First, the good news: 166 acts are slated to perform at this year's
To describe this Australian artist's new release, "The Double EP: A Split of Peas," as the product of a "singer and songwriter" is to suggest something less menacing than she is. Barnett's got a great way with lyrics and hooks, packing a lot of information, for example, into "Canned Tomatoes (Whole)," about a former neighbor/lover. "David" takes a basic blues pattern and turns it into a bouncy, insistent piece on the many reasons why the titular ex-boyfriend is getting the boot.
The Tuareg guitarist understands the desert. Like regional kindred spirits Tinariwen, he and his band harness the clean, natural power of the electric guitar and team it with expert rhythm players executing tunings and time signatures that may take a few listens for Western ears to grasp. It's worth the work: His 2013 album, "Nomad," was produced by Black Keys singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach.
Though known more for his
Six words best describe the Atlanta hip-hop duo: "Shake it like a Polaroid picture." The group, reunited for the first gig of an extended summer festival tour, tore through the late 1990s and beyond until members
One of the most promising bands to come out of Los Angeles in years, the three sisters of Haim burst into America's consciousness in 2013 on the wings of their infectious guitar pop. Delivered via their debut album, "Days Are Gone," Alana, Danielle and Este Haim, along with drummer Dash Hutton, make expertly played sun-drenched rock, part of a Los Angeles-infused musical continuum that has inspired artists including Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne.
Neutral Milk Hotel
It's not an overstatement to say that the '90s indie rock generation is psyched for the return of Neutral Milk Hotel. The band, born in Athens, Ga., and led by singer and guitarist Jeff Mangum, released two essential albums, "On Avery Island" and "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"; since their release, they have become like secret handshakes. Mangum played Coachella a few years back, but he returns with a fully reunited Neutral Milk Hotel.
Lana Del Rey
The reinvention of the reinvention of Lana Del Rey continues, as her slow, graceful rise over the last three years reaches another peak with this Indio gig. To recap: The artist born Elizabeth Grant arrived as Lana when a mysterious YouTube video for her detached seduction, "Video Games," became a viral hit. Less successful was her national television debut on
The Glitch Mob
With a devotion to muscular synthetic beats and an almost Black Sabbath-like love of mesmerizing bass lines, the Los Angeles beat trio has been crafting dubstep-inspired tracks for the last eight years. The group's new record is its most subtle to date, even if its crescendos are just as heavy-fisted. Featuring tracks with names like "Mind of a Beast" and "Skull Club," this isn't the most nuanced music, but it sure drives the fans batty.
Those headed to Indio just to see OutKast should know that Little Dragon has a connection. Vocalist Yukimi Nagano was featured on Big Boi's excellent "Thom Pettie" and "Descending," two highlights from his most recent solo album. Little Dragon rose out of the vibrant Swedish pop scene, and the group's inventive dance pop is much more expansive and funky than some of the more rigid pop compadres. Little Dragon's last record, "Ritual Union," was one of the best of 2011, and heat is rising for the group's forthcoming follow-up, "Nabuma Rubberband."
Ferry, best known as the suave seducer for Roxy Music, is responsible for some of the most enduring British rock music of the 1970s and '80s. Songs such as "More Than This," "Angel Eyes" and "Avalon" bridged the oft-battling genres of rock, R&B and disco with elegance and grace. Standing boldly front and center, Ferry crooned with the effortlessness of someone who inherently understood the essence of rhythmic assimilation. Ferry still has that twinkle in his eye, which should shimmer a bit more during his expected dusk performance. What will Ferry play? We'll put in our request: "Same Old Scene," and make it the extended version.