San Diego Radio Sucks Quite A Bit

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Muse to Headline Coachella 2010?

I posted this to Stereogum tonight in response to this thread:

It might not get approved, but just in case, here's my rebuttal.


Ugh, it kills me to see people letterboxing Muse as:

1. A Twilight band
2. A Radiohead ripoff
3. Unoriginal
4. On par with The Killers


I saw Muse at Soma here in San Diego on their only small venue date for the Black Holes tour, and they absolutely blew the doors off. If your only experience with them live is seeing them as an opening band, it's understandable that you're going to say "They're not as good as (insert headliner here)" because let's face it, most headliners don't want a band that's going to be "better" than them. Then again, anyone who's still listening to fucking U2 has completely missed the point of what music is for. It's supposed to be listenable. U2 *were* great. Now they're just big. And if you're going to compare Muse to anyone, at least compare them to another band with a lot of talent.

I personally watched A Place To Bury Strangers and Bajofondo over Sir Paul for 2009's Friday, and was totally happy with the alternative. Sorry all, Paul McCartney has no place at Coachella. See also Roger Waters.

Saturday, I eschewed The Killers for Jenny Lewis (eh) and MSTRKRFT (better but still eh). In retrospect, I should have hit Atmosphere and then beat it. I really loved The Killers back when my friends in Electroboobies were spinning promo mixes of Somebody Told Me, but shit that was years and years ago. When I heard they were headlining Saturday I honestly asked, "Are they really THAT big?!" Hey, that's cool with me. We drove back to the hotel pretty quickly while they played on.

Sunday this year, I saw Throbbing Gristle and caught the end of The Cure. And make no mistake, that Cure set was epic. So I did catch one of the headliners.

Full disclosure. That's where this opinion is coming from.

Muse is not supposed to be big enough to headline Coachella. I think they're great, they're totally underrated in the US, but they're just not big enough in this country to headline the whole thing, IMHO. Then again, when I heard Prince was headlining Saturday in 2008, I was like, I thought Portishead was headlining?? So these are rumors at best, and even if they're in the big 36-point font on the first release of the poster, nothing's set in stone.

So maybe I'm an old hipster, but I still believe in good music. I'm pretty much never there to see the headliners. 2010 will be my 9th Coachella, and I wouldn't miss it for the world. Because no matter who's headlining, there's almost definitely going to be something as cool and opposite on another stage if you don't like the headliner.

And yeah, I guess if you're going to compare them to Radiohead (just about my favorite band of all time) and Queen, you can compare their ticket sales at Wembley in the UK, for instance. Muse sells out the whole thing, as do Radiohead and what's left of Queen.

And hey, @shoegaze45, I'm all for Blur/Spacemen 3/Lush/Swallow/Fleeting Joys/Swervedriver/The Big Pink/13th Floor Elevators taking over the festy, but let's face it, even after MBV (tied for my favorite band of all-time) FINALLY got booked this year it was to a tepid reception to all but the most hardcore fans (read: ME).

Sure, it's all about money, but it's a balance of making money off of people who just want to see the big bands and keeping the respect of, and selling tickets to, those of us who want to see and hear good music.

Every now and then, those two goals come together, but it's pretty rare.

See ya there.