the 50 acts I’m most excited about for Coachella 2014

I suppose I’m a little late to the Coachella blog posts. Hell, the festival sold out while I was working on this post, but you know, full time jobs and 9 month olds. This year’s Coachella lineup is stacked the way I like a festival, the headliners are solid, but the middle tier is just ridiculously stacked. I would totally go to a small scale festival whose lineup was just the acts from Saturday. I originally was going to go with 100 acts, but there were too many acts in the bottom half of that list that I didn’t know enough about to speak to. So I decided to go with my top 50 acts that I would be excited about if I actually got to go to Coachella. I usually do a pretty good job of building schedules for the festivals, so once the Coachella schedule comes out, I’ll try to get a post up of a suggested schedule. Anyways, without further ado, here’s the list, because people love lists.

50 Skrillex – Behold! The one who murdered EDM. “OH MY GOD!!!”

49 Bombino – I don’t know that I’ve ever been disappointed with an African artist at a festival, and Bombino had an excellent record in 2013 with Nomad.

48 J Roddy Walston and the Business – Walston plays a drunken blues rock set and has a high energy live show. Really enjoyable.

47 Aluna George – AlunaGeorge emerged on the scene in 2013 with the track “Attracting Flies” burning up the blogosphere, and Aluna’s vocals also appeared in Disclosure’s hit “White Noise”. I wouldn’t be surprised if she joins them on stage for that one.

46 Neko Case – The New Pornographers’ vocalist released an excellent new solo record in 2013.

45 Frank Turner – Turner makes folk rock with the heart of a punk rocker.

44 Grouplove – Grouplove craft hooks that remind me a lot of Matt & Kim, and if they’re close to having the showmanship of those two, they should be a good set to catch.

43 Bombay Bicycle Club – Bombay Bicycle Club are an enjoyable indie-folk band. I missed out on them at ACL a couple years ago, due to scheduling, but they should be an entertaining set.

42 Bastille – Bastille started to pop up in 2013 with their singles “Pompeii” and “Bad Blood”, although the Brits have been around since 2010.

41 Bear Hands – Wesleyan classmates of the MGMT boys, Bear Hands got their break as their opening act, and I think they kind of sound now like a lot of people would have liked MGMT’s career direction to head.

40 Capital Cities – Another emerging indie-pop act from last year, they popped on the scene with the extremely catchy single “Safe and Sound”

39 the 1975 – One of my favorite emerging pop groups of 2013. Hopefully, infectious singles, “Chocolate” and “the City” play up well in a live setting.

38 Dum Dum Girls – Another all-female group from LA, the Dum Dum Girls have one of the most anticipated albums of 2014, dropping later this month.

37 Lana Del Rey – Lana Del Rey popped up out of nowhere in 2011 to great success. Worth checking out, maybe.

36 Warpaint –  This all-female psych-rock band from Los Angeles was one of the highlights of my ACL a few years ago.

35 Naked and Famous – This Australian group is one of the best synth-pop outfits going.

34 Beck – Mr. Hanson, I presume. He put on a solid performance when I saw him a few years back. There was some shirtless dude stoned out of his mind and dancing his ass off behind us, and if he were going to be there, Beck might rank a little higher.

33 the Head and the Heart – I was a bit disappointed with their sophomore effort and a little bored when I saw them live off the first album, but there’s a lot of potential in their indie-folk-pop sound. I’m hoping they can

32 Muse – They would be higher up on the list for me, if I hadn’t seen them a half a dozen times. They put on an excellent show, but I can’t help but figure most festival goers have been there, done that.

31 Motorhead – Because, Fuck Yeah.

30 Blood Orange – Dev Hynes released a critical success with his sophomore effort under the Blood Orange moniker with Cupid Deluxe.

29 DARKSIDE – Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington released one of my favorite records of the year in the imaginative post-EDM record Psychic.

28 Cage the Elephant – Can’t go wrong with dirty blues rock.

27 Nas – One of my favorite rappers, Nasir is a true poet.

26 Washed Out – Ernest Greene put out a lovely dream pop record with 2013’s Paracosm.

25 A$AP Ferg – Ferg seems poised to be the next big breakout star from the A$AP Mob.

24 Bonobo – The downtempo producer released the beautiful the North Borders in 2013.

23 Pharrell WilliamsEven though he didn’t even put out a record, Pharrell was one of the most successful artists of 2013, being featured in 3 of the year’s biggest hits (Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and “Lose Yourself to Dance” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”), as well as producing the first 24 hour music video for his song “Happy”.

22 Waxahatchee – Former PS Eliot singer, Katie Crutchfield, released an excellent sophomore album with 2013’s Cerulean Salt

21 Chance the Rapper – 2013’s biggest hip-hop breakout star.

20 Broken Bells – Danger Mouse and James Mercer were a bit boring when I saw them previously, but they write some killer songs together.

19 Pet Shop Boys – One of the top British acts of the 80’s the Electro-pop duo had a nice comeback record with Electric in 2013.

18 Big Gigantic – Known for their high-energy live performances, this Colorado group makes for a nice festival experience.

17 Foster the People – With their infectious hits and Mark Foster’s odd dancing styles, they’re one to see, even if you’re tired of “Pumped Up Kicks” by now.

16 Jagwar Ma – One of my favorite debuts of 2013, the Australian psych rockers pop out some catchy hits.

15 Empire of the Sun – The psych-dance band from down under puts on quite the live show, complete with costumes and dancers.

14 Lorde – Another of 2013’s biggest newcomers, go to see the awkwardness.

13 Girl Talk – One of the biggest parties you’ll find in a live performance. A festival is the perfect setting for him.

12 Sleigh Bells – Bring your earplugs. It’s gonna be loud.

11 Disclosure – One of the biggest emerging acts of 2013.

10 Arcade Fire – The modern indie icons may be getting a bit too quirky lately, but they still put on a pretty good show.

9 QotSA – Josh Homme and his rock powerhouse are one I haven’t seen, although I’ve seen him twice (with Eagles of Death Metal and Them Crooked Vultures)

8 CHVRCHES – Lauren Mayberry’s quirky and sweet demeanor are as infectious as their slick synth-pop hits.

7 MGMT – Their recent output may have distanced from their debut record’s sound, but they still play all the big ones live.

6 Neutral Milk Hotel – Yet another big reunion to top the list, Jeff Mangum and the boys can knock one off the bucket list.

5 Foxygen – They’re not listed high in the lineup poster, but they’re highly regarded for their live shows, and I love the retro rock of their debut album.

4 the Knife – A rare get, the Knife should be a spectacle worth seeing. A live tour is planned as well.

3 Haim – While they’re new to the spotlight, the Haim sisters grew up playing live music, so they’ve kind of got it down.

2 the Replacements – If Outkast is the big reunion of the year, the Replacements is the most surprising reunion of the year. If only I could actually go and see these indie rock legends while I have the chance.

1 Outkast – The reunion of the year, seeing Big Boi was pretty cool, but adding Andre makes it something special. Also, dance party for “Hey Ya”. I’m going with the Peanuts dancing version.
So there you are. Hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think. I’ll be back soon with my first record reviews of the new year, and I think the Governer’s Ball lineup comes out soon, so I’ll probably share some thoughts on that too. I’ll try and throw a playlist onto this one later, too.

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