2007 Pitchfork Music Festival

DSC02178 I was at the Pitchfork Music Festival this past week­end. I took the Megabus to Chicago on Friday af­ter work, even though I still didn’t have my tick­ets. I’d called up Ticketweb and had them hold the tick­ets at will call in­stead. Once I got there it seemed to be the case for just about every­one. No one had got­ten the tick­ets they’d or­dered through the mail, no mat­ter how far in ad­vance they were or­dered, and judg­ing by the reams of pa­per they had to dig through to find my ap­proval, I think my hy­poth­e­sis was pret­ty much proven. I got in via will call with no prob­lem though.

I saw a ton of bands, came away with a few sam­pler CDs, a Menomena al­bum and an of Montréal lim­it­ed edi­tion EP in ad­di­tion to a pletho­ra of pins, stick­ers and lit­tle bits of nice de­sign. I al­so got a sub­scrip­tion to Stop Smiling, which looks quite promis­ing. I took a few pic­tures and a bunch of video. It was hot, but there was plen­ty of wa­ter at non-goug­ing prices. I think that the fes­ti­val was well planned in gen­er­al, but there were a few hic­coughs. The B stage was off in a tight cor­ner with lit­tle room to move and not poor ac­cess when it could have eas­i­ly been in a more open por­tion of the park that was oc­cu­pied by merch booths. The B stage was al­so run­ning be­hind, pret­ty much the en­tire fest, they over­booked it. If all had gone ac­cord­ing to plan it would have been quite easy to go from one in­ter­est­ing act to the next, but I end­ed up hav­ing to miss both The Field and most of Cadence Weapon in fa­vor of the big­ger acts on the A and C stages. 

Menomena was the big sur­prise for me. I re­al­ly dug them. They’re one of those bands that I’ve heard about for a long time, but have nev­er re­al­ly got­ten around to lis­ten­ing to. of Montréal still doesn’t do a thing for me; they just seem far too con­trived. The MCing of Cadence Weapon didn’t knock my socks off, but the DJ was one sick moth­er­fuck­ing turntab­list. De La Soul was an in­spired end to the fes­ti­val, af­ter every­one is beat to hell they’re en­er­gy squeezed out every last bit of ours and then gave it back to us.

You can dowload 17 tracks from bands that were at Pitchfork via eMu­sic here: Pitchfork Music Sampler [You have to down­load each track sep­a­rate­ly un­less you have an eMu­sic sub­scrip­tion, but they are com­plete­ly free oth­er­wise.]

It is video avalanche time. I’ll give a brief bit of de­script af­ter each one.

This video looks blue be­cause I for­got to set the white bal­ance on my cam­era. Iron & Wine bore the crap out of me. The mu­si­cian­ship is great, but I seem to be cog­ni­tive­ly in­ca­pable of pay­ing at­ten­tion to the lyrics or be­com­ing en­gaged with any of it.

I’m al­so not a big fan of Mastodon. They seem like a met­al band more in­ter­est­ed in us­ing met­al as the ve­hi­cle to show­case their tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise. This is the same ar­gu­ment Chuck Klosterman us­es for Yngwie Malmsteen in his book Fargo Rock City. I buy it for them too. Nonetheless, met­al is met­al, es­pe­cial­ly when Mastodon is the on­ly hard rock­ing group on the bill. After this song I jumped in­to the pit. I’ve not been in a good pit for about 6 years. There is def­i­nite­ly a dif­fer­ence in met­al mosh­ers and the things that ap­prox­i­mate pits at punk shows. I feel safe in a met­al pit. I was filth-city once I worked my way out of it. So thanks, Mastodon, for giv­ing me that op­por­tu­ni­ty.

Lou put me on the track of Clipse. They were good, but I wish it had been dark when they went on. Miami Vice and ac­cor­dion break beats.

Junior Boys were my main ex­cite­ment for the fes­ti­val, main­ly be­cause I’m in the right mu­si­cal mood for the shape of their sound. One set of speak­ers kept pop­ping out which marred their set a bit, but in my opin­ion, it is a tes­ta­ment to good mu­si­cian­ship, or a light hand in pro­duc­ing and mix­ing the record when a band sounds just as good live as they do on the disc. Junior Boys ful­filled that, al­right.

The afore­men­tioned Cadence Weapon. Unpretentious, au­then­tic. Watch for the DJ wig out.

of Montréal, glammed-out, let’s see how geek-weird we can be. If they stuck to their pop­pi­er stuff, I’d dig it, but their prog-in­die-post-rock hoo-ha bores the shit out of me.

This de­lib­er­ate­ly dis­mis­sive meta-iron­ic post brought to you by the re­al­iza­tion that I think the hip­ster-in­die scene is played out. I’m gonna stick with my lo­cal bros, be­cause that is where the heart is.