A person free falling. “I saw God in the sky in the form of huge gold sunburning clouds above the desert that seemed to point a finger at me and say ‘Pass here and go on, you’re on the road to heaven.’”
This one’s for the hardcore Phoenix fans who know the the relevance of tunnels.
Wind turbines, best sign you’ve arrived in the Coachella Valley.
Welcomed us to Cali…
Beat me to the punch.
Can you hear the waves?>
Fort Rosecrans/Point Loma.
DAY 1 - 4/13
Setting up camp.
Cheesy H&M tent.
Breakbot! Disco samples galore.
EMA. #GirlPower. Was there simply to hear the opening line of this played in front of Californians:
Glorious clouds that kept us fresh.
James. I laughed.
Cute vertically challenged woman.
The Hoff causing a scene.
Fell in love with Jarvis Cocker. Can you blame me?
Black Keys. Spotted Jared Followill, Lukas Haas & Tony Hawk beforehand.
Amon Tobin’s ISAM.
DAY 2 - 4/14
Ahh rise & shine. #heaven
Azealia Banks! #GirlPower First official US gig.
The Big Pink
Stuart Price aka Jacques Lu Cont.
‘Starry bamboo’ by day, by night, and through film.
Prob took a million photos of the balloon chain throughout the weekend.
Major Coachella highlight: this scenery as Noel Gallagher performed ‘Don’t Look Back’ and 1000s sang along. Goosebumps.
Never thought I’d get to see Jeff Mangum live.
St. Vincent. #GirlPower Pic by my bro.
Insanity at Sebastian Ingrosso.
1 second clip ftw:
Kasabian. Kicked off Club Foot w/”This one’s for Noel Gallagher…you fucker!”
Le Butcherettes! #GirlPower Another major Coachella highlight: Teri running out into the crowd after their set, collapsing on the ground, then getting carried & cheered on by fans. Mexihomegirls be passionate.
Creepin’ on the Justice signing.
Disliked Fitz & The Tantrums so much I sat down most of their set…
…and noticed this guy’s awesome tatt.
Rant: Let’s please take note of this dumb photographer who continued to climb up on railings after security repeatedly told him not to and blocked people’s view. He also got into an argument with a girl in front of me who told him to get off.
Found this video which captured the entire thing: ‘You see that idiot talk’ is right. Side note: that is also Nick kissing a guitar pick and throwing it at your homegirl. Too bad it landed in the media pit and a photog gave it to a guy in front of me.
Making us sit.
The dolphin that would entertain us while Justice took 20 minutes to get on stage.
Freaked out with a girl named Emily “from the bay area” who made sure I was “ready to dance!?” Dance we did, as well as scream several lyrics in each other’s faces.
I was ready to collapse at this point and if people hadn’t been squished up against me, I’m sure I would’ve.
Somehow made it to Mojave stage and LOL’d at the contrast between Justice & Beirut.
Modeselektor…almost certain my fatigue made me feel higher than the people that were actually high.
Bizarre performance I came across.
On the road again. “The sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.”
Driving through clouds.
Over 2,600 miles. Three people. Only $234.44 in gas. Has to be a record.
My reaction to this e-mail: consecutive “OH MY GOD”s and spilled water. And what person to take as my guest but none other than my trusty music partner in crime since ‘07, la Poonehnerz.
FRIDAY How amazing is this…
Town car! Once we got past curiously staring at everything inside (including the electrical outlet?!), we had the smoothest 30 min drive listening to classical music…classical music! It was bliss compared to the cramped public transportation rides I’ve taken or the reckless taxi drivers that have nearly killed me.
When the driver handed me a receipt to sign, I was immediately embarrassed by the $4 tip I was holding in my hand. If we were paying for the entire ride, let’s just say we would’ve needed at least one benjamin. Just as I was already considering the trip a success, we get checked into the coolest most comfortable hotel I’ve ever stayed in, right smack in the center of the French Quarter to boot. 4 stars what uuuuup.
Our room was so perfect I almost didn’t want to touch anything.
Our coordinator Tim, who was awesome and continuously making sure we were fine & taken care of, had given us our festival passes earlier and going by the treatment we had experienced so far, I wasn’t too surprised to find out they were LOA/VIP passes. To top it off, Pooneh was shooting the festival for Prefix Magazine which got us hooked up with media passes as well.
The one that hooked us up with this entire excursion, my homeboy Mr. Mark Hoppus:
Roaming around the festival grounds, trying to figure out the lay of the land, we stumbled on an entryway to the backstage area and being the crazies that we are, we proceeded through it. None of the securities stopping us, we continued walking. Number one sign at a festival that you’re not where you’re supposed to be? A football field!
We ended up behind one of the stages and ran into the singer of Wombats, who told us about his experience in New Orleans the previous night. “Have you ever seen The Hangover? Well it was like that.”
Noticed a quaint little tent in a corner and when I asked a woman behind a table if the drinks were free, she looked at my wristbands and asked “Uhhh are you an artist?” When I said ‘No’ she winked and said “I’ll give ya’ one. What’ll you have?” Awwyehhh.
The Noisician Coalition marching around.
Exploring a little more and I guess in a slight attempt to see how many other places we might be able to just walk into, we found ourselves behind the main stage. We also found a dog:
Checked out the LOA VIP Lounge, which was a quiet little area right next to the main stage. The best and most crucial part of this ‘lounge’ were the air-conditioned flushable restrooms…*anything* to avoid porta-potties. Also available were: free massages, discounted drinks,
and not only a raised viewing platform,
but a reserved section right in front of the stage.
Peelander-Z literally threw a party!
First and probably only time I’ll ever limbo during a gig.
Even joined in on a conga line!
Point in the show where they invited a few audience members to take over.
The “Teradactyl” by day & by night.
The various acrobats throughout the weekend that made me really nervous. At least put a safety net on the ground!
Having seen Diplo in action at SXSW this year, I was really pumped to check out Major Lazer. This set was insane, in every sense of the word. I had never seen so many drugs at a show before. The first instance was a guy that took out a tiny bag of cocaine and rubbed some across his gum line. For some reason, it didn’t look that strange, until a girl next to him that couldn’t have been older than 16 used a long pinky nail to snort some.
Later, a guy with a backpack walked through the crowd saying “Pills, pills” A group of friends next to me stopped him, bought a few, and one guy offered to split one in half with me. No thank you.
Perhaps the strangest thing I saw were the 20+ group of underage high school kids drinking alcohol out of plastic lemonade cups, eventually throwing discretion out the window and drinking straight out of vodka & whiskey bottles. Small kids react to alcohol in hilarious ways. My favorite was the guy that continuously kept crowd surfing, even after he had been dropped multiple times. Later, a girl whose eyes kept rolling back as she danced (if dancing meant simply jumping up & down), violently grabbed me. “OMG I’M SORRY I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY FRIEND.”
A massive stage invasion forced them to stop at one point. Rock n’ roll.
My Chemical Romance
Suhhweeet cars outside The Roosevelt hotel.
Gotta’ mention the room service cookies Pooneh ordered that night. Worth the $10? YES.
SATURDAY Taking full advantage of the softest beds on Earth, we slept in, and lounged around the entire morning. Pretty sure we could’ve stayed there all day. The giant flat screen with digital cable was a treat…finally watched Rocky Horror Picture Show which I thought was so-so. Time Warp still rocks though. We ventured out to Mother’s for some po’ boys, and found a line.
Not sure they’re worth the $11 but the place had so much character, it made up for it. They also claim to have the “World’s Best Baked Ham.”
Strolled down Canal St. By day, by night.
Checked out the shore and said hello to the Mississippi River. I’d love a boat ride to be part of my daily commute.
Spotted a few interesting names on the ground:
Got lost in a casino, but were spit out near a Pinkberry.
We were greeted by a drunk and extremely outgoing group of friends at the bus stop, all of them chugging down Four Lokos. “Where are you guys from?” “Austin” “Ahhh Red Sox?! Red Sox?! *thumbs down* Eh?!” “What? No, AUSTIN” All in unison: “OHHHHH!” They were fun.
One of my favorite aspects of Voodoo were all the carnival rides. Our LOA wristbands allowed us unlimited free rides, so we jumped on the ferris wheel first chance we got. And by ‘jumped on’ I mean awkwardly climbed inside because for some reason, the operator positioned our car about 4 feet high. Having no leg strength, not sure how I managed to get one leg in but once I did, I had no choice but to then throw myself to the side Pooneh was already sitting in, causing the entire car to tilt. Brief panic followed by hysterical laughter. We are children.
A PR girl for Sailor Jerry’s set up a mini-bar in the media area. Strange that the best cocktail I’ve ever had was made by my own hands. Here’s the recipe: carelessly mix Sailor Jerry’s with some Arnold Palmer and lime juice. Done.
They played Edith Piaf’s ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’ before Social Distortion went on; French creole cities are the best.
Went over to the dance stage, and having had access to every area of the festival so far, we wondered whether we’d be able to get into the Redbull VIP area. Once there, the security hesitated and mustered out an “Oh, umm…” while pointing at my wristbands but then said “Ahh you’re fine, come in.” Comfy couches & free vodka red bulls in the houuuse. Had Z-trip on my schedule solely because of his Grieg remix. Genius.
X was a pleasant surprise and one of the weekend’s highlights. The crowd consisted of mostly 30 year olds singing along, yelling every word and pumping their fists in the air like they were 16 again. A security I had seen the day before looking aloof was suddenly smoking and head banging to every song. Exene, you still got it woman!
♫ Smoking sticky green, having sweet dreams ♫ Snoop Dogg is an exception to my general dislike of hip hop. The man possesses cool and swagger like no other human being. Swaying to ‘Nuthin’ But A G Thang’ live needs to happen again at some point in my life.
Girl Talk! Dressed as Freddy Krueger, he opened the set with the Freddy version of ‘One, Two, Buckle My Shoe’, which kind of creeped me out.
Having been a teenager in the early 2000s, and pop punk being my ultimate guilty pleasure, I could definitely appreciate Blink-182. And hello, it’s my homeboy Mark. A girl that was freaking out behind me, squeezed my arm and shouted in my ear: “I just wanna’ suck their dicks!” Haha WOW. Hearing ‘Miss You’ struck so many chords I couldn’t help but smile widely the entire time, and afterwards, Pooneh couldn’t get ‘Adam’s Song’ out of her head. Such softies.
Softy time ended as soon as we decided to take a stroll down Bourbon St., as any proper tourist would.
“Relax…it’s just sex.”
A reading amidst bars, clubs, and strip joins? Okay.
For some reason, on every trip Pooneh & I have taken together, we end up eating McD’s almost every night. Imagine our surprise when we visited the one near our hotel only to have the cashier tell us “We have no bread.” No BREAD? Allllrighty then. Couldn’t escape the jazz theme.
SUNDAY Palace Cafe. We noticed this place the first day we got in town and I instantly fell in love with the Paris-style chairs facing the street for prime people-watching. We decided to splurge here and practice for our Paris NYE trip (Oui, on va à Paris en décembre!) The place was gorgeous.
Cappuccino + crème brûlée = heaven.
Woman wearing a purple pant suit and feather hat at Subway: “That’s how we used to talk in the 70’s. Just reeeeeeeeal smoooth ya’ hearrrd.”
A little round of foosball!
We talked with a security for a bit who felt that Voodoo Fest was shit compared to their Jazz festival as far as passionate fans go. Mayhap. He also told us about some “powerful” alcoholic drinks unique to New Orleans, the Hurricane and the Cyclone. He didn’t know what was in them other than it would knock us out. Noticed the mix packages at the airport the next day.
The Limousines reminding me of Donnie Darko.
YESSS! It had been years since I’d ridden this ride. Hands in the air and hair flying in every direction, “Woooo!”s and “Vooodooofeeeest!”s turned into Pooneh fearfully yelling “WHEN IS THIS GOING TO END?” The photo I took of us right after we stepped off says it all.
Ran into Odd Future before their set and witnessed their antics. Tyler, who I thought would be the rowdiest, was actually the calmest and most easygoing. Pooneh asking the group for a photo resulted in Hodgy initially saying “Polaroids are cool” then angrily yelling “BUT TYLER’S NOT HERE YET!” over and over, and the following exchange with Jasper: “I’ll take a photo but you have to give me five dollars, and I’m not joking.” “I don’t have five dollars. I spend all my money on polaroids.” “I spend all my money on crack cocaine.”
All the while, a couple of groupies lurked nearby and Syd rolled joints for everyone, which upset a stage manager who was completely ignored when he told them to put it away.
They had done it before, so I guess it wasn’t supposed to come as a shock when they attacked photographers during their set, but seeing it happen just a few feet away was overwhelming. I was surprised, amused, upset, etc. all at the same time. I couldn’t help but laugh when Left Brain smacked a photographer’s camera who didn’t even flinch. It just looked so strange. A 6 foot tall guy in a band that’s just rapped “Suck on my Messiah or die and cry a fire” just hit your camera with all his might…maybe you should step back? It’s also kind of strange that what gave this particular Odd Future show so much coverage and created such a commotion was actually a lie. According to a few irresponsible press outlets (~surprising), a woman was supposedly slapped. I saw when she was attacked, and only her camera was hit.
Soon after, Left Brain announced “Y’all better get the fuck outta’ here cause I’m about to do some bad shit” which sent every photographer straight out of the pit without hesitation. I don’t agree at all with them physically attacking photographers (particularly female ones!), but I know they were coming from a good place. Mostly preferring non-barricaded sweaty crowds over privilege, I wholeheartedly cheered when Tyler announced “It’s so fucked up cause there’s kids who paid to come here, who really want to see us, and [photographers] get to be in the front instead of them.” So Odd Future cares about their paying fans? That, I think we can all appreciate. If only they didn’t go about getting their message across in such an asinine way.
Art installation called “Sparkie Tout Taux”
An elderly musician came up to me as we wondered around backstage before Ray Davies and said “Hey baby, you dropped your…” pointing to a bag of weed on the ground. When I told him it wasn’t mine, he picked it up, put it in his zoot suit pocket, and said “Don’t worry I’ll take care of it for ya.” Haha!
Voodoo all ova the place:
Ray-FREAKEN-Davies! He acoustically opened I Need You, which is a hundred thousand times better than The Beatles’ I Need You. His backing band joined in for the third verse and I was ecstatic, especially after security didn’t stop me from walking into the photo pit. The first day, a man had described the festival as “really laid-back”…he wasn’t joking.
We headed over to the dance stage for A-Trak, and look who was hanging out. Doesn’t it kind of look like they’re dancing? A-Trak to a friend right before he stepped on stage: “I’m better than Steve Angello now!”
Fatboy Slim showed up a few moments later. “I just flew in from San Francisco. I don’t even know where I am.” Pooneh looks at me and says “Wait, where are we?” Hahah.
TV on the Radio
RACONTEURS!! The second Jack White played the opening riff of ‘Consoler of the Lonely’, a ton of memories from their 2008 Stubb’s shows came rushing back. If only those Stubb’s crowds could’ve been there again instead of lame VIPers. I swear I almost grabbed a guy next to me and shook the shiz out of him. It’s The Raconteurs. MOVE!
Bye bye Voodoo Fest!
On the way to Cafe Du Monde for some tasty beignets.
For a Sunday night, the place was packed, and the beignets certainly lived up to the hype.
In light of the cold weather and it being the last night in NOLA, had to take advantage of the heated pool. #chilllife
MONDAY Halloween!! Not a more appropriate occasion to visit a cemetery.
Searched for Marie Laveau’s tomb which stands out from the rest due to all the Xs people mark on it for good luck. We came across this one, and just as we were photographing it, a tour guide came by and brashly said that anyone who acknowledges this tomb as Marie’s doesn’t know anything about Voodoo.
Later we came across this one, which looks almost identical to the other fake Marie tomb. A Google search later, we learned that it’s unconfirmed whether she’s even buried there. Well so much for that! Either way, I still marked my X’s.
You are my new best friend if you recognize where this is from:
I can get used to being told “A driver will be picking you up…” Another sweet town car comfortably rode us back to reality. Mark Hoppus and Fuse TV, you rocked my world. I owe you one (or two)! NOLA airport: