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Miscellaneous - Coachella

  by Aaron Brown

published: 23 / 6 / 2006

Miscellaneous - Coachella


One of the last great musical gatherings, the American desert festival Coachella regularly attracts 80, 000 music fans. Aaron Brown writes about film director Drew Thomas' beautiful and provocative new film about it which has just been released on DVD

The Coachella Festival, to be fair, is one of the last great musical gatherings left largely untouched by big business conglomerates like Clear Channel. And why not ? Stick 80 thousand people in the desert for three days and they are sure to have fun. And at least you know it won’t rain like Glastonbury. To keep up the true ‘one for all’ festival spirit, director Drew Thomas has created a film that is both beautiful and provocative at the same time. There are no big egos, no stretch limos and no private helicopter pads for the headliners. Instead Thomas has made a film that gives equal time to artists big and small. The film,shot over several years of Coachella, features show stopping turns of the reformed Iggy and the Stooges’ performing ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and the Pixies’ playing ‘Where is my Mind’. In spectacular oddness, one Wayne Coyne of equally odd Flaming Lips makes an appearance in a huge plastic bubble. Throughout the film there is plenty of band and audience interviews interspersed between songs. Interviews with Noel Gallagher and poet/rapper/actor/activist Saul Williams give two opposing views of musicians who support and preach for political causes. For all his usual arrogance, Gallagher gives a strong argument against musicians who believe they have the power to change the world with song. Gallagher’s realistic belief that the only people who have the power to change are in the Whitehouse and the Pentagon wins hands down to the great Saul William’s enlightened belief that artists can change the world. Don’t mess with someone who has ripped off the Beatles I say. Camping it up more than a row of tents, Fischerspooner’s set really hits the mark in flamboyance. While the excellent Chemical Brothers leave their American counterparts the Crystal Method sounding dull in comparison. Personally I think the Method should stick to soundtracks. My only query with this film is that although featured in the rich photo section of the DVD, it does not include Nine Inch Nails and Bauhaus, the latter who reformed for last year's festival. This film is a must for any right respecting music fan. See you in the desert !

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