This year's lineup, announced Thursday morning, is led by chart-topping blues rockers the Black Keys, reunited English shoegazers Ride and the ever-suave N.Y.C. acts Interpol and the Strokes. All of them have played (or are about to play) SoCal festivals and headline dates, but just under the top lines of the Barcelona fest's poster are some very worthy booking coups.
Primavera looks to be the one (if not the only) major festival thus far to land a reunited Sleater-Kinney on its bill. The trio's comeback album "No Cities to Love" has earned universal acclaim, and their famously searing live sets (driven by tom-crushing drummer Janet Weiss) have been sorely missed on festival stages.
The fest scored some unexpected whole-album sets as well. Patti Smith and her band will reprise the entirety of her landmark 1975 album "Horses" (she playes a more traditional set at the Theatre at the Ace later this month). Perhaps even more intriguingly, the British electronica duo Underworld will play a live edition of their just-reissued 1994 breakout "dubnobasswithmyheadman," regarded as one of the classics of first-generation rave culture and a rare example of a dance act re-creating an entire LP onstage.
Perhaps an even more ambitious project is composer Peter Gordon's live reprisal of Arthur Russell's instrumental arrangements. Russell, the avant-garde cellist and experimental disco pioneer, wrote a number of pieces to be performed in an orchestral setting, and this billing could set an example of how to present a broader range of sounds that aren't quite so pop or party-inclined at mainstream festivals.
And if you're looking for some familiar faces, Los Angeles acts performing include Tyler, the Creator, Health and Kelela. The festival takes place May 27-30, and if you haven't maxed out your credit cards on Coachella jet travel, it looks very much worth the trip.