And the Lord Said, “Let The Sun Wash Down on Pitchfork.”

Sunday at Pitchfork was largely more of the same.  Main difference is that by this point Gus and I were dead tired.  We woke up late, ate late, left late.  Gus had wanted to see Mahjong, but our generally lack of punctuality on Sunday meant that we arrived at Union Park just after Mahjong finished their set.  Oh well.

One other difference.  The sun was out in full effect.  It was hot, humid and sweaty.  I want to personally thank each and every tree that provided shade for me on this day.  Thank you, it will not be forgotten.

A sidenote… Since Gus writes articles and reviews for video games and I hung out with several of his friends and acquaintances, I not only watched a lot of cool bands play, but I also received a top-notch education in video game lore.  I’ll be honest here, I haven’t really played video games much since the days of the Sega Genesis.  I owned a PS1 briefly, and I have certainly played a game here and there when it’s been made available to me.  I guess what I’m saying is… thanks Gus, because of you I might actually go out and buy a game system and start up again.  I guess I had forgotten how fun some of the games can be and your enthusiasm may have rubbed off on me a little.

Back to the music!

Times New Viking:  These guys were playing when we arrived.  Didn’t sound interesting enough to stay so we went for food and possibly a beer too, but I can’t remember.

High Places:  This guys were playing while we were eating.  We were talking and they didn’t make an impression on me.  I know this entry and the first one for Sunday have no music notes in them really.  I blame the tired.  I also blame the fact that we were really just waiting for Boris to start their set at 2pm.

Dirty Projectors:  These guys and gals were playing while we were waiting for Boris to start.  They weren’t half bad in a wannabe Talking Heads sort of way.  But bring on the Boris already!

Boris:  Oh yes.  Boris.  Japanese Metal at its finest.  These guys and gal swaggered on stage.  They were rocking from the first note.  My head was bobbing.  I gave them the international sign of metal m/!  Fuck yeah.  And then 30 minutes into the set, they stop.  Something about the electricity being wrong.  What the fuck!?!  I expressly did not listen to any other bands until this point and then they cut out early?  Bastards!  But the little bit I did hear was pretty darn good.

HEALTH:  I liked these guys.  They sounded like another band I’ve seen The Oxes, but perhaps a little more experimental.  Essentially it’s instrumental metal.  Very good too.  After the disappointment of a shortened Boris show, HEALTH delivered the metal goods in spades.

King Khan & The Shrines:  We could have gone to the main stage to see The Apples in Stereo, but who cares about that brand of pop music when King Khan & The Shrines are playing?  Seriously.  This band is not that technically proficient.  I’ve seen much better blues/r&b acts in my life.  However, King Khan delivers when it comes to showmanship.  The music was fun and lively, but not nearly as much as what was happening on stage.  I would love to see this band again.

Les Savy Fav: I thought King Khan was fun to watch on stage, but then I was bowled over by Les Savy Fav’s frontman.  He came out on stage in hot pants and no shirt.  And this guy was pushing the same bald headed beer belly look I’ve been pushing the last couple of years.  The music was somewhat typical indie rock / party rock.  Honestly though… the music was just an excuse to get this guy up in front of a crowd of people so they could be dazzled by him.  If Les Savy Fav is coming to your town… check them out.  Interesting tidbit, the rest of the band was a much less flamboyant which made for an interesting interplay.

Ghostface Killah & Raekwon:  Last year it was the GZA from the Wu Tang Clan.  I was underwhelmed by his performance.  He seemed to just phone it in.  This year’s performance by Ghostface Killah & Raekwon was better, but only slightly so.  Honestly, I have yet to see a good performance from any of the Wu Tang Clan.  Sure, they have a lot of cool stuff to pick from, but it’s not so cool that I just want to hear it at the concert.  I want to be engaged with the performance too… and these guys fail at that.

Dinosaur Jr.:  Somehow I had missed out on seeing Dinosaur Jr. live in the late 80s or early 90s.  That injustice has now been rectified.  The set was flawless.  Jay doesn’t have a lot of stage presence, but the combination of him and the other guys made for an enjoyable show… and honestly, the music sounded better than ever.

Spoon:  I like these guys.  There music is interesting and fun to listen to.  However, they give bad show.  The lead singer was emoting somewhat, but there was absolutely no interplay amongst the band members.  In fact, they didn’t even look out at the audience.  It was as if they were just playing in the studio.  Sure, they sounded decent, but they looked bored and left me feeling bored too.  Decent music… bad show.  If Spoon come to your town… just listen to the CD instead and save the money.

Spoon was the final act of the festival and what a downer they were.  The promise of good beer and better conversation kept Gus and I going as we walked over to the Bottom Lounge once again.  We hung out once again with some Pitchfork writers.  Drained some beers and ate some bar food.  Unfortunately, we had to leave early.  Gus had to catch a flight and I had to work in the morning.  We made our way back to the Longwell House and slept well.

For some reason I missed a number of bands on Sunday (including the first few that I didn’t really listen to).  I wanted to catch M. Ward, Bon Iver and Cut Copy.  I sorta kinda listened to Spiritualized and The Dodos.  Nothing there that got me excited though.

–sam

My Friday at Pitchfork

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

I’ll do this in three installments.  This first one is for Friday.

I was late meeting Gus, but we finally got together.  Gus had flown in from LA where he was attending the E3 conference.  We made our way to Longwell Hall, the B&B in Oak Park.  Dropped our stuff off and then we went exploring.

What did we find…  why we found a movie theater playing The Dark Knight.  SCORE!  We bought some tickets for $5.50 each (gotta love matinee pricing) and watched the best Joker/Two-Face movie ever made.  Now I just need to go check out Hellboy.  I think I’ll go see it tonight.

We still had some time to kill so we did some shopping (foldable camp chairs are essential for a good festival experience) before heading off to Union Park for Pitchfork.  And off we go…

For those of you that don’t know.  Friday night only had three acts.  Each one was to perform one of their albums front to back all the way through.

Mission To Burma:  I was actually really impressed by how good these guys were.  I’m sure I’ve heard a song of their’s at some point, but I honestly don’t know.  What I do know is they rocked it out and left me wondering why I hadn’t ever really listened to them before.  Good stuff… must go find and listen more.

Sebadoh:  Now here’s a band that has some interesting guys that have made some cool music.  Unfortunately, they blew.  Their performance was understated and boring.  According to my buddy Jerome, he couldn’t get past the fact that all their instruments were out of tune.

Public Enemy:  Kicked All Available Ass…  and when another ass showed up to talk smack, they kicked it too!  It’s possible that Public Enemy benefited from lowered expectations on my part, but I don’t think so.  I’ve seen a lot of rap shows and these guys were energetic, funny, educational and just plain awesome.  Not only did they perform the entire album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, but then they extended their set and performed a long medley of all of their other stuff.  One sorta sad, sorta funny part was when at the end… Flavor Flav didn’t want to leave the stage.  He just kept talking on the mic…  and finally people just started leaving while he continued talking.  Oh yeah…  and people booed Flav when he mentioned his TV show…  and no… the irony was not lost on me when they did their song “Channel Zero”.

I’m fairly certain that when the show was over, Gus and I headed home.  We got a bite to eat at Bar Louie in Oak Park.  Food was good, but sleep was better.

–sam

Insert Pithy Title Combining Pitchfork and Thailand HERE…

A couple of things…

First, today is my birthday… and my present to myself is the Pitchfork Music Festival which happens this weekend.  Gus is coming down from Minneapolis.  We’re manly men, staying at a bed and breakfast.  That’s right.  If you don’t start something, there won’t be something.  Expect a report on this next week.

Second, notice that I didn’t mention awesome wife Liz in that first part.  Why?  Because she’s the luckiest wife EVAR.  She left for Thailand today.  She’ll be gone for a few weeks at some “training”…  but we all know that she’s really going there to have fun.

In other news…  commuting by bike in 90 degree weather, not as cool (no pun intended) as I thought it would be.  My friends…  baby wipes, what every adult man wants to rub all over his body when he gets to work in the morning.  Haven’t you heard?  It’s the new black.

In other, other news…  I think I pulled or strained a muscle in my arm.  Does anyone have any recommendations for what I can do for it?  Should I go to a doctor and get something?  Or should I pamper myself and get a massage (will that even help it)?

In even more news…  Work is trying to crush my soul.  Who knew having your soul crushed paid so well?

Finally, I have come to a decision.  I need to sell all the collectible crap that is clogging up my house and never sees the light of day.  I figure I can turn a few grand.   Who couldn’t use a few grand?  I know I could;  especially when we go visit my dad in Brazil.  Have you seen those plane tickets.  Outrageous!

–sam

Insert Pithy Title Combining Pitchfork and Thailand HERE…

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

A couple of things…

First, today is my birthday… and my present to myself is the Pitchfork Music Festival which happens this weekend.  Gus is coming down from Minneapolis.  We’re manly men, staying at a bed and breakfast.  That’s right.  If you don’t start something, there won’t be something.  Expect a report on this next week.

Second, notice that I didn’t mention awesome wife Liz in that first part.  Why?  Because she’s the luckiest wife EVAR.  She left for Thailand today.  She’ll be gone for a few weeks at some “training”…  but we all know that she’s really going there to have fun.

In other news…  commuting by bike in 90 degree weather, not as cool (no pun intended) as I thought it would be.  My friends…  baby wipes, what every adult man wants to rub all over his body when he gets to work in the morning.  Haven’t you heard?  It’s the new black.

In other, other news…  I think I pulled or strained a muscle in my arm.  Does anyone have any recommendations for what I can do for it?  Should I go to a doctor and get something?  Or should I pamper myself and get a massage (will that even help it)?

In even more news…  Work is trying to crush my soul.  Who knew having your soul crushed paid so well?

Finally, I have come to a decision.  I need to sell all the collectible crap that is clogging up my house and never sees the light of day.  I figure I can turn a few grand.   Who couldn’t use a few grand?  I know I could;  especially when we go visit my dad in Brazil.  Have you seen those plane tickets.  Outrageous!

–sam