« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Coachella, beyond the main stage: Deer Tick brings an outlaw attitude to the desert

COACHELLA COUNTDOWN: In the days leading up to the three-day Indio fest that begins Friday, Pop & Hiss gives you the reasons to arrive before the headliners.

Who: Deer Tick

From: Providence, Rhode Island

Reason to care: In a just world, Deer Tick would be in Indio one week after Coachella, performing instead at the country-focused Stagecoach. The band's whiskey-scorched rock 'n' roll is more Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings than it is Thom Yorke and Muse, yet Deer Tick's sloppy Southern-influenced power chords are a long way removed from what passes for mainstream country in 2010. "Life is beautiful, but beauty is a dying art," sings John McCauley with an alcoholic's croak on "Hell on Earth," one of the band's last-call-worthy slow-dances on sophomore effort "Flag Day." Yet this isn't all music to get sad and drunk to, as songs such as "Straight into a Storm" and "Friday XIII" are built for kicking the peanut shells off the barroom floor. 

Listen: "Flag Day" opens with "Easy," above, and it may as well serve as a Deer Tick manifesto. A little bitter, a little angry and a little dejected, the guitars come in slow, riding a rhythmic storm that feels as if it's ready to pummel the plain states. As the song builds, the band behind McCauley hurries to match his vocal scruff. 

Fun fact: The band didn't mean to be politically incorrect when it chose its name -- some people just took it that way. Wrote McCauley on the band's website, "Some folks have taken offense to the name, but it's not like we're advocates or parasitic arachnids, I just thought it sounded cool."

Next: Don't think you'll be able to catch what's sure-to-be an early Friday slot? The band will be back in L.A. on April 27, opening for Dr. Dog at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. Get there early, and have a pint of Eagle Rock Brewery's Equinox next door at Blue Palms

-- Todd Martens


Coachella, beyond the main stage: Florence + the Machine drapes its pop elegance with a snarl

Coachlla, beyond the main stage: Charlotte Gainsbourg's Beck-enhanced musical breakout

Coachella, beyond the main stage: The irresistible force of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Coachella, beyond the main stage: Dirty Projectors, enchanting, disturbing, impossible to forget

Coachella, beyond the main stage: Owen Pallett's string-laden magic

Coachella's L.A. artists: Who will break out, and who will go home for good?

Coachella, beyond the main stage: The sunny, Google-defying psych-pop of Girls

Coachella, beyond the main stage: Sleigh Bells can ring a racket

Coachella beyond the main stage: Plastikman's futuristic minimalism

Comments () | Archives (0)


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Recent Posts

Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: