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.