WBEZ | Pitchfork 2013 http://www.wbez.org/tags/pitchfork-2013 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 in photos http://www.wbez.org/news/music/pitchfork-music-festival-2013-photos-108151 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2302.jpg" title="Killer Mike (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Killer Mike</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2297.jpg" title="A Killer Mike fan (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">A Killer Mike fan</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_1941.jpg" title="Sam France of Foxygen (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Sam France of Foxygen</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2028.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2392.jpg" title="Dev Hynes of Blood Orange (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Dev Hynes of Blood Orange</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2074.jpg" title="Festival volunteers hand out water bottles on Sunday. (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Festival volunteers hand out water bottles on Sunday.</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1815.jpg" title="From the smell of things, this was a popular presence at the festival. (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">From the smell of things, this was a popular presence at the festival.</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_0949.jpg" title="Jake Austen and his Chic-a-go-go collaborators filmed a movie during the festival. (WBEZ/Andrew Gill) " /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Jake Austen and his Chic-a-go-go collaborators filmed a movie during the festival.</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2071.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2623.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><p>&nbsp;</p></div></div></div></div></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1754_0.jpg" title="Solange (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Solange</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2875_0.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1419.jpg" title="Alex Edkins of Metz (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Alex Edkins of Metz</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2555.jpg" title="El-P (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">El-P</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2628.jpg" title="Waxahatchee (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Waxahatchee</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1553.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_0941.jpg" title="Phosphorescent (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Phosphorescent</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1050.jpg" title="Autry Fulbright II of ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Autry Fulbright II of ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1025.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2768.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><p>&nbsp;</p></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_3170.jpg" title="R. Kelly fans (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">R. Kelly fans</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_3110.jpg" title="R. Kelly (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">R. Kelly</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_3180.jpg" title="Backstage during R. Kelly's performance (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">Backstage during R. Kelly&#39;s performance</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_3186.jpg" title="R. Kelly fans listen from outside the festival. (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="credit">(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)</div><div class="caption">R. Kelly fans listen from outside the festival</div></div></div><p><br /><em>Andrew Gill is a web producer for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://www.twitter.com/andrewgill" target="_blank">@andrewgill</a></em></p></p> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 11:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/music/pitchfork-music-festival-2013-photos-108151 Pitchfork 2013: Here we are now, entertain us http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-07/pitchfork-2013-here-we-are-now-entertain-us-108129 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_3120.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="R. Kelly performing at Pitchfork Music Festival. (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p><strong>UPDATED with a correction below *</strong></p><p>As hopefully was made abundantly clear in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-07/kelly-conversations-more-questions-answers-about-r-kelly-headlining">the Kelly Conversations</a>, the Pitchfork Music Festival&rsquo;s booking of Chicago superstar R. Kelly as 2013&rsquo;s ultimate headliner raised a lot of complicated questions.</p><p>I didn&rsquo;t expect to find answers in Union Park about the big issues of separating the art from the artist and the music from the man&rsquo;s misdeeds. But it did help narrow down what the presence of the self-proclaimed Sexual Super Freak and Pied Piper of R&amp;B meant to one of the most important music festivals in the world in year eight (or nine, if we count year one as Intonation).</p><p>Neither is positive.</p><p>My first conclusion is that the appreciation of Kelly by Pitchfork&rsquo;s powers-that-be and by some (not all) of the paying customers was indeed fueled by irony. All you had to do was look at some of the unofficial Kelly merchandise for sale onsite to see that.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20Kelly%20Merch%201.JPG" title="Unofficial R. Kelly bumper stickers for sale at Pitchfork (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>&ldquo;Irony is a low-lead brand of gasoline that may be ecosound and gov&rsquo;t approved but it sure won&rsquo;t put a tiger in your tank, nor take you as far as either moxie or rage or conscience (even that crap!) or even crassness,&rdquo; the late rock critic Lester Bangs wrote in 1972.</p><p>To be sure, there was crassness at Pitchfork: Allentown, Pennsylvania noise-punks Pissed Jeans covered that loudly and very nicely, thank you.</p><p>There was moxie: A strong set by Mish Way and Vancouver&rsquo;s modern-day riot grrrls White Lung kicking things off on Saturday was the very definition of that word.</p><p>There was rage (thank you, Metz) and conscience (hello, El-P and Killer Mike). And, best of all, there were a few examples of both combined.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1JB.JPG" title="Jehnny Beth of Savages (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Only an idiot could deny that this year&rsquo;s festival belonged to Savages. As powerful as London-based guitarist Gemma Thompson, bassist Ayse Hassan, drummer Fay Milton, and vocalist Jehnny Beth are on their brilliant debut album <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-05/savages-drop-startlingly-powerful-debut-107065"><em>Silence Yourself</em></a><em>, </em>they are 100 times more ferocious, potent, mesmerizing, and dare I say life-changing in concert.</p><p>These four smart and passionate women, each making an indelible and unique contribution to the sound of the whole, packed the field in front of one of the two main stages, and the number of mouths left agape in awe after their cyclonic assault was rivaled only by the number of those who seemed genuinely frightened.</p><p>The only other act that came anywhere close to that level of intensity and sincerity (such an old-fashioned word!) was one of Savages&rsquo; inspirations: first-generation art-punks Wire. Aging legends they may be, but there was none of the phoning-it-in nostalgia witnessed in the considerably younger Breeders&rsquo; set.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1Colin.jpg" title="Colin Newman of Wire (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, and Robert Grey plus upstart addition Matt Simms were as galvanizing in their minimalist way on classic older tracks such as &ldquo;On Returning&rdquo; and &ldquo;Drill&rdquo; as they were on the new material from the riveting <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-05/wire-rock%E2%80%99s-greatest-super-geniuses-after-eno-106948"><em>Changes Becomes Us</em></a> and other new-millennial releases.</p><p>But Pitchfork also had irony aplenty.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1PC.JPG" style="height: 295px; width: 620px;" title="Parquet Courts (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Saint Lester didn&rsquo;t make a distinction, but irony can be a useful literary tool like any other, if used correctly and sparingly. Texas-to-Brooklyn transplants Parquet Courts did exactly that as they rattled off a list of things minor (high thread count) and major (people die) that elicit the same ambivalent response: &ldquo;Forget about it!&rdquo; They hit the stage hard with their subway-train rhythms and dueling guitars, playing the songs from their great second album <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-01/parquet-courts-gives-us-reasons-be-cheerful-105173"><em>Light Up Gold</em></a>, and they never let up.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1Mac.jpg" title="Mac DeMarco (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>A cheaper and much more annoying brand of irony was displayed by Canadian multi-instrumentalist Mac DeMarco, who wasted half his set with dumb and painful covers of J.J. Cale/Eric Clapton, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, the Beatles, and Metallica, mocking the whole festival experience even as he took the festival&rsquo;s money and played to an eager festival crowd.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_3174.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="R. Kelly (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Then of course there was the ironic appreciation of R. Kelly&rsquo;s exaggerated sex jams, with hipsters bumping and grinding to soft-porn cartoons such as &ldquo;Sex in the Kitchen,&rdquo; &ldquo;Flirt,&rdquo; &ldquo;You Remind Me of Something,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Fiesta,&rdquo; gleefully unconcerned about the real harm Kelly has done to many girls, some of whom lived within walking distance of Union Park.</p><p>As Kelly shows go, the singer was on good behavior, with no sign of the giant bed or the captive women in a cage that were for years staples of his concerts.</p><p>Instead, Pitchfork was treated to an army of white dove-shaped balloons released into the sky during the set-closing &ldquo;I Believe I Can Fly.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2766.JPG" style="float: left; height: 192px; width: 190px;" title="Lil B (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>For blatant and offensive onstage misogyny, Internet hype rapper Lil B was a much bigger villain. Kelly just seemed to be on auto-pilot, his voice cracking, his set padded with snippets of covers by Kanye West, Young Jeezy, and Nick Cannon, the crowd not connecting to stepping tunes like &ldquo;Happy People&rdquo; and &ldquo;Step in the Name of Love,&rdquo; and most of his songs being delivered in truncated versions of a verse and a chorus or two.</p><p>It was underwhelming, but his shows generally have been for the last decade, with little of the evidence of the genius boosters find on record or in the ever-twisting and never-ending &ldquo;Trapped in the Closet,&rdquo; which played on the loudspeakers after he left the stage.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/SchrieberKaskie.jpg" style="float: right; height: 162px; width: 300px;" title="Pitchfork Music Festival organizers Ryan Schrieber and Chris Kaskie (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>The very mundanity of Kelly&rsquo;s performance leads to my second, sadder conclusion about his presence at Pitchfork: That the <strike>formerly Chicago-, now Brooklyn-based&nbsp;</strike> <strong>(*see correction below)</strong> brains and businessmen behind the festival and the Webzine, Ryan Schreiber and Chris Kaskie, just don&rsquo;t think that the music we embrace means anything at all in the real world. It&rsquo;s just a cool, digitally stored backing track for your oh-so-hip and groovy lifestyle at home, and every bit the ideal tool in concert for marketing and money-making that we see at the festival&rsquo;s larger corporate cousin, Lollapalooza.</p><p>Why talk about ruined lives? It just brings the party down. But this lack of soul or conscience wasn&rsquo;t always the case at Pitchfork.</p><p>Perhaps it&rsquo;s just the nature of the Old Country Buffet smorgasbord model that as a festival becomes increasingly successful, well-established, and ever more commercialized, the ethos upon which it was founded becomes increasingly obscure. The greater meaning, if ever there was one, slips further and further away. Any role that the fest had in both reflecting and stimulating a musical community inevitably erodes. And everything is reduced to mere entertainment.</p><p>Savages, Wire, and White Lung; Mac DeMarco, Lil B, and R. Kelly: There&rsquo;s no difference; it&rsquo;s all just show biz. Pay your money, get your kicks, enjoy the tunes, or just wait until the next set starts in 20 minutes. &ldquo;I feel stupid and contagious,&rdquo; some indie dude sang a million years ago. &ldquo;Here we are now, entertain us.&rdquo;</p><p>That poor deluded fellow was sneering at the very notion that music&mdash;especially underground music&mdash;ever could be dismissed as anything less than the essential lifeline tethering us to this mortal coil. Now that was irony well-employed! But that sort of idealism is lacking in many on the current scene (and, truth be told, it was lacking in many during the alternative era, too, and in every rock movement before it).</p><p>So was Pitchfork in year eight (or nine) at least entertaining? As always, it depended in large part on how much you were there for the music and how much you were there for the high-five-me partying, bro.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2553.JPG" style="width: 310px; height: 206px; float: left;" title="(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>I have long said that live music is best appreciated indoors at night. Why?&nbsp;Beyond the usual havoc wreaked on outdoor shows&mdash;scattering the best sounds to the wind, roasting people under a blazing sun, the dubious joys of dehydration, etc.&mdash;Mother Nature struck Pitchfork with a vengeance on Friday night, cutting short Icelandic goddess Bjork&#39;s performance, and dousing those enjoying heartfelt troubadours Belle &amp; Sebastian on Saturday evening (though they at least got to finish their set).</p><p>No matter how you cut it, those performances and the other highlights cited above all would have been much better experienced at Metro, Lincoln Hall, the Riviera Theater, or, really, pretty much anyplace else. And at any of those places, minus the now ethically vacant Pitchfork imprimatur of cool, maybe the music would have meant something, too.</p><p>At a time when an audience can find irony, entertainment value, or both in the music of a man who has hurt so many women, I remain undeterred in the conviction that music matters and there is meaning to the sounds we embrace or eschew. Go see Savages, and maybe you&rsquo;ll believe, too.</p><p><strong>* CORRECTION: Pitchfork Music Festival publicist Jessica Linker points out: &quot;Pitchfork&#39;s headquarters are still Chicago. 50% of their staff is here, which now also includes The Dissolve. More so, Chris Kaskie continues to live in Chicago, down in Beverly. He is not a New Yorker.&quot;</strong></p><p><strong>I regret that error. Also, I could swear Wire played &quot;On Returning,&quot; but an even bigger Wire fan than me, Aadam Jacob, says it was &quot;<span class="st">Map Ref. 41&deg;N 93&deg;W. </span>&quot;</strong></p></p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-07/pitchfork-2013-here-we-are-now-entertain-us-108129 Girl at Pitchfork: Day 3 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-07/girl-pitchfork-day-3-108128 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Sunday, July 21</strong>- The final day of the Pitchfork Music Festival drew a sold-out crowd hungry for hip hop, &#39;90s nostalgia and irony, which is exactly what they got.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_1975.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Foxygen (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>After catching the tail end of Chicago rapper <a href="http://www.thefader.com/tag/tree/" target="_blank">Tree</a>, whose sincerity and enthusiam instantly put me in a great mood to start the day, I hurried over to the Red Stage to see the California duo&nbsp;<a href="http://foxygen.bandcamp.com" target="_blank">Foxygen</a>. I was expecting them to sound just as exciting as they did on their stellar breakout album, 2012&#39;s <em>We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace &amp; Magic,&nbsp;</em>but their live set turned out to be a disappointingly charmless bore.</p><p>&quot;[Bleep] you, Pitchfork!&quot; frenzied vocalist Sam France baited the crowd, until the boos made him recant halfheartedly, &quot;Just kidding!&quot; Perhaps France should take some stage banter tips from Pissed Jeans front man<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-07/girl-pitchfork-day-2-108127" target="_blank"> Matt Korvette</a>.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2052.JPG" style="height: 340px; width: 300px;" title="Autre Nu Veut (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Then came <a href="http://www.autreneveut.com" target="_blank">Autre Nu Veut</a> over at the Blue Stage; a spectacle so insufferably pretentious that I wondered how anyone around me could possibly be taking them seriously. Four men in black aprons holding up two large picture frames: what does it mean? Singer Arthur Ashin didn&#39;t give me much reason to care, as he strained his voice to mediocre songs that I also soon forgot.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2616.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Killer Mike and El-P performing together (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Luckily, the midday sets of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_Mike" target="_blank">Killer Mike</a> and<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El-P" target="_blank"> El-P</a> breathed new life into the festival, proving that a more thoughtful brand of hip hop can be just as transcendent and awe-inspiring as any other genre. The solo set from former OutKast collaborator Killer Mike was especially engaging, with his booming raps hell-bent on enlightening the privileged of Pitchfork to the struggles that they may never know.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2122.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Killer Mike (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2744.JPG" style="height: 450px; width: 300px;" title="Lil B (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Less admirable were the painfully off-beat stylings of Internet rapstar<a href="http://www.basedworld.com" target="_blank"> Lil B</a>, especially when his ugly misogyny was on full display.&nbsp;&quot;Shout out to all the sexy ladies, no disrespect,&quot; he chanted to his surprisingly massive army of fans (they call themselves &quot;The Taskforce,&quot; and Lil B their &quot;BasedGod&quot;) before launching into his biggest hit to date: &quot;F*ck My Bitch.&quot; Seriously.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_2696.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Yo La Tengo (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yo_La_Tengo" target="_blank">Yo La Tengo</a> hit the Green Stage around 4 p.m., that lazy time of day when the audience needs a little extra pep to stay awake. The indie rock trio from Hoboken, New Jersey started off slow, but eventually found their momentum as the set picked up speed. My favorite part came towards the end, when nice-guy vocalist/guitarist Ira Kaplan tore into his foot pedals like a man possessed, and then hoisted his guitar over his head in true rockstar fashion.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_3034.JPG" title="M.I.A. (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>As blazing hot afternoon cooled into early evening, fans flocked to the Red Stage to welcome feisty London hip hop/world music artist <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.I.A._(artist)" target="_blank">M.I.A</a>. Her Sri Lankan-style show was plagued by numerous technical difficulties (she kept yelling &quot;turn my mic up!&quot; and looked royally peeved by how the bass-heavy music &nbsp;must have been sounding in her ears), but she still managed to pack a whallop of energy into her final two songs: the infamous crowd-pleasers &quot;Paper Planes&quot; and &quot;Bad Girls.&quot; And as expected, the undulating sea of Pitchforkers went wild.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130721_3156.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="R. Kelly (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-07/kelly-conversations-more-questions-answers-about-r-kelly-headlining" target="_blank">R. Kelly</a> may be the most ironic headliner that Pitchfork has ever booked, and that&#39;s saying something.&nbsp;I had never seen him perform live until last night, but I did recognize many of the songs on his setlist: the silly, sexed-up opener &quot;Ignition,&quot; the even raunchier &quot;Sex in the Kitchen&quot; and finally, the <em>Space Jam&nbsp;</em>nostalgia ode immortalized by many a &#39;90s school choir and high school graduation ceremony, &quot;I Believe I Can Fly.&quot;</p><p>The crowd was clearly having a great time; but as white dove-shaped balloons floated out into the sky to close the night on what should have been a high note, all I could think about were the once 15-year-old victims of Kelly still living in Chicago, who must have known that their abuser was entertaining a crowd of thousands just a couple of miles away from their homes.&nbsp;</p><p>Did anyone else think of them? Certainly not Pitchfork, nor the majority of nostalgic &#39;90s kids that the festival bent over backwards to cater to this year.&nbsp;</p><p>Fortunately, I was able to find spirit and light in more unexpected places, like Parquet Courts&#39; star-making turn at the Blue Stage on Saturday and Belle &amp; Sebastian&#39;s blissed-out evening of dancing in the rain. And for me, those soul-affirming moments, albeit few and far between, made the whole experience worth it.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Leah Pickett is a pop culture writer for WBEZ and co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2&amp;ign-mpt=uo%3D2" target="_blank">Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. Follow her on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-07/girl-pitchfork-day-3-108128 Girl at Pitchfork: Day 2 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-07/girl-pitchfork-day-2-108127 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="413" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1201.JPG" title="(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" width="620" /></p><p><strong>Saturday, July 20</strong>- A slightly cooler day also brought a considerably larger crowd to Union Park, with seapunks frolicking amongst bros and masses of sweaty bodies sticking together like flypaper. But hey, at least the music rocked.&nbsp;</p><p>Early afternoon began on a high note with <a href="http://whitelung.bandcamp.com" target="_blank">White Lung</a>, a Canadian punk rock band led by platinum blonde vocalist Mish Way. Although she lacked the blistering ferocity of say, Savages&#39; Jehnny Beth (I&#39;ll get to her later), Way still managed to hold her own, spouting agressive feminist diatribes over her bandmates&#39; brash and melodic wall of sound.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_0872.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Pissed Jeans (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Pennsylvania noise rockers <a href="http://www.subpop.com/artists/pissed_jeans" target="_blank">Pissed Jeans</a>&nbsp;came next, with front man Matt Korvette wasting no time in lavishing his audience with plenty of sarcastic banter and shirt-ripping. &quot;I just found out how much money we get for playing this,&quot; he hollered out to the crowd, who cheered uproariously in response, &quot;We&#39;re getting paid to eat pink ice!&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>My biggest dilemma of the day came between 3 and 5 p.m., when I had to decide between the overlapping set times of Phosphorescent and Parquet Courts, followed by Savages and Metz. I ended up choosing <a href="http://parquetcourts.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Parquet Courts</a> and <a href="http://parquetcourts.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Savages</a>, even though I had already seen both bands at Lincoln Hall just two nights earlier. Still, I knew deep down that they were just too good to miss.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="414" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_0952.JPG" title="Austin Brown of Parquet Courts (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" width="620" /></div></div><p>A larger than average crowd rushed towards the Blue Stage to see the much-hyped Parquet Courts in action; and as expected, the Brooklyn punk rockers did not disappoint. In fact, their freewheeling set of&nbsp;<em>Light Up Gold</em> anthems proved even more muscular and exhilarating the second time around, with every rhythmic tumble feeding off that feverish, sun-soaked energy that only an outdoor venue can provide.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="413" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1235.JPG" title="Savages (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" width="620" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1375.JPG" style="height: 167px; width: 250px; float: left;" title="Savages' audience (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Next up: the London post-punk band Savages, which I knew going in would be a much harder pill for Pitchfork fans to swallow. Remarkably poised, yet often borderline scary in their unrelenting sonic assaults, the alpha-female quartet ripped through their debut album <em>Silence Yourself&nbsp;</em>with precision on fire. At first, the people around me appeared unnerved by the sneering, shorn-haired vocalist Jehnny Beth; but in only a few minutes time, she had them dumbstruck into submission and waiting with bated breath for what she would do next.</p><p>Still, despite generous applause and mostly undivided attention from the fun-in-the-sun Pitchfork crowd, I kept longing for Savages to cut their audience to ribbons in a much smaller, darker and more intimate setting. &nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1658.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Kim Deal of The Breeders (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>As Swans droned in the background for the next hour or so (cue Chicago Diner food and beer break), I could barely contain my excitement to hear&nbsp;<a href="http://breedersdigest.net" target="_blank">The Breeders</a> play&nbsp;<em>Last Splash&nbsp;</em>in full. But when the moment finally came, all I got was a sloppy, sometimes awkward retread of an album from 1993 that sounded much better back then. However, I must admit that catching a glimpse of Kim Deal just hanging out backstage was pretty awesome.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1791.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Solange (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1754.JPG" style="height: 450px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Solange (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>Then, in perfect harmony with the Chicago sunset and long-awaited summer night breeze, <a href="http://www.solangemusic.com/#/" target="_blank">Solange</a>&nbsp;effectively stepped out of her big sister Beyoncé&#39;s shadow and into the spotlight.</p><p>Solange&#39;s Pitchfork audience was, of course, overwhelmingly white and hipster; but that didn&#39;t stop her from charming even the most awkward of dancers to get their groove on.</p><p>With a silky voice so full of soul, paired with a setlist of inspired funky R&amp;B (including a flat-out amazing cover of the Dirty Projectors&#39; &quot;Stillness is the Move&quot;) and a stage presence so sexy and endearing that both men and women couldn&#39;t help but fall in love at first sight, I also felt powerless to resist her.&nbsp;</p><p>Of all the acts that I saw and enjoyed today, this gem of a performance was by far my favorite.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130720_1888.JPG" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>The renewed vitality conjured by Solange lasted all the way to <a href="http://www.belleandsebastian.com" target="_blank">Belle and Sebastian</a>, the big-name headliner that suddenly had a very tough act to follow. Luckily, the Glasgow indie rockers delivered in spades, playing crisp and clean versions of classics like &quot;I&#39;m a Cuckoo,&quot; &quot;The Boy with the Arab Strap&quot; and &quot;Get Me Away From Here I&#39;m Dying&quot; as still-dancing Pitchforkers twirled about in the lightly falling rain. A magical end to the night, indeed.&nbsp;</p><p><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; ">Leah Pickett is a pop culture writer for WBEZ and co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2&amp;ign-mpt=uo%3D2" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 14px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px; " target="_blank">Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. Follow her on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 14px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px; " target="_blank">Twitter</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 14px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px; " target="_blank">Facebook</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 14px; font: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px; " target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Sun, 21 Jul 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-07/girl-pitchfork-day-2-108127 Girl at Pitchfork: Day 1 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-07/girl-pitchfork-day-1-108124 <p><p><strong>Friday, July 19</strong>- I spent most of the first hot and humid day at Pitchfork by the Blue Stage, chugging bottled water and hoping that I&#39;d packed enough sunscreen to protect my delicate Irish skin from irreparable damage. Spoiler alert: I survived unscathed.</p><p>First up, <a href="http://www.missfrankierose.com" target="_blank">Frankie Rose</a>. The former member of Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts and Dum Dum Girls played many songs from her new solo album <i>Interstellar</i>, commanding the stage<i> </i>with a sweet, vivacious energy that instantly made me want to be her best friend. &quot;Hey, Pitchforkers!&quot; she shouted with glee, &quot;It sounds so dirty when I say that.&quot; Her set wasn&#39;t exceptional, but her personality sure was.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="411" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130719_0135.JPG" title="Trash Talk singer Lee Spielman (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" width="618" /></div><p>The hardcore revivalist band <a href="http://www.trashtalkhc.com" target="_blank">Trash Talk</a> came next, setting fire to what had previously been a more sleepy and subdued 4 p.m. crowd. Lead vocalist Lee Spielman incited a mosh by the second song; and by the third, he was crowdsurfing. Like a game of Simon Says (minus the trickery), Spielman commanded the audience to shake their fists in the air, &quot;sit the [bleep] down&quot; and rise up again at lightning speed. The only point of contention came when Spielman asked, &quot;Are you excited for R.Kelly?&quot; and heard some boos among the cheers. &quot;Why the [bleep] not?&quot; he wondered aloud. Oy vey.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="413" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130719_0207.JPG" title="Angel Olsen (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" width="620" /></div><p>Chicago folk singer/songwriter <a href="http://angelolsen.com" target="_blank">Angel Olsen</a> took the stage 15 minutes later; and in stark contrast to the heavy metal thrashing of Trash Talk, Olsen&#39;s lovely voice alone was enough to keep fans hanging on her every note. Still, I kept wishing for a more intimate setting, and wondering whether her quietly haunting music would be better suited for a smaller venue. Then I looked to the front row and saw a queue of men with their eyes gazed adoringly up at her, mouthing the words to every song. And I must admit, Olsen&#39;s celestial composure while warbling the repeated line &quot;I don&#39;t need my body/I&#39;m floating away&quot; made my knees go weak too.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="413" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130719_0326.JPG" title="Mikal Cronin (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" width="620" /></div><p><a href="http://mikalcronin.bandcamp.com" target="_blank">Mikal Cronin</a>&nbsp;had been wandering around the VIP area for most of the day, cute as a button and impossible to miss in his signature tie-dye shirt. But when he appeared on the Blue Stage around 6:15, the energy of the mostly 20-something crowd immediately jolted up a notch. Flanked by two other long-haired guitarists and backed by former Ty Segall Band-mate Emily Rose Epstein on drums, Cronin brought a tidal wive of California cool to Chicago with songs from his new solo album <em>MCII</em>. &quot;Shout It Out&quot; was the biggest crowd pleaser, as even the decidedly less drunk Pitchforkians couldn&#39;t resist jumping up and down with pure, unbridled joy.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130719_0680.JPG" style="float: left; height: 450px; width: 300px;" title="Joanna Newsom (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" />I sacrificed the majority of Wire&#39;s set for Cronin, but I was able to catch some of <a href="http://www.dragcity.com/artists/joanna-newsom" target="_blank">Joanna Newsom</a>&#39;s ethereal melodies at&nbsp;the Red Stage about a half hour later. After some unabashedly hipster Chicago Diner-eating and Chirp Record Fair-shopping, I felt well prepared for the harp strumming and bird-like trilling that have become Newsom&#39;s undeniably precious indie trademark.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>Newsom did not appear to be everybody&#39;s cup of tea, as most people remained camped out at the Green Stage waiting for <a href="http://www.bjork.com" target="_blank">Björk</a>, and didn&#39;t pay much attention to the ponytailed songbird across the way. Still, despite the general lack of enthusiasm from my fellow concertgoers, I very much enjoyed her trickle of angelic calm before the storm.</p><p>And storm it did, cutting Björk&#39;s performance short and sending me home drenched as a result. However, the experience of seeing one of the weirdest and most beautiful acts in modern music was 100 percent worth it.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="414" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20130719_0729.JPG" title="Björk (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" width="620" /></div><p>Wearing a headdress that made her look like a cross between a lion and a spiky sea urchin, the iconic Icelandic performer veered from adorable to unnerving in her delivery of the alien-inspired &quot;Moon,&quot; &quot;Cosmogony&quot; and &quot;Army of Me.&quot; Buoyed by a sea of throbbing ambient noise, her voice echoed out into the night like a siren&#39;s song, lingering long after the lightning strikes and eventual downpour closed out Day One.</p><p><em>Leah Pickett is a pop culture writer for WBEZ and co-host of&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2&amp;ign-mpt=uo%3D2" target="_blank">Changing Channels</a>, a podcast about the future of television. Follow her on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 12px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue'; color: rgb(69, 69, 69); ">&nbsp;</p></p> Sat, 20 Jul 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-07/girl-pitchfork-day-1-108124