Tag Archives: Pocket of Mystery

Dancing In The Desert, Pt. 2

19 Jan

[With the Coachella lineup just announced, excitement is running high again for this year’s installment of the Southern California music extravaganza.  Here at Dan Swanky’s, we wanted to push past the breathless hype and get the gritty details about what the Coachella experience is all about.  Lucky for us, our resident Steed made his first trip to the festival last year, and offered to give us a rundown of his time there]

Day One

Day Two

“So I woke up in the camping area around 6am, feeling the full weight of the desert sun bearing down on me like a disappointed parent.  It took me a couple seconds to realize that I was in a 3-4 person tent with what looked like about 8 people.  I was in between two of the Flannel Girls from the night before, but they were deep asleep with the rest of the tent, so I figured it was best just to go on my merry way without disturbing anybody.  I did my best quiet roll out of the tent and popped out right in the heart of Coachella’s tent city, which was just shaking itself awake at the moment.  I didn’t have much of a recollection of how I ended up in the campsite, and all I had on at the moment was an Australian flag wrapped around my waist, so I figured I should probably find my pants and boogie on back to the vacation house.  Luckily, my pants, complete with pockets still half full of mystery, were being used as a blanket by a shaggy looking fellow, so I slid them out of his clutches and took off to find my way back and get ready for another trip into the trenches.

I didn’t really feel much like walking to the house in my pants and flag, (now tied around my neck like a cape, where it would stay for the rest of the day) so I put out my thumb and hitched a ride back with an SUV full of blonde girls in matching sunglasses and vintage tees, heading out from their hotel to get Caffe Machs they Desperately Needed.  Most of the girls didn’t seem to notice I had gotten in the car, but the driver was a pretty cool chick, and with my brightly lit charm, I managed to score an invite to their pool party they were throwing before heading to the shows.  With that in my back pocket, I strolled in to the house, which was already vibrating slightly to the sounds of Brazilian free-form jazz dubstep, and told the dudes to get ready for the pool fiesta.  I think I passed out standing up at that point, because the next thing I knew a Corona bottle was being held to my lips and I was in the car headed to the pool party.

The party was in the pool of another housing complex, so once again we followed the gentle thumping of bass to a pool full of tattoos and sunscreen – and lots of cold ones.  For the next few hours, we quickly made friends with the grab-bag of concertgoers, and at one point I found myself helping a smiley little fellow put a giant stuffed bunny on the end of an 8-foot pole.  I asked him a few times what the bunny was for, but all he would tell me was that I would Understand Later, and I figured why not and let it be.  At one point, someone started a “Sahara” chant, and people started getting their game faces on for the official start of Day Two.  I followed a cute little lady in a sundress, who had told me her name was Ibis, and we hopped in the back of someone’s Scion for the ride over.

When we rolled out of the Scion and back into the dusty waiting room that was the parking lot, I took a deep breath and mentally prepped to keep it together this time.  Ibis grabbed my hand and pulled me through the gate and towards the Sahara Tent section, and as I got closer to the Tent and neighboring beer garden, the quotient of tanned bros and babes began to rise and I could feel the wave of sun-drenched hormones start to loosen my grip on self-control.  Before I knew it, I was in the beer garden with a Heine in each hand and Ibis’ girl crew was grilling me on what exactly I had for party favors.  I tried to hold out for as long as I could, but as the sun began to go down and I finished off cup no. 6, all bets were off and I was toting water bottles with my new group to the slick grass of the Sahara Tent floor.

After several Build-Drop-LoseYourMind musical sequences, Ibis tugged on my flag/cape and led me outside the Tent, where she asked if I would go with her to the bathrooms.  I said sure, and she said Maybe I’ll Even Give You A Hand Job In The Porta-Potty.  I was still at the lower level of the party favor scale, so this made me queasy more than intrigued, and I told her I was fine waiting outside for now.  She went on her way, and I quickly became distracted by a bunch of flashing lights at a sculpture in the middle of the meadow.  Before I knew it, I was lying on my back in the grass and getting a stomach rub from a couple of Australian ladies, who helped me finish my party favors and told me to follow them to Empired Sun [Empire of the Sun].

Follow them I did, and was feeling pretty warm and fuzzy at the outdoor stage until Empired started playing, and I was frozen in place by the scene that was unfolding in front of me.  The band’s costumes looked like they were conceived in a Mayan’s fever dream, and as I frantically looked around to see if anyone else noticed these demons, no one came forward to explain what the hell was going on.  Halfway through the first song, I couldn’t take it anymore and I took off running, with no destination in mind but worried that my life was in danger.  I’m not sure how long I ran for, but I eventually came to rest in the front of the Main Stage, where I found Ibis, who told me that this place had Good Vibes, Let’s Just Sit For Awhile.

So we sat, and huddled together as Arcade Fire took our hands and led us back to safety, a safety punctuated by the white balls of Good Feelings they threw our way at the end of the show.  As we clutched our GF ball and slowly inched out of the meadow for the night, I felt as though I had just ran two marathons in my mind, and I needed an emergency solar blanket.  Coachella had won that round, but I had one more day to tame the beast, and I would come back ready to duke it out.  In the meantime, I needed a Shame Burrito and a hot tub.”

To Be Continued….Day Three…


Dancing In The Desert, Pt. 1

13 Jan

[With the Coachella lineup being announced this week, excitement is running high again for this year’s installment of the Southern California music extravaganza.  Here at Dan Swanky’s, we wanted to push past the breathless hype and get the gritty details about what the Coachella experience is all about.  Lucky for us, our resident Steed made his first trip to the festival last year, and offered to give us a rundown of his time there.]

“So last year, on the Monday before Coachella, I got a call from my buddy [name redacted] out of the blue, and he offered me a free 3-day pass to the festival.  I had heard word of this thing over the past few years, but until that point my only festivus experience had been a 4-day stint at Burning Man 2009, which ended with a cloud of body glitter and a false paternity test.  But everything I had heard about Coachella pointed to a weekend full of sun, music, intoxicants, and beautiful women, so it was pretty much a no-brainer to take that pass.  After locking that down, I put my ear to the pavement and found a ride and a place to stay – my co-worker [name redacted] is an up-and-coming DJ/producer/poet and he had rented a big house situated on one of those golf courses out by the festival grounds.  I spent the next couple days working on my base tan and filling out my tank-and-jorts wardrobe, and I was primed to go by Friday.

Day One

My co-worker picked me up in his Element bright and early Friday morning so that we could get out there before the good music got started.  On the way out to the desert, I cracked some road sodas and got to know the other carpool passengers, who were all part of a DJ collective that specialized in Brazilian house music.  It was tough keeping up with their muso-speak, but luckily they all liked to party, so we got on fine.  A few hours and three cases of Bud Heavy later, we arrived at the rental house and had some time to suit up and warm up before taking the plunge into the festival, which was a few miles down the road.

As I was rubbing some dirt on my “too-clean” shoes, one of my new Collective friends asked what I had in stock for the concerts.  I asked what he meant, and the rest of the crew emptied their fanny packs to show me.  Feeling like a veritable canoe without a paddle, I confessed that I had nothing, and they generously pooled together some resources and gave me a grab-bag to keep things going, at least for the first day.  With that settled, I put the party ‘Bans on and we headed out.  I had a heart full of hope, a pocket full of mystery, and was ready to get Festive.

After getting dropped off, we made our way through the haze and dust to the white tents marking the entrance.  I could hear some thumping coming from behind the festival fences, and the combination of the Bud and the ‘grab bag’ had me feeling like I was Braveheart standing in line, with the war drums beating ominously before battle.  The pocket full of mystery became the sock full of mystery as we safely made it through the high school Security Squad, and walked past the ferris wheel [Ed.’s note: Don’t worry, this will come up later] into what could only be described as an electric meadow of debauchery.  There was plenty going on, but our first real show up was Skrill It [Skrillex], some strange-looking fellow that I wasn’t familiar with, but I was just going with the flow at that point.

Skrill was playing in what they called the Sahara Tent, which in reality was a small airplane hangar, but in Coachellareality was a hotbed incubator of dance that over the next three days would be a source of bliss, confusion, aggression, seduction, fulfillment, and fear.  Sometimes all at once, if you were lucky.

My first step in to the belly of Sahara was with Skrill at the helm, and at first I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I knew I was in the right place, with all the shirtless bros in party ‘Bans and neon hats, so I waited for my next cue, which came as the bass dropped and the bros and babes lost their minds to the wiggle.  I wiggled along with them and was lost in the womping for a bit, but was brought sharply back to reality when I looked up and realized that a bunch of aggro dudes [Korn] were yelling something about something, and the rest of my group were slowly backing away to the safety of the open meadow.

After Skrill had broken the music ice, the next few hours were a slight blur of ‘grab bag’ experiments and Sahara tent light shows with Afrojohn and Ajax [Afrojack and A-Trak].  I remember a ton of smiles and jumping, but not many details until I realized I was straddling the fence at the Main Stage Beer Garden and yelling for Kings of Lee [Leon]  to Play Fucking Freebird.  I’m pretty sure I was getting my request across, but at that point I was shaken down by a few security guards and took a tumble to the Main Stage side of the fence.  My instincts kicked in when I hit the ground and I took off running into the huge crowd assembled around the Kings doing their thing.

I came to a stop in the middle of the Stage field, and as I collected myself I realized that my tank was gone, and I had yellow highlighter all over my chest and an American flag bandana ’round my neck instead.  Which was pretty alright with me.  I sat down to take a rest and found myself on a blanket of cool babes in flannels who were Checking Out Those Fucking Stars and Just Resting For A Sec, so I just rested along with them and before you knew it, we had a tight little massage train going on, and my ‘grab bag’ was up for grabs.  This is about where the lights went off for me, as I wasn’t fully acclimated to Chella Time yet, but I know at some point I went with the Flannel Ladies to their campsite, because that’s where I woke up – Day Two staring me straight in the face and asking What Else Do You Got.

To Be Continued….Day Two….