Category: Coachella

Coachella 2012: Three-digit temps bring thinner crowds

Sunday afternoon as the temperature lingered at a searing 104 degrees, Santigold pulled off a near impossible feat on the Coachella mainstage: She played to a packed crowd. 

Santigold's magnetic charm and her brand of electro-dipped hip-hop have found her a loyal fanbase, especially as she preps her comeback album. But the intense heat that has marred Weekend 2 of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival has been difficult to ignore, especially as afternoon acts like Santigold perform on the mainstage and the Outdoor stage where the sun is at its brightest. 

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

Out in the crowd, one patron had found shade under a makeshift shield that he fashioned after flattening one of the white cardboard trash receptacles. Nearby, a group of girls grooved under brightly colored geisha umbrellas. 

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Coachella 2012: That spicy, spicy, sun

As the blazing sun rose Saturday, the trickle of tweets and pics coming out of Coachella turned into a    full-fledged torrent, just like those produced by the water cannons that were apparently blasting people in the face all day long. But which is a better pick-me-up: St. Vincent soaking you from the stage or a set from the Vaccines that was straight out of "The Walking Dead"? Check out the Storify post below the fold for more Coachella questions, answers, and some sage advice about the importance of sunblock. 

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Coachella 2012: One booth takes plastic (bottles) as currency

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A group of hipsters are picking up every empty water bottle in their path near a food court. Whenever someone goes to throw one into the recycling bin, someone in the crew reaches their hand out and takes it, placing it in an already overflowing backpack. 

This continues until there’s no more space and they make the short trek to the TRASHed Recycling Center and join the line of dozens of other festival-goers waiting to unload their parcels of crumpled up bottles.

Some are getting fresh water in return; others are opting for something a bit more tangible -– OK, a bit more awesome than water.  

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

TRASHed is the only booth on site that doesn’t take cash or credit cards for its merchandise. Instead, the only currency accepted here is bottles and cans.

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Coachella 2012: The Shins and the anatomy of heartbreak

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Heartbreak is the universal currency of good music, and the Shins are rich with it. The band, which has mellowed and refined itself with age (it formed in Albuquerque in 1996), can cause pangs of sadness in even the stoutest of souls.

The scene was no different on Saturday night at Coachella as the Shins played a slow but driven set tinged with sorrow and loneliness, like the sound of a train whistle or a fog horn on a rainy night at sea.

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

And based on the tone of the voices singing along with the band's catalog of hits, hearts were broken across the field -- or had been, were currently being, or would be broken soon.

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Coachella 2012: Lost and found: Your phone

Her phone's not lost

What is the most lost item at Coachella?

"Phones, phones, phones," says Kimberly Galdamez, who works both the information kiosk and lost and found at the festival. "We have whole sections of just iPhones, and then just phones."

There are hundreds, she laments.

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

"It's more common than you'd think. People leave them in Porta Potties, they drop them, they get stolen," she says. The list goes on and on.

"But people are turning them in, that's what's really weird," says another information officer working with Galdamez, who requested anonymity.

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Coachella 2012: The Skyy Coconut Escape pool party keeps it cool

Skyy pool party

How I came to be the official Coachella pool party beat reporter is still somewhat of a mystery to me. Perhaps because I love pools. And vodka. But for whatever reason, for six years running now I have faithfully represented the L.A. Times at various hedonistic enterprises in the desert involving water, beach balls and copious amounts of alcohol.

The second weekend of Coachella -- although much, much hotter (think of crawling into your oven wearing a sleeping bag and you'll get the idea) -- boasted fewer pool parties. The cruel irony! However, Skyy vodka and Spin magazine represented with one of the weekend's largest offerings at the lush Renaissance Esmeralda Indian Wells Resort & Spa.

The Esmeralda, as it is lovingly referred to by its guests (many of whom are artists playing at Coachella), is a fantastic location for a pool party. It has waterfalls and an honest-to-god sand beach. Skyy poured stiff drinks, infused with (you guessed it) all kinds of coconut water. The vodka company knows that getting your electrolytes while simultaneously depleting them is essential to a quality afternoon.

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Coachella 2012: Record Store Day comes early

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Right now there is a vinyl connoisseur clutching a copy of Wilco’s "The Whole Love" deluxe box set in his living room as he takes to Twitter and Facebook to boast to friends about snagging one of the 250 copies that were pressed for the fifth annual Record Store Day on Saturday. 

As enthusiasts flood independent record retailers across the nation in search of limited-edition vinyl and basement bargains from hundreds of artists and labels, music lovers at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival got a bit of a leg up on everyone else. 

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

At Zia Records -- the on-site, Arizona-based shop where festival-goers can buy albums from the weekend’s line-up as artists make in-store appearances -- all three days of Coachella Part II are Record Store Day. 

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Coachella 2012: Ximena Sariñana states the obvious

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As day one of weekend two of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival dragged on Friday, a few artists seemed to have just as much fatigue as the sun-soaked audiences who came to see them. 

“It’s really [expletive] hot,” Mexican singer-songwriter Ximena Sariñana shouted from behind her keyboard during her almost hushed set of Latin pop, sweat pouring down her face turning her glittery eyeshadow into murky streaks of gold. 

The intense 100-degree-plus weather transformed the Gobi tent into a human sauna as seemingly thousands packed the venue-turned-shelter like sardines for Gary Clark Jr.’s 4:30 p.m. set. Clark came ready for the heat, opting for a more casual white tank-top that clung to his frame as he worked up a well-deserved sweat from strumming his guitar. 

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

With the sun reluctantly retreating for the evening, but leaving behind a warm aftermath, the best place to catch a breeze was atop the giant Ferris wheel that overlooks the Empire Polo Grounds. 

Other highlights (from the safety of the ground):

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Coachella 2012: John Fogerty joins Black Keys in Levon Helm tribute

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Yes, weekend two of Coachella can still present surprises. And so it was when rock legend John Fogerty joined Friday night's headliners the Black Keys to pay tribute to Levon Helm, who died Thursday from cancer.

Black Keys singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach called Helm, who was the drummer and a singer of the Band, "amazing and inspiring," and performed a soulful cover of "The Weight" with Fogerty. Earlier in the day another Helm tribute was made as the punk band Refused taped "RIP Levon Helm" to their bass drum.

 COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

The gesture by the Black Keys was touching and fitting in a set packed with explosive and gritty roots rock, including hits "I Got Mine" and "Lonely Boy."

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Coachella 2012: Fix those shuttle signs

The first day of the second weekend of Coachella (or the third Friday of the fourth month if you want to be extra confusing) has ended and concert-goers are still evenly split: Was it simply too hot out, or way, way, way, too hot? Proponents of both sides took to social media to weigh in on this  important issue in a fashion that some commenters have described as "incessant" and "whining."

Despite the onslaught of temperature talk, there were plenty of tweets and pics that made it seem like Coachella was once again the place to be. Highlights of Friday included John Fogerty joining the Black Keys, M. Ward and Mazzy Star winning prestigious awards, and the revelation that Batman is a big a believer in Mayan prophecies. Who knew? Check out the Storify post below for more reactions from Indio. Seriously though, we get it. It's hot.


 PHOTOS: Coachella 2012

TIMELINE: Coachella through the years

SHARE: Tweet us your photos and stories

MOBILE USERS: All you need to survive Coachella

-- Justin Becker

Photo: Tiffany Libby tries to stay cool during second weekend of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival where temperatures reached the triple digits. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times.


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