Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, May 21

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Pitchfork by Sara Pieper

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

GB store

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

GB store

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.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

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...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15