David Malitz: Using my special weighted Bahamian quarter, I won this year’s coin toss and the right kick things off. It's an easy choice for me — Pulp is the first pick. You can argue for Radiohead, Oasis or Blur, but I’ll take Jarvis Cocker and company as the best British musical export of the ’90s. I never got to see them the first time around (save for a three-song set at the 1998 Tibetan Freedom Concert) and have been patiently awaiting my opportunity.
Chris Richards: Agh. With all of these big names, I was hoping I could quietly snatch Pulp on the third or fourth round. That said, I could probably grab my first round pick later, too, but I refuse to contain my excitement for this Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg set. I think when it comes to vision and influence, “The Chronic” deserves the same kind of recognition of “Nevermind,” so this headlining set feels righteous to me.
Chris Richards: I’ll take Bon Iver, then. I think Justin Vernon and his crew would make a much better headliner than the perennially just fine Black Keys. Also: I’m willing to bet my lunch money that this draft completes itself without either of us picking said Keys.
David Malitz: Oddsmakers took that Keys bet off the board for being too obvious. On principle, I must take Destroyer right here. How about a super-extended sunset version of “Bay of Pigs”?
Chris Richards: Lots of hullabaloo about the reunions of Refused and At the Drive-In, but let's get excited about the future, people. I'm really looking forward to what I think will be (right?) the stateside live debut of the Weeknd. The guy made my favorite album of 2011, after all.
David Malitz: You make a good point here. If Frank Ocean is going to have the breakou 2012 that we all expect, a standout Coachella set will be a big part of that.
David Malitz: I'll dip back into the ’90s reunion pool again. (Isn't that what these massive festivals are for?) Give me Mazzy Star — and a comfortable pile of towels to lounge on.
Chris Richards: Y’know, I tweeted about Mazzy Star at Coachella and someone responded, “How long does it take to play ‘Fade Into You’? That'll be a short set.” Touche. So I’ll take Cat Power, who has written an entire clutch of songs that have pulverized my heart.
David Malitz: Cat Power in 2012 is very different from Cat Power in the late-’90s, but seeing Cat Power as many times as I did back then still leaves me baffled as to how Chan Marshall will fare in front of 75,000 people. I feel like I need some “oontz” in my lineup but it’s not just appealing to me. So let’s keep piling on with the Brits and give me some widescreen stadium rock from the Horrors.
Chris Richards: I need some oontz, too. But not yet. I'm taking Neutral Milk Hotelier Jeff Mangum before you do.
David Malitz: That’s fine. The Mangum thing is wonderful but I feel like it is best experienced with a small and devoted group of fans, not some drunk college girl waiting to see David Guetta. Or something like that. You loved Kendrick Lamar when he was at 9:30 last year and “Section.80” is a great debut, so that's my next pick.
David Malitz: Of course I love Real Estate, but picking the bands I know I love at Black Cat is a little different than piecing together a Coachella lineup, right? (As in, sorry Yuck and Wild Flag.) I need a band that goes for “epic” all the time with this pick and there are a few choices, but I'll still with my ’90s theme and go with Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Chris Richards: You’re really good at the psychological chess of this. But lucky for me, you’re still choosing tiresome acts every few rounds. So while you're stroking your chin to Godspeed, I’ll be two-stepping to ASAP Rocky.
David Malitz: Since I’m well into the “picking bands I don't even really like” portion of this draft, I will choose one from which I simply have no idea what to expect — Jimmy Cliff and Tim Armstrong. They should split the set between 1/4 Clash covers, 1/4 Cliff hits, 1/4 originals, 1/4 Operation Ivy/Rancid classics. And voila!
Chris Richards: For real? I thought you were Jedi mind tricking me, but you were actually just bored — and with so many good acts left on the bill! SBTRKT, La Roux, Flying Lotus and Ximena Sarinana are all great, but since I love wild drumming, I'll pick Death Grips, featuring Zach Hill of Hella-fame.
David Malitz: Well, I may as well end it with another ’90s reunion, right? I'll catch SBTRKT, FlyLo, Thundercat, etc., in another decade. But reunited underground rap faves Company Flow complete my bill.
Chris Richards: You’re missing the entire point of a festival like Coachella. You want to tell your kids, “I saw EMA at Coachella when she was still in small fonts on the poster!” But for my final pick, I’ll split the difference and go with a small-fonter from the not-so-distant past: Jacques Lu Cont. His albums with Zoot Woman and Les Rhythmes Digitales are severely slept on and I still listen to his remix of Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For” all the time. Ah, 2004. What a year.
And another draft comes to a close. The results...
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Jimmy Cliff and Tim Armstrong
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog
Gary Clark Jr.
Jacques Lu Cont