Coachella 2013- Saturday April 20, 2013

I woke up bright and early since I missed all of my favorite bands the night before (like the Stone Roses and Blur). But that was ok, because Saturday had all the bands I really wanted to see, like New Order, the Decendents and the Postal Service. It was game on.

At 7am, I took a shower in the little trailer, which was surprisingly clean and nice. And since I got there so early, I didn’t even have to wait. The line was at least 500 girls deep on Sunday. After showering, I did yoga in the Dome, got an avocado smoothie from the Farmers Market, at breakfast at the camp, then headed inside.

I don’t really remember what I did all day besides dance in the Do Lab for a solid hour, until my hands were pruny from the spray guns, that 8-yr-old boys were blasting from the stage. After that, I probably went back to the H&M tent to fill up my water bottle and put more sunscreen on. But I DO remember seeing the Violent Femmes, Major Lazer, The Make-Up, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, The Postal Service, the Decendents, Moby, Franz Ferdinand, New Order, and Phoenix. And those are just the ones I remember.  One of my favorite acts was The Make Up- Ian Sedoni walked onto the crowd, multiple people holding up his feet, and he sang right into my face. It was amazing. Even though someone dropped a roach on my foot and I caught a beach ball right to the face, it was so gratifying to get to see The Make Up play. Ian is so weird and crazy, it reminded me of watching the Dik-Diks in college. Now I know where Micah got his moves. I got to hold Ian’s hand, even if it was for a second.

It was a double-bonus to see Yeasayer directly afterwards, and they were so thrilled to get to play Coachella and said, “and we were setting up, but one of our favorite bands, the Make Up just played. Did anyone see them?” I DID! Then Yeasayer played one of my favorite songs, “O.N.E”

Watching Franz Ferdinand and New Order was a huge bonus too. Franz Ferdinand was a major dance party, and New Order played all of my favorites. I thought it was great that New Order said, “can someone turn that disco shit off?” referring to the Do Lab’s constant beats.

All I remember after that was going to the Silent Disco and dancing until I couldn’t move anymore. At my campsite, I fell asleep watching a group of people doing hand puppets with a headlamp and a sheet. It was a good day.

Built to Spill- Live at The Alley April 25th

Even though I had gotten a fill of music and it was less than a week since I had been back from Coachella, it didn’t stop me

built to spill guitar case

built to spill guitar case

from seeing Built To Spill at The Alley in Sparks, NV last Thursday night. Built to Spill is one of those bands that went to college with me and one I thought I would ever see play. I knew that they were going to the Sasquatch Festival, but I didn’t buy my ticket in time.

But for some reason, Reno has been booking amazing indie rock shows (like the Postal Service) and Built to Spill made the list. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the full moon.

This show wasn’t even close to selling out. It was 21+ and after sliding into The Alley, I headed to the bar and got a coffee. (Where owner Chapin said, “I like my coffee like I like my women…” I won’t finish the rest).

Standing up front, I watched 3-piece rock band Junior Rocket Scientist from Boise. I was impressed that the band

members could move around and play different instruments, with the 7-ft. tall dude playing a bowless electric violin thing. They had great energy and they were handsome.

Next up was 5-piece band Slam Dunk from Canada. These people had crazy energy and a folksy, bluegrass feel. The

Jr Rocket Scientist

Jr Rocket Scientist

saxophone really added a lot to the overall impression. (View a video teaser here: I was kind of bummed because they threw their tambourine out in the crowd and the guy in the front picked it up and put it back on the stage. I almost yelled at him…when someone throws you a tambourine you rock that shit! I almost asked for it back, but decided to stay put and dance quietly.

Well, that guy that gave the tambourine back was Doug Martsch from Built to Spill. Considering Built to Spill played a 2-hr set, I guess it makes sense that he wouldn’t want to play tambourine out in the crowd for the opening band. I was in the very front, facing a guitarist with at least 7 different pedals. I was mesmerized in the first song just trying to figure out how it all worked.

It’s funny to me that a guy like Doug, with a unique voice and memorable lyrics, can be so shy between songs. All I heard

tambourine man/backup drummer

tambourine man/backup drummer

from him was a meager “thank you” outside of a standard song. But Built to Spill is one of the last jam bands left, and the guitar picking and how the musicians play off of each other goes together like mashed potatoes and gravy. For their encore, they covered a hit from the Smiths that was absolutely incredible (view the song here: and then finished with a 15-minute jam song. The guy that sold merch took over for drummer Scott Plouf on that last song, never skipping a beat. Even though I only heard a couple songs I knew, it was nice to get that wave of nostalgia.

The show ended at 1 am, I stopped at In N’ Out, then picked up some snow kayakers on the Mt. Rose Hwy on my way home. It was a perfect full moon.

April 9 Postal Service Part 2

I survived a rough morning dealing with the US Postal Service, but walking into the GSR that evening with a goggle tan I could barely contain my level of excitement. I remember when the Postal Service debuted 10 years ago; they put out the CD “Give Up” and never toured. Rumors would be going around that they would play some show in Washington, and then I’d get all excited and never find out the details. They’re one of those bands that’s like, “man, I would die happy if I could just see the Postal Service live”.IMG_1858c

Well, now I can die happy.

I arrived at the GSR at about 8:15 pm. I headed straight for the merch table, money out, and inquired about the Postal Service “Give Up” 10th Anniversary 3-Vinyl LP 1st Edition set. If I bought it now would they hold it for me? Would they sell out? I decided I couldn’t risk it…I bought it right that second and kept it clutched to my chest for a while before carefully taking it to the car.

Then I went back in and watched the opener, Baths. Will Wiesenfield was eh, not my thing.

About 9:10 pm, the lights dimmed, the level of excitement among the crowd was IMG_1860cnoticeable, and my friend Penny and I snuck our way up to the front. We had huge smiles and uncontrollable giddiness as the band took the stage. Jenny Lewis and Ben Gibbard took to the front, with Jimmy Tamborello and that other chick in the back (Jen Wood?) Then the familiar, electro-pop sound filled the air and everyone belted out the lyrics in unified chorus. Every song they started, two girls behind me screamed, “I love this one!” It’s the first show I’ve ever been to where everyone knew the songs. Everyone. Knew. Every. Song.

And Ben Gibbard started out by saying, “so, we got the band back together. This is the first time we’ve played in 9 years.” He mentioned that it was a sold out show. Yeah, their whole tour is sold out.

I was impressed with their use of instruments and electronics- the xylophone, keyboards,

Jimmy can play the melodica AND do something else at the same time- that's musical talent

Jimmy can play the melodica AND do something else at the same time- that’s musical talent

mixing boards, and whatever else they used. For a few songs, I noticed that Jimmy played a melodica, which I never realized made soft background noise in songs like “This Place is a Prison”. (I have a melodica and now I can practice being a backup melodicaist for the band!) Now when I listen to the “Give Up” deluxe LP, I imagine Ben and Jenny holding up weird cans or pedals to their mics to distort their voices, just as they did at this Reno show.

Even though the Postal Service played a solid hour set- all of my favorite songs and their  new ones (did I mention “Turn Around” makes my heart pitter-patter?), it felt like they played for 20 minutes. It was an incredible show and I wished they had the stamina to go all night.

But afterwards, we got some tacos and some Modelos and reminisced about the time we

it was hard to leave the house after getting a hold of this little gem

it was hard to leave the house after getting a hold of this little gem

just had. And even though it was technically my Saturday night and I could’ve stayed out and partied, all I wanted to do was listen to my new Postal Service LP set. I drove home, went into my spare room, put the translucent disc 2 on my record player, and fell asleep on the floor with a smile on my face. Thanks for redeeming the name Postal Service, Postal Service. I can’t wait to see you again at Coachella next weekend.

By the way, can someone give me a ride?

April 9 Postal Service Part 1

First thing yesterday morning, the Postal Service had me in tears, but by the end of the night the Postal Service had me grinning from ear to ear.

When I woke up yesterday, I was determined to track down my Coachella ticket. Last week, I called USPS and opened up an investigative search on this $400 wristband that I need for next week. I also called our local Post Office, which was equally vague and unhelpful.

So I waited, and waited, and the thing never got delivered, and I received got a response from anyone at the Postal Service, so I decided to hunt it down yesterday. I went into our local branch and asked about my ticket that I needed now, and I was willing to drive to Reno to get it. They proceeded to pull up all of the same tracking info I had, and the lady was really rude, telling me that “I sent her on a wild goose chase” and to “step aside because now she had a line”. Twenty minutes into the hunt, the Postmaster came out and said, “sorry, I’m seeing that the final tracking on it was 3/25 at the Reno Sort Facility”.

Me: Okay, so can I go to the Reno Sort Facility and get it?

Postal Service: Um, no, we don’t know where you would go and this doesn’t have any tracking on it…

Me: So, this is a $400 Priority Mail envelope that should’ve been delivered 2 weeks ago and are you telling me that it’s lost?

Postal Service: Yes, it’s lost.

No wonder the US Postal Service is going out of business! Luckily, one 10 min. phone call to Coachella solved the problem- they cancelled the order and re-routed it to Will Call. Thank goodness they were so nice otherwise I would’ve gone berserk.

(Another small ironic piece- Postal Service, the band that I was seeing that night was re-releasing an album called “Give Up”- advice I should’ve taken with the US Postal Service).

So now that I was pissed off and stressed out, my friend came over and swept me away

casey hiking Wildcard with me...and helping me get my sanity back

casey hiking Wildcard with me…and helping me get my sanity back

to go snowboarding. I showed her my mountain, we had some Bloody Marys, I got everything off my chest and we even found some small pockets of fresh pow. I halfway gained my sanity back. After tacos at T’s, I showered and got ready to see Postal Service the band for their reunited kick-off tour in Reno.