Posts tagged “swans

Pitchfork Saturday: Swans, Savages, Metz bring the fury

Headliner Belle & Sebastian brings the sound Saturday night at Pitchfork and there’s no shortage of bands to bring the fury. Swans, Savages, Metz, Pissed Jeans and others will offer hard-sound sets.

All of that seems to evaporate by just after 6 p.m. when the night gives way to a much less confrontational group of performances, including Breeders, (Beyonce’s sister) Solange and the Glasgow pop act oddly slotted as headliner.  Must see: Savages, Swans.

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Pitchfork schedule creates conflicts

The side stage at Pitchfork’s annual music festival in Chicago featured some standout performances in recent years. And this year’s lineup is strong, too. The caveat is that the great bands playing the Blue stage force some difficult choices between the main stage acts. The just-released Pitchfork schedule confirms there will be some conflicts again this year.

On the Friday night of Pitchfork (July 19), Mikal Cronin begins his set on the Blue stage 10 minutes before Wire plays the big field. That’s a real shame. You have to pick between the rising star Cronin (who made one of the best albums of the year) and the legendary Wire. That same night, Woods starts 15 minutes after Angel Olsen’s Blue stage set begins.

On Saturday night, there’s another dilemma. I predict Savages and Swans will play two of the most memorable sets of the festival. But if you want to sneak over to side stage to catch Metz, you’re going to have to cut a set short.

One positive is that Union Park is relatively small and you can get between the main stages and the side stage relatively fast. (This isn’t Lollapalooza).

Here’s the full schedule.


Swans, Foxygen, Breeders make Pitchfork fest better

The Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this July is getting more interesting with the addition of Swans, Foxygen and Breeders. I’m also looking forward to seeing Angel Olsen and Mac Demarco.

And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Our Dead used to play some killer shows. I’ll be eager to see if those guys still have some fire. Trash Talk should be a fun set. More bands are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. I wasn’t blown away by the previously announced headliners: Bjork, Belle & Sebastian and R. Kelly.

Foxygen also plays a sold-out show at Lincoln Hall Thursday.

I predict dark clouds will form around the stage as soon as Swans go on.


Best bet: Swans at Bottom Lounge

Heavy, dark and scary. That’s how I usually describe Swans, which made one of the best albums of last year (My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky).

This long-running band plays the Bottom Lounge Thursday night.


Best albums of 2010

As much as bloggers labor over these type of lists, I have to remind myself that a year-end roundup is simply a reflection of taste and mood at a given point. With that disclaimer, here is All the Young Punk’s best albums of 2010. No countdown this year.
1. High Violet – The National: “Sorrow found me when I was young,” Matt Berninger sings on one of the more uplifting songs on High Violet. While Berninger and the National don’t reach the high-water mark set by Alligator, this album blew away almost everything else.
2. Halcyon Digest – Deerhunter: Bradford Cox is not only one of the most prolific musicians today, he’s one of the most consistently interesting. Deerhunter’s recent gig at the Metro was one of the best shows I saw all year.
3. Twin-Hand Movement – Lower Dens: If you like Velvet Underground and its spawn, chances are you’ll like Lower Dens. This is my pick for the best newcomer (though front woman Jana Hunter has performed solo and with other bands).
4. My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky – Swans: After a 14-year break, Swans definitely made one of the scariest and heaviest albums of the year. When I want to feel relaxed, I listen to Beach House. When I want to feel tense, I listen to Swans.
5. Everything In Between – No Age: By No Age standards, this is a fairly straightforward rock album. It created some detractors among fans of the duo’s earlier, noisier stuff, but I really dig it.

Swans return, playing Bottom Lounge

Swans are back with My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, the band’s first album in 14 years. Swans play Bottom Lounge tonight.