Coachillin' with A-Trak

Posted on May 2nd, 2008 in Behind The Scenes > Live by Mr. Goldbar

First things first, make sure you check out the official recaps of the Screaming Bloody Murder tour here and here. We did 8 untamed shows in 10 days, it felt like a barbarous blitz of rave riot. Sammy Bananas is the new official mascot of Fool’s Gold and his mustache couldn’t have been more timely. Steve is a dynamo, I don’t know where he gets his energy. And Sinden is my brother from a British mother. I can officially say the 2nd Fool’s Gold tour was a smash hit, and before I could even catch up with any sleep I was off to Coachella.

The Macklovitch extended fam (me and Chromeo basically) rented a villa in Palm Springs for the long weekend. Dave and I flew into LA on Thursday evening (full meeting on the plane, president style) and checked into the trusty ol’ Grafton on Sunset. Early in the day on Friday, Chromeo had some interviews so I walked over to the equally tried-and-tested Standard and got my pre-festival haircut at Rudy’s. We reconvened, jumped in the Econoline, made an obligatory stop at In And Out and drove off to the desert to find our Palm Springs home, whistling to SoCal’s excellent radio programming along the way. I was hoping to catch a few acts on the first day but by the time we got there it was already the evening. Our house had a swimming pool with a basketball hoop in it, plenty of wall clocks shaped like the sun and a set of darts! Mehdi invited us to the Ed Banger villa (only 2.7 km away according to Pee’s GPS), where they were having a big barbecue. So we went there for a bit and hit the hay early. After all, we had an action-packed weekend ahead of us.

Saturday afternoon I had some press lined up. At Coachella there’s always these daytime parties where a company with lots of moola will rent out some sort of mansion with a big pool, hire blog-worthy DJs to spin and give away freebies to the who’s who that RSVP’d. I had to go to the Boosted house to do a photo shoot and “get gifted”. We also had some Fool’s Gold DJs playing there that afternoon. Then I was supposed to meet up with Chromeo at this Spin/Myspace house where we both had filmed interviews scheduled, but when I got there the guard at the gate said the cops had just shut the affair down. Nick had driven me there but he had to get back to the Boosted house to DJ. I needed to go to the festival. Chromeo was supposed to meet me there and we’d go together but they were caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Meanwhile the sun was beating like a brick oven in the desert and there’s no such thing as cabs out there.

Suddenly the most unexpected solution presented itself: the mustachioed guard at the gate was like “my shift ends in 5 minutes, I’ll take you.” So this good samaritan of a guard drove me to the festival grounds and I made it just in time to catch the last 20 minutes of Boys Noize’s set. He killed it of course. I especially liked when he spun his headphones in the air like a lasso. The line-up for Saturday was ridiculous: I watched him, then Erol, then Hot Chip, then took a little break to eat spicy pizza in the VIP area. There were these airplanes hovering over the festival grounds with LED text announcing this summer’s HARD festival. Apparently my name was on that plane (I’m on the line-up) but I didn’t catch it. Then we found a nice calm spot in the grass and watched Kraftwerk. What a relaxing trance that put me in (the literal meaning of trance, not the Remix Mag meaning). Watching the Atari-worthy visuals on that giant screen while listening to the distant pulse of the drum machines really got me in a dreamy zone. Then Portishead came on and although the sonics were great, they also made me feel slightly suicidal. And finally the entire crowd of the many tents gathered at the end of the evening to watch the artist currently known as Prince. His show was everything I expected it to be: sometimes great (he brought out Morris Day and Sheila E. in the first 10 minutes), sometimes strange (Santana covers?), sometimes tedious (10 minute guitar solos, anyone?) but always magnificent. We left before the end to beat the dreaded traffic and called it a night.

Sunday was performance day for me and for Chromeo. I went to the festival a few hours before my set. It seemed like a lot of people were still nursing hangovers from the previous night. We had a one hour time slot for me and Kid Sister so I was going to DJ for the first half hour or so and then bring her out. Everyone was hanging out in the artist area where we each had trailers with little picnic tables. DJ AM was walking around with Kelly Osbourne. (On Saturday we saw Steven Tyler who looked a lot like my grandmother.) As the day progressed, more and more people showed up and you could feel the anticipation build. Finally it was time for our set. I kicked it off with the intro that I was using on the Bloody Murder tour and went into an action-packed half hour set with lots of banter on the mic, rocking doubles and scratch routines on electro records, generous filtering and a surprise hip hop set drop-mixing intros like my name was Cosmo Baker. Then Kid Sister came out. She was premiering some new dancers that I hadn’t even seen yet. They had brightly colored futuristic outfits, like juking teletubbies. The Floss boys were hyping on the mic and the sun was actually setting during our set. It was lovely! I was really happy with it.

After that we grabbed some food and prepared for the grand finale of the festival: SMD, Chromeo and Justice! Simian Mobile had a crazy light show, I wish I was in the crowd to really see it. I was so excited to see Chromeo play in front of that huge crowd. Pee was rocking an african garb with no undershirt and his belly sticking out. It was a sight to see.

The boys went on and murked it. The mothership truly landed on Indio that night. Justice closed it off and sent the crowd in a frenzy. And that wrapped up our sunblock-heavy weekend at America’s best festival.

Next up: Trizzy tours Europe!