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Kings of Leon
One of the only hard Southern rock bands that makes more sense at Coachella than Stagecoach, Kings of Leon's arrival during the same festival as a revived Strokes is a telling glimpse into the fortunes of two bands who rose around the same time but took different paths to success. Back in the day, the Kings were often called "the Southern-rock Strokes," which was fairly accurate. But where the Strokes turned inward to retain their sanity/integrity, the Kings pushed forth and proved that it needn't be an either/or proposition -- and became one of the most successful rock bands of the '00s. Yes, there are hipster skeptics who don't buy what the Kings offer — most of whom have never stepped foot in the heartland. Those of us who have understand.
Download: "California Waiting," "Use Somebody," "Sex on Fire"
-- Randall Roberts