Boston Beat: Soul Clap providing lone New England representation at Coachella 2016


The 2016 Coachella Music & Arts Festival kicks off this weekend, and this year’s party in the California desert is notable for high-powered reunions from two musical acts indelibly tied to their home cities, LCD Soundsystem (New York) and Guns N’ Roses (Los Angeles). In addition, there are countless other musicians hailing from those two hubs, heartily filling out a lineup of more than 160 bands and DJ/producers from around the world.

Here in Boston, and actually, throughout New England, there is only one act repping our part of the country: Veteran dance duo Soul Clap, who play the Yuma tent on Sunday (April 10 and again on April 17).

Having a light Boston representation was first sensed a few months ago when the lineup was unveiled, and now confirmed by SoCal newspaper a new interactive map from The Press Enterprise, which pins the home or base location of each Coachella performer. “This year’s festival features more than 160 artists and more jazz performers than we’ve seen in recent years,” writes Vanessa Franko. “Also notable are two reggae artists from Jamaica, a hip-hop trio from Seoul, South Korea, and a returning DJ from Siberia.”


But just one dot in New England:


That means no bands, and nothing with a guitar. Which means no PVRIS, no Speedy Ortiz, no Potty Mouth, no Ballroom Thieves, no Palehound, no Quilt, and no Vundabar. And no hip-hop either, so breakouts like Michael Christmas, Cousin Stizz, or Dutch ReBelle won’t get any time in or under the sun. Coachella loves its reunions, however ’90s bands like Juliana Hatfield Three, Letters To Cleo, or Belly aren’t in the mix either (though in fairness those last two reunions may have crystallized too late in the game).


Technically, the P-E also lists electronic music producer Goldroom as a Boston artist, a result of Josh Legg growing up here. But Legg’s career took off after he studied at University of Southern California, and you’d be hard pressed to find any Boston representation in any of his websites or press materials, which all state he is Los Angeles-based.

Soul Clap getting the invite is a step up from last year, when no New England artists played on the Coachella stage. In 2014, the fest welcomed Neko Case (who has ties to Western Massachusetts and Vermont), producer TJR (from Danbury, Connecticut), and MGMT (also of Connecticut), but the year before that saw the Dropkick Murphys, Passion Pit, and Dinosaur Jr. get down.

Maybe 2017 will be better (we predict PVRIS, Vundabar, and Stizz get the call). In the meantime, Soul Clap will hold it down.