I don't know if it is a sign that I'm getting old, but as the L.A.-adjacent Coachella festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year (April 17-19), I find myself less and less willing to tolerate discomfort in order to attend.
Hours of profusely sweating like a Bikram yogi in the front row, mashed up against the stage in hallucination-inducing 40-degree desert heat, have been replaced by hours of lazing around in the VIP section or at some offsite pool party within two feet of a giant misting fan (preferably with some sort of hallucination-inducing, tropical-fruit-festooned cocktail in my hot little hand). Hours of wilting in snaking portaloo queues have been replaced by hours of primping (i.e., mopping up my sweat and dousing myself in a cloud of spray-on deodorant) in the convenient backstage "Powder Room." And hours of watching baby bands have been replaced by hours of reminiscing with the veteran headliners and token reunion acts.
Never before have I been more aware of my own personal aging process, or the graying of Coachella and its decade-old audience, than I am this morning, now that the Coachella 2009 lineup has been announced. Sure, I'm excited as a 13-year-old to check out some of the newer bands on the bill (A Place To Bury Strangers, the Courteeners, White Lies, Fleet Foxes, Glasvegas, Late Of The Pier, Vivian Girls, Crystal Castles), and as giddy as a drunken university co-ed to catch the mid-range-aged acts (Franz Ferdinand, We Are Scientists, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Killers, Antony & The Johnsons, TV On The Radio...even Amy Winehouse, if she actually bothers to show up). But it's the older Coachella acts that are really making me feel like a big kid again.
Leonard Cohen! The Cure! My Bloody Valentine! Morrissey! Paul Weller! Superchunk! Throbbing Gristle! X! Public Enemy!
And...PAUL MCCARTNEY. Sir fucking Paul McCartney!!!! (And thenewno2, the band featuring George Harrison's spitting-image son Dhani Harrison, are playing too, so there's hope for maybe a cross-generational jam session as well.)
Someone fetch me my heart pills. My blood pressure's getting too high just thinking about this year's lineup. I might end up dancing so hard I break a hip: