Friday, March 20, 2009

M.I.A. Added to Coachella Lineup

Sri Lankan firecracker M.I.A. has officially been added to this year's Coachella lineup, and is scheduled to perform in the headlining slot vacated when troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse canceled earlier this month.

This will be M.I.A.'s third appearance at Coachella. Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam - her easier-on-the-tongue acronym is pronounced like the letters and is short for both “Missing in Action” and “Missing in Acton,” a reference to both her politically tumultuous youth (her father is militant activist Arul Pragasam), and the neighborhood in London where she was born - debuted at the festival in 2005, in the more intimate and world flavored Gobi Tent. Last year's set in the Sahara Tent, the largest of the festival's covered stages, was the biggest crowd the far corner of the festival has seen since Madonna's appearance in 2006.

At this year's festival, M.I.A. will precede The Killers as Saturday night's mainstage headliners. Her 2007 XL Recordings/Interscope Records release Kala is approaching gold sales, and has led to two Grammy nominations. The British vocalist, producer, songwriter and artist was also nominated for an Academy Award for the song "O... Saya," one of her contributions to the score of the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire.

Winehouse was forced to cancel her festival appearance when an assault charge filed earlier this month made it highly improbable, if not impossible, for her to be granted a work visa. It would have been Winehouse's second Coachella performance. "Amy Winehouse is too big for a tent now," Coachella founder Paul Tollett told NME when this year's initial lineup was announced.

The same can be said of her replacement. While M.I.A. doesn't hold the trainwreck sideshow appeal of Winehouse, few could argue that she's not the better talent of the two.

Official Coachella Website

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M.I.A. MySpace

M.I.A. Official Website

Click here for an archived preview of Coachella 2008.

Click here for an archived review of Coachella 2008.

Click here for an archived review of Coachella 2007.

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