Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Last weekend in Chicago, Union Park held the Pitchfork Music Festival. While we skipped out on Friday night (I have no desire to see Flavor Flav rap – though I can’t stop watching him date skanks), we took in all of Saturday and Sunday. Here’s the rundown:
The hipsters infiltrated Union Park in full force. Here’s a list of the uniform:
- Galoshes – every damn girl in the park sported them.
- Sunglasses – preferably gigantic and neon
- Stupid facial hair – handlebar moustaches, if possible
- Short shorts – men only
- High-waisted pants - girls only
- Tribal tattoo – every white kid
But that’s neither here nor there. I’ll be brief with my rundown of bands. Here’s who I saw and what I thought:
Caribou – more like Cari-BOO!!! Actually, I only caught a couple songs, and while dueling drummers is cool, it wasn’t enough to keep my attention
Fleet Foxes – they’re harmonies were pitch-perfect (probably because the keyboardist habitually held his finger to his left ear…what a douche), and their Shins/My Morning Jacket hybrid seemed to work fairly well. Sadly, they didn’t fulfil my wish of covering “Aimee.”
Vampire Weekend – eh. They were fine. Lacked energy (sort of like this review). Only their last song, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” was pretty sweet, though.
The Hold Steady – they stole the entire weekend. They were clearly having fun on stage, and rocking as well as rolling on a day that lacked much of either. Craig Finn was running around the stage, with what I can only imagine was an internal monolgue of “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD THIS IS AWESOME OH MY GOD THIS IS SWEEEET!!!!” And come on, that kind of energy is infectious. Watching him perform is sort of like watching Ed Grimley front the E Street Band.
Jarvis Cocker – my only hope was that William Shatner would come out and sing “Common People” with him….that didn’t happen
Animal Collective – they aren’t my cup of tea (music that I can’t tap my foot to annoys me), but the hipsters were having a ball (and by ball, I mean drugs)
The Apples in Stereo – I love this band. And they did nothing more or less than any of their albums. The blazing sun sort of prevented their poppy jams from being too inspiring.
Les Savy Fav - take a fat hairy dude, put him in a one-legged leotard (think Flo Jo), and have him murmur funny little quips between songs, and you’ve got Les Savy Fav (or Zach Ganifianakis).
M. Ward – any show that starts with a whistling old man is destined for greatness. And M. Ward jumped leaps and bounds in my book. 2nd best show of the weekend for me.
Spiritualized – another “most improved” in my book. They had soulful back-up singers, and it was clear that their music is synchronized to “The Wiz.”
Spoon – I won’t go on and on about Spoon here. I’ve already done that. There was nothing different at Pitchfork. There were flying maracas, vocal reverb galore, and the tighest set you’ll ever see.