Away From the Sprawl

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“Sometimes I wonder if the world’s so small / Can we ever get away from the sprawl?” So sings Regine Chassagne, multi-instrumentalist and occasional vocalist of Arcade Fire. The “sprawl” referred to in the lyrics can be defined as “the norm”; it’s suburbia as we know it. With that in mind, my goal is to expose readers to relatively unheard of and underrated artists that I believe are worth a listen, as well as offer my take on happenings in the music world. This week’s topic: Coachella.

When the Coachella lineup dropped, I have to say that I was simultaneously startled and underwhelmed. The major disappointment that must be occupying everyone’s mind is the absence of the Rolling Stones, who—after “accidentally” posting an Indio, Calif. date on their tour app — failed to sign on as a participant in this year’s festivities.

But we are not without excitement, thanks to recently reunited bands such as Blur and The Stone Roses, who are set to headline on day one. Day two’s headliner, Phoenix, is a solid but unspectacular choice. It came as a bit of a surprise when the Red Hot Chili Peppers were announced as the headliner for day three, but it was a nice addition; anyone who has been to a more recent concert of theirs can testify that they can still bring the funk even after 30 years.

One of the main revelations that have concert-goers talking is the day two reunion of acclaimed cult-indie group, The Postal Service. Its members are composed of Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and producer Jimmy Tamborello. Fans have been waiting to see the two collaborate again since they released their debut and currently solitary album, “Give Up” (2003), nearly a decade ago. Other highlights include the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, Japandroids, Grizzly Bear, The Lumineers and the Airborne Toxic Event, who performed at UCR Heat Festival in 2012.

If I had to sum up this year’s lineup in one comment, I would say that it’s balanced: If there aren’t as many top tiers as in past years, there is at the very least an overall consistent quality.

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