14 June 2012, 17:41
Lovely to be back with you after a spring sabbatical. Hope you are enjoying S/S 2012 thus far? What have you been up to?
I must confess that I've had far too indulgent a year to date - too much travelling and sunbathing, spending dollah like I'm Sharon Stone in 'Casino', and frankly, a disgustingly gluttonous number of calories ingested over a 6 month period *embarrassed face. I comfort myself with the fact that I'm probably single-handedly supporting the world's economies via scoffing my way round awesome, sun-drenched holiday locations though, so onwards I spend!
My most recent trip was to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - more commonly known (in a laungid Valley-girl drawl) as Coachella, or The Coachella Festival. It's an annual three-day music and arts festival, organized by Goldenvoice (a subsidiary of AEG Live) and held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, in the Inland Empire's Coachella Valley. Envisage if you will my Scottish compadres, a music festival where it never rains, everyone is beautiful, no-one screams abuse and angrily brandishes an empty Irn-Bru bottle/bottle of MD 20/20, or wears a flammable sporting tracksuit. It's a ridiculously hawt - in all senses - destination, just forty minutes from downtown Palm Springs, where I resided during the festivities, staying naturally, of course in The Hotel California. (Which I did manage to both check out of, and in fact leave in the end - although I didn't really want to!) I found the hotel on TripAdvisor, which I'm now evangelical about, as the hotel delivered everything that it promised on the website and then some. My favourite touch were the misters round the pool - no, I don't mean groups of hot men - I refer to instead the water devices which sprayed cool, damp air about my SPF'd person. Additionally, what's NOT to like about a free limo shuttle to downtown Palm Springs to peruse the cocktail bars and countless Mexicans!? Hotel California rocked!
Talking of rocking, Coachella features many genres of music, including rock, indie, hip hop and electronic music as well as large sculptural art. Happily for addicts of salacious, gossip-filled celebrity magazines like me, it's also choc-a-bloc with LA schlebs! Brandishing my VIP band like a golden ticket, and with more bangles and beads on my person than a Masai chief, I was ready to move seamlessly amongst them. I floated between the stages and tents that are constructed throughout the grounds - each playing live music continuously for the duration of the festival. It did take a LOT of wardrobe planning, and frankly hairspray, to stay looking and feeling cool - because when you're throwing shapes within a desert setting (the city of Indio is a part of the California Desert), daytime temperatures frequently did rise to over 110 °F (43 °C), which left me screeching like the Wicked Witch of The West at regular intervals - 'I'm Mmmeeelltttinnggg!!'
Because it's really popular, and unlike larger UK festivals, doesn't make itself so massive it's the size of Bath - like Glastonbury, or impersonally corporate with endless branding and soulless pop acts the Coachella 2012 tickets that went on sale on January 13th, 2012 at 10am were sold out by 1pm PST! The festival is renowned for showcasing many popular and emerging acts in music, as well as legendary artists and reunion performances. For me, the most memorable and enjoyable acts I caught included new indie band Spector, Justice, and The Hives - who were probably my favourite. The 2012 Coachella edition also featured Pulp, Refused, At the Drive-In, Radiohead, The Black Keys, Jeff Mangum, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Arctic Monkeys, Miike Snow, Afrojack, Gotye, Flying Lotus, St. Vincent, M83, Bon Iver, Kaiser Chiefs, The Shins, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Squeeze, Madness, awolnation, Fitz and the Tantrums, Santigold, Band of Skulls, A$AP Rocky, Childish Gambino, and The Weekend, as well as unscheduled guest appearances by Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Warren G, Kurupt, and Zach de la Roch. As I scurried round trying to catch the great and the good I congratulated myself heartily I was sporting a platform and not a stiletto heel...
The festival culminated with a performance from Dre and Snoop Dogg. Where a projection of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur came up from under the stage and began performing "Hail Mary" and "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted". Which frankly was one of the weirdest, spookiest and coolest things I've ever seen. It's only a matter of time I think before we are all buying tickets to see John Lennon or Elvis in concert... Although often referred to by the media as a 'hologram', the projection was in fact created using the Musion Eyeliner system, which employs a version of Pepper's ghost. (Pepper's ghost is an illusionary technique used in theatre and in some magic tricks. Using a plate glass and special lighting techniques, it can make objects seem to appear or disappear, to become transparent, or to make one object morph into another. So there you go - every day is a school day at STV!)
So, 'Happy Holidays' if you're jetting off soon. I'll be back for another blether shortly, and I look forward to chatting to you on The Nightshift! Keep it STV.
Last updated: 14 June 2012, 17:49