Thursday, April 28, 2005
Yes, We're Open!
I'm a little out of sorts today, so you'll have to excuse me. It's the end of April and it's raining in southern California. I've been busy this morning taping up my windows, murdering the dog, all the things you need to do in preparation for rampaging clouds of locusts or a plague of frogs or whatever the next fucking thing is going to be. I'm sure it's all futile anyway, but you can never be too careful. I'll miss the dog, but I'm sure she understands. Understood. Man, it's going to be weird learning to talk about her in the past tense.

If it has to rain, though, I'm a little sad it's raining now and not this weekend during the annual Coachella Music and Arts Festival out in the Riverside County desert town of Indio this weekend. It's a huge festival of (what used to be called) alternative music, this year featuring Bauhaus (!), Weezer, Keane, Wilco, Nine Inch Nails, the Chemical Brothers, Rilo Kiley, the Raveonettes, Bloc Party, Café Tecuba, Stereophonics, New Order, Bright Eyes, Gang of Four, the Faint, Roni Size, Arcade Fire, Thrice, British Sea Power, the Bravery, Sloan, Starland Vocal Band, Color Me Badd, Bill O'Reilly (spoken word) and the mouldering corpse of Rosemary Clooney.

And that's nowhere near a complete list.

You're thinking: wow Pops, how do they fit all those bands on one bill? And how could they possibly accomodate the crowd a show of that caliber would draw? And how do I get rid of this rash, especially now that it's started to ooze?

Well, for the last one, I suggest you follow the instructions that came when you filled the prescription.

For the other two, the answer is the same: space.

Every so often people from overcrowded LA or Orange counties get this great idea to do something impractically huge. But where to hold such a traffic-crippling event? Surely not at home where people live. No no no, there's always Riverside County, just past the big ol' mountains, into the desert.

For those of you unfamiliar with the demographic geography of the region, I've put together this easy-to-read color-coded map showing the population distribution of Riverside County:
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The position of Indio on the map isn't exact, but does it really matter? Once you get east of the San Bernardino mountains, it's all desert until you get to... well, Oklahoma now that I think about it. Also with all the wind and the heat out there, Indio has been known to shift it's position on the occasional gust or burst into ash. Not burst into flame, but to go directly from solid to ash. What I'm saying is it gets warm.

This weekend now all the LA and OC people who spend hours and hours of their time and energy laughing at us and our (relatively) sensible real-estate prices just can't wait to get out here if it means they might get to see a speck that sounds just like Rivers Cuomo from half a mile away with nothing but 100,000 people between you.

All the pretty people wander out to the desert to slum it, to drink and dance and fuck and sleep on top of a potent slurry of red desert sand commingled with water, sweat, vomit and every other conceivable thing that might come out of a human body if you squeeze it hard enough.

Why, you may wonder. Or you may not, but we're going forward anyway. Why would the fabulous children of the fabulous make the trek out to the middle of nowhere to suffer through the indignity peeing in front of a crowd in the six figures? Because you can't buy Ecstacy by the Hefty-bag in Laguna Beach, that's why.

Welcome to Riverside, bitches. Hope it rains. And mind the locusts.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.0



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