My Dream Festival Lineup

Just recently, some of the writers at eMusic’s blog, 17 dots, were bemoaning the fact that this year’s Coachella Music Festival lineup appears underwhelming compared to years past.  Appropriately, the question was posed: If you could construct a one-day music festival lineup, which artists would you choose?  The rules were (with minor changes by yours truly) as follows:

1 Massive Headliner: Pretty self-explanatory.  Choose 1 major artist or group that would have no problem selling out Madison Square Garden in a matter of minutes.

4 Relatively Big Sub-Headliners: Choose artists or groups that are well known, but that don’t have as much exposure or as great a following as the mega-artists/groups.

7 “Names”: Choose any artists or groups across the musical spectrum that are popular, but aren’t household names.

5 “Up-and-Coming” and “Under-the-Radar”: Once again, relatively self-explanatory.  Choose artists/groups that are on the brink of becoming more popular or that you feel deserve more recognition.

Here’s what I came up with:

My Massive Headliner: Radiohead

Explanation: This one was easy.  Radiohead is one of my favorite bands of all-time.  I’d probably pay good money to watch Thom Yorke floss his teeth or mow his lawn.

Apologies to:  Kanye West, Amy Winehouse.

I would slot Kanye as a sub-headliner, but I know his ego wouldn’t allow it.  And, in all fairness, I’d be breaking my own rules.  Kanye is way too big an act to be opening for anyone.

As for Amy, there’s no telling with all the issues she’s had whether she’d even be coherent enough to show up for her own performance.  Sad, I know.

My Sub-Headliners: Joanna Newsom, Sufjan Stevens, Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective


Joanna Newsom: There are many people (a handful of my friends included) who would rather pay to hear William Hung sing “She Bangs” until their ears bleed.  Those people are idiots (Sorry, guys).  Me?  I’ll happily take Ms. Newsom and her childish/old lady voice any day of the week.

Sufjan Stevens: Stevens has been known to put on an entertaining show in his day.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this not-to-be-missed performance of his on Jimmy Fallon.

Vampire Weekend: A high-energy band that would make for a perfect opening act to get the crowd hyped.

Animal Collective:  I’d be curious to see if their studio work translates to the stage.  Simply too talented to leave out of my lineup.

Apologies to: Grizzly Bear, Phoenix.

While I’d love to hear both of these bands perform live, I can’t bring myself to leapfrog them ahead of the other sub-headliners.

My “Names”: Flying Lotus, The Avalanches, Jens Lekman, Beach House, Janelle Monae, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Bibio

My “Up-and-Coming” and “Under-the-Radar”: Lone, Toro Y Moi, Mark McGuire, Smith Westerns, Avi Buffalo

That’s my list.  What’s yours look like?


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