Age creeps up on you. One minute you’re an invincible 14-year-old, gulping down anything slightly less lethal than battery acid, and the next it’s 9pm on a Thursday night and you’re still getting headspins from those two chocolate biscuits you noshed down for an after-dinner treat.
Parts of your body you didn’t even know existed start creaking when you bend down to pick something up; every other person who greets you tells you that you look “a little tired”, and the things that the kids these days are into seem as foreign and inexplicable as a Russian IKEA manual.
I mean, I feel this way, and I’m not even really fucking old. We’re all going a bit Benjamin Button; I know 20-year-olds who have the long stares and hard drinking and drug-taking habits of a middle-aged ’Nam vet. It’s all horrible, this life, one long race to the grave that you spend confused and out of touch, as red-faced and dribbling as a constipated baby.
Case in point: the other day the Coachella line-up came out, and while I know the biggest names, most of it is as legible to me as those sheets of random letters you’ve got to squint at while getting an eye test.
To that end, I’ve developed a fool-proof guide to bullshitting your way through the Coachella line-up, sorting the more obscure acts into handy categories. And ’cos I’m the generous sort, I’m gonna share it with my fellow oldies, so that we 19-going-on-900 wrinkled motherfuckers might not have to feel like we’re having a stroke next time someone utters the words “070 Shake” and “Chon”.
The Pitchfork Set
Image: Christine and the Queens.
Artists: The Garden, Christine and the Queens, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Blood Orange, Four Tet, Maggie Rogers, US Girls, Yves Tumour.
All of these bands sound like Siri singing a very sad 13-year-old’s journal. They all got the “Best New Music” rating on Pitchfork, and at least one song on their latest album is an instrumental/spoken word track that literally nobody in the world has ever listened to all of the way through.
If any of these bands come up in conversation, feign indifference to them, before admitting that you prefer their earlier work.
The Pabst Blue Ribbon Set
Artists: Mac DeMarco, Parcels, Shame, Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Superorganism, Weezer.
Every single one of these bands has released an ironic cover of one of those terrible 80s hair metal songs that we all pretend to like for some reason. Also, every song they’ve ever released sounds identical, so if you wanna get schooled up fast, go to their Spotify page, listen to their top-rated song on double speed, and you’ll be good to go.
If you plan on fitting in with the fans of these bands, dress yourself head to toe in denim, wear a flat-cap emblazoned with some ironic or nonsensical phrase, and bathe for three days in a tub filled with cheap beer, hand-rolled cigarettes and dick cheese.
The “Pop Music You’re Allowed To Like” Set
Artists: Ariana Grande, Kero Kero Bonito, The 1975.
The aesthetic of these acts is Instagram filter meets Burberry advert. Their song names are despicably long, and every single one sounds like the kind of shit a neural network that’s been made to listen to Justin Bieber’s Purpose for ten hours would produce.
Oh, and their fans are either 14 or 28 years old. There is no in-between.
The “There’s No Way These Bands Actually Exist” Set
Image: Let's Eat Grandma.
Artists: Chon, Sofi Tukker, S.G. Lewis, Let’s Eat Grandma.
Listen, I’m just saying there’s a 95 percent chance that these are just filler text names that the graphic designer put on the poster and forgot to delete