April 8, 2013

The first installment of the two weekend-long Coachella music-related-music-brand-music-festival-product is approaching, and everyone basic that you know is excited. Did you book your tickets yet? Plan your outfit? Find a place to stay?  That’s all super interesting, but here’s something else I’ve been meaning to ask you: Why did you do any of those things? Every single person going to Coachella is a fucking loser, and part of the problem, and probably fat, too. Ok, I know there’s lots of skinny bbs in skimpy outfits there, based on the stream of constipated gif listicles that coil out of the content turd-cutter around this time every year, but those are just young people; young people are simply ret-conned prequels to Fat and Boring: The Life.

Speaking of young people, were any of them consulted in the booking process this year? Wu-Tang Clan, Violent Femmes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Postal Service, The Faint, The Stone Roses, Spiritualized, The Make-Up, Social Distortion, Sigur Ros, Phoenix, Paul Oakenfold, New Order, Jurassic 5, Franz Ferdinand, Dinosaur Jr.? Is this a concert in 2013 or one of my high school cum-socks from the ’90s?

But hey, it’s a thing to do, and that’s all any of us really want in the end, isn’t it? A place to plan to go to, telling people we’re planning on going to it, then actually going through with the whole thing of schlepping over to it, being there, telling people we’re there, leaving, telling people we’re leaving, coming home, telling people we were at the thing, and making plans for the next one. I have a slightly different approach to big outdoor summer music festivals like Coachella and the stream of knock-offs that crop up like scaly dick mushrooms every summer. Here’s how to enjoy Coachella:

Don’t go.

Why? Well, for one thing, because I like music. I also like food, which is why I don’t high-dive jowls-first into a steaming bucket of of buffalo cinnamon buns every morning and eat until my eyes roll back; I don’t want to ruin the experience of enjoyment forever. I don’t masturbate 14 times a day either, because I’d like to be able to get a boner again at some point in the future, although that sounds a lot like the Coachella experience in a nut shell now that I think of it. There is simply no reason to ever see more than a few bands at a time on any given day, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying, or on drugs. Not that there’s anything wrong with drugs, or lying, but let’s just be clear what our motivations are here. It’s to crawl inside of a gif round up blog post and swim around inside its tepid waters for a day or two. You’ve become content transcendent.

Festivals like this aren’t for people who like music, they’re for people who kind of like the idea of drinking in a crowd in a field near other potential sexual partners, while somewhere off in the distance dancing ants on a stage go through the motions of in-real-time content creation.

Everyone has an opinion on how music has become too disposable, content farming has devalued creative labor, and the 24 hour spin cycle of blogging has falsely propped up bands that don’t deserve to be celebrated, but then, having espoused opinions like that, we fall into line to march on out to the thing there in order to…what? What were we going to this for?

Coachella, and festivals like it, are the enemy of the authentic music experience. The bands don’t like playing there, the fans aren’t getting a proper introduction to the music in its natural setting, and the whole thing is just another episode of the branded sponsor-wave product-interaction experience that has somehow taken over for real life. You can’t recognize that all of those things are a huge problem with music now and still show up for the ceremonial execution.

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