The Weeknd

The line-up for the 2018 edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is here. As we’ve grown accustomed to in the past few years, it’s a mixed bag. Some surprises, some not-so-surprising, and some real headscratchers.

Headliner-wise, it’s the Weeknd, Beyoncé, and Eminem. Beyoncé was a given seeing as she canceled last year to give birth to twins, and her booking got moved to 2018. Eminem just released a new album—judging from the reviews, it’s his worst—and his booking makes sense regardless of the lame record. The Weeknd performed in 2015, and the performance was lackluster to say the least, so it’s surprising that they would bring him back.

Undercard-wise, there are some surprises and a lot of repeats from previous years. Left-field bookings this year are David Byrne, the frontman for the seminal rock band the Talking Heads. Chic, the 80’s disco and funk group that wrote such catchy hits like “Good Times,” and “Le Freak.” And rounding it out, Jamiroquai, the acid-jazz/funk-pop band from the 90’s that had that cool video for their song “Virtual Insanity.” 

That aside, other Something For All Of Us favorites, are SZA, St. Vincent, HAIM, Portugal. The Man, the War On Drugs, Fleet Foxes, Angel Olsen, Miguel, Kamasi Washington, Jessie Ware, Jungle, Chromeo, LANY, Hundred Waters, Greta Van Fleet, and the Drums, to name a few,

For those of you without a wristband for (either) weekend, the remaining allotment of them goes on-sale Friday at 12. Good luck! See you in four months, Indio!

I had a whole set of reviews for these albums, but for some reason they’ve disappeared from my queue here on the site. So, with that in mind, I decided to keep this year-end list simple; here’s a list of fifteen albums—in alphabetical order—that I spent way too much time listening to.

Austra– Feel It Break
Big K.R.I.T.– Return of 4EVA
Destroyer– Kaputt
Frank Ocean– Nostalgia/Ultra
Gang Gang Dance– Eye Contact
Kate Bush– 50 Words for Snow
Lykke Li– Wounded Rhymes
Modeselektor– Monkeytown
PJ Harvey– Let England Shake
Radiohead– King of Limbs
The Roots– Undun
The Weeknd– House of Balloons
Wild Flag– Wild Flag
Wye Oak– Civilian
Young Galaxy– Shapeshifting

For the past few months, I’ve been slowly compiling a list of albums that have been in constant “rotation” on my iPod/iTunes/Spotify (what have you) for my End of Year list. One that has been a constant throughout the year, or more succinctly, since I downloaded it has been the Weeknd‘s mixtape House of Balloons; an auto-tune and drugged-out R&B album that, not only sampled Siouxsie & the Banshees and Beach House, but also drew from the greatness of late 90’s Aaliyah.

I haven’t had a chance to dive into Thursday, the second mixtape in the trilogy, but on Saturday, the Weeknd—comprised of singer Abel Tesfaye and producers Doc McKinney and Illangelo—released a taste of the third, as of yet, untitled mixtape in the form of “Initiation.” A track that features Tsefaye’s vocals going through an insane roller-coaster of pitch-warp. Take a listen to the craziness below.