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Coachella: Critic’s Picks

BJÖRK: Does the world hold a more joyful wandering soul than Iceland’s queen of wild beats and lucid dreaming? Björk never stops driving toward the unexpected. Her imminent album, “Volta,” features a killer pit crew, including hip-hop luminary Timbaland, crooner Antony and Congolese percussion ensemble (and fellow Coachella artist) Konono N°1. It’s not clear who’ll join her for this gig — there’s a rumor afloat of an all-woman brass band — but no matter. It will be gorgeously over-the-top.

(Coachella Stage, 10:45 p.m. Friday) (Axel Koester / For The Times)
Arcade Fire
ARCADE FIRE: The raucous spirit of Canada’s most successful indie art collective surely doesn’t reside exclusively in the nasal cavities of singer Win Butler, but if you’re concerned that his recent sinus surgery might diminish the group’s impact, never fear. Butler is reportedly fine, and eager to break out the anthems again. The oppressive hero-worship surrounding Arcade Fire’s excellent second album, “Neon Bible,” might have proved a threat to any other band’s spirit, but in concert, Arcade Fire always manages to play as if it’s the first time, and everything turns on the noise they make — right now.

(Coachella Stage, 7:30 p.m. Saturday) (Ryan Remiorz / AP)
CSS: It started as a goof — five Brazilian hipster-istas found each other via the Latin American version of, secured the services of a male drummer and hustled up some danceable cheerleader punk. Soon enough — perhaps inevitably, given the irresistible party vibe of tracks like “Meeting Paris Hilton” — CSS (short for “cansei de ser sexy,” sort of Portuguese for “tired of being sexy”) became a worldwide phenom, on an indie level, at least, for its giddy live sets.

(Mojave Tent, 5:55 p.m. Sunday) (Lisa Carpenter)
The Coup
THE COUP: Radical as a little red book or a Black Panther salute, hilarious as Richard Pryor and greasy as the barbecue at the duo’s legendary hometown joint, Flint’s in Oakland, Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress are what incendiary music is all about. The Coup almost lost everything when its tour bus toppled over a precipice last winter, but Riley and Pam have survived to cause more trouble — their latest campaign involves an Internet campaign to infiltrate the military with antiwar downloads. They’re pals with Tom Morello, so there could be a little collaboration during this set.

(Outdoor Theater, 3:25 p.m. Sunday) (Alexander Warnow)
Rage Against the Machine
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: During its brief reign over the craggy realm of hard rock, Rage Against the Machine earned hate from critics for being dogmatic, overblown and just plain irritating. Boy, did the band’s detractors realize what they’d lost once vocalist-instigator Zack de la Rocha abandoned ship. There’s a reason the desert air is on fire in anticipation of this reunion. Time has proved that Rage’s rap-rock mix was both pioneering and uniquely powerful, and though much good political music has been made in the seven years since the group disbanded, none has matched the intensity of Rage’s revolutionary rhetoric. Welcome back — and watch out, powers that be!

(Coachella Stage, 10:40 p.m. Sunday)  (Carlos Chavez / LAT)