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Saturday, December 16

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Transmission
« Pitchfork Festival 2011: Friday, Part 1 Pitchfork Festival: Saturday, Part 1 »

Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 16 2011

Pitchfork Festival 2011: Friday, Part 2

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Photo by Stephanie Bassos

It was time for a little bit of a palate cleanse after Moore's earnest introspective set, so I moved to something a lot more lighthearted: the Brooklyn trio of hip-hop jokesters, Das Racist. The group rose to Internet fame with their 2008 song "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell," so obviously these guys definitely don't take themselves too seriously. They've been downplayed by some, but they show smart rhymes and a tongue-in-cheek style humor that pokes fun of pop culture. For instance, the song "Fake Patios" talks about the authenticity of rappers, pointing the finger at a number of "authentic" hip-hop artists who use fake accents and massive production. All the while they sing the track with an obvious fake Jamaican accent and autotune. They opened up their set with "Who's That? Broooown," the dirty beats stretched to match the elongated chorus line while a sitar and Casiotone noises add to the lazy yet catchy delivery style. -Bonnie Page

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Photo by Stephanie Bassos

Das Racist know how to start a party. From the moment the absurd humor rappers took the stage, the crowd was theirs to control. When they launched into "Who's That? Brooown!" every cliche about a crowd going crazy was applicable. Girls were being launched over the audience like a crowd surfing distribution line, the teenage boys behind us busted out their really bad weed, and Das Racist fully won over the first full audience of the weekend. The band itself may not take their schtick too serious at times, but if you listen closely to their lyrics you know the smart and insightful group is just in on a really good joke. Das Racist makes relevant points hid amongst humor-hop, all backed by a heady mix of world and rap beats. -Lisa White

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Photo by Stephanie Bassos

Day one ended for me with the minimalist dub sounds of James Blake. The Blue stage was packed to capacity for what seemed to be a highlight on everyone's Pitchfork schedule. Blake's use of negative space in his songs seem to draw emotion out of otherwise cold minimalist instrumentation and vocals. With it he conveys a certain sense of sadness and longing. The crowd stared towards the stage area soaking in the drawn out emotive lyrics of "Lindisfarne II," the barely there beats of the soulful piano ballad "Limit to Your Love," and the quiet hymn quality of "Measurements." -Bonnie Page

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Photo by Stephanie Bassos

James Blake's set at Pitchfork seemed more joyous than his chilling set at Lincoln Hall a few months ago, a beautiful reverie and balance between the crowd silencing piano only material and the dub-step based electronic breakdowns. Seeming a bit nervous, yet all smiles, Blake's set utilized a staggering amount of loop material, which wasn't ideal with the problem of sound bleed from other acts. Blake didn't seem too concerned though, and even joked about the pieces being a duet between himself and her, the her in question being Neko Case's set from across the park. With the more bass heavy and electronic tracks, the sound quality improved, and the dark undertones came out in Blake's music. The most noteworthy track was his first single, "CMYK," the audience clearly marking it a fan favorite as the somber mood lifted, a dance vibe taking over the crowd and continuing through most of his set. Blake perfectly balanced his sound for a festival setting, at least from my vantage point up front, and his attention to detail and fine tuning of his tracks was an excellent way to end the night. -Lisa White

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Photo by Stephanie Bassos

Keep checking back all weekend and next week for more Pitchfork Festival 2011 coverage from Gapers Block.

 
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