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Watch the 5 Best Sets From Coachella 2013's First Weekend

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WHILE Manitobans are wondering when spring is going to come, the unofficial kickoff for the summer festival season happened last weekend in Indio, Calif., with the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Now spread out over two weekends to accommodate the swelling crowds that descend on the sun-baked valley to take in the acclaimed festival, the events' highlights are available online at YouTube.

While the rumoured surprise performance by electronic innovators Daft Punk didn't happen (the robotic duo did unveil parts of their new video with legendary Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers and Neptunes' frontman Pharrell Williams), there were some amazing performances and special appearances. From R&B star R. Kelly teaming up with indie rockers Phoenix to headlining performances by Brit-pop heroes Blur to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs showing why their new album is one of the most anticipated of the year, Coachella's opening weekend may not have featured Tupac holograms, but there was still plenty of pop culture buzz generated at the festival. Don't forget: you can catch some of the festival's live stream over the weekend at coachella.com.

 

Stream of the Week: 12 Year Retrospective Mix by Kasm

bit.ly/balanced12

STARTED 12 years ago, Winnipeg's Balanced Records has played an important role in helping develop the local electronic scene. While the label has branched out since its humble beginnings as an outlet for documenting and promoting local electronic artists, it has never strayed too far from its original ideas about what Balanced could be.

With nearly 40 releases, one Juno win and an eclectic roster that includes locals such as Kasm and Billy Rockwell, Canadians including Rise Ashen and Citizen Sound and international producers such as Richie Phoe and Process Rebel, Balanced has managed to survive and grow in a very uncertain time in the music industry.

To celebrate Balanced's 12th anniversary, the Seed Organization, Solidaze, Equanim and Dualbeat's Justin Kace will be performing at Boa Lounge on Friday, April 19. Advance tickets are $10 at Music Trader and will be $12 at the door.

 

Video of the Week: Nile Rodgers: The Hit Maker

bit.ly/hitmaker

THE name Nile Rodgers may not be instantly recognizable these days, but his signature guitar sound surely is. From his endless hits with disco pioneers Chic to his work with David Bowie, Madonna, INXS and Duran Duran, Rodgers helped define the sound of the late '70s and '80s.

Most recently, he has contributed to Daft Punk's new album, Random Access Memories, opening up his detailed, groove-oriented guitar sound for a whole new generation.

Watch a fascinating hour-long BBC documentary on his role as one of the most influential guitarists in the music industry.

 

Anthony Augustine is a freelance music, technology and pop culture writer who spends way too much time in front of a computer. Got a site you think he should see? Email him at anthony.siteunseen@gmail.com or follow him at twitter.com/anthonya.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 18, 2013 c14

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Updated on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM CDT: adds links, embeds video

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