This was my first trip back to Chicago since moving to Portland, Oregon in December 2008. As much as I love Portland, there is a large piece of my heart in that city by the lake. It’s where I was born, it’s where I formed my favorite band, and it’s where my son was born. It’s still my city.
So it was with great excitement and anticipation that I returned to see friends, drink a lot of beer and catch some live rock and fucking roll. I’d been planning and thinking of this trip since before we even moved so you’d think I’d have had all the details ironed out like the Arctic Monkeys‘ fitted shirts. You don’t know me well and the Monkeys no longer wear Fred Perry, but more on that later…
Session drummer Josh Freese has been in Devo, the Vandals, and A Perfect Circle, and he’s played with Nine Inch Nails, Paul Westerberg, Kelly Clarkson, and tons of other bands. He’s also got a solo career, and he came up with a kooky version of the “pay what you want” scheme for his upcoming album with packages ranging from $7 to $75,000.
To avoid a birthday bummer, the Florida teen treated himself to the $20,000 package, which featured a mini-golf game with Tool singer Maynard James Keenan and Devo front man Mark Mothersbaugh. Freese plays drums in Devo and in one of Keenan’s side projects, A Perfect Circle.
Mrzyglocki’s friends were shocked when he told them what he’d done.
“Their jaws dropped instantly,” he said.
Some tried to reason with him, saying he should buy a car with the money instead, but Mrzyglocki said he’s landed something much more valuable.
“Almost anybody can buy a car,” said Mrzyglocki, who’s a senior in high school. “Only one person gets to buy Josh Freese’s limited-edition package.”
It’s a shame the kid didn’t go for the $75,000 package which included “taking shrooms and cruising Hollywood in Danny from Tool’s Lamborghini.” See the rest of packages after the jump…
I was somewhere around Indio, in the apex of the desert, when Tommy Lee kicked in. As I walked through the manicured grass, happily eating corn on the cob, the thin and dust-caked Motley Crue drummer ran up to me, weaving his arms and torso in a spastic model of the Axl Rose snake dance. I continued gnawing on the corn, and flicked my eyes upward in annoyance. He chuckled and regrouped with his bleached-blonde entourage to continue down the field, toward the throbbing bass of Daft Punk.
Even without the icky hair-metal run-ins, this year’s Coachella Festival still would have been the strangest one yet. The cultural oasis of the Colorado Desert (held May 29-30) featured a predictably strong lineup of eclectic indie artists but, pivotally, an additional interest in capturing the mainstream crowd. From Kanye West’s shining ego on Saturday to Madonna’s short-and-skanky dance tent appearance Sunday, the indie snob’s once-safe haven was taken over by squealing strangers – and two sold-out days later, it’s hard to tell whether Coachella will continue down the beaten pop path.
Whatever. For the most part, Coachella still retained its joyous communal atmosphere, a kaleidoscopic place where alternative art reigns and nobody knows your name. (And there are celebrities under every rock.) For me, it was The End: the final fling before graduation, the last irresponsible trip with my best friends. But it was also the beginning, as I discovered thanks to some artists, some new opportunities, and a chance meeting with my very own Yoda, though taller and with some ketchup in his beard.