Steven Cuevas’ Inland Empire Chronicles |

Coachella is a bunch of sellouts. And what’s up with all these old people?

So, you put off shelling out that $300 for weekend Coachella festival passes hoping it wouldn’t sell out. Well, it sold out. Organizers confirmed that this morning with a simple, but firm message: “NO MORE TIX…SORRY None left anywhere.” They also announced set times for all performers.

There is at Coachella a deep & abiding love, maybe even a fetish, for Indie rock icons of 80’s and 90’s; veteran performers who still pack a lot of cred and whose influence hotwires a couple generations of young bands. Now that most of those iconic bands have already graced Coachella stages, some more than once, the way-back machine finds itself traveling back even further, to Woodstock and beyond.

After acclaimed performances by Paul McCartney and Roger Waters, organizers are starting to dig deep into the 60’s and 70’s to find those artists who’s influence still casts a long shadow. This weekend we have much anticipated performances by Sly Stone and Gil Scott Heron.

Stone recently returned to the stage after a years-long absence. But his performances, when he bothers to show up, have ranged from disastrous to surprisingly good given his reputed struggles with substance abuse. Here he is on a pretty good night in 2008:

Sly Stone “Sing a Simple Song” Tokyo 2008

The so-called “godfather of rap” Gil Scott Heron on the other hand survived his various demons, including a prison stint, intact. He promises to deliver a powerful performance on the heels of a great new record that sounds as fresh and deep as when he cut “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” some 35 years ago. Here’s a video from his latest album:

Later: Hope I die before I get old, again - how aging punks, goths and new wavers continue to shape Coachella’s vision.