Rodrigo Y Gabriela
It surprises me when people say things like, "I hate that band." I can't say I hate any band who hasn't personally done me wrong, and that includes those who create music making me want to tie the noose tight and pull. Okay, to be fair, maybe I hate Owl City?
When discussing bands you "hate," the band least likely to show up on any list is Rodrigo Y Gabriela, yet no one seems to be excited for their return to Sasquatch? You can't say, "I don't like their voices," because neither of them sing. You can't say, "They are too loud," because it's two acoustic guitars. You can't say, "They are too soft," because their style is influenced by metal music, including Metallica and Slayer. You can't say, "they are ugly," because they are an attractive duo (and yes, Gabriela's accent might have made me weak in the knees once or twice). What is not to like about them?
Gabriela is rhythm guitar/rhythm section. She uses her hands to slap the guitar creating the percussion background in between doing her (often cross handed) finger pickings. Rodrigo is the lead guitar, but also joins in on the guitar slapping occasionally. How many acoustic guitarists have you seen tune the sound their guitar makes while tapping it? Maybe the only fair criticism I've heard is that they aren't real flamenco, but a bastardized form of flamenco which they basically invented. So maybe flamenco traditionalist have a reason to "hate" Rodrigo Y Gabriela, but I don't suspect there will be too many flamenco traditionalist attending Sasquatch.
The only thing that scares me away from Rodrigo Y Gabriella's live shows is the $40 ticket price, which is half the cost of your Sasquatch day pass. So I'm not trying to talk you into spending your gas money to catch their show, but if you are already there, I highly recommend strolling by, even if only for a song or two. You'll want to stay. Plus, they are doing the film score for the new Pirates of the Caribbean film, with the soundtrack scheduled to be released as early as next week. Don't you like Johnny Depp? I didn't even mention how Gabriela broke a string at Sasquatch 08, followed by a expletive, and a comparison to a Spinal Tap moment (so cute), while Rodrigo instinctively wowed the crowd with an amazing solo while she had her string fixed, which took way longer than expected. It was one of the highlights of the festival.
1. Hunuman (keep in mind this is two acoustic guitars. You can really get the difference between the rhythm of Gabriella and the lead of Rodrigo here)
2. Orion (Metallica cover)
3. Santo Domingo
5. Buster Voodoo
6. Diablo Rojo
9. Stairway To Heaven (Peter Frampton cover)
I'll admit, I avoided Robyn for way too long. Everything I've heard about her made me think she is right up my alley, but I never gave her a chance until she landed on the Sasquatch lineup. She makes me feel like a teenager, a teenage girl at that. Ok, that was meant to get a laugh out of those who know me. Her music hits me like Madonna hit me when I was a kid. Yes, I'm admitting that too.
Robyn was apparently a pretty big pop star in the 90s. I don't recall, I was listening to Phish. But her comeback includes some seriously catchy electro beats. You could delete her voice, and several of her songs would hold their own as instrumentals (but why would you want to delete such a voice). I caught about fifteen minutes of her set at Coachella, and it was a blast. She has a ton of energy on stage, jumping and skipping around, breaking into the workout video type calorie burning dancing that neither you or I can pull off. I'm looking forward to catching more of her set this time. A word to any of the dudes/bros reading this, put your masculinity aside for a second, check out the tracks listed below, and get ready to dance awkwardly.
1. Dancing On My Own
2. With Every Heartbeat
4. Hang With Me
5. Fembot (maybe one of her most popular, but no 16 year-old connection with this one)
6. Love Kills
7. Criminal Intent
8. Show Me Love
9. Don't Fucking Tell Me What To Do
10. In My Eyes
11. Time Machine
12. U Should Know Better (just cuz I like Snoop Dogg, fo shizzle)
Archers of Loaf
One thing that makes Coachella such a respected festival is the reunion bands. It seems like they get bands to reunite just for the festival. Sasquatch doesn't get that, "wow, that band is getting back together?" If you want to get technical, Jane's Addiction's first reunion festival was Sasquatch, and Pavement was announced at Sasquatch before Coachella, but everyone knew those two bands were getting back together. When the Sasquatch lineup was announced, most outside of North Carolina had no idea Archers of Loaf were reuniting.
Archers of Loaf would be best described as indie rock, but they have a much heavier punk influence than what is known as indie rock these days. My introduction to this band was their final studio album, White Trash Heroes. The trio of songs "Slick Tracks And Bright Lights," "One Slight Wrong Move," and "Bang On A Dead Drum" (which they allegedly switched instruments for fun) shows how diverse that album is. The first of said trio is a sensitive singer/songwriter tune, the second is a straight up great rock song, the third is an experience in vocal noise and slide guitar. I love White Trash Heroes, so if you want an album suggestion instead of track suggestions, start there.
My favorite part about the schedule announcement is Archers of Loaf not conflicting with the Flaming Lips (it looked as though they might). They have played one reunion show so far, have one scheduled for the week before Sasquatch, then play their third show in 12 years at Sasquatch. It's a pretty big deal. I won't miss a note of this set.
1. One Slight Wrong Move
3. Web in Front
4. Bacteria (six minute up and down song)
6. Power Walker (I had to include this for comedy purposes)
7. Slick Tracks And Bright Lights
8. What Did You Expect?
9. Slow Worm
10. Quinn Beast (this song is pretty cheesy, but somehow caught my ear every time I heard it)
11. Sick File (Nice and short punk song)
Mariachi El Bronx
One thing I love about music festivals is getting to see so many different styles of music in one weekend. You don't have to see every singer/songwriter, or every indie rock band, or every electronic act. You can mix it up and see music you wouldn't normally pay for (or headliners you wouldn't normally pay for like the Foo Fighters). This is the reason I made a point to catch Mariachi El Bronx at Coachella recently. I've never seen a Mariachi band live outside of the ghetto version played at local restaurants. You know what, it was awesome. Granted, they were first up on a side stage early in the day, and I was basically laying in the grass wishing my life would end, but they entertained.
If you haven't already heard, this band is basically an experiment/side project of the band "The Bronx," who are playing the same night. So a hardcore band decided to tune it down and make a Mariachi album. The biggest travesty about music fans these days is the lack of diversity, so hopefully they turned a couple hardcore fans onto a new genre? I didn't get close enough at their Coachella set to see if their collars were covering up neck tatoos, or if their festive hats were covering up mohawks. Thus, I am anxiously waiting to get up close for this.
2. Cell Mates
3. Silver or Lead
5. My Love