By Chris Coplan
Ryan Avery’s something of a local music guru. Whether playing with bands like Fathers Day or Drunk and Horny, or booking shows at Trunk Space, they've been involved with hundreds of shows over the years (Avery uses they/them pronouns). Yet there’s one project that stands out among the slew of indie and punk shows: the Real Coachella festival.
"Whenever we'd ask an artist that we want to have perform, we'd say, 'Do you want to perform under the moniker of one of the acts that are playing the other Coachella," they say. "If they said yes, then we'd say, 'Tell us the name and give us some idea of how much time you need or what you want to do. Or don't tell us at all."
The event, which ran from roughly 2005 to 2014, became a kind of satire not just of Coachella but other big, bloated festivals that dominate the music scene and draw talent and attention from smaller operations. But as Avery explains, that wasn’t always the intention.
"When we started doing the Real Coachella, that sort of shit wasn't as apparent," they say. "It was like, here's a bunch of '80s bands reuniting in the desert and people are going apeshit for it. And then indie bands that just a couple months ago that were playing the smaller stage are now thinking that's going to launch their career into something bigger. But as time progressed, it was actually becoming the worst."
They add, "The other thing that was really obnoxious, to me anyway, is it was so frustrating to see a band that we really missed reunite and then only play Coachella. Like, I wanted to see Refused so bad, but I don't want to be surrounded by people who don't care."
While the notion of a faux festival seems silly, Avery admits that all the organizers remained deeply committed to the gag at all stages of planning.
"We'd meet somewhere ridiculous; we wanted every aspect of it to be ridiculous," they say. "So one year, we met at Mastro's and we wore really nice clothes."
Along the way, Avery and company accumulated several memorable performances. There are far too many to encapsulate what made the fest great, but Avery has a couple favorites.
"My old band Night Wolf did a tribute in 2009 to Danzig where we pretty much printed out [his] Wikipedia article and rewrote parts of it to make it sound spookier and make it sound more evil, which is, like, definitely the perception that he wants to give people," they say. "So I read that on stage and my partner Andrew played Misfit and Danzig songs between every couple paragraphs. Then we ended it with the Tuba City incident. But instead of saying that he just got punched, we said that he actually died. Then we reenacted it."
Not every memorable performance had to do with music, either.
"Another performance that I really, really enjoyed, and we did it every year except the last, was JRC, the former co-owner of Trunk Space, performing the opening ceremonies as this performance art project called Pinata Party," they say. "He'd have this spiel about how important the pinata was, and then let people have turns whacking at it. Only it'd be filled with plastic vegetables or rocks or old gumballs."
The event didn't just gross folks out; it actually tricked quite a few hapless concertgoers.
"The year The Specials were going to reunite , it was just some karaoke thing performed by a local ska group," Avery says. "That's the only time that we got regular hate mail from people. They're just like, 'You don't fuck with The Specials like that. I was about to fly down to Phoenix to see them play for $5 at an art gallery.' The same weekend they were going to be in California."
Or, the deeply devoted Scissor Sisters aficionado.
"They just did this real spooky thing for a couple minutes, with white face paint and candles," Avery says of the mock performance. "The person stayed for most of the show. But apparently they went up to the counter and demanded their money back. Like, okay, here's your $5."
Eventually, though, the joke ran its course. However, Real Coachella didn’t merely fold like any other festival.
"The way we decided to send off the Real Coachella, either in 2014 or 2015, was amazing," Avery says. "We'd been getting a lot of heat from this guy on the internet, and he was flagging all of our event pages on Facebook. So we put his name on the event and didn't ask any bands to perform. We told everyone it would be at The Dressing Room, but we didn't ask the people running The Dressing Room. We just set up in the parking lot dressed like ghosts and played Misfits at 16 RPM."
Avery is slightly hesitant to recall the "legacy" of Real Coachella, perhaps because that kind of thinking would only ruin the whole joke. Still, when asked if they were trying to be silly and dumb for the fun of it, or if there’s some deeper meaning, they had at least some insight.
"I wouldn't say that I want to be weird and wacky, but I would agree with the statement that normal things are boring," they say. "There's a book called Welcome to the Music Business, You're Fucked! If you're doing a local show, you're just a local band playing around your home state.
"You shouldn't be upset when people don't go to see you. Because you need to give them a reason to go outside of just seeing live music. That's the way I feel with pretty much any local event. I'm still not going to go unless there's another factor to it."
Which is to say, great music isn’t enough, and what makes a scene feel more real is how we grow and expand its larger role within a community. It’s a nice tidbit to muse on as folks sit at home, contemplating the eventual return of live music. Could that also include Real Coachella?
"I wouldn't want to do Real Coachella again," Avery says. "I think saying respecting the legacy of what it was is accurate, but it feels like the opposite of what should be."
My old band Night Wolf is reuniting to do an all hip hop set with our old friend Fancy Pants and pretend it’s 2005 again. Also new local weirdo hip-hop heros Supajoint and Doyenne. I am pretty excited.
Night Wolf reunion at the Indie 500. Our first show in almost 5 years. Despite Andrew being sloshed, all 3 of us being unable to see a thing and nearly setting the building on fire… it was the tightest set we have ever done.
Photo by Troy Farah.
You can see more photos from the show here.
FATHERS DAY SHOWS:
-Jun 11 2009 W/THE DOZAL BROTHERS, TREASURE MAMMAL, MICHEAL WASMUND AND KIDNEY FAILURE @THE HANGART Tucson, Arizona
-Jun 13 2009 W/TREEPHORT, BANGARANG AND THE PODS @THE TRUNKSPACE Phoenix, Arizona
-Jun 15 2009 W/MATH THE BAND, DELETED SCENES, BABY AVIATORS AND BANGARANG @THE TRUNKSPACE Phoenix, Arizona
-Jun 21 2009 FATHERS DAY ON FATHERS DAY SHOW! W/HUG OF WAR, TREASURE MAMMAL, MELTED CASSETTES, FORMER FRIENDS OF YOUNG AMERICANS AND ADAM MOKAN @THE SUN HOUSE Phoenix, Arizona
-Jul 15 2009 W/UNICORN BASEMENT, MELTED CASSETTES, MUCILAGE AND KITTEN FOREVER @THE TRUNKSPACE Phoenix, Arizona
-Jul 25 2009 WASTELAND FEST W/FATHERS DAY, BOLT!, JJCNV AND A BUNCH MORE @THE DRY RIVER Tucson, Arizona
-Jul 31 2009 HALLOWEEN IN JULY! W/FATHERS DAY, THE MCDANIELS, MUCILAGE AND MORE! @THE TRUNKSPACE (MORE INFO TBA) Phoenix, Arizona
-Aug 8 2009 W/QUINTRON AND MISS PUSSYCAT @THE GREAT ARIZONA PUPPET THEATER Phoenix, AZ
THE BOYS / HI MY NAME IS RYAN SHOWS:
-Jun 6 2009 THE BOYS W/ANDREW JEMSEK JIHAD, TRISTAN JEMSEK, RAY REEVES, THE MCDANIELS, MOOEY MOOBAU AND DULCHE DE LECHE @WOMEN Los Angeles, California
-Jun 8 2009 THE BOYS W/ANDREW JEMSEK JIHAD, RAY REEVES AND ULTRA MAROON @THE HANGART Tucson, Arizona
-Jul 20 2009 ***HI MY NAME IS RYAN W/JRC ON TOUR! @KILBY COURT SALT LAKE CITY, Utah
-Jul 22 2009 ***HI MY NAME IS RYAN W/JRC ON TOUR! FLAGSTAFF, Arizona
-Jul 23 2009 ***HI MY NAME IS RYAN W/JRC ON TOUR! PRESCOTT, Arizona
-Jul 24 2009 ***HI MY NAME IS RYAN W/JRC ON TOUR! PHOENIX OR TUCSON, Arizona
-Jul 30 2009 HI MY NAME IS RYAN W/HARRY MERRY AND HUG-OF-WAR @THE TRUNKSPACE Phoenix, Arizona
-Jun 9 2009 NIGHT WOLF W/TOMMY CANNON, THE COITUS AND ERNESTY @THE TRUNKSPACE Phoenix, Arizona
-Jun 20 2009 7 MINUTES IN HEAVEN @SPACE 55 THEATER Phoenix, Arizona
-Jun 27 2009 7 MINUTES IN HEAVEN @SPACE 55 THEATER Phoenix, Arizona
-June 2nd - Haunted Cologne w/swallowing stones and someone else @the ruby room (phoenix, az)
-June 4th - Bolt! w/skinwalkers and more @the trunkspace (phoenix, az)
-June 5th - Jonathan Richman @club congress (tucson, az)
-June 6th - "the boys" w/andrew jemsek jihad, tristan jemsek, ray reevs, mooey moobau, the mcdaniels and dulche de leche @women of crenshaw hous (los angeles, ca)
-June 7th - the mcdaniels? @somehwere?
-June 8th - "the boys" w/andrew jemsek jihad, ray reevs and ultramaroon @the hangart (tucson, az)
-June 9th - night wolf w/tommy cannon and the coitus @the trunkspace (phoenix, az)
-June 11th - Fathers day w/the dozal brothers, treasure mammal, micheal wasmund and kidney failure @the hangart (tucson, az)
-June 12th - me and andrew? w/ray reevs @the firehouse (phoenix, az)
-June 13th - Treephort w/fathers day, bangarang, the pods and jjcnv @the trunkspace (phoenix, az)
-June 15th - Math The Band w/fathers day, baby aviators, bangarang and deleted scenes @the trunkspace (phoenix, az)
-June 16th - Alex Benson w/yer yellow dress and more? @the trunkspace (phoenix, az)
-June 20th - 7 minutes in heaven @space 55 (phoenix, az)
-June 21st - Fathers Day w/melted cassettes, hug-of-war, adam mokan, treasure mammal and former friends of young americans @the sun house (phoenix, az)
-June 24th - The Dendrites w/the boogies nazis and liam and the ladies @the trunkspace (phoenix, az)
-June 27th - 7 minutes in heaven @space 55 (phoenix, az)
these are all the shows i am attending this month. maybe more... its more than half the month i am spending at shows and performing at 10/16 of them... and i am super stoked!
The Night Wolf show last night went alright... better than expected anyway. We played some songs and made lots of jokes about poop and then did a 2-3 minute long "commercial jam" that was very much like They Might Be Giants "fingertips" and it turned out alright for never practicing it. Then we watched the first episode of Skeleton Warriors until everyone left. Aunt Dracula didn't play because by the time they reached the space everyone was gone. Earth, Wind and Stranger didn't play because he thought for some reason it was tonight instead. And Pools opened the show and did a really great job. So over all not a total failure in my opinion. There are sadly no pictures or videos from the show but i found some live Night Wolf Videos from our comeback show in September.
This is the beginning of our set. We sealed off the doors and created a "danger room" so no one could leave.
And here is the end of our set. Where we played the Bambi Jam and had the ground turn to lava. which didnt really play out as well as we had hoped so we went into jerk mode and started daring people to stay.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH
NIGHT WOLF - http://www.myspace.com/nightwolf2
DÍA DORA VIDA - http://www.myspace.com/diadoravida
KEYBOARD - http://www.myspace.com/keyboardband
SKINWALKERS - http://www.myspace.com/skinwalkersmusic
KOBRA KAI - http://www.myspace.com/kkobrakkai
FANCY PANTS - http://www.myspace.com/fancypantsfancypants
@THE TRUNKSPACE - 1506 NW GRAND AVE. PHOENIX, AZ 85007
STARTS AT 8:00PM / $5 / ALL AGES (OF COURSE!)
ALL BANDS ARE PLAYING FUN / SPAZZY / SHORT SETS! SO COME EARLY AND DONT BE AFRAID TO STAY FOR THE WHOLE THING!
i have seen the following films since i have been back in the real p-town.
-hated (GG allen documentary)
-batman: the dark knight
-hi my name is ryan
-little miss sunshine
i have been to the following shows.
08/30 - HI MY NAME IS RYAN "unofficial comeback show" @the trunkspace
09/02 - IJI: w/uggamugga, andrew jemsek and hello mind control @the trunkspace
09/05 - HAUNTED COLOGNE @revolver records
09/06 - FATHERS DAY "cumback show": w/soft shoulder @the trunkspace
09/08 - NIGHT WOLF: w/the best fwends, party mom and the coitus @the trunkspace
09/12 - JJCNV: w/haunted cologne, skinwalkers, ray reeves and the phoenix suns and bolt! @the trunkspace
09/16 - FOOT OX: w/whitman and splinter cake @the trunkspace
09/19 - POINT JUNCTURE: w/times beach, uggamugga, logan blackwell and the a.r.t. revue @the trunkspace.
i have recorded the following albums
1. FATHERS DAY: "i gotta look my best" EP (which will be released at the quintron and miss pussycat show)
2. HI MY NAME IS RYAN / HI MY NAME IS ANDREW SPLIT (which might just be a new project. we havent decided really whats going on with it. and we also dont have a name for it. but it was originally intended to be a split between andrew and i, but the songs are just so good.)
3. HI MY NAME IS RYAN (jrc recorded my unofficial comeback show preformance, which may or may not be released.)
08/19/06 - FATHERS DAY @the venue of scottsdale: we snuck our way onto the show opening for the aquabats. we played a 15 minute set. security was a bunch of jerks. sold out of cd's and lycd buttons/dvds/cds. almost sold out of fathers day shirts and 7". made $260 in merchandise.
08/16/06 - HI MY NAME IS RYAN @the trunkspace: didnt play until 4am. 7 friends, 4 members of the nourishment, 3 strangers, steph+jrc and my dad saw stayed to watch me preform. i played peek-a-boo, sang along to a mix cd and cryed a lot.
08/15/06 - NIGHT WOLF @the trunkspace: we played longer than any project of mine has ever played before. 1 hour and 20 minutes of night wolf. 30 minutes of that was the bambi jam. our set also included a ghost hunt, a sayonce [sp?], a cuddle puddle and lots of eskimo kisses.
07/21/06 - THE A.R.T. REVUE @four white walls: played in front of fww in front of friends and some drunk guy. 3 classic a.r.t. revue songs. we were able to make a handful of change.
06/24/06 - THE BEST FRIENDS @the trunkspace: it was a benefit for the trunkspace so they can afford air conditioning. it wasnt a scedualed last show but we decided that night that it was a perfect best friends set and that we should end it perfectly.
05/14/06 - IGGY POP @the trunkspace: two sets. both opening and closing the show on mothers day. we played in front of 12 people, one of our biggest crowds ever! jrc joined us and smashed a mailbox. before the show we ran through the bikini lounge in full gear, a sort of "noise parade" almost.
a week and a half ago these film makers from utah read the new times article about me. and decided to make a documentary about me and my life the past few years pre-mission. they video taped my last few preformances and did a lot of interviews with me and friends and such. if i didnt get a chance to eat with you or hang out with you this past month, this has a lot to do with it.
the film makers are coming back in a month or so to collect video tapes and pictures from shows and such i gave them a list of phone numbers for them to contact, so if you get a call from them thats how they got the number. and if you have pictures, videos, information that should be included in this film about me call them and let them know. 801-259-5151. i want them to have as much information on every aspect of my life as possible.
yesterday i devoted an entire day to my best frien emily. it was wonderful, we ate a huge breakfast at "the place" and i showed her how to update thegoodshows.com and we watched the tom green show and reno 911. and we ate a fancy dinner at houstens with steph+jrc and andrew+tristan. ate some gelato. and got a sick photobooth strip. we put it in the trunkspace "yearbook" so go check it out next time you go there. also look for the "farewell" strip i made that i hid in the book somewhere.
then a wonderful wonderful night was spent with bridget, but i will keep those memories to myself.
today is my last day in phoenix for two years. i am spending it by getting packed and mailing off cds and getting lunch with jennefir lilly. if you want to say goodbye just "one more time" for some reason come by the willow house today around 4:00pm or so. i will be there for a bit.
otherwise. see ya later livejournal friends. i will miss reading your journals and having wierd internet relationships with you. see ya later old friends. i will miss you a lot.
see ya in 2008.
Photos of Morgans Magic Book Bus, Brodie Hubbard, Night Wolf, The A.R.T. Revue and iji at Four White Walls
-PINIATA PARTY = awesome, great way to get things going.
-SPACESHIP TO SPACE = pleasent surprise, short set.
-THE COITUS = amazing, high quality show. one of the best i have seen
-THE BLACK JACKET = new matching outfits, 6 song set. lots of clapping. totally awesome.
-CTRL+ALT+AWESOME = awesome. one of the best morgan preformances i have ever seen. definitely in the top 3.
-8 BIT PORNO = everyone was holding back until the end. we exploded. broke things.
-AIRPORT 81 = really good. didn't get to watch most of them. but sounded tight.
-THE RADIOACTIVE CHICKENHEADS = totally awesome. got to be boris the cockroach, liquid fat and chuck e. cheese. tackled el pollo diablo. crazy!
-UGGAMUGGA = really nice. new song is good. sang on my evergreen. very rock n roll "hard rock star"
-MAX POWER = hilarious. andrew is a genius.
-JAIME J. = sexxy, energetic. everyone was into it.
-MC MERV = amazing new rhymes about roosevelt turning into mill ave and the usual.
-HAUNTED COLOGNE = tight all polka set. everyone was into it. andrew told me to "fuck off" which was funny.
-TENT CITY = so GOOD!!!!!!!!!! so much tension so much awesome. definitely in the top 3 best performances i have seen.
-FRENCH QUARTER = really good, haven't REALLY watched him in a while. cover of stayin alive made me feel good and bad things in a great way.
-NIGHT WOLF = 8 minute bambi jam followed by lecture on the cocaine epidemic in the art scene. went into "the forest" hurt my knees real bad.
-LAPTOP REVOLUTION = silly, but good. better than i expected. sick rhymes at the end.
-BRODIE HUBBARD = good set. opening on astro zombies is always a good idea.
-DEPECHE MODE = we built it up as much as we could so the disappointment would be hilarious. and i think it was.
-THE DUST JACKETS = my new favorite band. the type of music that makes you want to hold someone
-FATHERS DAY = thrash attack. good vibes all around. sexxy shirt. perfect way to end the show. might be playing a show with osama bin sars and peachcake in may at oneplace? hahahahaha
+40 people paid.
+touring bands got paid moneys not out of my pocket.
+everyone had a good time.
+felt packed the whole time.
+good energy the whole time.
+/-ran an hour and a half over what i wanted.
overall one of my favorite shows i have done. and definitely a perfect example of what the good shows is all about. so i am happy with it.
RYANS BEST PERFORMANCES OF 2005!
11-28-05 - Catorce @The Trunkspace in Phoenix, AZ
it was just me and JRC our whole set was about art theory, performance art, art history and art school. i think it was one of the funniest things i have ever done
12-08-05 - Night Wolf @The Willow House Cafe' in Phoenix, AZ
it was a very crowded poetry night and i read the entire bus book introduction to a soft rock sorta beat on the keyboard. i have never been booed so much in my life and this is also a great achievement for me because literally a tomato was thrown at me.
11-25-05 - Fathers Day @The Trunkspace in Phoenix, AZ
fathers day played unannounced with some cutesy "indie" bands. the crowd was made up of middle school and high school kids. i threw this little girls cigarettes across the room and said "what would your mother say if she saw you smoking?" she replied "my mom buys me these cigarettes" i said "if your mother really loved you she would not be buying you cigarettes!!!!!!". also this is the first fathers day show with the realistic mustache
11-04-05 - Iggy Pop @The Terrace Gardens in Phoenix, AZ
this was the first show where we used the bucket of glass. and it was also such an amazing feeling to play surrounded by plants and flowers. it was really really amazing.
08-06-05 - The Best Friends @Four White Walls in Phoenix, AZ
this was a really great best friends performance. we sang a bunch of great songs. [even a rap] and it was also a really great show. HOORAY PINK AND GREEN PARTY!
02-14-05 - Silverchair @The Willow House Cafe' in Phoenix, AZ
this performance will be talked about years from now. and i am very proud of that.i dressed in a homemade pink nazi uniform and did an hour long "silverchair" set about love, sex, relationships, stalking....etc
RYANS FAVORITE CONCERTS IN 2005!
-The Dick Cheney Experience, Fathers Day, Silverchair, Rome is Ours, The Children of Hell, Hey Look...A Shoe! & Black Feet @Four White Walls
-The Ampheta Meanies @Bannermans [in scotland]
-Organic Junk Fude, Nightmare of the Elf, Silverchair, Ego Plum & The Radioactive Chickenheads @CIA [in california]
-Black Feet, The Dietrichs, Andrew Jackson Jihad, The Pharmacy & Kimya Dawson @The Trunkspace
-The Real Coachella! w/Iggy Pop, Nascar Dads, Night Wolf, Hi My Name Is Ryan, The Best Friends, Triple Nipple, Brodie Hubbard, The Dick Cheney Experience, A Tower In The Woods, Jaime J., Haunted Cologne & Fathers Day @Four White Walls
-The Phenomenauts, The Epoxies & The Aquabats @The Marquee Theater
-Mock Death Orange, Morgans Magic Book Bus, The Nascar Dads, Haunted Cologne & Night Wolf @Four White Walls
-Coitus, I Want to Know What Drum is, Tigerface, Iji, The Dietrichs & The Dada Swing @The Trunkspace
-Pink and Green Party! w/DJ Sense, Night Wolf, Jaime j., The Black Jacket, The Best Friends & Aaron Gerwien @Four White Walls
-Fathers Day, Assacre & Treasure Mammal @The Trunkspace
-Crooks and Nannies @The Trunkspace
-Iggy Pop, Piyush Prakash, Sean, The Coitus, Whitman, Morgans Magic Book Bus, Quem Quaeritis, Fathers Day and The Mysteries Manipulator @The Trunkspace
-Veruca Salt @Club Congress
-Iggy Pop, Night Wolf, G.A.G., Haunted Cologne, Archbishop Jason Polland, Eccoeing Bleu & The Radioactive Chickenheads @The Trunkspace
-The Black Jacket, Collin Spring, At The Spine & Portland Bike Ensemble @The Trunkspace
-Tender Forever & Calvin Johnson @Modified Arts
THE REAL COACHELLA WAS AMAZING!
and only 20 people payed to get in.
IGGY POP - best preformance yet i think.... well..... for the amount of time we allowed ourselves. and it felt like everyone there was into it, even if not everyone "got it"
NASCAR DADS - i heard they were hilarious. but i had to miss them because me and emily had to have best friends practice.
NIGHT WOLF - was surprisingly amazing. i didnt think we could have a good show unless it was at the willow house for some reason. but having the crowd be triple nipple, emily, sheila and tristan was alright. they all seemed to enjoy themselves and i know me and andrew had a great time making up songs.
HI MY NAME IS RYAN - new solo semi seceret solo project. i only did one song in front of andrew and tristan to kill time. emily and sheila were in the room too but i dont think they cared or were listening.
THE BEST FRIENDS - amazing! we totally made people feel awekward in the best way possible and we sang our new song about anchorman and some classic love jamz.
TRIPLE NIPPLE - didnt have microphones but still rocked the place and made it feel like we were really in california seeing nine inch nails and coldplay. and ended it on the put down that science poles "sci pole summa"
BRODIE HUBBARD - was really great as usual. i love his new song "number one" its really good. and people started to come back in for his set.
THE DICK CHENEY EXPERIENCE - ummm..... think treasure mammal meets the lycd show at the paperheart but with andrew singing and also add him taking off his pants and scarring people away.
A TOWER IN THE WOODS - i was having an important conversation with the tri ni girls during there set. they want to set fathers day up with a show in LA. but yeah a tower in the woods sounded better than the last show and i saw them go on a song trip around the building. that looked like fun.
JAIME J. AND TYLER HIS HOMEBOY - were sooooo good!!!!!!! i am so so so excited for flagstaff now. jaime was so passionate about it and totally blew everyone away.
HAUNTED COLOGNE - they get better everytime i see them but it still takes forever for them to set up. this is where the crowd started to get really big. man..... THEY WERE SOO GOOD!
FATHERS DAY - our hardest, most badass, most thrash show ever! my nuckles are so sore from punching people in the face. now it wasnt our best show ever as a band. but i felt it was my best show ever as the frontman of the band. i was so in character and man! i am so proud of myself cause we were so good! i am so excited for may cause we have so many shows.
so here are some extra highlights
*i ripped the biggest hole in the crotch of my pants and spent most of the night with a t-shirt in front of my crotch
*the cake from dave's birthday party was delicious
*the punks me and the boyss hung out with afterwords were awesome.
*having triple nipple tottally relate to me and everyones hate towards me and my awesome bands.
thats basically how the night went for me.
bambi jam [remix]
conan o brian*
night wolf theme
end of the universe [this was a poem the poetry geek had me read. its was really embarassing]