Up Close at Coachella
BY Advocate.com Editors
April 20 2009 12:00 AM ET
This weekend's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the Southern California desert had a lineup that included almost every letter in LGBTâ€¦and a healthy dose of same-sex hand-holding and gender-bending.
At the indie-rock music fest, Bob Mould and his band offered up a Saturday set as blistering as the 100-degree weather. Openly gay for years, the Washington, D.C.-based Mould attracted a healthy dose of straight boys to his tent, and offered up songs from his two previous bands, Hüsker Dü and Sugar, as well as solo work.
One half of the Dresden Dolls, bisexual Amanda Palmer, brought the house (or rather, tent) down, when she performed her solo material not long after Mould. Smashing her fingers, and chair, on her keyboard and crowd-surfing into the audience, Palmer connected with her enthusiastic fan base in a way that eluded other Coachella artists.
Particularly anti-audience was the gayish Morrissey, who participated in a strange hour of music on Friday -- he sneered at the audience, briefly walked offstage, and announced he could "smell burning flesh," referring to vendors selling hamburgers and chicken. He followed that up with, "And I hope to God it's human."
On Sunday, Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons stood apart from the rock and electronica acts with a short set of orchestral pop. The transgender artist, looking a bit like Mama Cass in a flowy top with ribbons, played all-new material, which still managed to please the discerning audience.
Look for interviews with some of the gay Coachella artists -- and even some of the straight ones -- on Advocate.com.
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