Coachella fans, read this first

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Mikael Wood mikael.wood@la­times.com

Here’s a list of five acts worth catch­ing and when they play.

Stuffed with both stars and strivers, the Coachella Val­ley Mu­sic and Arts Fes­ti­val is of­ten thought of in one of two ways: as a prime spot for a victory lap or as a place to get the ball rolling. But with three full days of mu­sic, the fes­ti­val also fea­tures plenty of mid-level acts just look­ing to main­tain. Here are five you might’ve over­looked on this year’s bill.

Interpol 7:25 p.m. Fri­day Coachella stage

Th­ese moody New York­ers have been op­er­at­ing at some­thing of a low boil since 2007, when their splashy ma­jor-la­bel de­but failed to de­liver the big-league al­trock star­dom they seemed poised for at the time. But Interpol hasn’t lost its flair for stylish, dra­matic gui­tar mu­sic, as heard on last year’s “El Pin­tor,” a dark gem of an al­bum that sug­gests frus­tra­tion might just suit the band. (Sorry, dudes.)

Hozier 6 p.m. Satur­day Coachella stage

Like the Lu­m­i­neers in 2013 or Bastille in 2014, Hozier feels like this year’s ver­sion of the act booked for Coachella just be­fore scor­ing a huge main­stream hit. For­tu­nately for him (and for us), the Ir­ish singer-song­writer’s bleary goth-gospel ditty “Take Me to Church” is a far bet­ter tune than ei­ther “Ho Hey” or the dreaded “Pom­peii.” Per­haps he’ll suc­ceed here in con­nect­ing a face to his name.

David Guetta 9 p.m. Sun­day Sa­hara tent

It wasn’t so long ago that this French DJ and pro­ducer was lead­ing EDM’s charge onto pop ra­dio with hits like “Ti­ta­nium” fea­tur­ing Sia and “When Love Takes Over” with Kelly Row­land. (BTW, if you haven’t heard the lat­ter lately, do your­self a fa­vor and lis­ten; it’s still mas­sive.) Now, though, Guetta seems to have been all but eclipsed by sta­dium-rave new jacks such as Calvin Har­ris and Zedd, both of whom drew big crowds last year in In­dio. Don’t be sur­prised if Guetta fights back by bust­ing out some im­pres­sive guests.

Drive Like Jehu 10:50 p.m. Satur­day Gobi tent

An es­tab­lished launch­ing pad for high-pro­file re­unions, Coachella is go­ing sur­pris­ingly light this time on the get-back-to­geth­ers, with just Ride and this in­flu­en­tial San Diego crew. Fans of the more vis­i­ble Rocket from the Crypt might re­mem­ber Drive Like Jehu as the brainier side project of Rocket front­man John Reis. But with Reis’ blis­ter­ing gui­tar work and singer Rick Froberg’s des­per­ate yelp, Drive Like Jehu — which first re-formed last sum­mer for a show at San Diego’s Bal­boa Park — de­serves your full at­ten­tion this week­end. It should erase any mem­ory of last year’s Stone Roses de­ba­cle.

Sloan Noon Sun­day Mo­jave tent

Real-deal rock stars in their na­tive Canada (or so we’re told), the mem­bers of Sloan have been grind­ing out club dates on this side of the bor­der for the bet­ter part of two decades. But if all that ex­pe­ri­ence has so far led to lit­tle Amer­i­can glory, it’s made the band one of the tight­est power-pop com­bos you’re likely to en­counter any­where. Its bag of songs is in­sanely deep too, with more su­per-tune­ful jams than the New Pornog­ra­phers could even dream about.

Bruno Fer­ran­dez AFP/Getty Images

PAUL BANKS, shown in France in 2005, and his Interpol band mates take the Coachella stage Fri­day.

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