whom he's remixed) and Pantha du Prince. In a word, gorgeous.
117. Dreamers Delight
More sunny SoCal vibes from the Do Lab stage, this time courtesy of L.A.-based producer Reed Krafft, whose music lives up to its name with a particularly dreamy take on future beat science.
116. Nora En Pure
114. George FitzGerald
Three completely different but equally intriguing takes on melodic deep house: South Africa–via-Switzerland DJ/producer Nora En Pure tends to take her cues from the genre's more classic sounds (as well as classic sounds in general — check out her luscious, Spandau Ballet–sampling "Saltwater"). French duo FDVM take a more modern approach, with catchy vocal melodies and touches of world music and tropical house. Berlin-based Englishman George FitzGerald mixes in elements of techno while still keeping a soulful vibe, especially on vocal tracks such as "Full Circle" featuring fellow Brit Boxed In. It's all good stuff — and we're not even in the Top 100 yet.
French-Cuban twin sisters channel their African (specifically, Nigerian) roots into beautifully genre-less music that mixes Afrobeat, salsa and contemporary folk-pop.
112. DJ Mustard
Let's be honest: I have no idea whether seeing the ratchet king at Coachella is a must or a miss, and you don't either. It all depends on who else makes an appearance. If Big Sean and Travis $cott show up, it's gonna go off; if his biggest guest is, say, Jay 305 (no disrespect), your desert time is best spent elsewhere. I'm ranking him here on the assumption that he'll at least get one of his longtime collaborators like Tyga or Kid Ink to jump on the mic for a few verses.
At just 21, Halsey's star power is already undeniable, and she's got a bona fide generational anthem in "New Americana." But the rest of her material is hit-or-miss, and her ability to rock a festival stage remains untested. Still, I'd put her chances of making me look stupid for not ranking her higher at about 50 percent.
For old-school dance-music snobs, Snails' music is basically aural haterade: big, dumb, glitchy bass lines mixed with trap, hip-hop, house and reggae beats, air horns, disco diva vocal samples, crunk chants and whatever other party-starting dirty tricks he decides to spike his lowest-common-denominator brew with. And you know what? It's awesome. If you're a Jack Ü fan, please trust me on this — Snails will make you completely lose your shit.
Pronounced "Sizza," SZA became the first female artist signed to Top Dawg Entertainment in 2011. She hasn't reached the same commercial heights as her male labelmates, but she should; she's a terrific singer and songwriter in the genre-defying mold of a Solange or a J*Davey, more than able to hold her own alongside a Kendrick guest verse.
108. Imagined Herbal Flows
107. The Drifter
106. Dena Army
Are we really back in the Do Lab tent again? Yep, sure are. These three acts could not be more different, but all are worth a look. Aussie house DJ Dena Amy gets my vote as the most promising of the bunch; her SoundCloud mixes are funky as fuck and practically scream "desert dance party freak fest." The Drifter hails from Berlin and is, as you might expect, more on the techno tip. I hear you snickering at the name Imagined Herbal Flows, but before you break out the crystals and the rainstick, visit the D.C. producer's SoundCloud (link above), which is full of classically beautiful ambient electronica in the vein of early Bonobo and Boards of Canada.
105. Parov Stelar
One of the godfathers of electro-swing, a combination of house, breakbeat and jazz (mostly of the Prohibition-era variety) that can sound gimmicky but, in the right hands, might be the most fun to dance to of any style of music ever invented. And Stelar's hands are definitely the right ones.
104. Black Coffee
Say it with me now: Nkosinathi Maphumulo. That's this South African DJ/producer's birth name. Fine, just call him Black Coffee, and call his Afrobeat-tinged take on deep house awesome.
Masha Martinovic is one-half of Dig Deeper, an up-and-coming DJ/promoter duo we recently profiled. She's earned her Coachella stripes earlier than most (she's 25, and has only been DJing for about three years) with a freewheeling style that combines house and techno with elements of classic synth-pop and the more accessible corners of experimental electronic music.
Speaking of youngsters crashing the Coachella lineup: This genderqueer electro-pop singer/songwriter is just 21. I don't know about you, but when I was 21 my greatest accomplishment was owning a belt and pair of shoes that matched.
101. Wolf Alice
More dreamy, post-shoegaze guitar pop from England, the nation where every phaser pedal must come bundled with a Slowdive CD.
100. Pete Yorn
I know it's tempting to write Yorn off as L.A.'s answer to Jack Johnson, but his new album, ArrangingTime, is actually really good. Plus, he's a closet Cure fan, so he's cooler than you think he is.
99. Mint Field
This is one of those bands I honestly knew nothing about prior to seeing them on the Coachella lineup, but after zoning out to their reverb-soaked post-punk EP, Primeras Salidas, I'm officially a fan. They're sorta Tijuana's answer to Drinking Flowers or whatever Burger/Lolipop-approved neo-psychedelic band you care to insert in this sentence.
98. Melody's Echo Chamber
Speaking of neo-psych-rock: Tame Impala–approved French singer-songwriter Melody Prochet makes prettily trippy, occasionally rockin' dream-pop that reminds me of Stereolab, but probably only because of the accent. But hey, everyone else says the same thing, so at least I'm not the only lazy music journalist on the French psych-rock beat.
97. Paper Diamond
Alexander Botwin used to produce super-cool, super-moody instrumental hip-hop under the name Alex B. As Paper Diamond, he's more in the vein of his fellow Coloradan, Pretty Lights, which would seem like a calculated rebrand if he wasn't so damn good at it. Oakland-based producer KRNE mixes a similar palette of trap, glitch-hop and future bass into configurations that are poppier but no less compelling. Both at the Do Lab stage.
95. Bat for Lashes
For me, I'm not sure anything Bat for Lashes' Natasha Khan ever does will top "What's a Girl to Do?" and its creepy video with the animal-masked bicycle gang. But "In God's House," the first single from her fourth album, The Bride (out July 1), comes close.
94. A$AP Rocky
As a left coaster, I'm biased, but I think A$AP Mob can't hold a handle to their West Coast counterparts, Odd Future. That being said, A$AP Rocky is sort of the Mob's answer to Earl Sweatshirt — a talent too unique to be contained by the group that spawned him.
If any voice at Coachella can silence a rowdy festival crowd, it's the androgynous purr of Rhye's Michael Milosh.
92. RL Grime
The dude born Henry Steinway became the biggest star of L.A.-based beat collective WeDidIt by producing deeply emotive tracks that manage to feel both soaring and bone-crushing. Live, he likes to dial up the trap elements in his tracks until the crowd is a sea of waving arms and snapping necks.
Aluna Francis and George Reid make the music that sounds like the world's sexiest videogame. "You know you like it but it drives you insane," Francis teases on the U.K. duo's biggest hit, and she's kinda right on both counts.
Hey, know what this is? The halfway point! This list is almost as much of an endurance test as Coachella itself, but at least you won't have to inhale half a pound of desert dust on your way back to the parking lot when it's over.
90. Ellie Goulding
You could hardly manufacture a better voice for today's hyper-emotive pop than Ellie Goulding's, which retains a pleasant rasp even when she's belting from somewhere deep inside her diminutive English frame. Sometimes her music can be a little manufactured, too, but damn if she doesn't sell it.
89. Young Fathers
Does the title of their latest album, White Men Are Black Too, make you uncomfortable for reasons you can't quite articulate? That's probably the idea. This Scottish electro-soul trio likes to provoke, with a sound that shapeshifts every time you think you've got a bead on it.
88. Sufjan Stevens
Stevens' latest album, last year's Carrie & Lowell, is a beautiful, haunting meditation on death and loss, written after the death of the songwriter's mother. It doesn't sound like the kind of thing that will play well under the blazing sun of the California desert, but Stevens might have the magnetism to pull it off. Or he might go right into the more uptempo stuff from Illinois and The Age of Adz.
You might also know him as Trippy Turtle, but even when he's not wearing his ridiculous turtle hoodie, this Norwegian producer's caffeinated take on hip-hop and R&B is pretty damn entertaining.
86. Unknown Mortal Orchestra
New Zealander Ruban Nielson went in kind of a disco direction on his psych-rock outfit's latest album, last year's Multi-Love, so their Coachella set should turn into a big ol' hipster dance party. Actually, that pretty much describes all of Coachella, doesn't it?
85. Bob Moses
Obscure musical reference time! This New York duo's moody, house-inflected output sounds to me like a cross between Grand National and Deep Dish's 1998 studio album, Junk Science. Google it, you'll see what I mean.
84. Lord Huron
We described L.A.-via-Michigan singer-songwriter Ben Schneider's music as "tropically infused rock held together with gorgeous harmonies and adventurous rhythms" back in 2012, and that still sums it up nicely.
You won't hear a band all weekend with a more original sound that this self-described "cholo goth" duo from San Diego. Think an angrier, more lo-fi Depeche Mode, with frontman Leafar Seyer defiantly wailing, "My pain can never be measured." They're an acquired taste, but undeniably compelling.
Harley Streten's brand of vibed-out electronic music is what pop sounds like in 2016. That probably means it's going to sound dated in about five years, but for now, Flume is as of-the-moment as any artist on the entire lineup.
81. De Lux
More cowbell! De Lux's dirty disco sound is a fun flashback to the "dance-punk" sounds that ruled indie rock a decade ago. They're also one of the best live acts in L.A. at the moment.
This French DJ/producer's set is likely to feature remixes of everything from AlunaGeorge to Jack Ü. Should be a fun ride.
79. Miike Snow
I might catch these Swedes' set just to hear "Paddling Out," which was hands-down my favorite song of 2012. I'm less stoked on the rest of their catalog, but there's no denying these guys know how to weaponize a good groove with razor-sharp pop hooks (they're also the brains behind Britney Spears' "Toxic," which was my hands-down favorite pop song of 2003).
The DJing incarnation of Belgian electro-rock trio Soulwax, 2manydjs play mashup-style mixes expertly calibrated to cause maximum moving of feet and losing of shit among festival attendees. You have been warned.
77. Carla Morrison
It's a cliché to describe female vocalists as "seductive," but no word better captures Carla Morrison's kittenish purr. The Baja California native sings in Spanish, but you won't need a translator to figure out what songs like "Un Beso" and "Disfruto" are about.
76. Sheer Mag
Philly quintet plays straight-up, balls-out, old-fashioned rawk with a punk edge, thanks mainly to firebrand frontwoman Tina Halladay's in-the-red vocals.
75. Mr. Carmack
Electronic producer Aaron Carmack lived in Hawaii for three years, supporting himself entirely with a steady stream of Bandcamp releases. He's also apparently crazy, because he recently ditched Honolulu for L.A. His beats are both beautiful and blunted and are already making him a star of the Low End Theory scene.
74. Thomas Jack
This Aussie DJ/producer says he's over tropical house, the subgenre he helped invent. But his recent single "Rivers" sure as hell sounds like trop-house to me, and his latest tour was called Tropical Express, so I don't think anyone has to worry about him dropping a minimal techno set at Coachella.
An up-and-coming kid from Michigan, now based in L.A., with a pleasantly hazy psych-pop sound and Jeff Buckley–esque pipes. Worth seeing for his irresistible single "10,000 Emerald Pools" alone.
72. Louis the Child
Chicago duo with a knack for fluttery synths and catchy vocal melodies — check their biggest single, "It's Strange," featuring K. Flay. They don't have a ton of original material, but their remixes of artists as diverse as Ty Dolla $ign, Oh Wonder and Miike Snow are all pretty great.
71. The Vandals
Veteran O.C. snot-punks still put on a great live show — even greater if they're joined by drummer Josh Freese, one of the best in the business.
70. Matthew Dear
Fractured art-pop you can dance to, courtesy of a Detroit techno producer turned David Byrne–esque weirdo frontman in Dear and a synth-heavy Upstate New York quintet whose new album, Swish, is worth a look if you're into Holy Ghost! or Cut Copy.
68. The Dead Ships
This unsigned L.A. garage-rock trio was apparently hand-picked by Goldenvoice honcho Paul Tollett to play this year's Coachella. Tollett and his team have good taste; in a city swimming in garage-rock trios, The Dead Ships stand out with tart songwriting and raw-throated energy.
Anthony Gonzalez's music has always kinda sounded like the soundtrack to a lost '80s teen rom-com, and he seems to be doubling down on that vibe with his latest album, Junk. Sax solos, breathy female vocals, reverb-laden synth drums. Kiss Molly Ringwald, roll credits.
This L.A.-based house producer managed to have one of the biggest EDM hits of 2014 with "Faded" while keeping his identity hidden. Live, he appears as a silhouette behind a giant projection scrim. His music has a similarly shadowy, mysterious quality, even as it keeps your feet moving.
Like a punker Moldy Peaches or a folksier Colleen Green, Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker make simple, childlike songs about everyday life that are always totally charming, no matter how pissed off they sound. They relocated from L.A. to Philly last year, so their first Coachella appearance has turned into a homecoming gig of sorts.
64. Lee Foss
One of L.A.'s most underrated DJs (though that's changing fast), Foss reliably serves up varied, funky house sets that pay homage to his Chicago roots while incorporating plenty of fresh, underground sounds. He could probably play the Sahara tent, but he's hitting the Do Lab instead. It's gonna be packed.
63. The Black Madonna
Speaking of Chicago, Marea Stamper aka The Black Madonna is one of that city's current leading lights, both behind the decks and as the creative director for Smart Bar, one of the best house-music clubs in the world. That tired old line about DJs taking you on a journey? Pack your bags, bitches.
62 1/2. Phases
Oopsie. I was bound to forget at least one band, and for some reason, it was Phases, a perfectly good pop quartet led by Alex Greenwald of Phantom Planet and Z Berg of The Like. Sorry, guys. Hopefully my oversight didn't bum you out too much and you're still in love with your lives.
I haven't seen these U.K. post-punks live yet, but a lot of people say they were one of the highlights of FYF last year. They certainly seem worthy of some serious moshing, and lead singer Jehnny Beth seems like a woman not to be fucked with. I'm sold.
61. Nicole Moudaber & Skin
Speaking of women not to be fucked with: This pairing features Carl Cox protege and rising tech-house superstar Nicole Moudaber and Skin, a fierce, shaven-headed British singer best known as the frontwoman for rock band Skunk Anansie. If you like dance music that's heavy on bad attitude, seek out their 2015 EP, Breed.
Guess what? We're two-thirds of the way there! Every single artist left on this list is varying degrees of awesome. Yes, even Major Lazer.
60. Miami Horror
This L.A.-based Australian quartet's 2015 album, All Possible Futures, has "the sound and feel of a sustained serotonin rush," we wrote last year. Live, the electro-pop group swaps instruments and lead vocals to make that rush even more intense.
59. Major Lazer
What started as Diplo and Switch's Americanized tribute to dancehall and reggaeton is now basically Diplo's sandbox for grafting different EDM sounds together in his never-ending quest to achieve maximum dance-floor mayhem.
58. Epik High
This is why Coachella is awesome. Unless you're already heavy into K-pop, when else are you gonna go see a Korean rap group? Probably never. Fun fact: Every time it sounds like they're dropping an "N" bomb, it's actually just a polite form of the Korean word for "you." Hopefully they'll explain this to the crowd at Coachella before they get into "Born Hater," which drops a Korean "N" bomb at the beginning of pretty much every verse.
57. Meg Myers
L.A. Weekly columnist Jeff Weiss has been hyping this singer-songwriter since before she was a rising pop star with a major-label deal. While I'm not quite such a fan, there's no arguing that her single "Desire" blows away most of what's on Top 40 radio these days. It's like hearing Katy Perry doing a Trent Reznor song. And yes, I mean that in a good way.
Nothing this Scottish synth-pop trio does wasn't already done in the '80s, but when the sugar-rush synths of "Clearest Blue" kick in, who cares?
55. Fur Coat
Signed to Damian Lazarus' Crosstown Rebels imprint, this Venezuelan duo, now based in Barcelona, make the kind of dark, booming yet melodic house music that used to be called "progressive" before that term fell out of fashion. So let's just call their stuff awesome and dance our asses off to it and leave it at that. Deal?
54. Matt & Kim
The Matt & Kim formula hasn't changed much since the Brooklyn duo broke out a decade ago, but it hasn't really needed to: Matt Johnson warbles shamelessly catchy synth-pop ditties while Kim Schifino bangs out crafty, syncopated drum patterns. Live, they're still a force, with tons of energy and charisma and Schifino beating the living shit out of her kit when she isn't twerking on top of it.
53. The Heavy
I know "How You Like Me Now" has been played to death, but I haven't heard it at Coachella yet and you haven't either, so let's just agree to all freak out to it together, shall we?
L.A. DJ/producer Jennifer "Tokimonsta" Lee brought down the house last year at EDC Vegas, and delivered, in our estimation, the best Coachella weekend-two set at the Do Lab stage. This year, Coachella is rewarding the beat-scene queen with a bigger stage, and she's sure to make the most of it.
51. DJ Koze
You know what techno could use more of? A sense of humor. German Stefan Kozalla fills that gap under his DJ Koze alias with original productions and DJ mixes full of hilariously druggy spoken-word passages, trippy sound effects and unexpected instrumental touches. He's not just some jokester, though; his last studio album, Amygdala, featured contributions from Caribou, Matthew Dear, Milosh and Apparat, and grooved as hard as anything by his collaborators.
50. The Kills
The first Kills album in five years, Ash & Ice (due out in June), features a few more synths and guitar overdubs than the duo's previous efforts, but it still gets its energy from what can only be described as the white-hot sexual tension between Alison Mosshart's feverish vocals and Jamie Hince's razor-blade guitars.
49. Nic Fanciulli
A true DJ's DJ, England's Nic Fanciulli has been throwing down killer house and techno sets for nearly two decades, and his Saved Records imprint has become a haven for underground sounds by the likes of Hot Since 82, Riva Starr and Matthias Meyer. His DJ set should be one of the weekend's most relentless.
Now that they've added NIN/Depeche Mode–inspired synth-rock elements to their sound, L.A.'s noise-rock foursome Health can spark a full-blown dance party even as they're bludgeoning their audience into submission. (Warning: The above video is not for the squeamish. Then again, neither is a Health set.)
Catchy, head-nodding electronic music is apparently as ubiquitous in Norway as good cheekbones. While not quite as sonically adventurous as their countrymen Röyksopp, this Oslo duo share a similar penchant for grafting melancholy pop melodies onto lazy, house-y grooves.
46. AC Slater
Bass house became my new obsession in 2015 thanks to Night Bass, the L.A.-based label and club night run by AC Slater. Slater's sound mixes U.K. garage, house, grime and bassline with touches of electro and trap for a funky, bass-heavy onslaught that reduces me to a grinning, dancing idiot pretty much every time I hear it.
45. Tei Shi
I can't quite tell if this Argentine, Brooklyn-based solo artist is starting a communist revolution or fighting Japanese tentacle-porn monsters in her video for "Bassically." Either way, I'm glad I'm on her side, especially when she hits those spine-tingling high notes.
44. Ice Cube
Cube has hinted that his Coachella set might turn into an N.W.A reunion of sorts. In practice, all that probably means is that DJ Yella and MC Ren might join him for a song or two. But hey, who knows? Maybe Dr. Dre will emerge from his billionaire's bunker and Eazy-E will get the 2Pac hologram treatment. Stranger things have happened.
43. Nosaj Thing
Nosaj's 2015 album Fated was so good, we put him on the cover. (Read the full story, including how he lost an entire version of the album to thieves, here.) The Low End Theory regular's beats are usually meant more for quiet contemplation than for wilding out, but when you need a breather from the festival chaos, grab some grass (however you choose to interpret that) at Nosaj's set and vibe out.
42. Maceo Plex
Cuban-American techno DJ/producer Eric Estornel's star has really risen in just the past few years, thanks to a dark, propulsive sound that's become synonymous with underground dance music — even if, at this point, Plex is way too popular to be considered "underground." It's likely he'll be in the Yuma tent; if he is, get there early, because it'll hit capacity.
41. Chris Stapleton
This year's token Coachella country act (last year, it was Sturgill Simpson) broke through in 2015 with Traveler, a canny mix of outlaw country and Southern rock (think Black Crowes meets Waylon Jennings) that won over critics and nabbed two Grammys.
40. Justin Martin
This year's lone representative of celebrated West Coast house label Dirtybird at Coachella, Martin is one of the label's co-founders (along with Claude VonStroke) and a man who knows his way around a filthy, funky beat.
39. Christine and the Queens
I hadn't heard any of Héloïse Letissier's music until I started researching this list (I know, I'm late to the party), but I'm hooked now. The French singer-songwriter's Christine and the Queens material is both arty and accessible, and if her live choreography is anything like the video for "Tilted," her set should be fascinating.
38. Robert DeLong
This Seattle-bred EDM kid, now based in Echo Park, made a splash in 2013 with "Global Concepts," which featured a video of him jamming on a snare drum and videogame controller and the immortal lyric, "Did I leave my life to chance, or did I make you fucking dance?" You made us dance, Robert. And we thank you for it.
37. Rufus du Sol
The Australian electro-pop trio has apparently never heard of Chaka Khan, but after changing their name from Rufus to Rufus du Sol in North America and dropping bouncy tracks like "You Were Right," all is forgiven.
35. John Digweed
Once they were the mightiest tandem in all of dance music; these days, Sasha and Digweed usually spin solo but are often booked to play the same festival lineups. Sasha's latest, the just-released Scene Delete, explores the prettier, more ambient textures that have always been present in his sound, though he's likely to keep the beats uptempo for his Coachella set. Digweed, for his part, continues to be one of the most in-demand club DJs in the world, with a moody, percussive sound that evokes the same feels as trance without ever lapsing into that genre's penchant for cheese.
34. The Damned
Coachella can't call this one a reunion show, because even though they've been around for 40 years, U.K. punk/post-punk legends The Damned never really went away. They've broken up a time or two and gone through some lineup changes, but they're one of the most durable acts of their era, still led by founding vocalist Dave Vanian and longtime guitarist Captain Sensible. This is their first time ever playing Coachella, and it will be cool to hear songs like "New Rose" and "Problem Child," which influenced practically every other guitar-based band on the bill, ripping across the polo grounds.
33. Claptone "Immortal Live"
Every year, it seems, Coachella books at least one electronic act whose visuals are as big a draw as the music. Last year it was Flying Lotus, dishing out his bent beat science suspended inside a giant hypercube; this year it's masked German house producer(s) Claptone, presenting a "live audio visual show" called Immortal. What it's going to involve beyond just a bunch of projections remains unclear, but even if the visuals don't live up to the hype, the mystery man (or men — some fans think it's a duo) behind the mask always serves up some tasty deep house with soulful vocals.
32. Ex Hex
Mary Timoney proved she was a badass by holding her own in Wild Flag opposite co-frontwoman Carrie Brownstein. In Ex Hex, she gets to run the whole show, and is more than up to the task. Their debut album, Rips, was maybe the most aptly titled release of 2014.
31. GoGo Penguin
Jazz makes a stronger-than-usual showing at this year's Coachella, starting with this oddly named but excellent piano-bass-drums trio from Manchester, England. They can be as versatile and rhythmically elastic as The Bad Plus, but they're less reliant on offbeat covers to hold your attention, and pianist Chris Illingworth's lyrical style keeps the trio's sound upbeat and accessible.
This L.A. alt-rock trio doesn't release new music often, but when they do, they make it count. The just-released Pussy's Dead, their third album in 12 years, is full of creepy, grooving psychedelia and spidery, Kid A–like electro-rock. Live, the band's not-so-secret weapon is Carla Azar, a monster drummer who's played with PJ Harvey and Jack White. It's good to have you back, Autolux.
Remember our friends at the Do Lab stage? If you only have time to visit them once, make sure it's for Pantyraid, the glitch-tastic duo of Marty Party and The Glitch Mob's Josh Mayer (aka Ooah). They're about to release their third album, Afterglow, and if lead single "Wanting Moves" is any indication, it picks up right where previous effortsThe Sauce and PillowTalk left off. Think dirty bass lines, neon synths and hip-hop attitude — like the soundtrack for a sleazy 23rd-century strip club, where the cyborgs working the poles all have a blown circuit or two.
It's hard these days not to compare every new female British singer to Adele — and yes, despite her Scandinavian-looking stage name, Holly Lapsley Fletcher is from Merseyside and as British as they come. But Lapsley dodges the lazy comparisons with an airy sound more indebted to James Blake, and a remarkable voice that doesn't really sound like anybody else's right now. In my book, she gets bonus points for sampling The Manhattan Transfer on "Operator (He Doesn't Call Me)."
27. DJ EZ
A pivotal figure in the development of the U.K. garage scene, DJ EZ (pronounced "E-Zed," if you please — he's British) also happens to throw down some of the funkiest shit you'll hear either side of the pond. I got to catch him at the Night Bass stage (with our friend AC Slater, at No. 46) at last year's EDC Vegas, and there was not a stationary ass in sight. One of this year's can't-miss dance music acts, for sure.
26. Mavis Staples
This lady should need no introduction, but for you young'uns reading this: Mavis Staples was the lead singer of a soul group called The Staple Singers and trust me, you've heard their biggest hits at weddings and/or sampled in some of your favorite rap songs. At 76, she's still going strong, with a brand-new album called Livin' on a High Note that features new songs written for her by Nick Cave, Neko Case, Tune-Yards and Aloe Blacc, among others. They really don't make them like Mavis anymore, so catch her while you still can.
Claire Boucher probably needs no introduction, either, but for different reasons. Grimes' bedroom synth-pop dominated 2012, thanks in part to eye-catching videos like "Genesis." After weirdly taking some shit for being a female electronic artist who (gasp) produces her own tracks, Boucher returned last year seemingly more determined than ever to show off her production chops with Art Angels, an unabashedly pop album that at times sounds more slickly produced than the last Taylor Swift record. I haven't seen her live yet, but I hear she really brings it.
If Sophie sounds like a synth-pop construct from the future, that's because she is. She's the brainchild of Samuel Long, a London-based producer associated with the PC Music label and arts collective, who specialize in a new strain of hyper-stylized electronic pop music that may or may not be a giant put-on by its art-school creators. I really have no idea what to expect from a Sophie live show, and I kind of like keeping it that way. This is a guy who has released his music via silicon sex toy, so anything's possible.
At this point, it's probably not an exaggeration to call these so-called "blackgaze" (black metal + shoegaze) standard-bearers the most-hyped metal band in a decade. Whether or not you believe they're worthy of the attention — and honestly, I'm on the fence — they're a bona fide cultural phenomenon, and it will be interesting to see how their polarized and polarizing sound plays to the mix of Coachella fashionistas and hungover GNR fans who'll be stumbling around the polo grounds on Sunday.
For my money, the band playing Coachella 2016 with the most original sound is not Deafheaven but this weird Atlanta trio, whose music sounds like nothing so much as a goth-y post-punk band playing to the ghosts of dead chain gangs in an abandoned Southern Baptist church. They've been described as "dystopian soul," but I'd call it anti-gospel — spiritual music that doesn't try to rise above humankind's fallibility but confronts it head-on.
New single "Out of Control," this U.K. quartet's first new music in 20 years, sounds more like their early shoegaze material and less like their 1996 left turn into Britpop, Lovelife, which bodes well for this much-anticipated reunion. Emma Anderson and Miki Berenyi's intertwined harmonies gave Lush a sound unique among their contemporaries, and it's nice to hear that vibe — prettier than Slowdive, but with more teeth than Cocteau Twins — still intact.
20. Adam Beyer & Ida Engberg
This Swedish husband-and-wife techno team are great on their own but even better when they tag-team, as they seem to drive each other into ever harder and deeper corners of their record crates. Coachella is stacked with great techno this year (see also: Dubfire, Maceo Plex and, of course, Underworld), but Adam and Ida will almost certainly be one of the highlights.
19. Run the Jewels
This is basically a victory lap for El-P and Killer Mike, who so thoroughly annihilated the Mojave tent last year that they've become one of the few acts in Coachella history to be invited back for a second straight year. I have no idea if they'll play any of the cat-themed stuff from their remix album, Meow the Jewels, but I really hope so. Last year their surprise special guest was Zack de la Rocha; this year, it could be Lil Bub.
Making their first Coachella appearance since 2003, Underworld remain one of the few acts in all of dance music who have stayed not only relevant but forward-thinking. Their latest, Barbara Barbara we face a shining future, doesn't top their late-'90s classics, but it's an intriguing left turn, with elements of rock and world music and Karl Hyde sounding more than ever, with his surrealist, spoken-word rants, like techno's answer to Mark E. Smith.
17. Joey Bada$$
To be honest, I don't keep up with East Coast hip-hop as much these days, but from where I'm sitting, it's pretty obvious that this 21-year-old from Bed-Stuy is on his way to becoming NYC's most exciting rapper, if he isn't there already. He's got DJ Premier, The Alchemist, MF Doom and the J Dilla estate giving him beats, and his versatility — aggressive and rapid-fire one minute, laid-back and silky the next — is reminiscent of Kendrick's. He's about to earn himself a larger font size for his next Coachella appearance.
16. The Arcs
I get that we're all supposed to hate Dan Auerbach now, because The Black Keys are an arena-rock band and he's a big-ticket producer who's put his ersatz blues-rock fingerprints all over "cooler" artists like The Growlers and Lana Del Rey. But if you listen to The Arcs, his retro-rock band with Richard Swift (The Shins), Leon Michels (Lee Fields, Dr. John) and a bunch of other studio aces, and say, "This sucks," you're just wrong. It's the best thing Auerbach's done since the Keys' El Camino — and if you thought that album sucked, you're wrong about that, too.
More jazz, this time from a crack Toronto quartet with a killer saxophonist (Leland Whitty) and some cool hip-hop influences. It's really good to see the #ListenToMoreJazz movement rubbing off on Coachella this year.
I'm probably committing dance-music blasphemy by ranking the 20-something Lawrence brothers higher than their esteemed elders, Underworld. But as much as I love Rick Smith and Karl Hyde (and their 2003 Coachella set shall forever remain one of the greatest live electronic shows I've ever seen), their music doesn't feel as of-the-moment as Disclosure's, which somehow manages to appeal to both old-school house heads and EDM kids without pandering to either camp. Calvin Harris may have gotten the larger font, but everyone knows Disclosure are the real dance-music headliners this year.
13. Vince Staples
I'm not really sure if Staples' sparse, spooky tales of Long Beach hood life will go over in front of a festival crowd, but I don't really care. His Summertime '06 was second only to To Pimp a Butterfly as the best rap album of 2015, and it will be fascinating to see how he delivers menacing tracks like "Norf and Norf" and "Lift Me Up" to the sun-soaked masses.
12. The Last Shadow Puppets
"I think the strings, they got a bit big for their boots last time," Alex Turner told me, only half-kidding, when I asked him what the live configuration would be for his chamber-rock project's first outing in eight years. So expect him and fellow Puppets frontman Miles Kane to be accompanied by a mere string quartet (plus bass, drums and the occasional harpsichord) when they take whatever stage they'll play at Coachella. But don't expect their '60s-channeling symphonic psych-rock to be any less exciting, especially when they break out songs from their excellent new album, Everything You've Come to Expect.
11. St. Germain
When I saw Ludovic Navarre's jazz-house project at Coachella in 2001, he brought a full goddamned 20-piece big band with him, full of soloists who wailed over his smooth beats like it was Birdland circa 1954. For his highly anticipated return, he's reportedly bringing musicians from Mali, Senegal and Brazil to re-create his 2015 self-titled comeback album's world-music grooves. I doubt anything could ever live up to what I saw in 2001, but it should come close.
10. Gary Clark Jr.
Whatever you may think of Gary Clark Jr.'s recorded output, there's no denying that he's one of the most exciting guitar slingers to emerge in any genre in at least a decade — and one of the great pleasures of festivalgoing is getting to watch a master of his instrument shred on a big stage. For Saturday afternoon (or evening) at least, we're all gonna be blues fans.
Time has not been kind to most bands that emerged during the last great indie-rock wave of the early '00s. Remember Manchester Orchestra? Or Black Kids? Exactly. But 11 years and seven albums later, Bradford Cox and co. are that rare product of the blogosphere echo chamber who actually feel just as relevant now, if not more so, than when they turned heads with a debut album called Turn It Up Faggot. In the end, it all comes down to songwriting, and Cox is one of his generation's best. Even a track like "Snakeskin," which almost sounds like a jangle-pop throwaway compared with the band's best work, holds up to close scrutiny, with cryptic lyrics and a shuffling groove that gets craftier the longer you listen to it. Live, Cox has dialed down the provocative antics, but he and his bandmates are now such a well-oiled machine that their off-kilter songs are provocation enough.
8. Kamasi Washington
"An Inglewood Saxophonist Might Have Made the Best Jazz Record of the Year" read our April 2015 headline about Washington and his triple-LP masterpiece, The Epic. We should probably just go back and take out the "Might Have." Washington is the reason why this year's Coachella features more than just one token jazz band, and the way his career is progressing, next year's festival might have 10 of them. No artist since Wynton Marsalis has generated more excitement around a genre that's constantly (and wrongly) being written off as a museum piece. His Coachella set should win still more converts.
7. Death Grips
Guns N' Roses and LCD Soundsystem aren't the only Coachella acts that are back from the dead. Most assumed this noise-rap trio was toast after they "disbanded" right before a big tour with Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden, but in hindsight, that tour wasn't really a good look for a group whose most accessible track is a catchy song about beheadings called "Guillotine." I suppose appearing at Coachella is just as commercial a move, but somehow, it feels more like an opportunity for MC Ride, Zach Hill and Andy Morin to subvert the mainstream, rather than letting the mainstream co-opt them. Expect absolute mayhem.
6. Courtney Barnett
This Australian singer-songwriter's latest single, "Three Packs a Day," is about her addiction to packaged ramen, which gives you a pretty good idea of the sardonic, offbeat sense of humor that has endeared her to pretty much every music critic on the planet. Cleverness only gets you so far, though, and Barnett backs up her witticisms with a crunchy garage-rock sound that recalls the greats of '90s alt-rock (Weezer, Pavement, Liz Phair) but is somehow wholly her own. You won't hear a smarter, funnier songwriter all weekend.
5. Anderson .Paak
The pride of Oxnard has been kicking around various "next big thing" lists since 2010, when he was still called Breezy Lovejoy (good call on the name change, by the way). He dropped a solid solo LP in 2014 called Venice and took full advantage of his prominent role on Dr. Dre's Compton last year. But his latest album, January's Malibu, is a revelation, a fully realized slab of psychedelic soul on par with the best of D'Angelo and Erykah Badu. It's been a little bit slept-on so far, but as Paak starts hitting the summer festival circuit, that's bound to change.
She may not sell as many records as peers like Adele and Rihanna, but Sia's place in our current pop pantheon is just as vital. Her distinctive vocal style — especially her cracked upper register — has inspired more think pieces than even her quirky insistence on hiding her face behind giant wigs and masks. What few seem to notice is that the hidden face and the imperfect voice go hand-in-hand. While writing hit songs for other female pop stars and observing how they're treated in the media, Sia seems to have recognized and rejected the expectations of perfection we place upon them. She won't play the game by presenting her perfectly made-up face or perfectly Auto-Tuned voice — and her fans love her for it.
3. Guns N' Roses
I'll probably be accused of trolling by not placing the most anticipated rock reunion of, like, ever at No. 1. But honestly, I was originally going to rank GNR even lower, because the trainwreck factor just seemed way too high. Would Axl even show? Would he insist on playing half of Chinese Democracy? Would Slash and Bumblefoot be able to share the stage amicably? (Turns out Bumblefoot is not part of the reunion lineup but I just like saying "Bumblefoot.") Then I read Art Tavana's review of GNR's Troubadour show and thought, "OK, it sounds like this might actually work." I still put their odds of starting late at around 90 percent, but that's part of the band's mystique at this point, and hopefully Goldenvoice was smart enough to build some extra time into the schedule so noise curfew rules don't force them to cut the sound in the middle of "Rocket Queen."
Still ... for purely subjective reasons, I can't put GNR at No. 1. They're a bucket-list band for sure, but I'm way more excited about seeing the next two acts.
2. Mbongwana Star
I know, I know — now I must be trolling, right? The third-to-last listed band on the Friday lineup, ranked higher than Guns N' fucking Roses? But hear me out. Mbongwana Star are a Congolese band who are playing their first-ever Southern California show (it might even be their first U.S. show but I couldn't confirm that). It's a mix of old and young musicians playing a mashup of traditional Congolese sounds, primarily soukous and a Central African version of the rumba, mixed with dub, reggae and electronic music. And it's awesome. Eerie, otherworldly, highly danceable — and L.A. music fans will most likely get a chance to hear Guns N' Roses again (they haven't announced an L.A. date on their North American tour yet, but rumor has it they will at some point) long before these guys ever make it back here again.
So, sorry, Axl and Slash — I'm more excited to see Coco and Theo, Mbongwana Star's 50-something paraplegic vocalists, who are almost as legendary back in their home country.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
1. LCD Soundsystem
Listen, I made fun of their short-lived hiatus, too. It's an easy target. But I am way more jazzed for LCD than I am for GNR, and I bet most Coachella attendees are, too. James Murphy's sardonic dance-rockers speak to Coachella's core audience in a way Guns' do not. We all remember exactly where we were the first time we heard "Losing My Edge," and we all have a favorite line from it that we use to identify which subspecies of insufferable hipster we belong to (for me it's, "I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought turntables"). Many of us saw them at Coachella in 2004, 2007 and/or 2010 (for me, 2007) and came away thinking, "Holy crap, that was the best live electronic band I've ever seen." LCD Soundsystem is our band, and you can hate on us for it all you want, and we don't give a shit.
I'm sure plenty of people at Coachella this year will have a religious experience when they hear Slash's Gibson peal out those opening notes of "Sweet Child O' Mine." Me, I'll be the one openly weeping when I hear the clattering piano intro of "All My Friends."
Now, if you're still with me, enjoy this Coachella Spotify playlist. And I'll see you in the desert.