McCartney to play at Coachella

Paul is no stranger to performing at festivals, as we all have seen at the Glastonbury festival a few years back, but this announcement comes as a bit of a surprise.  The Coachella Festival is the hipster of all hipsters.  We have to admit that it’s a little strange to hear that a Beatle is playing at this cutting edge festival.  It’s a little weird to be hearing  Portishead or Sigur Ros and even Morrisey in the same breath.  There are hipster indie bands, and then there is the thought of a Beatle.

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I guess it’s most strange knowing that Paul never, at least late in his career, aged as a “cool” guy.  He always held his artistic credibility, but did many things that are quite cringe-worthy.  That cool factor kind of dropped a bit.  In recent times, though Paul’s cool temperature is red hot.  He’s got several artistic and adventurous solo albums, and has also produced a remix album, and avant-garde album under a different moniker that would make the coolest hipster nod in approval.  Maybe a Fireman tune or two will make a Coachella appearance as well, it’s nothing too much just out of sight.

Here’s what we’ve read.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival got famous by presenting the sounds of today and tomorrow. But this year California’s most celebrated live-music event is gambling on Paul McCartney and the music of “Yesterday.”

Booking the former Beatle, who is listed in the record books as the most successful musician in pop history, would be the safest choice imaginable for most music festivals. But the internationally respected Coachella festival, which is set for April 17-19, has been pulling in crowds of more than 140,000 fans by taking an edgier path with alt-rock heroes you would hear on a college town’s pirate radio station.

Presented with a chance to tap into music history and veteran star power, the promoters have signed the 66-year-old icon, who personifies the mature pop mainstream. The move could help the festival compete amid a grim economy and a host of imitators that have sprung up across the country; the news of McCartney’s presence — for better or worse — instantly will make Coachella a hot topic with music fans nationwide who have been anxiously awaiting the list of this year’s headliners.

What remains to be seen is whether the choice will cost the festival credibility with its core clientele: young fans who are more likely to listen to the White Stripes than the “White Album” and who are far more familiar with Rage Against the Machine than “Band on the Run.”

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