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Transmission
« Conversations at Pitchfork: eMusic Editor-in-Chief J. Edward Keyes Pitchfork Music Festival: Saturday »

Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 14 2012

Pitchfork Music Festival: Friday

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Pitchfork by Sara Pieper

My Pitchfork Music Festival weekend began as I sat in Big Star in Wicker Park, grabbing some celebratory margaritas with some other writers, as the mood changed when we noticed the monsoon downpour outside. Yes, Pitchfork 2012 is destined to be a wet one. But a little rain never hurt anyone too bad, so onward we march to a (now wet) weekend full of indie rock, record fairs, and plenty of bad fashion. -Lisa White

Being a veteran of outdoor music festivals, you'd think at some point I would learn to prepare for any and all weather conditions. But as Pitchfork Music Festival kicked off on Friday in the pouring rain, I realized that I didn't have an umbrella, or a poncho, or a ziploc bag to store my electronics (this last one is the largest offense, considering both my iPod and my iPhone were sacrificed to the Lollapalooza rain gods last year). Luckily Union Park has a copious amount of trees to hide under in case of emergency, plus the CHIRP Record Fair tent and various other booths around the park. -Stephanie Griffin

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Electromusical Energy Visualizer by Sara Pieper

After stocking up on some rain gear, I made it to the festival in time to chat with Outer Minds (check back later for our interview with them) as I heard in the background the tail end of The Olivia Tremor Control and Willis Earl Beal. The first sounded just like any '90s era Elephant 6 associated group would sound like, which means bright guitar driven rock that after the rain added a nice lighter touch to the afternoon. From across the park Willis Earl Beal sounded like he was channeling some serious Tom Waits. I was sad to miss his set, but just the few bars I could hear moved him up to an act I have to catch live sometime soon.

After my interview, I headed over to the Electromusical Energy Visualizer with Stephanie to check out this newest edition to the festival. The set up was really cool, and both Stephanie and I had our photos taken. Here's is below, and I'll spare you readers from witnessing mine. Needless to say I'm not a fan of Beach House, since I looked liked I wanted to murder someone while listening to them. My aura did show that overall I was passionate and magical while listening to the selected artist, which given my years of coverage and fandom of the festival seems about right. -Lisa White

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My phone survived, mostly in thanks to the eMusic booth at the south end of the festival. They've got this Electromusical Energy Visualizer where you can listen to songs from various bands playing at Pitchfork, place your hands on some sensors, and a photobooth will take a picture of your musical aura. Pretty cool. Apparently I am peaceful while listening to Lower Dens, Iceage, and A$AP Rocky, but magical and passionate when listening to Beach House. Seems accurate. -Stephanie Griffin

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Japandroids by Sara Pieper

The rain let up with just enough time for me to catch the second half of Canadian rockers Japandroids' set over at the Blue Stage, partially aided by the bands at the stage running significantly behind schedule. I was greeted with an overpowering wall of sound as they swept through the end of the set hard, fast, and loud, with little to no chit chat. The Blue Stage is my favorite place to see music at Pitchfork because it is hidden away from the rest of the festival and conveniently located next to the food and beer trucks -- but it is also walled in by fences and trees, and as I learned during Japandroids' set, if you arrive late and are in the back of the crowd, sight-lines are minimal. But from my vantage point, I could see a lot of head banging, hair flying, arms flailing, and an all-around enjoyable musical start to my weekend. -Stephanie Griffin

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Dirty Projectors by Sara Pieper

Following Japandroids I headed over to catch Dirty Projectors, a band I'd heard a lot about but for some reason never really got into. As the set started and they were halfway through the first song, I pegged them as a stuck-in-the-'90s college rock band, and dreaded a set I was sure to bore me to tears. Boy, was I wrong, as every song they played became more interesting and weird in different ways, as they seem to explore new territory and genre with each song. -Stephanie Griffin

I've seen Dirty Projectors a few times, and although their new material is great, I've heard a lot of praise about producer Clams Casino. So, I headed over to the smaller Blue Stage to check him out. If you were expecting some sort of entertaining show to watch, you would have been let down. It was very much a guy leaning over his technology type atmosphere. But if you wanted a chilled out mix to relax in the shade with friends, this might have been the best bet for the day. The music was a slower tempo blend of electronic and hip hop, a chopped up blend of samples that rolled heavy and soft across the crowd. Just one of the many acts over the years that I've discovered at Pitchfork, knowing that I'll head home and download more music thanks to being intrigued by the live set. -Lisa White

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Purity Ring by Sara Pieper

One of the acts I was most excited to see Friday at Pitchfork was Purity Ring, the Canadian duo that again is riding the similar wave of popularity by mixing electronic and hip hop beats together to create some trippy downtempo tracks. I was a fan when I first saw Corin Roddick in Gobble Gobble (also now known as Born Gold) a few years back at a loft party. If you like Purity Ring but want something more insanely energetic and somewhat schizophrenic in sound, check out Born Gold.

The stage setup was perfect for a night headliner, bouncing colors of lights and orbs that look like spun cotton candy hanging over the stage. The band has a hushed sound to them, singer Megan James' vocals chasing the prize of most likely to sound like Bjork at this year's festival. The music has an ethereal feel to it, yet still pounces onto the audience with some more abrasive electronic beats. A lot of the production and style reminded me of the other Pitchfork favorite from awhile back, The Knife, so I'm not surprised the site picked Purity Ring as a closer for Friday night's Blue Stage show. -Lisa White

Feist's set was a bit shaky, especially toward the beginning when she was almost drowned out by the noise pollution coming from Purity Ring's set over at the Blue Stage. That was only the beginning of her problems -- at times she suffered from a broken guitar, forgotten lyrics, and loud audience chatter during the quieter moments of her music (moments where, in a smaller venue, she would have enchanted the crowd). She was backed by the charming indie folk trio Mountain Man, who were able to aid her in these weak points in her set. However, once she got loud, she really brought it and more than made up for her set's shortcomings. To be honest, as this was my first time seeing Feist live I wasn't expecting her to rock out as much as she did -- but man, can she shred that guitar. -Stephane Griffin

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Pitchfork by Sara Pieper

Check back all weekend for more coverage from Pitchfork Music Festival 2012.

 

Alex / July 15, 2012 1:46 AM

I have fallen in love with Purity Ring, I was so excited to see them on Pitchforks lineup this past Friday...savetheradiostar.com

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Pitchfork Music Festival Wed Jul 16 2014

Our Picks for Pitchfork Fest 2014

By Transmission Staff

Come on and see what we're most excited to hear with our staff's picks for the 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival sets you won't want to miss.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
CHIRP
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Cream Team
Dark Jive
Daytrotter
The Deli Chicago
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Gowhere Hip Hop
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Sound Opinions
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Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
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Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
B.L.U.E.S
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
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Constellation
Cubby Bear
Double Door
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The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
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Martyrs'
Mayne Stage
Metro
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
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The Riviera
Rosa's
Schubas
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The Shrine
Smartbar
Subterranean
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Township
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Hozac
Jam Productions
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Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
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Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records


Events

Wed Jul 30 2014
Oneida & CAVE @ Empty Bottle

Wed Jul 30 2014
Nelarusky ft. Twin Shadow @ Metro

Thu Jul 31 2014
Spin's Lollapalooza Kick Off Party with Interpol, Gemini Club, Wildcat! Wildcat!

Thu Jul 31 2014
School of Rock Allstars @ Beat Kitchen

Sun Aug 3 2014
Great Midwest Uke Fest @ Chief O'Neill's

Mon Aug 4 2014
Maps & Atlases and Wooden Shjips @ Downtown Sound

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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