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Thursday, December 14

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Transmission
« Pitchfork Festival: Saturday, Part 1 Conversations at Pitchfork: G-Side »

Pitchfork Music Festival Sun Jul 17 2011

Pitchfork Festival: Saturday, Part 2

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Photo by Stephanie Bassos

Easing out of the heaviness of Cold Cave, Wild Nothing and Radio Department lulled the 4pm-6:45pm hours. The one-man band of Wild Nothing (with the addition of a touring live band) came out in full plaid and ray ban glasses, giving off a sorta clean-cut '50s feel. They eased right into the smooth sounds of "Chinatown" and "Gemini." Wild Nothing was the perfect mix of dreamy electronic sounds and hazy vocals for the shady Blue Stage. Radio Department, with the same dream pop sound, made for a good follow up right after. -Bonnie Page

The velvety smooth sounds of Twin Shadow took the space over after Radio Department. Twin Shadow is currently on "the Hair Tour" -- where he styles his hair differently for each show. Unfortunately, he was wearing a hat at Pitchfork. But that wasn't enough to get in the way of his set. Twin Shadow's George Lewis Jr. wooed the crowd with throbbing drum beats and pre-pubescent crushes in "Tyrant Destroyer." His whisper lured the crowd into his muted longings ("As if it wasn't enough to hear you speak / They had to give you lips like that") and made them sway to a familiar new wave sounds. Lewis then played with the perfectly timed fluted synth of "I Can't Wait." -Bonnie Page

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Photo by Katie Schuering

With out a doubt, the most anticipated show of the weekend (for me at least) was DJ Shadow. Shadow came out in the Shadowshpere -- a giant white orb and multimedia entertainment piece that he mixes in. Unfortunately, at 7:45pm, with the sun still bright, the Shadowsphere didn't work out, with the visuals not visible due to the sunlight. Midway through, Shadow, a little fed up with the light situation, swung the Shadowsphere around so the crowd could see him at work -- which was much more interesting than watching a giant white orb. Regardless of the visual situation, the entire crowd ate up the heavy hitting jungle slash drum-and-bass set. Shadow scratched over the beats and mixed in samples from everyone's favorite albums, from Entroducing to The Private Press. While the previous albums are slower in tempo, the bass-heavy mixes had every body pulsating from the intro to the last seconds of the set as Shadow played up until the very last second of his slot. -Bonnie Page

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Photo by Katie Schuering

DJ Shadow has always been one of those acts that I enjoy, but never have taken a great interest in seeing live. I'm aware of his music and existence, and the important part he plays in DJ and electronic history, but beyond that I tend to forget about him. After his set at Pitchfork, I promise I will never forget about DJ Shadow again. Unfortunately it was somehow both one of my favorite sets yet also biggest disappointments of the festival thanks to scheduling and set-up malfunctions. The impressive light show (from the faded version I could see since it was still sunny out) would have been wonderful if Pitchfork booked Shadow at night. But that would have meant a headliner slot, and as much as Pitchfork takes a chance with their booking, Shadow as a headliner was not in the cards. The orb he spins inside of also malfunctioned, and instead of opening up, we were left with Shadow heaving a sigh of defeat and opening the front hatch so we could at least see him. It was a true Spinal Tap moment to cap off a set that was sonically impressive but riddled with problems. Despite all of that, I immensely enjoyed his entire time onstage, from the earnest appreciation he expressed before and after towards his fans to the incredible talent I witnessed watching him scratch and spin. He was one of the most connected DJs I've seen live, and it showed that the crowd really felt what Shadow was putting out. You can bet good money that the next time DJ Shadow is in Chicago (somewhere dark of course), I'll be front and center for his show. -Lisa White

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Photo by Katie Schuering

In a huge shift in genres (and just a small shift in physical location), the late Pitchfork crowd moved from hard hitting bass to the rocking folk of Fleet Foxes. The Seattle-based Subpop act were an obvious crowd favorite. Lead singer Robin Pecknold and company amped up their otherwise folky sound, and the combination of rock and a day's worth of Heineken had the khaki shorted guys and floral dress girls singing along. The set included tracks numerous tracks from their latest album Helplessness Blues, including "Sim Sala Bim," "Lorelai," and "The Shrine/An Argument," and also gave a nod to older material with "Mykonos." It was quite a different set compared to their early afternoon Pitchfork appearance in 2008. -Bonnie Page

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Photo by Katie Schuering

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

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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