Note: Coachella, Southern California's version of FPSF, is going on this weekend in the high desert outside Palm Springs. Our friends at LA Weekly and OC Weekly will be there the whole weekend and will be bringing us regular updates. This article is by Adam Lovinus.
Ever since sunshine acid saturated Woodstock back in 1969, music festivals and recreational pharmaceuticals have gone together. While we applaud those using Coachella as an opportunity to get sober, it's not for everyone, which is why below, we've recommended a fine list of musical acts and drugs that go together, to provide complementary and contrasting flavors for your mind's palette.
Now of course, all of this is at your own risk, we don't endorse any of it, and the author is speaking strictly from a SWIM's (someone who isn't me) sense of experience here cobbled together from the stories of others.
BECK Drugs: Cannabis (Indica) + Ritalin
With its lush orchestral arrangements and cello drones, Beck's latest album Morning Phase complements perfectly the dreamy body buzz brought about by a bong load of sexy purple buds. Since this is a festival and not a plush sofa, a quick sniff of study drugs will do the trick for keeping up the proper headspace for the Odelay-era material.
THE REPLACEMENTS Drugs: Whiskey + Celebrex
At age 54, Paul Westerberg is alt-rock's elder statesman (he's five days older than Michael Stipe). Chances are if you're a 'Mats fan, you're no spring chicken yourself. At this stage in the game, proper pre-show precautions are critical for enduring three days of hard partying in the desert. Stretch, hydrate at a 1:1 ratio, and take your arthritis meds. No need to blow out the lumbar ground-pounding on the first night.
Photo by Henry Laurisch
When it comes to the mindfuckery that the Dreijr siblings choreograph into their live set -- a "communal/political/conceptual/imaginational workout experience," as noted in their press materials -- hallucinogens are ideal. An LSD trip is too lengthy an ordeal for a Friday night show, but a quick-hitting DMT session will spin you 'round nicely without getting too strung out, leaving the door open for hard-partying the following evenings.
PET SHOP BOYS Drugs:Amyl nitrates + Ketamine
The Pet Shop Boys' synthy thump has soundtracked gay-club boogie nights across the globe for 30 years. After a few years of rumored Coachella appearances, what better way to celebrate than with a sweaty, popper-fueled dancefloor fling, followed by a trip down the k-hole in homage to the duo's 2001 musical Closer to Heaven?
MOTORHEAD Drugs: Biker meth + rail liquor
A no-brainer. Motorhead's name is '70s slang for a speed freak. Their brand of teeth-grinding, berserker riff rock was born in the nastiest squats around London, laying the foundation of the thrash-punk aesthetic for decades to come. So keep it real -- the dirtier the crank, the better. Chase it down with a flask of the cheapest gin available, and hold on for dear life.
FOSTER THE PEOPLE Drug: Quaaludes
In the face of meh reviews of their sophomore album, Foster the People have been billed pretty highly at Coachella this year, presumably on the strength of a now three-year-old hit single. When obsolescence is the trip, 'ludes -- a once-loved downer phased out by modern benzos like Xanax and Klonopin -- becomes the drug of choice.
List continues on the next page.
EMPIRE OF THE SUN Drug: Psilocybin
They say the high desert provides the optimal visual backdrop for a shroom trip. Combine that with the splendor that Aussie concept-rockers Empire of the Sun build into their stage show (imagine GWAR's intensity + Flaming Lips' whimsy) and voila -- the perfect setting for getting properly weird.
OUTKAST Drug: Cannabis (Sativa)
Take an obese $20 sack and crumble it up into a grape blunt wrap, and follow the funk from that skunk! A nice, uppy sativa high is a good bet any time at Coachella, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more apropos time for it than the Friday-night headliner.
Photo by return of burno via flickr
If there's one time where laying off the sauce is acceptable, it's at the Anti-Flag set, as they're a straight-edge act whose members are also vegan. Sometimes sobriety is a trip unto itself.
THE SAHARA (EDM) TENT Drug: MDMA
Obviously. In and around the EDM tent, Molly seems to get more popular every year. She'll grind your teeth and cross your eyes until the strobes and bass get you off -- it's a old formula that works every time. She's the one Huey Lewis was singing about.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.