Coachella 2011 seems to have more bands than ever before. The poster itself looks like an eye chart, with the bands at the end of the list appearing as nearly microscopic type. With that kind of textual overload, it's not hard to overlook some of the phenomenal bands relegated to the depths of Coachella's “small type” swamp. We have cut through the politics of typography on the poster and have highlighted 10 unmissable bands hidden in the small type of the Coachella 2011 poster.
10. Mariachi El Bronx
In Mexico City–like in our own Boyle Heights–mariachi bands congregate at Plaza Garibaldi waiting to be rented for parties and other miscellaneous fiestas. Mariachi El Bronx, the Plaza Garibaldi version of the punk outfit The Bronx, will offer some south of the border (or maybe just Border Grill) style entertainment for Coachella's spicy crowds.
Los Angeles' sweet and slightly trippy siren Cameron Mesirow will broadcast her effervescent vocals and downbeat production style to eager Palm Desert musical nomads, providing them with a crystalline chorus of one.
8. One Day as a Lion
The totally underrated two piece of Rage Against the Machine vocalist Zach De La Rocha and former Trans Am/ Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore, provides a no frills, stripped down version of their former bands. With just a distorted rhodes keyboard, a drumset, and some incisor-sharp lyrics, the duo will be sure to smash it up.
The queen of the LA's Low End Theory scene, Tokimonsta, is the very, very last act mentioned on Sunday's lineup. But the bass-heavy beats and hazy atmospherics of Tokimonsta are not to me missed. Like Vanessa Williams sings, “Sometimes the snow comes down in June/ Sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon/ Just when I thought our chance had passed/ You go and save the best for last.”
The Los Angeles ex-pat, Italo-disco dance cult typically puts on a sensory stimulating show that is even better on a bigger stage. More stage means more room for Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt's antics and more of their insane light show that will trigger the hidden epileptic in all of us. (He's hiding in your shoe.)
5. Moving Units
Remember dance punk? Those bands that had snarky, pissy vocalists who meowed over disco drums? Yeah, it was kind of great to hear Gang of Four cover bands, slathered with mid 2000's ennui. Moving Units was at the forefront of L.A.'s scene, and since 2007, they've been relatively silent. They're releasing a new EP, Tension War on Valentine's Day, but at Coachella, we get a chance to see if dance punk still has it.
4. Cold Cave
There are few bands who define the chill wave aesthetic better than Cold Cave. With sweeping synths, abrasive bouts of noise, and more detachment than Kraftwerk in a staring contest, Cold Cave's driving dance anthems are prefect for swaying to with a thousand strangers.
Possibly one of the best performers in the music industry today, former Toni! Toni! Tone! member brings back old school R&B in unbelievably funky show that creates a revisionist history of the world, where rap and hip hop never existed, and soul ruled the world.
Odd Future has been on the tip of everyone's blogs lately, and the L.A. hip hop, skate punk youngsters, will have a chance to slice listeners with their kinda out there, kinda brutal lyrical knives. Free Earl!
And the Number One Unmissable Bands Inexplicably Hidden on the Coachella 2011 poster is:
Probably one of the most influential bands in the genre evolution of post-punk to college rock to alternative to indie music, the seminal English rockers Wire, will take the stage, three decades after they shook up London with their propulsive and gritty guitars. Touring on their phenomenal “Red Barked Tree,” out this month, the band will have the chance to expose indie audiences to the roots of it all.
Of course 10 is never enough. What other “small type” acts are you going to see?