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The Lineup at the First Coachella Will Blow Your Mind



If it feels weird to be talking about the first Coachella in these early days of spooky season, that’s because…well, it is.

But however random it may seem, it doesn’t change the fact that the world-famous music festival, usually held over two weekends in early April, is actually celebrating its 20th anniversary on October 9. And unless you’re one of the few people—and we do mean few—who were present for the inaugural weekend at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California exactly two decades ago, you probably had no idea. (We sure didn’t.) And if the fact that the whole endeavor began in an entirely different time of year has left you shook, wait until you find out what that fateful first weekend was like. Because the different date is truly just the tip of the iceberg.

Long before the flower-crowned Instagram influencers had descended upon the annual event, turning it into a place to, most importantly, see and be seen (rather than, you know, a place to listen), the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was co-founded by Paul Tollett and Rick Van Santen as a way for Goldenvoice, their Los Angeles-based concert promotion company, to stay afloat against competitors who could offer higher guarantees to secure venues. Having already booked a one-off show for Pearl Jam on the site in 1993, proving the polo club’s suitability for large-scale events, an idea was born: book several cool, but not quote-unquote popular artists for one lineup, a festival with multiple venues. 

“Maybe if you put a bunch of them together,” Tollett told The Desert Sun in 2011 about his idea, “that might be a magnet for a lot of people.”

The goal was to mount the inaugural festival in 1998, but plans were delayed to the following year. On July 16, 1999, Goldenvoice got the OK from the Indio City Council, who approved the festival and said they’d provide $90,000 for services like traffic control and public safety—funds that came with a guarantee of repayment from the promoter. A preliminary lineup of 40 acts was announced on July 28, just days after the conclusion of Woodstock ’99, a disaster marred by looting, arson, violence and rapes. Watching that festival descend into complete chaos left Tollett worried. As he recalled to The New Yorker in 2017,  “I’m thinking, Should we be doing this? A lot of bad things could happen.”

Nevertheless, they carried on, with tickets going on sale on August 7, just two months before the event was to take place. “Which is so stupid,” he told the publication. “To break a brand-new festival sixty days away is financial suicide. But we didn’t know that.” At $50 for each of the festival’s two days, ticket prices were a far cry from what they are today. And likely from what they should’ve been then, but more on that in a minute.


And as for the line-up? Well, it too was a far cry from the sort of list of artists that these days includes massive pop stars like Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. Headliners were Beck, Morrissey and The Chemical Brothers on Saturday and Rage Against the Machine and Tool on Sunday. There were a handful of electronic acts, like Moby and Thievery Corporation, rock bands, like Spiritualized and Modest Mouse, and DJs, like A-Trak and DJ Shadow. The late spoken-word performer Gil Scott-Heron, often considered to be the first rapper ever, was on the lineup, as was the promise of DJs like KCRW’s Jason Bentley on the main stage.

Like we said, it was much different. The festival wouldn’t dip its toes into the full-fledged pop waters it likes to swim in now until 2006 when Madonna was added to the line-up—though the poster made clear she was be “in the dance tent.”

Despite temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, the festival went off without a hitch, earning itself the title of “anti-Woodstock.” Parking was free and traffic flow was handled easily. Everyone was handed a free bottle of water as they arrived at the polo field, with free water fountains, ample restrooms and misting tents made readily available once inside. The goal of delivering a “high-comfort festival experience” was achieved. And the crowd responded to the respect in kind.

“Polite behavior is not something associated with large-scale rock festivals, but it was very much in effect at Coachella,” Rolling Stone wrote in their review of the inaugural event. “People would say ‘excuse me’ after they bumped into you, and the knots of aggressive teenagers demanding that women take off their tops were thankfully absent. In fact the only bared chests seen on Saturday were Perry Farrell and Morrissey, both of whom took off their shirts on-stage.”

Despite being an enjoyable experience for those who attended, the bigger problem was the fact that there just weren’t enough of them. Capacity was capped at 35,000 tickets for each day, but only about 17,000 sold for Saturday and 20,000 for Sunday. Despite being named festival of the year by Pollstar, the meager attendance nearly ended Goldenvoice for good. “We needed a longer campaign to get word out. It was extravagant—five stages for a startup show,” Tollett told The New Yorker, adding that, in the end, “we lost between eight hundred and fifty thousand and a million. We knew we were dust.”

The following two years were rough, with Tollett having to sell his house and car while begging acts, including the headliners to agree to deferred compensation for their appearances. Tentative plans for a festival in 2000 were ultimately scrapped, with the company partnering with EDC promoter Pasquale Rotella to stage the EDM fest Nocturnal Wonderland at the Empire Polo Club that September instead.

The festival returned as a one-day event in April 2001, in an attempt to beat the heat of the Southern California fall, with ticket prices raised to $65. With finances still a concern, Tollett sold Goldenvoice to AEG that March for $7 million, but terms of the deal meant that he would keep Coachella separate. However, after Van Santen died in December 2003 from flu-related complications at the age of 41, he sold half of the festival, along with the controlling interest, to the company in 2004. That year, with Radiohead and The Cure as headliners, was their first sellout. 

“For me that was a turning point,” Tollett told the L.A. Times earlier this year. “Once Radiohead gave you the stamp of approval, you’ve arrived. Every band started to call at that point.”

The rest, as they say, is history. Headliners now command several millions of dollars for playing one of the festival’s three nights—the festival was extended to include three nights in 2007 and a second, separately-ticketed weekend in 2012—tickets routinely sell out within minutes months before even a single act is announced, and the whole thing has become such a scene that the music can oftentimes feel like an afterthought to many attendees who seem to be merely doing it for the gram.

But for one shining moment 20 years ago, Coachella was an idealistic place where lovers of music could come together to see the acts who don’t command the airwaves or sell out arenas. It wouldn’t last. After all, how could it? But it happened. And while its legacy has ultimately become something much different, it’s just nice to remember its humble beginnings.

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Shows Baby Bump As Pregnancy Moves Along – HollywoodLife




Erica Mena s continuing to slay her pregnancy fashion as her baby bump grows. She rocked a plunging tight dress in a new photo where she looked absolutely stunning.

Hot mama to be alert! Erica Mena isn’t letting a growing baby bump cramp her amazing style. The 31-year-old accentuated it in a new outfit, and she shared the pic of her sexy dress to her Instagram on Oct. 22. The new Mrs. Safaree Samuels wore a skin-tight pale yellow dress with a plunging neckline to show off plenty of pregnancy cleavage. The bra-like top of the dress even featured cutouts under her breasts where she flaunted plenty of skin. She’s clearly feeling super body positive as her baby girl grows inside of her.

The dress was sheer but with a layer of fabric underneath that grazed her upper thighs while the rest of the knee-length frock allowed for her gorgeous legs to be seen. It looks like Love & Hip-Hop: New York star Erica might have taken a page out of the fashion book Kim Kardashian, 39, mastered during her 2015 pregnancy with son Saint West, now three. While her dress was tight and sexy, she wore a copper-colored duster jacket over it to only show off the front of her body.

So far Erica doesn’t seem to have issues with swollen feet or ankles, because her footwear was fab in the photo. She wore clear plastic heels with large ankle straps, and the look showed off her perfect red pedicure. That also matched her bright red nails as Erica is keeping up her glam during her pregnancy. She wore her hair in loose waves and had a flawless face of makeup on.

“2019 Scorpio season starts Tomorrow. Let’s get this the serious slay baby girl,” Erica captioned the photo. Her 32nd birthday is on Nov. 8 and her zodiac sign begins on Oct. 23. While other Scorpios responded with “Yassss!” comments, others couldn’t get over how gorgeous Erica looked. User mrs.lateenatwe wrote, “U are slaying this pregnancy 🤰🏾 💕😍,” while sharper2952 added, “STUNNING. SO HAPPY FOR YOU. YOU DESERVE IT ALL. SAFAREE IS YOUR SOUL MATE😍😍😍❤️❤️.” The couple announced Erica’s pregnancy on Oct. 1 and on Oct. 7 they secretly married. Their wedding will be seen on the upcoming 10th season of Love & Hip-Hop: New York, as cameras from the show were reportedly present for the nuptials.

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‘For Colored Girls’ Review: Ntozake Shange’s Women Endure




Their individuality was always undeniable. But in their latest appearance on a New York stage, it’s clear that their combined strength is what has made these women so vital, so enduring.

There are, technically, seven title characters in “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf,” Ntozake Shange’s milestone work of theater from the mid-1970s. But in Leah C. Gardiner’s loving, collective embrace of a revival, which opened Tuesday at the Public Theater, seven also equals one.

Such mathematics are of course essential to any ensemble performance, where interdependence is a given. Yet the team of actresses here, channeling what Shange called a choreopoem, takes onstage symbiosis to a radiant new level of both reliance and defiance.

Their lyrical soliloquies may find their characters in extremis. But don’t ever think that they’re helpless in their vulnerability. These women always, but always, have one another’s backs.

And as you watch a show that begins tentatively but keeps swelling in confidence, you realize that their number isn’t limited to seven, or more than twice that, if you count the all-female creative team. Legions of unseen others stand behind them. That includes the many actresses who played these parts in earlier productions, the women who inspired their stories and the female relatives of the cast members, whose faces are printed on their dresses, created by Toni-Leslie James. And of course, Shange herself, who died a year ago and who contained multitudes.

“Colored Girls” was one of the most unexpected theater hits to emerge from the chaotic 1970s. First performed in bars and clubs, it found a more fixed home in New York’s Henry Street Settlement Theater, before moving to the Public Theater in 1976 and then, in short order, to Broadway, where it ran for 742 performances.

Mainstream theatergoers had seen nothing like it. Shange’s free-form text was neither linear nor literal in its depiction of black women struggling to claim their own voices from a society that had either ignored or actively silenced them. “Bein’ alive and bein’ a woman and bein’ colored,” as one character says, “is a metaphysical dilemma I haven’t conquered yet.”

Often they spoke in lush and startling metaphors — about the confusions of girlhood, the salvation of music and, above all, the men who used and abused them — and moved with hypnotic urgency. (“We gotta dance to keep from dyin’,” one says.) They were identified only by the hues of the dresses they wore, as in Lady in Red and Lady in Purple. And the term “colored girls” was neatly sprung from any patronizing racial context.

Despite the rich specificity of its language, the play has proved surprisingly malleable in subsequent adaptations, which include a starry 2010 film by Tyler Perry. The last time I saw “Colored Girls” onstage — in 1995, with Shange directing — the palette of names had been changed (to shades like aqua and rose), and there were references to newly topical subjects, including AIDS.

Gardiner’s version dispenses with those revisions. The text used here rearranges some of the original material. Other poems by Shange have been added and set to sensuous music by Martha Redbone, hauntingly sung by the siren-voiced Sasha Allen, as the Lady in Blue.

But what’s most striking about this incarnation, which is choreographed by Camille A. Brown, is its pervasive sense of women talking to — and being deeply invested in — one another, as if in an eternal support group. It’s a sensibility that starts with its circular stage (Myung Hee Cho did the set, lighting is by Jiyoun Chang), which seems to exert a centripetal force, repeatedly pulling the performers into a single huddle.

Not that the form of the individual monologues has been jettisoned. But while I remember “Colored Girls” as a series of vivid star turns, this version feels like an endlessly fluid collaboration. Some of the separate pieces have been divided, so that more than one person speaks them — or in the case of the balletically graceful deaf actress Alexandria Wailes, signs them.

The individual narratives, many of which were drawn from Shange’s personal experiences, are often dense and elliptical in their imagery. And especially in the early sections, meaning is sometimes muddled.

Other, later monologues land with an impact that shakes the house. They inevitably include the harrowing, climactic piece about a young mother in a disastrously destructive relationship (performed with scalding intensity by Jayme Lawson).

But I was also blown away by Okwui Okpokwasili’s declaration of independence to the unnamed lover who “almost walked off wid alla my stuff.” It’s a great, trenchant piece of writing, irresistibly insistent in its repetitive accusations. But Okpokwasili knows just how to calibrate its quickening cadences.

Throughout, you’re conscious of how all the performers — the others are Celia Chevalier, Danaya Esperanza and Adrienne C. Moore — are so completely there for the actress speaking. They snap their fingers and occasionally murmur in affirmation. If need be, they’ll step in to offer physical support, to prop up another woman if she seems overwhelmed or drained.

They more or less enter dancing, by the way, in a prefatory passage that has them stretching their muscles, finding their grooves and loosely establishing a common physical vocabulary, as if in a workshop. It seems fitting that the show’s exhilarating high point isn’t a single soliloquy but a great, luminous coalescing of everyone onstage.

This boisterous epiphany begins with one woman’s declaration, “My love is too delicate to have thrown back in my face.” The others join in, with a panoply of adjectives that define the incalculable worth of their love: It’s “too beautiful,” “too sanctified,” “too magic” to ever be taken for granted.

Their voices meld, their bodies tumble and tangle together. And sisterhood becomes a single hydra-headed, multitongued entity, invincible and indivisible. God help the man who dares to cross it.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf

Tickets Through Dec. 1 at the Public Theater, Manhattan; 212-967-7555, Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

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See Photo Of Her Darker ‘Do – HollywoodLife




Kailyn Lowry once announced she hated ‘life as a brunette,’ but she’s had a change of heart. The ‘Teen Mom 2’ star dyed her hair multiple shades darker, and apparently, it won’t be her last time undergoing such a makeover!

There’s going to be another brunette on Teen Mom 2, and we’re not talking about a new cast member. Following years of dirty blonde hair, Kailyn Lowry, 27, decided to join the darker side! The MTV star debuted her hair makeover in an Instagram post shared on Oct. 22, which revealed her toffee-tinted brunette waves. Consider this dramatic change as a sign for big things to come.

“A woman who changes her hair is about to change her life 💃🏻,” Kailyn captioned the hair makeover post, and now we’re excited! Taylor Kline from Delaware’s Gem Beauty Co. salon was the hairstylist responsible for Kailyn’s new ‘do. Apparently, this won’t be Kailyn’s last time sitting in her chair! “@kaillowry went darker and wants to go even darker next time 💗😍💎,” the hairstylist captioned her own post of the MTV star’s hair. You read that right — Kailyn might dive deeper into the color wheel of dark browns for her next hair appointment!

Ever since Kailyn made her debut on 16 and Pregnant, she has been blonde — well, except that one time she experimented with brown hair in 2013. Kailyn wasn’t quite as happy with the results six years ago, because she tweeted, “I hate my life as a brunette! What was I thinking? On my way back to BLONDE.” Oh, don’t you just love how tweets age. But we think Kailyn’s new tresses look gorgeous!

BEFORE: Kailyn Lowry is seen here with platinum blonde hair at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York on Aug. 20, 2018. (Shutterstock)

What’s next after Kailyn’s visit to the salon? Well, the mother of three sees another baby in her future — with one condition. “No more babies until there’s a ring on this finger,” she tweeted on Oct. 20. So, let’s backtrack — new ‘do, and hopefully, a new man one day? That’s what Kailyn wants, because she also tweeted on Sept. 17, “I’m ready to be a wife & be w my best friend forever.” Kailyn has previously been in relationships with Jo Rivera, Javi Marroquin and Chris Lopez, and shares a son with each ex.

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