With a surprise Saturday off and a friend who somehow nabbed VIP wristbands, Coachella seemed like the only answer.  Free booze in a desert full of bikinis, weed, pills, PiL and celebrities trying on their hipster costumes should strike anyone as an outlandish jackpot - how can you not fucking go if it’s 2 hours away? Having never been to a huge music fest besides Warped Tour in middle school (Rancid FTW). I heeded the sage words of our new cultural savior Drake and resolved to go: “If you ain’t been a part of it, at least you got to witness.”

So my vampiric-looking girlfriend and I packed up her rental black Nazi-hearse PT Cruiser and blasted out of L.A. on Friday night - missed some annoying traffic and some annoying bands.  Got to experience them both vicariously when everybody discussed Jay-Z and whined about how long the traffic jam lasted though!  ”We left 7 hours early but were still sitting in traffic by the end of Jay-Z’s set!” said everyone,  so I ordered a round of wahmburgers and french cries. So unpredictable that a tiny town in the middle of the desert doesn’t have the infrastructure to suddenly allow 100,000 cars to cram through its two lane highway!

Some notes on the PT Cruiser: it’s a perfect case study for what’s retarded about the American auto industry.  I have a Prius because I’m a yuppie with Down’s Syndrome, it’s fucking awesome - the thing’s advanced computer shows you exactly where to go without fail and immediately recalibrates when you blow it on the turn. It turns like a fucking ant on a dime. It drives forever with zero repairs. It even brews its own electricity through friction on the brake pads when you stop.  The PT Cruiser feels like sitting in a hollowed out EZ Bake Oven and drives like an amp balanced on skateboards.  You physically can’t fucking do a U-Turn in it even if the road’s four lanes wide! They designed it so the wheel occasionally scrapes the fender or something, it’s insane.  Like a scrotum, on the outside it looks disgusting and on the inside it looks like fucking balls. It’s ghoulish. It’s like after hundreds of years of manufacturing automobiles, these idiots have literally no idea what they’re doing in the design room and are blindly flailing around hoping something will stick (e.g. a shitty plastic “retro” car) while other countries design awesome future cars that work.

Anyway, we made it to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs for the first of a series of indecipherable and fairly insane parties. Insane not in the “that misty flip was fucking insane” sense, more the “why are you addressing me as ‘You Pussy Ted Kennedy’ and telling me about China’s hidden weapon cache from the street below, you’re fucking insane”sense of the word. Kids wandered around the pool zones aimlessly gazing into their phones, some bros in cargo shorts heckled me for wearing a leather jacket to a cold-at-night music festival for all the wrong reasons (“Heyyyy!!! Sex Pistollllllsss!!! SEX PISTOLLLLSSS!!!”), etc.

It became increasingly clear that the people at Coachella were suspect. I’d envisioned the general population to be a little like a vastly expanded Sonic Youth or Television free outdoor show kinda crowd (just trynta give you an idea here guys, not name dropping my insanely elite musical tastes); you know, people who like music and are reasonably cool, maybe a few photographers here and there. Was not, NOT expecting the crowd of the Anger Management Tour crossed with a high school rave. Not that that’s BAD, it totally has it’s place…(I have a number of theories explaining this phenomenon, most of them hinging on Jay-Z and Gorrillaz being the headliners and Americans worshipping cavemen and MMA fighters).  The parties were intensely corporate sponsored so shit was slathered with logos, you had to RSVP online to get wristbands prior, only certain wristbands could go certain places — basically there’s piles of bullshit you have to wade through just to get free booze and hear some guy play with his Serato.  Is this too negative? Sorry, I was in a bad mood because it turned out my friend’s VIP passES turned out to be a PASS — found myself in Palm Springs with no ticket to a sold out show.  Oh yeah, and since we decided so last minute we hadn’t quite lined up anywhere to stay. Whoops!

I had to whip up some phenomenal ideas to solve this problem, so naturally I followed my doctor’s orders and smoked a ton of weed. Brought an ounce of shake from my weed delivery guy so I could roll infinity spliffs throughout the weekend, as well as some shrooms and a few hits of ecstasy — nothing outlandish but definitely fun for the two nights yeah? But with no place to sleep the weekend seemed more daunting and sweaty.  Liquor stores stopped selling at 2 and my coworker’s phone mysteriously malfunctioned when I called to see if we could crash on couches, but luckily we ran into these three fun girls I knew from LA outside another wristband-oriented, fashion/vodka/DJ themed throwdown. With this girlie crew we proceeed to some dudes’ suite, which was definitely representative of WTF was up at Coachella.

In the hotel hallway these wasted dudes loitered in hopes of nabbing a passing girl and dragging her into their rooms like a trapdoor spider.  Our crew squeezes through awkwardly like that Abramovitch piece and we find the suite — a bunch of bros standing awkwardly in the room with all the lights on, three youngish not so hot girls sitting on the bed, a dude already dead asleep IN the bed, and hardcore throatfucking porn BLASTING on the TV. You had to admire these guys’ logic — ‘dude, we get champagne, we get some biddies over, we put on some porn really loud, bada bing, foolproof! Just like baking!’ Luckily these girls were smart, they instantly decided to get their hands on the champagne, down it, lightly mock the investment banker dudes while pretending to be interested in how much they bench (“you have no idea” is how much according to one chief…seriously dude?), and abruptly leave while still clutching the bottle.

But our scheme was thwarted when one of the dudes, upon realizing we’d made off with his precious bottle of gangbang bait, actually followed us down the hall as we pushed past another rivaling gauntlet of leering old guys calling “ladies! ladies! I think that’s my bottle you just took! Heh heh!” The girl incredulously jammed the backwash dregs into the guy’s groping paws and we continued to another suite party (this one was an actual party). Cops were arguing with the white shirt flared jeans gel hair guys who seemed to be bankrolling the party to turn the megamix down. I chewed an e and downed some sponsored vod.  Fred Durst was going “Rollin rollin rollin rollin WHAT?!” in my mind, his cap spinning furiously.  And I was hearing him out because really, what are you supposed to talk to strangers about at this shit? How tight everything is (especially the oppressively talentless and boring The XX) and how fucked up you are? Looking at palm trees, the stars, and a fire is fun.

The sun was coming up so we headed out before getting a chance to rail some MDMA with my college friend I ran into, and here we come full circle to the ole PT Loser — they built the shit so you cannot fold the back seats down like every other hatchback on the motherfucking planet. This pointless indent in the trunk zone blocks them from folding.  You can only flip the seatbacks forward, which turns the car’s interior into two platforms about the size of a dog’s cage at two different heights. Like sleeping in a kennel with orange crates inside — equal parts elegance and relaxation.  So we parked on some residential street that dead-ended at the base of these huge maroon mountains that encircle the city, crammed ourselves in the back of the hearse oven while the desert sun pounded through the windows, caught about three hours of sleep energy for the next day with my head drooping off the edge of the seat. Dogs came and barked at the car.