Coachella 2012.

Last year was my first Coachella experience, and needless to say, it was mind blowing.  Regardless of the heat, being able to immerse myself with friends and that much musical talent was incredible.  The result were some of the best memories of my adult life.  Since I left the Polo Grounds in Indio, California last year, I have been anxiously wanting to go back.

 

A few days ago the 2012 Coachella lineup was announced, there are a lot of bands I have never heard of, but one of the great things about this festival is being able to discover new music.  I’m excited to be able to find out who these bands are, and if there are any suggestions any of you have in regards to bands I should check out that are on the bill, I’d love to hear them.

Bands/emcees/dj’s I’m excited to see: The Black Keys (I saw them last year and was disappointed.  Here’s hoping they put on a better show), Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, LA Riots, R3hab, Afrojack, Swedish House Mafia, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, A$AP Rocky, Santigold, Manchester Orchestra, Miike Snow, Bon Iver, Radiohead, Company Flow, araabMUZIK, DJ Shadow, The Hives, Calvin Harris, Florence and the Machine, At the Drive In, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (I’ve seen both years ago at the Up in Smoke Tour, but this will be epic.  Hopefully this will be some sort of prequel to an actual Detox album).

The festival is full of surprises, and with this kind of bill, I’m anticipating a few.

There are a few surprises in regards to people I thought would be on the bill – The Beastie Boys, MIA, Danny Brown, Kid Cudi, Lana Del Ray, Bloc Party, Jay-Z and Kanye (especially with both emcees headlining the festival the last two years), Sleigh Bells, The Killers, Chromeo, Ratatat, Tyler the Creator, Skylar Grey, Major Lazer, Little Dragon, Slaughterhouse and Queens of the Stone Age.

Here’s hoping for another mind blowing experience.

Leblog James Wild Card Weekend Playoff Predictions…..

This Wild Card Weekend is just that – wild.  This weekend boasts of myriad of story lines that are intriguing to say the least.

While the opening games features the first time in NFL history where two rookie quarterbacks will be facing each other head to head, when the Houston Texans play host to the Cincinnati Bengals.  Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions head down to the Big Easy to face off with Drew Brees and the Saints in a battle of two 5,000 yard passers.

The NFL had a record 10 quarterbacks who amassed 4,000 yards passing including New York Giants captain Eli Manning and Atlanta Falcons gunslinger Matt Ryan.   Those two teams meet up this Sunday.

The league’s most polarizing player Tim Tebow leads his Denver Broncos (who limped into the playoffs) for a meeting with the perennial AFC powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers.

PREDICTIONS

Houston Texans vs Cincinnati Bengals: TJ Yates isn’t going to need to be Superman in this game, he just needs to continuously hand the ball off to Ben Tate and Adrian Foster.   A healthy Andre Johnson helps the passing game tremendously. The Bengals have yet to prove that they can beat a good team this year.  Losses to the 49ers, Steelers (twice), Ravens (twice) and the Texans earlier this season prove that.  I don’t think the trend is going to stop.  Pick: Houston Texans

Denver Broncos vs Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger running around on one leg is still better than Tim Tebow trying to throw with no arm.  Although Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller for Denver combined for 21 sacks on the season and should have a field day.  However, the Broncos run heavy offense will struggle with the Steelers top rated defensive unit and will force Tim Tebow to throw on the run (not his strong point in the slightest).  Experience matters in the playoffs and no team has more than the Steelers.  Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

Atlanta Falcons vs New York Giants:  The Falcons have to protect Matt Ryan.  The G-Men’s defensive line is deep and relentless and have had quarterbacks running for  their lives all season.   Ryan has a dangerous receiving core in Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzales, but that won’t mean a thing if they don’t have enough time to make plays.  Michael Turnerhttps://leblogjames.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post has been in a slump and will need to produce in order against a struggling Giants run D to set up Atlanta’s passing game.  On the other side, Eli Manning won’t be able to rely solely on Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs.  The Falcons secondary is on watch knowing that Eli will have to throw the ball plenty in order to score points.  Pick: Atlanta Falcons (much to my chagrin)

New Orleans Saints vs Detroit Lions:  Both teams come into this game with high octane offenses.  Drew Brees (who broke the NFL’s single season passing record) and Matthew Stafford combined to throw for over 10,500 yards.  This game is poised to be a track meet with both offense having the potential to score in bunches.  The Lions defensive front will need to put  pressure on Drew Brees and prevent him from dropping back 40-50 times or they will be playing catch up on the road in a very hostile environment.  However, experience is once again paramount in the NFL and the Saints may just be unbeatable in the Superdome.  Pick: New Orleans Saints.

Now Reading: “Root for the Villian:” Rap, Bull$hit, and a Celebration of Failure. By: J-Zone

If you were a fan of the East Coast’s Underground Hip-Hop scene in the late 90’s to early 2000’s then you know who J-Zone is. While growing up he immersed himself in funk records, interned for Large Professor and Greg Nice, while praising the misogyny and overall ridiculousness of rappers like Suga Free and Too $hort. His albums (released independently on his Old Maid Enertainment label)  were chock-full of insults, braggadocios rhymes and stories that encapsulated his over the top persona.

In his prime, J-Zone was a sarcastic curmudgeon/American iconoclast as well as a brilliant sample-based producer and hilariously witty emcee.  His style could never be categorized but J-Zone always stayed true to himself regardless of outsiders opinion. His book Root For the Villain: Rap, Bull$hit, and a Celebration of Failure serves as a memoir of his life and times as a hip-hop obsessed kid growing up in Queens, New York and the tale of a producer/emcee who never achieved the level of fame and fortune he desired.

Having left the rap game for over five years, J-Zone has filled his time by writing stories as a sports journalist, teaching and blogging for Ego Trip (a multimedia website that deals mainly with satire, race and hip-hop).   All of which are equally entertaining and hilarious as his music.  Root for the Villain is equal parts a love letter to hip-hop and angry diatribe of the music industry.  The combination makes for an enthralling and spirited read for any hip-hop fan.  I highly recommend picking up a copy.