So, Maybe This Will be Easier: Let’s Talk About 11 Bands That Aren’t Playing Coachella

01/10/2012 11:15 AM |


Late yesterday afternoon the internet finally, after much, much, much speculation, received exactly what it had been waiting for: the official lineup for Coachella 2012. As expected, it is fucking crazy. Radiohead’s playing. Bon Iver’s playing. The Shins are playing. Cat Power, Girls, Jeff Mangum, Feist, St, Vincent, Destroyer, EMA… they’re all playing too. And really, those are just the sorta middle-of-the-road indie acts—there’s also the big-deal reunions: At the Drive-In, Refused, Mazzy Star, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Pulp… Pulp! Oh, and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are performing together, apparently, which a lot of people will say they’re enjoying unironically but will clearly not know what that even means.

So yeah, it’s pretty much everything you’d hoped it would be, if you’re the type of person who spends any time at all thinking about the potential lineup of a music festival that happens thousands and thousands of miles away from you, in a desert. But still, there’s a small handful of bands that are not playing—some were at one point rumored to be, while others we just assumed would be for whatever reason. Let us now look at those, because, well, what fun is focusing on what you do have when you can focus on what you don’t?

Lana Del Rey
There was literally not a single doubt in my mind that Princess Lippy would be on the bill, and you know… I’m kinda feeling better about everything now that she’s not. I either respect the festival more for not inviting her, or her people (Are we still just weirdly assuming she has people making all of her decisions?) for knowing enough not to put her in that position.

No Doubt
This was one of the most prevalent rumors all along, and one that people were super psyched about because of that annoying thing everyone does where they pretend the shitty things they liked when they were younger weren’t really shitty.

Black Sabbath
Brooklyn Vegan reported last night that the band was set to reunite for the festival but then had to cancel because Tony Iomi has been diagnosed with cancer. It’s unconfirmed, but a bummer nonetheless.

Craig Finn
Maybe this is just personal preference creeping into things here, but with his first solo album coming out later this month, it seemed likely that the Hold Steady frontman would find himself on this bill.

Best Coast
This is a really big surprise for me. Their new album appears to be in the can, and they’ve even done the standard “We’re gearing up for a big push” Pitchfork teaser interview.

Of Montreal
New record coming out, famously wacky live show with the horses and unicorns or whatever. Would have been so much better in the desert.

Sleigh Bells
Same thing—their new one will no doubt be one of the most talked about records of the first half of the year, and it’s been a while since they’ve been in the spotlight.

There was talk of a Mexican tour that would have put them in roughly the right region at roughly the right time, but no dice.

My Morning Jacket
People kept talking about these guys playing, probably, I think, because it seems natural to just assume My Morning Jacket will play every Coachella ever because of their beards.

The Montreal-based artist Clare Boucher, aka Grimes, has a new album full of dreamy, wandering electronic mood music coming out in late January, and lots of people seem to be talking about it.

The Promise Ring
With At the Drive-In and Refused making the cut to represent the reunited 90s indie/punk/emo set, it would have been nice if the Promise Ring had to, on account of them being better than both of those other bands.

Follow Mike Conklin on Twitter @LMagMusic for more. Then stop following him the first time he tweets about hockey and/or babies.

5 Comment

  • No Doubt is not shitty. You’re shitty.

  • I for one cannot wait for people born in the 90s who have only ever heard “Fade Into You” to complain about what a letdown the Mazzy Star set was, totally too soft and draggy for a massive outdoor festival crowd, etc.

    I sort of imagine that the temptation for the people in charge of Coachella is just to constantly dangle enormous sums of money in front of legendarily estranged ex-bandmates and see what it would take (and then laugh cruelly when it’s discovered how much more cheaply, say, Jay Farrar or Damon & Naomi would come than Tweedy or Wareham).

    Also: what “RF” said.

  • Best Coast and Sleigh Bells played last year, they rarely have bands back the very next year. No Doubt were always shitty. Coachella promoters have been around long enough not to fall for the lame Lana Del Rey hype

  • That tends to be true, Ro, but didn’t the Black Keys play last year too? It seems weird that they’re headlining to me…

  • like I said rarely.. The Black Keys blew up so much in popularity in last 6 months that they probably made an exception.