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. 


Friday, December 1

Gapers Block

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

« James Iha Premieres New Music Video Review: Charles Bradley @ Pritzker Pavilion, 7/16 »

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 16 2012

Pitchfork Music Festival: Sunday


Milk Music by Sara Pieper

As Pitchfork winded down Sunday at Union Park, we were all afforded one last chance to hit all the photobooths, grab some free Vitamin Water and kefir, browse the CHIRP Record Fair and catch a solid line-up of artists. Luckily the sun was out all day and the ground was surprisingly dry enough to lay on without the worry of ruining your clothes. -Stephanie Griffin


Unknown Mortal Orchestra by Sara Pieper

After chatting with a few bands, I kicked off my final day in the shade enjoying the psych-rock tinged pop of Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Ruban Nielson's androgynous vocals floated across the field, backed by swirling '60s era guitar hooks. Similar to other retro acts that Pitchfork Music Festival have highlighted in the past (first to mind is Toro y Moi last year at the festival), the music was well received and a perfect soundtrack to laying about in the hot afternoon. Just another example of the festival picking bands that make the perfect groove given the surroundings. If you're craving some new psychedelic soundtrack, checking out UMO would be highly advised. -Lisa White


Iceage by Sara Pieper

It's been a rough weekend for Iceage. As we reported earlier, they had their guitars stolen right as they kick off a month long tour of the US. But if anything it added fuel to the fire for their Sunday set. Despite a few minor technical difficulties, the band cranked out their loud and abrasive brand of punk rock. Their sound is a very jittery, loud brand of European punk with pop flourishes, similar to The Horrors' first album or The Futureheads. And despite the setback of losing their guitars, the band took it in stride, dedicating their song "You're Nothing" to "the pieces of shit who stole our guitars in Chicago." -Lisa White


Thee Oh Sees by Sara Pieper

I started off the day with Thee Oh Sees tucked away over at the Blue Stage, and was surprised at the large crowd amassed to see them so early in the day. The band got the crowd moving with their hard-hitting garage rock, ripping through their set with intense energy. The band gave several shout-outs to Red Stage artist Ty Segall, whose set was scheduled to begin midway through Thee Oh Sees' time slot. Frontman John Dwyer first reminded the audience when Ty's set was about to start in case anyone wanted to head over to the other stage, and then proceeded to scream out Ty's name on the top of his lungs with the hope that Ty would be able to hear him from across the festival. -Stephanie Griffin


Kendrick Lamar by Sara Pieper

Compared to the impressive sets of hip hop the past two years at Pitchfork, I felt this past weekend that the offerings of rappers were pretty weak besides the rowdy Southern set of Big K.R.I.T. Granted Clams Casino, AraabMuzik and Flying Lotus were some of the stand out sets of weekend, but as far as actual rappers go, I found myself missing the G-Side, Das Racist and Freddie Gibbs of years past. Sadly Kendrick Lamar didn't do much to change my mind, with a late start, a bit too much hyping, and a somewhat sloppy set. His laid back, chill West Coast style was ever apparent, but his flow didn't seem nearly as solid as his recorded material. His voice sounded rough around the edges, and his between song stage banter needs some work. Halfway through his set the reports flooded Twitter that Lady Gaga was watching, and suddenly a large portion of people were too busy craning their neck to fame watch to really notice a lackluster set. OK, so you have a famous fan and got a pretty sweet record deal, but it still feels like Lamar has a bit more polishing to go before proving his worth and staying power. -Lisa White


Chavez by Sara Pieper

I decided to check out reunion act Chavez out of curiosity, even though I was never all that familiar with them the first time around and, embarrassingly enough, am more acquainted with singer Matt Sweeney's involvement in Zwan. Chavez haven't released any material recorded past 1996, but they didn't feel at all out of place among the festival of mostly younger artists, even if the average age of their audience was slightly older than that of other sets. The band powered through their set with the ease and experience that some other performances lacked, so I was glad I had decided to check them out on a whim. I even spotted that Lollapalooza World's Best Dancer guy flipping out over their set, in between posing for a few photos with some admirers. -Stephanie Griffin


AraabMuzik by Sara Pieper

AraabMuzik might win the award for loudest set of the weekend, as I felt his bass beats vibrate off the trees towards the back of the field. He DJed a literal drum and bass heavy set, the beats shaking through the crowd as he pounded hard on his drum machine, a video letting the crowd witness his skill in creating layers of sound with the flick of a wrist and the heavy tap of a finger. More akin to a DJ set, things got mixed up towards the end when Chicago MC wunderkind Chief Keef took to the stage to perform two tracks including his overnight sensation hit "I Don't Like." After the set ended, backstage a mob of people crowded around Keef to get their photo taken, clearly showing the hype surrounding the young rapper who stole the end of the show. -Lisa White

Chances are you missed King Krule's set over at the Blue Stage because it seemed the entire festival forgot about him. I arrived at the stage only a few minutes before he began, and by that time the crowd was only five or six people deep and tired festival-goers were able to spread out a blanket and lay down well in front of the stage's sound booth. By appearances only, Archy Marshall and his band seemed more suited for a high school talent show. When they walked onstage one of my festival-going pals asked, "I wonder if they came here with parental supervision?" Well, prepare to feel old -- Archy himself was born in 1994 and looks even younger than his true age, only augmented by his severely oversized button-up shirt. One of his backing band members looked outright prepubescent. King Krule didn't have any of the gimmicks or frills that some of the other performers may have had, but his set was simplistically beautiful and honest. This was definitely one of my favorite performances of the weekend. -Stephanie Griffin


Beach House by Sara Pieper

Schedulers have had plenty of misses over the last few years (e.g., DJ Shadow, numerous Blue Stage clusterfucks, etc.), but Beach House was perfect as a soundtrack to a cool breeze and sunset. A large crowd filled the field as the Baltimore duo (plus a touring drummer) shut down the Red Stage with their dreamy near-psychedelic pop. Victoria Legrand was a reluctant leader to thousands of devotees, but compelled the crowd (even typical chatterboxes, who were rapt) with her hypnotic voice on highlights like "Gila," "Norway" and "Wishes." In the past, some of Beach House's intricacies have evaporated outdoors. On Sunday, though, they were sharp, robust and in complete control. At one point, two kids walked by me and one started to say something about the guitar sound. The other just shook his head, as if to say, "Shut up and let me hear this without distraction." -James Ziegenfus


Vampire Weekend by Sara Pieper

It seems we have now entered a time post-Vampire Weekend backlash where we can just sing along to every word, jump up and down and clap wildly without shame. Even for the most casual of listeners, the band has plenty of recognizable songs -- so what felt like a set of greatest hits was really just the band playing almost the entirety of the material they have released. It's easy to forget that they've only put out two albums, and the band performed a good majority of each plus one new song, and then ending with a farewell of "Walcott." However, I must say the best part of the night was witnessing a guy climb atop the soundbooth with a professional-looking video camera and film almost their entire set before security realized he wasn't actually authorized to be there. That guy had guts and was the true winner of Pitchfork 2012. -Stephanie Griffin


Pitchfork Festival by Sara Pieper

Keep checking back all week for more interviews with artist at Pitchfork Music Festival 2012.

GB store

Button Magnets / July 17, 2012 5:46 AM

Nice performance i witnessed it

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