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« Conversations at Pitchfork: Chrissy Murderbot and MC ZULU Review: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones at The Vic, 7/21 »

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Jul 21 2011

Pitchfork Festival: Final Thoughts and Sunday


Photo by Stephanie Bassos

We've had the week to share some of our interviews from Pitchfork Festival with you, and some time to wash all the Union Park dust off and apply aloe to our sunburns. Now we wrap things up with Bonnie Page's thoughts on the last day along with more lovely photos by Stephanie Bassos. We here at Gapers Block hope you enjoyed your Pitchfork Festival 2011, and we'll see you next year. -Lisa White

Off to a sweltering start, the Sunday Pitchfork crowd was noticeably sparse and more inclined to sit on the sidelines if that meant shade rather than sweating it out under the sun. There were a number of festival-goers that started out their day with the garage/power pop rhythms of San Francisco band The Fresh & Onlys. The foursome, lead by tie-dye clad singer Tim Cohen, played clear and classic sounding guitar riffs for the crowd during "Waterfall" then added some throw back country twang in "Strange Disposition," accompanied by lo-fi vocals. It wasn't enough to get many people moving, but it was day three after all. -Bonnie Page

The combination of no shade protecting the Green Stage and the dark synth sounds emanating from Darkstar on the Blue Stage made their impossible to resist. The post-dub step trio was cold and calming; perfectly partnered with the shade from the Blue Stage trees. They played classically orchestrated tracks in organ synth with late arriving drum beats accompanied by the ethereal vocals of James Buttery. Their booming, gong-like bass beats and subtle note changes allowed the crowd to sit and soak it in. Buttery let his hair down mid way through the set, but continued to deliver his washed out falsetto wide-mouthed and shut-eyed till the end. -Bonnie Page


How To Dress Well by Stephanie Bassos

The Blue Stage traded out synth hardware for strings with How To Dress Well. Vocalist Tom Krell's soulful falsetto works in the realm of electronica, but their latest album includes a full orchestra - which is what he brought with him to Pitchfork. How to Dress Well opened with the celestial hollow R&B vocals of "Just Once" accompanied by lush strings. They followed up with the airy track "Decisions" with the only decipherable lyrics ("don't forget to check your cell phone") reeling the song down while Krell continued on with each note increasing in pitch. How to Dress Well finished their set with an beautifully spot on cover of Janet Jackson's "Never Gonna Fall In Love." -Bonnie Page


Twin Sister by Stephanie Bassos

Keeping with the Blue Stage, next up was the five-piece Brooklyn band Twin Sister. Singer Andrea Estella came out in a waist-grazing blue-green wig, her Bjork slash lounge-singer vocals sultrily filled the area surrounding the stage. Twin Sister's song "Bad Street" was a mix of vocals, laser, and Casio electronic effects while "All Around And Away We Go" was a buoyantly whispered 70's inspired sound. It was the perfect lay back and look at the clouds soundtrack. -Bonnie Page


Twin Sister by Stephanie Bassos

By 4:45pm the Blue Stage had blankets of people all the way back to the sidewalk eagerly awaiting the chopped beats and melodies of noise made by Baths, the project of one-man bedroom producer Will Wiesenfeld. The crowd bumped along to the pulsating beats and subtle snare effects of "Lovely Bloodflow" underneath Weisenfeld's high pitched vocals. They lost their cool when the first warbled noises of "Hall" played out, leading into the familiar blipped melodies. Wiesenfeld, grinning enthusiastically at the recognition, rewarded the crowd with energetic fist bumps and head bobs. Amid the rest of his set were English accented vocals, disorienting happy beats, and cricket-like sound effects. -Bonnie Page


Cut Copy by Stephanie Bassos

Cut Copy came with the goal to make everyone dance. The electric synth set from the Australian foursome covered tracks from recently released Zonoscope to old favorites like "Hearts on Fire." They eased into the set with the up-beat sing-along "Where I'm Going," and followed it up with the dizzying New Order-esq "So Haunted," which featured a shimmering synth chorus. In a sweat soaked blue denim shirt, singer Dan Whitford sang "Take Me Over"- which bears a striking resemblance to Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere." But it wouldn't have been the highlight of the evening (thus far anyway) without hearing "Hearts on Fire," which also could have been the anthem of the night as limbs flung and bodies jumped and gyrated while repeating the repetitious chorus back to Cut Copy at full force. -Bonnie Page


TV on The Radio by Stephanie Bassos

Who didn't love TV On The Radio Sunday night? Maybe only my day three dancing feet (and probably yours too). After an hour of "dancing" (and by dancing I mean erratically jumping) to Cut Copy, I, and everyone around me, subjected our feet to 15 tracks of "dancing" to TVOTR. The Brooklyn based group took to a brightly lit stage and wow'd tired Pitchforkers over with set opener "Halfway Home" and the urgent punk-like delivery of "Dancing Choose." They moved into the oriental tinged steeliness of "Will Do" while the crowd sang along. In fact, the crowd participated in most of TVOR's songs, including singer Tunde Adebimpe's "personal favorite," the deep and evenly paced "Young Liars." The crowd also participated physically through the insisting guitar rythms of "Wolf Like Me," and audibly through Adebimpe's psychedelic high pitched vocalizing of "Starring at the Sun." They also played a fuzzed up groovy "New Cannon Ball Blues" - which true to the song's lyric's had the Sunday night crowd strung up. TVOTR closed out their rocking set with a cover of Fugazi's classic "Waiting Room." As people filed out of Union Park it looked something like a water bottle massacre and felt something like the last day of summer as everyone made their way back to real life. -Bonnie Page


Twin Sister by Stephanie Bassos

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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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