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 Mon­tre­al 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 Mon­tre­al 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 Mon­tre­al, 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.