Best of Pitchfork: Woods, Off!, Kurt Vile
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.