Posts Tagged With: Coachella

What Ryan Adams was doing this weekend: Coachella

coachellaSo while Ryan Adams’ old hometown fans (including yours truly) were paying tribute to his music at Saturday night’s “Losering 2” show in Raleigh, Ryan himself was in California at the Coachella Festival for the first time ever — part of an impressive festival run he’s playing this year. Ryan played on Sunday night; and if you didn’t tune in the live-stream, video of his performance is at the bottom of this page and an archive audio recording is here. 

While you’re listening, you can read some reviews (not all positive) herehere and here. Perhaps you’ll be moved to respond as the woman below did.


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False alarms

So yesterday, a friend of mind forwarded me the following alert from the online concert-tracker Songkick:



“Ha!,” my friend noted in an accompanying one-word message. “Ha,” indeed.

Ryan doing a show anywhere in Raleigh would be enormous news, given that he’s not played his former hometown in close to a decade. But I fear I must burst that bubble, because it seems that Songkick assumed Ryan himself will be the bill for our April 11 tribute show, “Losering 2: The Songs of Ryan Adams.” As Deep South’s John Booker chided in a Facebook posting:

Losering2You’re going to give some nice Raleighites heart attacks. Get better at the internet, please. And to anyone that saw our event listing or [this] graphic and actually thought that to mean Ryan is coming to town (and playing our 100 cap room), bless your heart.  😉

John sent Songkick the requisite correction-request email on Saturday afternoon. Twenty-four hours later, however, Songkick’s erroneous listing is still up. I guess those folks must not work weekends. (NOTE: It finally got changed Monday afternoon.)

Anyway, I’d like to note for the record that Ryan would be more than welcome to attend. But let’s not go spreading rumors that aren’t going to pan out. Even if Ryan weren’t on a self-imposed Raleigh hiatus, he’s scheduled to be 2,500 miles away that weekend playing the Coachella Festival in California.

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Ryan Adams gets in touch with his inner festivarian

Even though Ryan Adams hasn’t set the charts on fire since its top-5 debut last September, the album has led to a very busy stretch of high-profile touring for its maker. After playing Newport Folk Festival and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass the second half of last year, Ryan is showing up on the schedules for most of 2015’s big U.S. festivals, a run that will put him at April’s Coachella Festival for the first time ever (and it’s hard to fathom how he’s never played there until this year).

In fact, Ryan figures very prominently in Spin’s new Venn Diagram of the Overlap Between the Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Governors Ball Lineups. As you can see below, he’s positioned just below Drake in the group of artists playing two out of the three, Governors Ball and Coachella. No Bonnaroo, at least not yet; but if you were to add this spring’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta and Big Guava Music Festival in Tampa, Fla., that would put him in five out of six.

Given how seldom Ryan plays his former North Carolina stomping grounds nowadays (as in, never — it’s been nearly a decade since his last show in his long-ago hometown of Raleigh), Shaky Knees in Atlanta in May just might be as close as he gets to The Old North State this year. Could a road trip be in order?…


ADDENDA: Turned out those five festivals weren’t even the half of it. In 2015, Ryan also wound up on the bill for Sasquatch Music Festival at The Gorge in Quincy, Wash.; the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan; Roskilde in Denmark; Splendour in the Grass in Australia; Nieuwe Bevestigingen in Holland; Calling Festival and Glastonbury in England; and Governor’s Ball in New York.

Also, here is his complete Glastonbury set from June 28.

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Name games, then and now

KimmelSomehow, Ryan Adams has never played Coachella, the big annual springtime music festival in California. Neither have Regis and the Philbins, Obesity Epidemic or Get the F*ck Out of My Pool; but the difference is that Ryan actually exists, while those bands don’t. Jimmy Kimmel has been getting lots of online mileage this week out of an inspired little bit that his Lie Witness News crew pulled off at Coachella, in which they asked hipsters about these and other non-existent bands. Not wanting to appear out of it, said hipsters replied that of course they knew about the Chelsea Clintons, Dr. Schlo Mo and the GI Clinic and all the rest; even played ’em on community radio back home in Canada.

Very amusing, and it reminded me of a little personal history from a long time ago. Way back in the summer of 1984, I was going to graduate school at the University of Texas while working for the student paper, the Daily Texan — in which capacity I had a fondness for the sort of mishievous, ill-advised dumbassery that college kids often indulge in. One week, we were compiling club listings and idly wondering if anybody actually read them. So we concocted a fake band and club name to slip in, just to see if anybody would notice:

Flamin’ Globs of Vomit Death

appearing at the

Rock Daze Inn Cocktail Lounge

Near as we could tell, no one noticed because we didn’t hear a word. Over time, we grew bolder and started putting FGoVD into listings for actual clubs. We even listed them as one of the opening acts when the Dream Syndicate came to town, went to the show and asked our fellow attendees if they’d gotten there in time to see the Globs’ set. A few actually said yes. When we asked how they were, answers ranged from shrugs to “I dunno, pretty decent.”

That inspired my friend Ron, who was one of the Texan’s other music columnists, to take it to the next level. Ron wrote a several-paragraph item that I wish I still had (this was long before the days of electronic archiving). But I do remember the beginning — Accounting majors by day, neo-fascist skinheads by night — and that he claimed their instrumentation consisted of drums, multiple basses and no guitars. That should have made them highly rhythmic, but the Globs were just a mess due to basic lack of competence.

GlobsWe had a pretty good laugh over that, and it seemed like no harm no foul. Until a month or so later when the phone rang in the office one day and it was someone from Newsweek, wanting to get in touch with this band of UT skinhead business-school types for an item in the magazine’s fall “On Campus” supplement. That induced a bit of panic, as we pondered options. For a brief moment, we even considered actually forming a band to see just how far we could take the ruse.

But while we figured we could pull off the rank incompetence that the FGoVD experience called for, none of us really wanted to shave our heads. That being the case, it seemed best for us to put the Newsweek guy off and shut down the Globs. We retired the name, for good, and it never saw the light of print in the Texan again.

In retrospect, however, we might have quit too soon. Maybe we could have been one of the non-bands playing Coachella this year, in the ’80s reunion division.

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Ryan’s 2013, detailed before it even happens

Magic8BallA friend of mine had a funny idea for “Losering” promotion — some tongue-in-cheek “predictions” for how Ryan Adams might spend 2013. So with the aid of a crystal and Magic 8 Ball, I put together a list at his behest. Alas, things fell through with the magazine that was to run them, and they never saw the light of print. But since I hate for anything to go to waste, I present them to you below. They are quite silly, yes; still, maybe not all that far removed for what our favorite Scorpio might be up to this year…

Just because Ryan Adams didn’t release an album of new material in 2012, that doesn’t mean he was musically idle. Along with putting out a crazy huge 15-disc live box set and dropping twitter hints about getting started on a new record, Adams spent time in the studio with his wife Mandy Moore, electronic superstar deadmau5, The Lemonheads, D Generation, Butch Walker and who knows who else. None of those recordings have surfaced, but all the collaborations got us to thinking about what worlds the alt-country king might be looking to conquer in 2013. Our fearless predictions:

* After Norah Jones introduces Adams to her half-sister Anoushka Shankar at the Grammy Awards, he takes up sitar and heads in a more grandiose direction, enlisting the Polyphonic Spree and Mormon Tabernacle Choir for what he describes as a “Zen concept album that will bring Twinkies back.” The project collapses when they can’t work out the logistics of Phil Spector handling production by phone from prison.

* Adams’ pal Elton John introduces him to Liza Minnelli at the Oscars, and they hit it off. With Minnelli’s encouragement, Adams is emboldened to make his Broadway debut playing her signature role – as Sally Bowles in a revival of “Cabaret.” But the show doesn’t make it out of previews.

* Inspired by his deadmau5 collaboration, Ryan puts on his DJ Reggie hat and convinces the surviving members of Run-DMC to let him join as replacement deejay for the late Jam-Master Jay. To great acclaim, Run-DRA makes its debut at the Coachella Festival. But in-fighting leads to a lineup implosion before a scheduled headlining slot at Bonnaroo.

* Declaring that he wants to take his native North Carolina’s “FIRST IN FLIGHT” license-plate motto to its logical conclusion, Adams applies to NASA with the intention of becoming a space-shuttle pilot. Upon discovering that the shuttle program ended in 2011, he puts his disappointment aside and goes to Plan B: applying for a pilot’s job at Pan Am Airlines. Um…

* While working with Cameron Crowe on a soundtrack song, Adams meets Ennio Morricone, the legendary spaghetti-western film-score composer. Discussions ensue about Morricone and Adams working together on a soundtrack to the movie version of Adams’ yet-to-be-published novel, “Bastard Diaries of Los Angeles.” The project stalls out when nobody can find Clint Eastwood’s phone number.

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