Day 2 at Coachella. I managed about 2/3 of the “tent acts” yesterday. I’m going to pick and choose from my favorites today, but I’ll try to get to at least half.

Saturday, April 18

Ida Maria (Gobi Tent, 1:30-2:10 pm)

Punk | Alternative – Sweden | MySpace | official site

Ida Maria Børli Sivertsen, known now as Ida Maria. Born in Norway; now lives in Sweden. Cool indie punk chick with a nice voice. Her song “Better When You’re Naked” has been getting a lot of airplay recently, but I prefer the hypnotic “Oh My God”. “Keep Me Warm” is pretty, too.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti (Mohave Tent, 1:45-2:35 pm)

California | MySpace | official site

Again with the goofy MySpace music styles: “Melodramatic Popular Song”. There may be something to this one, though. On first listen, a psychedelic, theatrical, dramatic sound. (from Wikipedia): “Ariel Pink (born Ariel Marcus Rosenberg on June 24, 1978) is a Los Angeles based avant-garde musician who is sometimes associated with the Freak folk scene.” Avant-garde, yes, but quite listenable. Spacy, trippy, with a nice beat. I like these guys a lot. They head off on a big European tour after Coachella.

TheNewNo2 (Mohave Tent, 3:00-3:45 pm)

Alternative / Electro / Blues (Los Angeles / London) | MySpace | official site

The core band is composed of Dhani Harrison (lead guitar, synthesizer, lead vocals) and Oliver Hecks (drums, synth). Amanda Butterworth also contributes vocals, and they have additional keyboards, guitar and bass when performing live. Moody, bluesy… “Another John Doe” is a standout track, for me. Lovely vocals and musically quite sensuous. If you’re wondering about their name, it’s a reference to the 1960s British television show, The Prisoner.

Blitzen Trapper (Gobi Tent, 3:45-4:35 pm)

Indie / Country / Electro – Portland, Oregon | MySpace | official site

In the midst of some shows with The Fleet Foxes, Blitzen Trapper cite influences such as Nick Drake, Pavement, and Cary Grant. Definitely not “electro”, they have a fun, quirky folk rock/alt. country sound. Good, good stuff. Now signed to Sub Pop, their most recent album is called “Furr”, the title song having some tasty harmonica mixed in. “Texaco” – banjo, slide guitar… very nice!

Dr. Dog (Mohave Tent, 4:05-4:55 pm)

Indie / Psychedelic / Rock – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | MySpace | official site

On their Wikipedia page, it says that before My Morning Jacket brought them out on tour in 2004, a lot of people thought they were a Hip Hop band (due to their name). I have to say, I did too, and they’re really not! With obvious pop influences like The Beatles and The Band, they have some nice vocal harmonies and a sweet guitar and keyboards-based sound. Since 2004, they’ve played with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Stokes, The Raconteurs, The Black Keys, and Wilco. They have five albums out since 2001, the latest being “Fate” (2008).

Amanda Palmer (Gobi Tent, 5:00-5:50 pm)

Alternative / Rock / Other – Boston, Massachusetts | MySpace | official site

Wow, she’s from Boston! Thrilling for me, as I’ve never heard of her before, and she’s absolutely wonderful. Beautiful and intense, with compelling vocals. “I have spent years of my life agonizing about the fires I’ve started when I thought that to be strong you must be flame retardant…” (“Ampersand”). Musically gorgeous as well, with the piano perfectly complimenting her voice. Highly recommend this. [I’ve just watched the video below on her MySpace page – completely different from the few tracks I listened to – crazy and really great. Seriously – check her out.]

More… later.

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