There was no shortage of ironic T-shirts, hats or moustaches at Pitchfork. The cups of Heineken stayed cold for about 45 seconds and the smell of weed hung in the humid, 90-plus degree air.
Here’s more of what I liked about this year’s Pitchfork:
Woods made the most of its 45-minute set. It was one of the early shows Saturday. The band has a cool psychedelic-kraut-jam sort of thing going on. Woods’ Sun and Shade is one of my favorite albums this year.
Off! was better than I thought it would be. While No Age does a respectable job paying homage to early punk, Off! lead singer Keith Morris helped pioneer American hardcore in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Morris was the original singer for Black Flag and founded Circle Jerks. Playing the small stage Saturday, Morris told the audience that Off! brought a different and “odd flavor” to Pitchfork. I’m glad he did. (No Age played a good set Saturday as well.)
Damn if Kurt Vile doesn’t sound a whole lot gnarlier live. Playing a mix of new and old stuff on Sunday afternoon, Vile drew a sizable crowd. But I was struck that he and his band, the Violators, just seem to play it harder live.
Yuck played an early set on Sunday. This band is one of my favorite discoveries this year. The show lived up to my expectations.
Finally, two sure-bets, Deerhunter and Superchunk, played smoking shows on Sunday. The members of Superchunk are in their 40s but they played as energetic a set as you could ask for. For its last song, the band pulled out one of its earliest songs: Slack Motherfucker.
Fleet Foxes and TV on the Rado headline Pitchfork Saturday and Sunday but I’m far more excited about seeing at least a dozen other bands.
I’d be happy to see Zola Jesus Saturday night and then head to the bus stop before the rest of the masses. Likewise on Sunday: Deerhunter is a must-see and it would be great to catch Cut Copy but I’m just not that jazzed about TV on the Radio.
As I said before, the early bands are worth seeing both days. I definitely want to see Woods at 1:45 p.m. Saturday. The other sure things that day: No Age, Wild Nothing, geriatric punkers Off!, the Radio Dept. and Twin Shadow. DJ Shadow also is worth checking out.
On Sunday, Yuck (another 1:45 p.m. show) is essential. Odd Future’s appearance is stirring a lot of interest and angst. Expect that show to be packed (also expect to see some middle-aged white dudes with their hands in the air).
The rest of my Sunday list includes: Kurt Vile, Twin Sister, Shabazz Palaces, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Baths and Superchunk. I’ll likely check out Toro Y Moi but I doubt he’s going to kill it live.
Tis the season for new videos. No Age just released Common Heat, a song off last year’s excellent Everything In Between.
Thurston Moore released a video for Benediction, a song off his upcoming album Demolished Thoughts.
The rest of the lineup additions: The Fresh and Onlys, Twin Sister, Health, the Radio Dept., Baths, Shabazz Palaces, Gang Gang Dance, G-Side, How to Dress Well and Chrissy Murderbot.
GBV and Neko Case play Friday. No Age plays Saturday and Kurt Vile performs Sunday. You can see the full lineup (so far) here.
The Super Tuesday of new album releases may have been two weeks ago but today’s smaller group of offerings are better.
New albums by Deerhunter, No Age and Neil Young are destined for year-end lists. Le Noise is a blast from Young playing alone with a tricked-out guitar. No Age gives us its most accessible album yet with Everything In Between and Deerhunter makes another fascinating record, Halcyon Digest.
There’s already a lot of chatter about the new No Age album, Everything In Between, a month before its release. Leaked recently, Everything In Between, is the most straightforward rock album No Age has made, and it’s the most accessible.
That’s not a bad thing. After a couple of listens, I really like this album and I’m a huge fan of Weirdo Rippers. I like to see bands stretch and try new things. While new for the L.A. duo, the songs have a familiar ring from a historical standpoint. Fever Dreaming sounds like a classic punk song (with a No Age twist), while the first single, Glitter, has a ’90s-era Sonic Youth feel. Valley Hump Crash doesn’t sound anything like a No Age song with its upbeat indie tempo.
We were already seeing the band’s progression with the 2008 release Nouns. Everything In Between (out Sept. 28) just takes it a little farther.
If you’re wondering how that No Age-Dan Deacon-Deerhunter collaborative show works, here’s a 10-minute video taken from a Madison set. The gig is one of the official Lolla aftershows tonight at the Logan Square Auditorium.