Posts Tagged ‘ Pitchfork Music Festival ’

[FESTIVAL REVIEW] Pitchfork Music Festival ’11

The Pitchfork Music Festival is sold on Pitchfork’s reputation almost as much as it is on the lineup. Each year, the top six acts tend to be decent draws, but the rest of the lineup is filled out with bands that are still touring the small to mid-size rock clubs. Some of the bands at this year’s festival would be lucky to draw more than 50 people outside of New York and L.A. That makes for a strange festival crowd, mostly made up of people who don’t look like they make it to a lot of other music festivals. This year was a weird mix of pot-smoking teens (Odd Future fans), graduate students (Destroyer fans), tattooed parents (Superchunk fans), and overdressed hipsters there just because it’s Pitchfork (dubstep fans, but that will change by the time I hit “publish”).

That group of people gathered together for a good (not quite great) weekend of music. All that was missing were a few more exciting acts near the top. Few of the top billed performers were able to match the energy of Big Boi, Major Lazer, Wolf Parade, and LCD Soundsystem last year, and I think it had a noticeable effect on the festival’s overall energy. Hopefully Pitchfork noticed, too. I like this festival and would love to make my third trip next year, but it’s going to depend on the lineup.

Check out pictures and a long-winded account of every band I saw after the jump.

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VIDEO: Lightning Bolt at Pitchfork Music Festival

I’ve got a new camera that takes decent video, and I tested it out during Lightning Bolt’s set at this past weekend’s Pitchfork Music Festival.  I’m mostly pleased with the results, and I might try doing this more often (next time I’ll record a full song).  The audio gets muddy once Brian Gibson goes low, but, honestly, that’s kind of what it sounded like live anyway.  You feel those parts more than you hear them.

So, here’s a clip of Lightning Bolt playing “2 Morro Morro Land” from Hypermagic Mountain:

My pictures of Lightning Bolt and a bunch of other bands that played the festival can be found here.

Pitchfork Festival 2010 (review and pictures)

Lightning Bolt

Big Boi

Titus Andronicus

General thoughts on the festival and more pictures below.

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Off to Pitchfork

By the time this post goes up, I will be en route to Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival. That might sound like a bit of hypocrisy if you didn’t make it to the end of this post. Of course, it might sound like hypocrisy even if you did.

I’m excited about the lineup. If James Murphy is to be believed, this might be my last chance to see LCD Soundsystem, who I’ve never actually seen before. Liars skipped Atlanta on their Sisterworld tour, and I snoozed on Beach House tickets when they sold out The Earl in April, so this is a good chance to see two of my favorite bands play material from a couple of my favorite 2010 releases. Throw in sets by Big Boi, Wolf Parade, Raekwon, Lightning Bolt, Free Energy, Broken Social Scene, Titus Andronicus, CAVE, and WHY?, and I’m sold. Plus, Modest Mouse appears to be playing a good mix of their older, better tracks on this tour, so nostalgia and alcohol should make that a pretty fun headlining set.

I probably won’t update the blog until at least Tuesday, but I’ll probably be making incoherent tweets all weekend. You can bear witness to my intoxicated shame here. I plan on making it back in time for Future Islands at 529 on Monday.

Why we hate Pitchfork

Let’s start with defining the “we” in that title above. We are the people who listen to the sort of music labeled independent or alternative. We gravitate towards the stuff that doesn’t get radio airplay outside of your local college station, but we occasionally over-intellectualize pop music and write long blog posts justifying our affection for someone like Lady GaGa. We discover and talk about music on the internet. We also acquire it using the internet, via torrents and other methods of piracy. We might talk about supporting local record stores, and many of us buy vinyl, but the majority of the music on our omnipresent MP3 players wasn’t paid for. We go to general admission shows at our local rock clubs where we see the bands that we read and talk about on blogs and forums.

We hate Pitchfork because they are tastemakers. We hate their influence. We don’t like the idea of a casual music fan turning to Pitchfork for all their indie rock needs. We have nightmares about kids in skinny jeans and monochrome American Apparel t-shirts permanently plugged into iPods that exclusively contain albums given the honor of Best New Music. We hate their decimal points and how almost every album they review gets something between a 6 and 8 on the 10 point scale. We don’t like the bitch slap reviews, either. We hate the snarkiness and arrogance of that Black Kids review, even though we also hate Black Kids.

These are all pretty good reasons to hate. Pitchfork bashing is similar to Starbucks bashing in the sense that both sets of haters are rejecting the pre-fab identity that both entities offer (not that these are distinct groups of haters by any means – surely lots of overlap). Getting your new music from Pitchfork is like stopping at Starbucks daily for your morning coffee. It’s convenient, but not very creative and maybe a bit lazy. The choices have mostly been made for you.

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