Category: Goldenvoice

FYF Fest 2012: Refused, Wild Flag, M83, Yeasayer booked

Carrie Brownstein of Wild Flag
Now in its ninth year, the independent-focused FYF Fest is returning to the Los Angeles State Historic Park and for the first time since moving downtown will expand from one to two days. The lineup for the Labor Day weekend fest is an adventurous mix of acts young and old, leaning heavily on punk and veterans of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Top-billed artists this year include the reunited Swedish punk band Refused, reunited local rock band Redd Kross, the trippy M83, indie-punk supergroup Wild Flag and electro-soul artist James Blake. 

Once again the FYF Fest is working in conjunction with Coachella promoter Goldenvoice. This marks the fourth straight year that FYF has been stationed at the Chinatown-adjacent State Historic Park, also the site of this summer's dance-focused Hard Summer. While FYF has long specialized in promoting punk and noise shows in and around Echo Park, this year's lineup was first unveiled on Santa Monica's non-profit KCRW-FM, a sign of FYF's growing influence on the local scene.

Other acts booked for the festival, which will take place Sept. 1 and 2, include the reunited Desaparecidos, the politically inclined scrappy punk outfit led by Bright Eyes architect Conor Oberst, and the global influenced music of Yeasayer. All told, more than 50 acts were revealed Monday morning. Among the highlights: hard-core act Quicksand, noise-pop aficionados Sleigh Bells, '80s revivalists Twin Shadow, electronic act Purity Ring, the patiently ambient rock of Warpaint and in-the-news punk band Against Me!

Weekend passes will start at $77 and will go on sale Friday via Ticketfly. FYF Fest is all-ages and will run from noon until midnight each day. Tickets will also be available at independent record stores in the L.A. area and select Chilli Beans locations. Visit the FYF Fest site for a complete run-down of outlets. 

Complete lineup and poster is after the jump:

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Coachella reveals 2013 dates, raises prices

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The 2012 summer festival season has barely just begun, but on Thursday, Goldenvoice will begin selling tickets to the 2013 edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, once again slated to be held over two consecutive April weekends in the desert city of Indio, Calif. The Thursday morning on-sale will allow participants to partake in the seven-month payment plan.

The just-completed 2012 editions of Coachella brought about 80,000 ticket-buyers per weekend to Indio. Coachella next year will take place over the weekends of April 12 and April 19, 2013. The dual 2012 weekends largely sold out in advance.

While the lineup has yet to be announced, new for 2013 is an increase in ticket prices. A three-day general admission wristband will sell for the all-inclusive price of $349. That total includes any added service fees. A weekend pass during the 2012 presale came to about $315, once fees were factored in, meaning this is a general admission price hike of $34.

2012 Coachella 360° tour

There are a host of options to bring that cost even higher, however, including $399 for a ticket and shuttle combo, and $799 for the VIP experience. The latter option comes with a more significant price hike, as a 2012 VIP ticket sold for $661 plus fees, which brought the total to about $710. 

Car camping will sell for $85, and those who opt to drive can spring for a $150 VIP parking pass, which provides for a pain-free exit. Remaining tickets will go on sale once the lineup is announced, typically near the start of the new year. When passes went on sale last summer, they were priced at $269 (plus service fees), and the non-presale wristbands were priced at $285 (plus service fees). 

Coachella is considered the start of the annual summer festival season and has positioned itself as one of the premier music events in the country. It's also a little more costly than some of its competitors. Lollapalooza in Chicago, for instance, sold three-day passes in 2012 for $230, while four-day tickets to Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn., are currently going for $259.50, plus fees.

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-- Todd Martens

Image: Sundown at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2012. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times

Coachella's multiple 2013 weekends expected to be unveiled Monday

Coachella
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival promoters Goldenvoice/AEG Live have said repeatedly that they could have sold out a third weekend. In fact, "we probably could have added two more Coachella weekends," Randy Phillips, president of AEG Live, earlier told The Times. Could a full month of Coachellas be in the cards for 2013? Unlikely, but Goldenvoice on Monday is expected to provide some clarity on its 2013 plans. 

The promoter on Friday posted one of its now-customarily cryptic pre-announcement announcements. There was little information released, and Friday's Twitter/Facebook bulletin essentially amounts to a press release hyping a press release, but the local promotor promised news at 10 a.m. Monday. It's expected that Goldenvoice will announce the dates for the 2013 event, which has already been booked, confirmed and green-lighted with the desert city of Indio. 

2012 Coachella 360° tour

Coachella in 2012 cloned itself into twin festivals, with identical lineups, spread over consecutive three-day weekends. It's widely believed that Goldenvoice will stay the course for 2013, as more than one manager or agent for a 2012 Coachella performing artist has said all indications are that the festival will return as a two-weekend event.

Photos: Faces of Coachella

Of course, many were taken by surprise at Goldenvoice's announcement last May, so something more unexpected -- a whole other festival somewhere else, perhaps? -- shouldn't be completely ruled out. The experiment to copy and double Coachella has been widely viewed as a success. The event largely sold out before a full lineup was revealed and artists walked away with double the cash. 

Coachella in 2012 drew about 80,000 paying customers per weekend. When passes went on sale last summer, they were priced at $269 (plus service fees), and the non-pre-sale wristbands were priced at $285 (plus service fees). Goldenvoice unveiled its 2012 dates for Coachella last year on May 31.

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Coachella 2012: Dr. Dre says Tupac 'hologram' a one-off

Grimes, Cults, Grouplove to headline free Make Music Pasadena

Nite Jewel, Dntel, others to honor Kraftwerk, 'German cosmic music'

-- Todd Martens 

Image: The afternoon of weekend one at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2012. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times

Stagecoach 2012: Aaron Lewis talks country makeover

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"Yes, it's like musical whiplash — that's a good term for it," Aaron Lewis said of his tuneful gearshift this weekend. On Saturday, he was fronting his long-running hard rock band Staind in Mesa, Ariz., and Sunday he was showing off his rootsy side at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, where Lewis performed material from his recent foray into country music, the 2011 EP "Town Line." 

Nevertheless, he said it wasn't a stretch to write and sing the songs for the EP — or another dozen or so he's written and recorded for his full-fledged country album coming this year.

"I spent a lot of time with my grandfather when I was a kid, and from the time he got up in the morning, the radio was on and I was hearing George Jones and Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings," Lewis said backstage shortly before his performance. "At 4 years old I'd stop anyone who'd listen and sing [Glen Campbell's] 'Rhinestone Cowboy.' Anyone in my family will back that up."

PHOTOS: The scene at Stagecoach 2012

For Sunday's appearance, Lewis complimented his own acoustic guitar with a Dobro player. It was also his first trip to the Empire Polo Club, the site that the prior two weekends housed the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, headlined by the likes of Radiohead, Dr. Dre and the Black Keys. 

In addition to his hit "Country Boy," Lewis included a stripped-down unplugged reading of Staind's "Outside," which drew an electric cheer from the crowd.

"I guess we're too heavy for Coachella," he said.

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— Randy Lewis

Image: Aaron Lewis performs at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times.

Stagecoach 2012: The Unforgiven return with punk attitude intact

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It took two years of behind-the-scenes wrangling, but the members of the '80s Inland Empire cowpunk-metal band the Unforgiven were rounded up for their first concert performance in more than a quarter century Sunday at Stagecoach.

"Some of you might know we've been on a bit of a break -- like 25 years," lead singer Steve Jones told the audience spread out across the Palomino Stage at Indio's Empire Polo Club early Sunday afternoon. 

And this reunion clearly wasn't a painless process for the band, which became the focus of a major label bidding war not long after the group formed in 1984.

PHOTOS: The scene at Stagecoach 2012

"Some of us didn't get along so well," Jones confessed. "So we've taken to calling the rehearsals 'group therapy.' "

The reunion was the idea of Goldenvoice chief Paul Tollett, whose firm, along with AEG Live, puts on Stagecoach and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival over consecutive weekends on the Indio grounds.

"I used to love these guy so much," said Tollett, who has been putting on concerts across Southern California for three decades, looking on with a grin from the crowd. "They were Stagecoach before there was Stagecoach."

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Stagecoach 2012: Steve Martin goes whole hog in Indio

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It was with some sense of deja vu that Steve Martin pulled into Stagecoach for a performance Saturday that had him and the Steep Canyon Rangers slotted to play immediately after bluegrass music patriarch Ralph Stanley, a situation similar to one in which he and Stanley shared a bill at Carnegie Hall a couple years ago.

"I asked who was going on when, and they said Ralph was opening," Martin said on his tour bus while relaxing on a bench seat with two banjos. "I said, 'No, Ralph Stanley doesn't open for me, I open for him.' So I came out and played a couple of songs and then he went on."

Martin has thrown himself whole hog into his music career after releasing a critically well-received, and Grammy-winning, debut music album in 2009, "The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo."

PHOTOS: The scene at Stagecoach 2012

"I haven't given up," he said with obvious delight in his voice. "I'm still very interested, not only in the banjo-playing but in the songwriting. We've now got enough material for a third album and a fourth one. That's all in the works."

One of the songs for his next bluegrass album includes a poem by W.H. Auden, "Calypso," which Martin set to music.

"What happened," he said, "was my wife was reading this poem and she said, 'You know, this really sounds like a bluegrass song.' I read it and I thought the same thing. So after I wrote the music I emailed the song to his estate.

"The estate is one guy, a professor, and when when he heard the song he was thrilled. It was part of a group of poems that were meant to be songs, and it originally had music written by Benjamin Britten -- very atonal, 12-tone weird stuff and it was maybe great for 1935."

Martin has not given it a title yet, but planned to include it in his Stagecoach set.

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The Mavericks come 'full circle' at Stagecoach festival

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-- Randy Lewis

Image: Steve Martin performs with the Steep Canyon Rangers on the Mustang Stage at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Stagecoach 2012: Backstage with Dave Alvin

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On his way into the Stagecoach grounds in Indio, where he was set to play Saturday afternoon, Dave Alvin recalled the last time he played the country/roots-focused event, in 2009 with the Knitters, L.A.'s rootsy offshoot of X and the Blasters.

"It was really hot," Alvin recalled. "We were on after the Poco reunion, which was so emotional. Seeing Richie Furay and Rusty Young, and they sang [Buffalo Springfield's] 'Kind Woman.'"

"And I thought, 'We have to follow that?'"

PHOTOS: The scene at Stagecoach 2012

Poco's Furay wrote "Kind Woman" during his Buffalo Springfield tenure. Of Poco's performance in 2009, The Times wrote that the act's multi-part harmonies were delivered "precisely yet lovingly," which gave "Poco's performance a sweetly golden tone.'"

Alvin, just back from a two-week tour of England. was pulled aside prior to his afternoon set with the latest incarnation of his 'Guilty' band. Now known as 'the Guilty Ones,' following earlier editions the Guilty Men and the Guilty Women.

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Stagecoach 2012: Backstage with Jason Aldean

The Mavericks come 'full circle' at Stagecoach festival

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-- Randy Lewis

Image: Jenna Bonker, 11, rides high on her brother's shoulders, Ryan Bonker, 14, of Costa Mesa as they get a close-up view of Sara Evans performing on the first day of the three-day Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Stagecoach 2012: Backstage with Jason Aldean

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Jason Aldean vividly remembers playing the first Stagecoach Country Music Festival back in 2007, when the Macon, Ga., singer looked out on a very different scene than the one that greeted him Friday night as the opening-night headliner for the festival’s 2012 edition.

Five years ago Aldean was one of the opening acts, charged with trying to capture the attention of a relatively sparse crowd under less than ideal conditions. That was well before he had the biggest selling country album of the year, a feat he achieved last year with his fourth release, "My Kinda Party," which also was named album of the year by the Country Music Assn. and has generated four No. 1 hits, the fifth single on its way up the charts now.

"Man, it's a tough gig," Aldean, 35, said on his tour bus a couple of hours before he and his band would perform. “You go out in the middle of the day, it's 100-something degrees. A lot of times when you play early on, not everybody’s at the show yet -- they’re hanging out in their campers or whatever they doing. It’s not like later in the night, when the weather starts to cool down and everybody comes out. It’s a tough gig, to go out and let people see what it is you do. It’s tough for an artist who has to go on early in the day, and we did our fair share of that stuff.”

PHOTOS: The scene at Stagecoach 2012

This year, however, those early slots were left to others — on Friday it was the Eli Young Band, Brett Eldredge and Sara Evans who were on stage before the sun went down on the Empire Polo Club in Indio.

By the time Aldean arrived, Alabama had pumped the crowd up with a generous dose of clap-and-stomp-along hits largely drawn from its heyday in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Aldean and the other performers Friday also had the advantage of no competition or distraction from music emanating from other stages. In expanding Stagecoach from the typical two days to three this year, event organizers served up a low-key first-day offering, with just a single stage up and running and half a dozen acts playing from late afternoon into the evening.

“To come back here a few years later and go from opener to headliner of the show is pretty cool, especially the first night when you know everybody’s excited to get it going,” he said, stretching out in the back of a tour bus parked next to the Mane Stage.

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Stagecoach 2012: Eli Young Band welcomes the dreamers

Mike Eli performs with the Eli Young Band on the first day of the three-day Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.
The Eli Young Band just got the music off to a pragmatically idealistic start for the sixth Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio.

As the first act to play this year's expanded three-day event, the Texas band's frontman Mike Eli posed a question to the sea of cowboy and cowgirl hats splayed in front of him across the grass at the Empire Polo Club: "How many of you are dreamers?"

It was intended as a lead-in to the group's new single, "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," but it set up a no-pressure spirit out of the gate.

"Whether it's playing a guitar, being a songwriter, playing the flute or just finishing that beer in front of you," he said, "follow your dreams."

Plenty were heeding his advice on the final part of that list of dreams as the thermometer poked well into the '90s, although a light late-afternoon breeze is helping to mitigate the heat.

Either country music is a young person's passion, or festival-going in the desert is, judging by the vast majority of teens and 20-somethings who make up the crowd, which will swell to 55,000 per day once everyone arrives for the event that sold out weeks in advance -- a first for the SoCal country blowout.

Either way, Stagecoach 2012 is officially under way.

Yee haw!

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-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Mike Eli performs with the Eli Young Band on the first day of the three-day Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, Calif. Credit: Al Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Goldenvoice makes major Coachella Valley land purchase

Coachella 2011
Goldenvoice, the promoter of the annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, on Sunday announced that it had purchased 280 acres of land at the festival site in Indio, Calif. The purchase includes the Eldorado Polo Club, Triangle Bar Farms, Fish Creek and Ambassador Glen Holden's property. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

A statement from Goldenvoice makes no mention of the 90-plus-acre Empire Polo Club, where stages for Coachella and the country-focused Stagecoach Festival actually sit. The purchased land, home to such aspects of the Coachella festival as camping and parking, sits around and nearby the Empire Polo Club. Goldenvoice declined to comment on its intentions for the space. 

Goldenvoice in recent years has invested heavily in the Coachella grounds and the surrounding area. Prior to the 2011 event, Goldenvoice helped fund an extra lane to Avenue 50, which borders the festival site. Last year's festival was also about 250,000 square feet larger, as Goldenvoice laser-leveled a portion of the Empire Polo Club land to create more space for concertgoers. 

Coachella — now regularly a sell-out with approximately 90,000 people expected per day — has established itself as the premier multi-day music event on the West Coast and the unofficial kickoff of the annual summer concert season. Run by AEG-owned concert promoter Goldenvoice, Coachella this year will be held for the first time over two consecutive weekends, the first on April 13-15 and the second on April 20-22. Each weekend is a separate ticket but features identical lineups.

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Image: The Coachella crowd at night. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

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