Coachella 2011: Foals and Glasser prove that for today, we are all gingers
According to legend established by Tom Robbins and Romain Gavras, redheads are special people, possibly possessing mythic powers. Saturday afternoon sets from England's Foals and local alchemist Cameron Mesirow, known as Glasser, have kept the redhead mystique stocked for another couple of years, much to the delight of hair dye companies everywhere.
In the Mojave tent, Foals presented as dashing lads with the kinds of haircuts that say, "Hey, I'm a grown man but I'm not getting rid of that skateboard I have stashed in the closet just yet." There are some bands that look like a random assortment of responders to Craigslist ads for "bassist who doesn't suck" -- and then there are bands that are so uniform in look and performance that you wonder if they share a blood line.
Foals are such an act and it shows in their music. To a packed tent that spilled out onto the field, the band stitched together a tight sound: Carrot-top drummer Jack Bevan supplied a sprightly disco-informed backbone to the fruity tones on guitar that veered near Afropop and then away again into something more dry and cutting.
Later, in the Gobi tent, Mesirow, flanked by two bespectacled fellows in tribal hippie cloaks, worked her cryptic landscape pop, the music of some imaginary island roamed only by children who live on vegan muffins at the Smell. Her body shrouded in a few layers of off-white netting, Mesirow looked like a bride wedded to experimentalism, her vocals occasionally rising to punctuated yelps over a smooth dream of technology-scarred pop. Some people drifted out of the tent, not able to hang with the auburn-tressed lass, or maybe scared of her magical powers. That's right, run scared, you brunette people.*
* Ok, yeah, I'm a brownie too but I can occasionally pass. Let a girl dream...
-- Margaret Wappler
Top photo: Yannis Philippakis of Foals performs during Day 2 of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2011. Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images
Bottom photo: Cameron Mesirow, a.k.a. Glasser in the Gobi tent on Saturday night. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times