Our 5 Favorite Coachella Rumors (That Aren't About Guns N' Roses)

Come out of the shadows and into the desert sun, James Murphy. We've been expecting you.
Come out of the shadows and into the desert sun, James Murphy. We've been expecting you.
Photo by Timothy Norris

[Update: Well, we got one out of five ... although Nos. 2 and 4 could still prove to be true, as well.]

The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will probably be announcing its 2016 lineup next week, and already, at least one giant, cornrowed cat is out of the bag (thanks a lot, Billboard). But plenty of other rumors and semi-confirmed bookings continue to swirl around the music blogs and college dorm rooms. The five below represent our favorites. If all prove to be true, then Coachella 2016 will be the most epic Coachella ever. But if even one of them doesn't pan out, then screw you, Coachella! You were much better last year.

1. David Bowie will come out of retirement for a one-off performance.
Every year, it seems, prognosticators come up with far-fetched reasons why this will finally be the year that the Thin White Duke graces Coachella with his eternally cool presence. And every year, they've been wrong.

But wait! Bowie has an album due out in 2016, Blackstar, his first since 2013's The Next Day and only his second in the past 12 years. And even though the mercurial superstar has repeatedly said that he won't tour again, he hasn't specifically ruled out the possibility of doing one last, big, blowout show. Could that show be Coachella? Pretty please, David? It would be especially exciting because, based on what he's released so far, Blackstar is his best and most bizarre new material in decades. 

2. N.W.A will reunite — with Eminem (or Kendrick) in place of Eazy-E.
Widespread rumors of an N.W.A reunion tour to coincide with the release of the Straight Outta Compton biopic, with Marshall Mathers subbing in for the late, lamented Eric Wright, proved bogus. But don't rule out Indio as the site for an N.W.A one-off. The money's there to make it happen and it's in the members' backyards — especially if, instead of the originally rumored Eminem-supplemented lineup, local Good Kid Kendrick Lamar fills Eazy's shoes instead. Even if N.W.A aren't on the bill, but Kendrick is, the To Pimp a Butterfly rapper has enough juice these days to coax N.W.A's surviving members to join his set for a song or two.

3. LCD Soundsystem will reunite — inspiring a thousand "This Is Happening" headlines.
This one first began making the rounds as early as October, when so many outlets recirculated an unconfirmed reunion report from Consequence of Sound that Kristopher Petersen from the band's label, DFA Records, felt compelled to take to Twitter to declare, "LCD Soundsystem are not reuniting next year, you fucking morons."

Well, Petersen can now count The New York Times among those fucking morons, because the Grey Lady published an article yesterday (like CoS, with no named source) confidently announcing that James Murphy's beloved synth-punk crew will be coming out of retirement and heading to Indio next spring. It will be the group's first shows since their triumphant farewell concerts at Madison Square Garden in 2011. The best sign that it might be true? LCD Soundsystem dropped a new track, "Christmas Will Break Your Heart," on their website on Dec. 24.

Why is Diplo smiling? Is it because he's rich and ridiculously good-looking? Or does he know something we don't?!?
Why is Diplo smiling? Is it because he's rich and ridiculously good-looking? Or does he know something we don't?!?
Photo by Shane McCauley

4. Major Lazer will perform with special guest The Weeknd.
Major Lazer mastermind Diplo dropped a major hint that this titanic collaboration might actually happen during an interview on Boston radio station 103.3 AMP. "We have a new album we're going to put out next year around August or September and a single around Coachella with The Weekend, so that's going to be dope," the Mad Decent label boss casually mentioned. You know, no biggie.

5. Nile Rodgers' Chic will turn Coachella into a giant discotheque.
The man you kids may know as the dreadlocked guitarist from Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" was also once in a pioneering disco band called Chic, whose hits "Le Freak" and "Good Times" you've probably seen your parents awkwardly dancing to at weddings. Well, guess what? You may have to bring your parents with you to Coachella now, because Rodgers let slip in a New York Times interview in November that his band is booked to play the fest. Start practicing your Soul Train moves now.

[Note: We got so excited about these rumors that we forgot how to count, so a previous version of this list had two #3's (LCD and Major Lazer) and Chic at #4. We regret the error.]


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