The Coachella Festival kicks off a week from today, upon the scorched earth of California's Indio desert--meaning we're already starting to pack our economy-sized bottles of SPF 70 sunblock, baby wipes, portable battery-operated misting fans, sun umbrellas, earplugs, glowsticks, and travel packs of RU-21.
However, the best way to prepare for Coachella is to reflect on some of the fest's best performances over the last nine sunstroked years. And 2004 is perhaps THE best year to begin. First, 2004 was the year of the much-ballyhooed reunion by Pixies (whose Kim Deal, pictured above, returns to Coachella this year with her own reunited Breeders). This reunion launched a noble Coachella tradition in which everyone from the Jesus & Mary Chain to Gang Of Four to this year's Verve have gotten their act back together at the festival.
2004 was also the year that Beck made a surprise appearance in the acoustic tent, and a little band called the Killers played the tiny, not-entirely-packed Gobi Tent at 2pm. And 2004 was also the year of big-deal headliners like the Cure, the Flaming Lips, and Kraftwerk (the latter of whom are playing Coachella this year, too).
However, 2004 will probably go down in Coachella history for the astounding main-stage performance by one of the world's best festival bands, period: Radiohead.
So check out an exclusive performance of Radiohead's 2004 desert session here, and make sure to come back every day next week for more classic Coachella clips:
By the way...Coachella tickets are still available! But they're hot (literally) and going fast. Get them at http://coachella.com/tickets.