Best and Worst of the S.S. Coachella

The S.S. Coachella returned safely Wednesday morning after a relatively wobbly night's sail across the Caribbean Sea. The voyage was a success. The boat didn't sink, and constant forced Purell-ing kept us all from contracting tropical illnesses or just the flu from our diseased shipmates.

Three days, 400 meals, 30 cocktails, 15 clothing changes, and probably like 50 concerts later, arriving back on U.S. soil was a relief but also left us wanting more. Meals, that is. Oh, and concerts.

After a day of reflection, it's clear that there were absolutely awesome things about the trip and some other things that were not so great. Here's the best and worst of the S.S. Coachella.

See also:

-S.S. Coachella: Goin' to Nail Master Class with Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss

-S.S. Coachella Cruise, Day One: Father John Misty, Yeasayer, !!!, Pulp

-S.S. Coachella, Day Two: Stalking Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Plus Gaslamp Killer, Black Lips

-S.S. Coachella: Drinking Wine With James Murphy on the High Seas

-S.S. Coachella: Top Ten Fashion Moments!

The Worst

SS Coachella (Day 2) by Ian Witlen-36 1.jpg
Ian Witlen
She's not posing. She's trying to keep her balance.
Choppy seas. We were on a boat, so not surprisingly, it felt like we were on a boat. But right now, at home, 24 hours later, I still have the sensation that I'm onboard.

If you love the high seas, then you might not even have noticed your carrots rolling into your mashed potatoes as the ship lurched side to side. Who knows? Maybe the movement helped get some people laid, falling all over each other on the dance floor.

It wasn't that it was too choppy, but being out there on the Atlantic, the feeling of vertigo and movement makes ya sleepy, as did the Bonine. So basically, it was hard to stay up for late shows even though late shows are the doggone best.

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    SS Coachella (Day 2) by Ian Witlen-70.jpg
    Ian Witlen
    At least this mouth-breathing pool-vert has good taste in music.
    Pool-verts. The ship was populated by a lot of gays, Australians, Spaniards, South Americans, tons of people from L.A., execs, artist handlers, and then cruise perverts. These guys hung out by the pool mostly and did a lot of panting and staring. Their purpose on that ship was to either show their ass cracks to people or get their tongues in your ears. I could have really enjoyed more of the DJ sets on the deck if they'd not been lurking about. But hey, at least I saw some booty cracks.
    SS Coachella (Day 3) by Ian Witlen-3.jpg
    Ian Witlen
    Look at them, just all relaxing. It's sickening, really. Get to work!
    Could have used one more day on the boat. Yeah, I know I just said the sea made a bunch of us sick, but really, one more day by the magnificent pool before the pervs came out would have been clutch.

    And there were so many acts. I caught about 80 percent of the shows, but I definitely missed a few, and I feel such regret! The boat's still sailing and is now on a five-day trek to Jamaica. That seems like too long, and right before Christmas? I don't know about all that. Let's change the system and demand a four-day S.S. Coachella next year, not on a major holiday.

    The Best

    Hot Chip playing "Sloop John B." I get homesick often. It's like getting diarrhea: It sucks, but you put up with it, because you can't stay home all the time, and what's out there in the big wide world is worth the discomfort. One song I sing regularly when away from my bed (mostly to myself, like a crazy person) is "Sloop John B." So you can imagine how my ears perked up when Hot Chip started performing this, my very favorite traveling song (sorry, "On the Road Again"). And what a great cover too! They didn't stop at Pet Sounds; they also played Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere." The video up there is shaky as shit (we were on a boat!), but close your eyes and enjoy the Sloop.

    SS Coachella (Day 3) by Ian Witlen-15.jpg
    Ian Witlen
    That's Cole Alexander of the Black Lips looking jaunty dressed as Mary Ann.
    Eating dinner with the Black Lips. The reason musical cruises are something special is because you get the chance to be all up in the faces of your favorite musicians. We lucked out and ended up eating din-din with the Black Lips after their S.S. Minnow pub crawl. There was a lot of talk of vegetables, and I was drunk enough to launch a few spitballs. I believe this beats me running into James Murphy on the elevator.
    SS Coachella (Day 3) by Ian Witlen-100.jpg
    Ian Witlen
    The Schnitzel I ate at that dinner. The food served in the sit-down dining hall was pretty decent, but the schnitzel I ate while drunkenly crashing the Black Lips' meal was really delightful. I subbed mashed potatoes for potato salad, really a wise decision.
    SS Coachella (Day 3) by Ian Witlen-55.jpg
    Ian Witlen
    Girl Talk mixing Tyga "Rack City" with Amerie's "1 Thing." Gregg Gillis is one of those DJs who looks like he's having a good time while making everyone else actually have a great time. It's like you feel so many things when listening to his music. You're pleased that you recognize the songs, then you want to jam to the song you know, and then you're like, wait, this is a whole freaking new song!

    Anyway, he wove some truly stellar tunes, but the one that made me giddy was a mashup of Tyga's "Rack City" and Amerie's "1 Thing." It was really late, so maybe it was "Rack City" with another one of my favorite dance songs, but I'm thinking this was the magical Girl Talk moment I'd been anticipating.

    Ian Witlen
    More, please! 
    !!!. Goldenvoice did a fantastic job booking some of the most relevant and entertaining live acts. Even if you weren't thrilled with all of the music, there wasn't one lackluster performance onboard. And if you get a chance to see !!!, never miss it.

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