Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 line-up if there wasn't a little something in store for everybody. Read along and check out the Transmission staff's best picks for sets to catch on each day of rock, rap, and thrash. " />

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Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Jul 12 2012

Pitchfork Music Festival 2012: Preview Highlights

By Transmission Staff

pitchfork2012.jpgWhile the weather looks downright seasonal and pleasant this weekend, it wouldn't be a Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 line-up if there wasn't a little something in store for everybody. Read along and check out the Transmission staff's best picks for sets to catch on each day of rock, rap, and thrash.

And hey, while you're around Union Park this weekend, don't forget to stop by and say hello to Gapers Block staff manning our table once again at the CHIRP Record Fair tent. Get yourself a cool free button, some free stickers, or buy a sweet I (star) Chi tee. While you're there, browse some record bins from indie labels and record stores/sellers, shop the Coterie craft fair, or just escape the sun for a while.


Friday highlights

Tim Hecker 5:15pm (Blue stage)
Like a master craftsman who still creates dollhouses out of wood, fabric and whale bone, Tim Hecker sometimes seems like a man out of time. As the neo-synth era trudges on, giving us an increasingly expensive array of vintage synths (or modern substitutes) and recordings that invite us to enjoy the power of a minor seventh, Hecker can still furnish a room with sound, and like said dollhouses, not all of his materials are au courant. The digital glitching effects, combined with synths, organs, pianos, and non-melodic scraping textures aren't on the blue light special chalkboard this week, and more's the pity, because Hecker's music expands into more unique spaces with each new record. 2011's Ravedeath, 1972 (Kranky) spits in the face of dubstep, techstep, EDM and milquetoast neo- neu-age dribble, still fighting from the abandoned arctic base for the right to keep the glacial hallucinations alive. Check out the three-part, 16 minute piece "The Fog" for a quick look at life behind the muslin curtain:

-Chris Sienko


A$AP Rocky 5:30pm (Red stage)
While K.R.I.T. reigns over trunk music in the South, A$AP Rocky is quickly becoming one of the most dropped names when it comes to the urban scene. Harlem-born-and-raised Rocky's quick-witted raps and club-ready beats (see "Goldie") have earned him performance slots at nationally respected music festivals such as Coachella and this year's Pitchfork fest...all before releasing his first studio album.

- Katie Karpowicz


Big K.R.I.T. 6:25pm (Green stage)
On his debut album rapper Childish Gambino (aka Troy from "Community") claims that Pitchfork only likes rappers that are crazy or hood. Judging by the hip hop contributions the festival added to its lineup this year, crazy and hood are fine by me any day. Straight from the heart of Mississippi Big K.R.I.T.' s slow-spinning, syrup-y rhymes are a Southern dream. Look no further than "Boobie Miles" off his early-2012 mixtape 4eva N a Day for proof.

- Katie Karpowicz


Feist 8:20pm (Green)
Before you scoff that this wee crooning Canadian couldn't possibly hold on to the audience to close out Friday night's performances, let's remember that this is the same singer who started out nearly destroying her voice in an all-girl punk band in the early '90s, and ever since has made a name for herself recordings sweet soaring vocals with tremendous acts. She's appeared on albums over the years for Kings of Convenience and as a part of Broken Social Scene's lineup for a time. In addition, Feist provided vocal work for Peaches and Grizzly Bear, to name just a few (and not even getting into the number of her own songs that have been wildly remixed). If anything, her acclaimed group work is really just a side project for her earworm-like solo material. Feist's creative solo endeavors were the subject of a recent twee tour/album documentary called Look At What The Light Did Now about her 2007 album The Reminder. If you don't loudly disdain her quiet rocking, you probably find her quite charming and agreeable. Really now, who hasn't sung along to "1234" or enjoyed the Sesame Street parody? Her fourth solo album came out last fall, is titled Metals, and flows softly around the record player like a moth. Really, this might be the right set to find that special someone to fall in love with for the weekend. Just make sure everyone doesn't crush on Feist at the same time, ok?

- Anne Holub


Saturday highlights

The Psychic Paramount 1:00pm (Green)
The Psychic Paramount is the kind of band you assume exists more commonly. When this catalog copy or that psychedelic collector ally tells you about another psych power trio that totally blasts, you assume they're going to sound like this. But they usually don't. But The Psychic Paramount do. The bass and drums churn and propel in equal measure in the traditions of the great power trio rhythm sections — Redding/Mitchell, Bruce/Baker, Watt/Hurley — creating a perfectly violent landscape for the guitar to do whatever the hell it likes. In this case, though, guitarist Drew St. Ivany likes to work in the mines with the rhythm, often hard-strumming sympathetic rhythm strains rather than dancing fretwork across the surface. As the result, the band puts more beef into the stew rather than trying to fill you up with some pretty little pearl onions. Fans of hard-charging, instrumentally-focused bands like Battles, Comets on Fire or Oneida will want to start Saturday off early and right.

- Chris Sienko


Atlas Sound 2:30pm (Green)
Bradford Cox's solo project Atlas Sound actually predates his better known band Deerhunter as a vehicle for the eccentric guitarist and songwriter to explore solo projects. Arguably a far more interesting distraction than Deerhunter, Atlas Sound's live show is a truly experimental and atmospheric journey that provides much opportunity for both payoff and failure. Compositions can be thoughtful and extremely nuanced and well thought out, but Cox has been known to be slightly mercurial. For a taste of the good, listen to Atlas Sound's full show at 2011's Moogfest, courtesy of NPR. Lay back and enjoy this one, just don't request any covers.

- Dan Snedigar


Cults 3:20pm (Red)
The word "cults" itself may carry with it some interesting connotations, however, listening to this group's deliberately shimmering and light sound exposes them as anything but the intense notions associated with the word. Stemming from vocals by Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, Cults is comprised of a sound that is transported straight from the '60s, dreamy and woozy. Their music ranges from fast-paced and tumultuous "Abducted" to languid "You Know What I Mean." With their carefree, restless ballads, Cults is a perfect pick for a summertime Pitchfork Festival spot.

- Sarah Brooks


Flying Lotus 4:15pm (Green)
Chances are even if you aren't familiar with Flying Lotus, you've heard his music before. Whether it's remixing Radiohead or creating the bumper music for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim (that music playing while Adult Swim showcase their witty words of humor between shows), Flying Lotus has collaborated on a massive amount of projects, creating for himself a very well calculated career path. Not surprising when you look at his musical family tree, including songwriters, musicians, and two people you might know of, Alice and John Coltrane. It's no surprise his sound draws from a variety of soundscapes, from hip hop to electronic to noise and funk. His live sets are seamless, fusing his work into a continuous set that ebbs and flows perfectly. If you want a chilled out set that will still have a crowd moving, check out Flying Lotus Saturday afternoon.

- Lisa White


Sleigh Bells 6:15pm (Green)
Sleigh Bells might be on of the most perfect examples of quick and sudden fame in the modern music industry. In less than a year of being together, the duo were darlings at CMJ music festival in 2009, were signed to M.I.A.'s label, and quickly shot up many a best of list online and in print media. The band might have had some lucky breaks, but it's well deserved after the release of their debut album Treats. The album was a bold abrasive clash of guitars over airy female vocals, and strong clash of style that somehow blended into some of the best tracks of 2010. It was music to crank up and blow your speakers listening to. Despite the quick rise to the top, the duo still hasn't lost their footing with the release of Reign of Terror, another album full of their visceral style that has only grown with the addition of some pop (think Joan Jett "pop") flourishes and more attention to lyrics. No matter what, you're sure to get full wall of sound from them this weekend, that's loud and clear.

- Lisa White


Chromatics 6:45pm (Blue)
With each release, Portland's Chromatics up the ante. 2007's Night Drive was a dark synth-pop tour de force. 2012's Kill For Love brings a little more light into the fold, but doesn't give up any of the ambiance that this band has built up. The 90-minute album is long, for sure, but it never veers off-course from putting the listener in an environment where a surprise may be just around the corner. It's a grand soundtrack for suspense. (On a personal note, I was sort of disappointed with their dull show at a festival last month and missed some prime Saint Etienne while caught up in the hype. So I'm looking for them to make up for that.)

- James Ziegenfus


Grimes 8:40pm (Blue)
The internet just can't stop talking about Grimes this year, between raving over her witchy electro-pop to criticizing her for being too desexualized and elfish. I'm quite certain a blogger over at Gorilla vs. Bear has a shrine to her in the basement because they seem to talk about Grimes on a daily basis. After what is arguably the best music video of 2012 so far for her ethereal track "Oblivion", the hype is warranted. However, I caught Grimes just last March at a sold-out show at Empty Bottle and her performance merely lasted just over half an hour. "I don't have very many songs. It's my life, you see — I'm actually very bad at making songs that work live," she apologized at the end of her set. So when Pitchfork released the day-by-day schedules I was more than a bit surprised to find that she is headlining Saturday night when her experience level may be better suited for a slot earlier in the day. She's been touring profusely these past few months and has even played a few other major festivals since that Empty Bottle gig so hopefully she's got it all figured out by now. The combination of her dream-like vocals, wacky dance moves and general freakishness seem perfectly befitting for an outdoor festival on a hot summer night.

- Stephanie Griffin


Sunday highlights

A Lull 1:00pm (Blue)
Though the national talent runs thick in Union Park every year during the fest, it's still good to see some hometown boys up on stage. A Lull combine assaultingly percussive rhythms, dreamy melodic swirls and crazy live shows. The name is misleading. Lulls will be the last thing you'll witness during the band's Sunday afternoon performance.

- Katie Karpowicz


Milk Music 1:55pm (Blue)
This is a real garage rock band. If you close your eyes while listening to them, you can almost see them in a garage at the end of a long driveway. They're wearing flannel. They have long hair. They're thrashing out. On a cursory listen, they could be Dinosaur Jr or Hüsker Dü. It sounds dirty, like actually lo-fi. And it's incredibly catchy. (Milk Music are also playing at Subterranean with fellow Pitchfork Festival band Iceage on Monday.)

- James Ziegenfus


Ty Segall 3:20pm (Red)
James Brown's passing left many contenders vying for the title of "Hardest Working Man in Show Business", but as of late, I have to think that California-based wunderkind Ty Segall is making a run at the title. This year has already seen the release of two LP's, one (Ty Segall and White Fence) with White Fence, and the just released Slaughterhouse, recorded with his touring band. Add to that an ambitious tour schedule with Thee Oh Sees (also playing Pitchfork Fest on Sunday at 2:50pm on the Blue stage) and the expected fall release of yet another full-length in the fall, and you can see that Segall is a busy man. But work ethic isn't the only thing that Segall borrows from music's past. His songwriting is informed by the generations of American and UK garage rockers that came before him, creating songs with melodies that glisten like gold nuggets at the bottom of a rushing river of distorted guitar fuzz. It's hard for me to see people ignoring Segall's solid fundamentals for long, and for my money, he's the breakout act of this year's Pitchfork.

- Dan Snedigar


Real Estate 4:15pm (Green)
If you're looking for a respite from more high-octane sets and chaotic environments at Pitchfork Fest, Real Estate's set is going to become the place to be. Their gentle beach rock sound lends itself to their charm, and if their songs were to fit perfectly into a seasonal listening period, summer would be it. Relax and unwind during Real Estate's set, which will showcase the dynamic range of their indie rock sound, introspective and delicate at its core.

- Sarah Brooks


King Krule 6:45pm (Blue)
Archy Marshall may look like your average gangly teenager, but don't let his awkward demeanor fool you - the kid's got songwriting ability beyond his years and a shockingly deep voice. Performing under the moniker King Krule (formerly Zoo Kid), he possesses the capability to vividly encapsulate his generation of angsty London youth, and it is bleak. King Krule is able to seamlessly delve into rockabilly, soul, and new wave territory without it feeling like an affectation, a true skill for someone who was born in 1994. And with that beam emanating from his head of blazing red hair, you won't be able to miss him late Sunday afternoon.

- Stephanie Griffin


Beach House 7:25pm (Red)
Wind down your Pitchfork weekend and dream a little dream with Beach House as Sunday night spills in the shadows. Between the heavy acts and the dancy acts playing Pitchfork, reside these mellow-to-the-max Sub Pop artists from Baltimore. No one who drives on the Beltway could possibly find this must peace on a regular basis (geez, even their video for "Zebra" is like a doctor's office aquarium with the calming effects), so what's their secret? Find out when you take a blanket (OK, or just your jorts) and spread out on the dry grass in Union Park to enjoy a respite before getting on with the rest of your evening. Have a drink, eat a snack, and find some inner peace, why don't you? These kids obviously have something special going on.

- Anne Holub




Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 Schedule (Stage)

Friday, July 13
Outer Minds 3:20pm (Blue)
Lower Dens 3:30pm (Red)
Willis Earl Beal 4:15pm (Blue)
The Olivia Tremor Control 4:35pm (Green)
Tim Hecker 5:15pm (Blue)
A$AP Rocky 5:30pm (Red)
Japandroids 6:15om (Blue)
Big K.R.I.T. 6:25pm (Green)
Clams Casino 7:15pm (Blue)
Dirty Projectors 7:20pm (Red)
Purity Ring 8:20pm (Blue)
Feist 8:20pm (Green)

Saturday, July 14
The Atlas Moth 1:00pm (Blue)
The Psychic Paramount 1:00pm (Green)
Cloud Nothings 1:45pm (Red)
Lotus Plaza 1:55pm (Blue)
Atlas Sound 2:30pm (Green)
Liturgy 2:50pm (Blue)
Cults 3:20pm (Red)
Youth Lagoon 3:45pm (Blue)
Flying Lotus 4:15pm (Green)
Nicolas Jaar 4:45pm (Blue)
Wild Flag 5:15pm (Red)
Schoolboy Q 5:45pm (Blue)
Sleigh Bells 6:15pm (Green)
Chromatics 6:45pm (Blue)
Hot Chip 7:25pm (Red)
Danny Brown 7:40pm (Blue)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor 8:30pm (Green)
Grimes 8:40pm (Blue)

Sunday, July 15
A Lull 1:00pm (Blue)
Dirty Beaches 1:00pm (Green)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra 1:45pm (Red)
Milk Music 1:55pm (Blue)
Iceage 2:30pm (Green)
Thee Oh Sees 2:50pm (Blue)
Ty Segall 3:20pm (Red)
The Men 3:45pm (Blue)
Real Estate 4:15pm (Green)
Kendrick Lamar 4:45pm (Blue)
Chavez 5:15pm (Red)
Oneohtrix Point Never 5:45pm (Blue)
AraabMuzik 6:15pm (Green)
King Krule 6:45pm (Blue)
Beach House 7:25pm (Red)
The Field 7:40pm (Blue)
Vampire Weekend 8:30pm (Green)

 
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