Coachella 2012: Key dates, evidence, rumors so far
Looking for historical perspective? In 2011, the roster was announced on Jan. 18 at approximately 9:45 p.m. In 2010, that date was Jan. 19 at 7:15 a.m. If you sense a pattern, however, know that in '09 the news was released on Jan. 30 at 12:45 a.m., and in '08 it was announced on the afternoon of Jan. 21. Rounding those dates and throwing a dart at a calendar yields the absolutely speculative date of Jan. 22 for this year's roster news, which makes no sense because it's a Sunday. (So maybe Jan. 23?)
Already, there are some serious tea leaves being read, though, and some reliable tidbits floating around online. And considering that for the first time Coachella will run over the course of two weekends -- April 13-15 and April 20-22 -- it's much harder for touring bands to hide their intentions for that chunk of time.
For example, British singer Laura Marling is touring the U.S. in April along with Andrew Bird, and both will be in the Southwest without dates on April 14 or 21 -- though they're playing in Mesa, Ariz., on April 18 and Tuscon on April 20, and jumping back and forth to San Francisco during that week as well. Logic suggests that one or both have a particular gig on those two mysterious Saturdays.
The most active research and speculation on roster predictions is within the official Coachella.com forum pages, where the "rumors/gossip/wishlist" section is filled with subject lines such as "The Weeknd for 2012?," "Portlandia Live at Coachella 2012" and, simply, "Weird Al" and where hundreds of people trade guesses and evidence.
Also incredibly useful and well-researched is Consequence of Sound's comprehensive, detailed analysis of artists' tour schedules, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and anywhere else a musician may hint at Coachella plans. The site offers not only names but also links to evidence it has found to support the claims.
Thus far, the site has triangulated a list of probable performers at the Empire Polo Club on those two weekends in April. Among the highlights of their list?
Band of Skulls
Keep Shelly in Athens
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
The Head and the Heart
Young the Giant
Other rumored big name acts include Radiohead, Daft Punk and every other band whose name comes up each year around this time. (David Bowie, anyone?) At the Drive In is again said to be reuniting for Coachella, as is Hot Snakes. The Rolling Stones are a perennial would-be headliner, this year more so because of the 50th anniversary of the band.
Pop & Hiss will keep you posted on news coming out of Coachella, so keep checking back.
-- Randall Roberts
Photo: The crowd gets a cooling off in the Do LaB at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif., on April 15, 2011. Photo: Bryan Chan/Los Angeles Times.