Coachella ’07: Braaaaaaaains

In cyclecide bike rodeo by summerburkesLeave a Comment

May 5, 2007 – Stagecoach Music Festival – Cyclecide DJ / merch booth

None of us saw much music at Coachella. We had no time — and if we did, when we got our nightly second winds, we traveled in a pack, mostly. Saturday night we went as zombies.

We can’t remember if Spider or Doyle was the one to originally call Zombie Night, but then Doyle found this white 3-piece suit in the trash, and it actually fit him, so then we had to. After Cyclecide’s shows got more and more surreal throughout the day, with our collective heatstroke advancing at a steady clip, we re-appropriated the contents of our clown makeup case at dusk, piled on the fake blood, and went out strolling.

Helping run the Heavy Pedal Cyclecide Bike Rodeo, after days and days of hard labor and hiking uphill both ways in the snow with no shoes on etc., it’s immensely relaxing to walk around Coachella like a zombie. Fuck trying to look attractive, fuck rushing to see this or that band, fuck posture — this is how we feel. UhhhUUUHHH.

Everyone invented different “character” zombies and got into it. Doyle was a player zombie, lifting his sunglasses and winking one drippy-bloody eye. Spider leaned more toward office-worker zombie with tie and everything. This writer played a curly-mustachioed, missing-toothed, undead carny who kept trying to sneak and eat people’s brains when they weren’t looking.

Lurching around with drink in hand, stopping in crowded pathways to stare into space with hips jutted out at unruly angles, jump-starting again to move as people gathered closer to see just what was wrong … Spider even drooled. A lot.

Crowds cut us a wide swath, and gawked and took photos — even as they walked like us, but not on purpose. We all swarmed Buffalo’s Fire Pod piece while it shot off big flames out of its eight-foot petals. We raided the Cut Chemist show in the Do-Lab dome and stunned the hip-hop heads in front. We took a special group ride on the Kinetic Steam Works’ black-and-white carousel. We zombie-ballroom-danced around Johnny Amerika’s Movement piece, too, while it belched fire clouds around us. Talk about a photo op.

We ignored the Rage Against the Machine reunion and pooh-poohed the RHCPs. (“Remember when the Red Hot Chili Peppers used to be the Red Hot Chili Peppers?,” we kept saying, balefully.) But when Manu Chao took the main stage, all semblance of zombie-ness ceased and we ran toward the front and danced and moshed like 15-year-old punk kids.

Then the Cauac Twins’ Tesla coils went off and Jesse Wack and company took over our sound system for an extended drunken jam that actually didn’t sound very bad, and we laid around on the Cyclecide stage on the pink carpet and told stories.

Then when they kicked us out of the field after the crowds had gone, some went back to camp and had another party in front of L.T.’s gorgeous Cyclecide fire barrel she made us. Others drifted off into the night, on their way to do who knows what with who knows whom. We fell asleep at a reasonable hour, but we hear Bjork eventually came back to our camp and partied with us, and someone in Cyclecide actually got to do coke off her ta-tas. We hear it, but we didn’t say it was true.

Success! Also: exhaustion.

Next, a report from Stagecoach. Which is going on right now and we’re pretending to DJ in the shade. Hey, three carloads of fresh blood arrived last night and kept us up drinking. Let them do some of the work. Most of us still feel like zombies — just without the makeup now.


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