Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Thoughts on some of Sunday's Coachella performers

My last batch of random thoughts on Coachella acts:

Gorillaz recently produced Plastic Beach. It doesn't sound as radio-friendly as some of their previous work, but it's still a great album with a laid back feel fitting an album with "Beach" in the title.

Spoon's new album is their most experimental, breaking traditional song structure, but it's still a tight, well-produced record. They're one of those bands that produce a show that sounds like the record, so if that's what you're looking for, it could be a blast, but if you want something a little more raw, you may want to check something else out. My personal favorite Spoon song:

De La Soul is one of those groups continuing on a more traditional hip hop sound, while also going in their own direction. If you don't hate fun, go see these guys.

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Looking at a few Saturday Coachella highlights

Some more random thoughts on Coachella performers:

Muse is doing their best to be Queen meets early Radiohead, and are producing some epic music. Although if I hear that song from the V commercials again, I may need to punch something. Here, something different:

Speaking of "Epic," one of my favorite songs to rock on Rock Band courtesy of Faith No More:

MGMT seized on their album leaking by opening it up for streaming on their official Web site, and you can still check out the full album there.

The act I was most surprised to see on the card: John Waters. What will John Waters be doing at Coachella? This sounds like a must see.

Related: Thoughts on Coachella from someone who's not going

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Thoughts on Coachella from someone who's not going

To all of you attending Coachella this weekend, let me just express my jealousy. I shall sadly not be making it out to Coachella this year, but I love huge concert festivals. I find them one of the most exciting ways to enjoy music and to discover new artists. On the one hand, you're paying a lot of money to listen to music played really loud while standing in a hot sweaty crowd with limited food and beverage options, but there's something special and transcendent about the live experience.

Coachella always produces some special moments; Prince's version of "Creep" became an Internet sensation a couple years ago, and last year Paul McCartney convinced a crowd of jaded hipsters that he's actually pretty awesome.

KPCC's Inland Empire reporter Steven Cuevas has been blogging about Coachella all week, so be sure to check out Steven's blog for more on the event.

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Conan O'Brien signs deal with TBS; People talk about TBS for first time ever

I've talked about Conan O'Brien enough here that I think this post officially makes this a Conan O'Brien fan blog. In any case, now that he's signed a deal with TBS, I may be watching TBS for the first time since they stopped carrying another of my favorite programs in 2001, WCW pro wrestling. (I like my sports fake.)

He'll be the lead-in for George Lopez's late night talk show (George Lopez has a late night talk show?), which is getting bumped back to make room for Conan. After what happened with Jay Leno and The Tonight Show, someone needs to alert the irony police.

Conan's also currently on tour with many of his former Tonight Show compatriots, including sidekick Andy Richter. He'll be in Los Angeles on April 24 and 25, but if you want tickets, you'll need to enter the world of secondary ticket sales in order to grab any, as both shows are completely sold out.

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Haiti video: Is it journalism?

Khalid Mohtaseb shot this beautiful video in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake:

Mohtaseb's account of the shoot is well worth reading for more. Mohtaseb went to Haiti to cover the disaster for two international TV networks, and this was his first real journalistic project other than a documentary.

He clearly comes at the project from the point of view of a filmmaker, showing a strong visual sense. Mohtaseb used a portable dolly to create the smooth motion in the photos, noting "I strongly believe that a dolly shot is far more powerful than a static shot so I tried using it any chance I could."

If you look at the comments, it sparked an interesting debate about whether this qualifies as "journalism," or if it's just a glorified art project. He drew criticism for a variety of aspects of the project, ranging from the lack of context for these images to his use of extensive color correction. When you look at the before and after shots in his account, it's quite striking to see the difference from the original images.

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