Author Archives: Alyssa Welch

TVD Live: Pitchfork Music Festival 2012

The annual Pitchfork Music Festival is an indie music summer festival organized by Pitchfork Media. Along with three days of music, spanning from rock and electronic pop to rap, the festival also hosts Flat Stock, an extensive and affordable poster sale, and two tents of vendors (mostly vinyl). The 2012 festival was held from July 13th to the 15th in Chicago’s Union Park, and was interesting, to say the least, given that it was either enjoyed in rain or ridiculous heat.

Friday admittedly started off a little rough; there was a phenomenal line-up of bands to look forward to, but there was also a phenomenal downpour in the early afternoon. I was apprehensive about how the following three days would go if the first was a bust, but Pitchfork went on rain-or-shine (mostly rain) and impressed me regardless. The first day was a good introduction to the festival, featuring a variety of genres and good shows, and, for me, very few scheduling conflicts.

TIM HECKER (kind of) and JAPANDROIDS | Arriving at the Blue Stage to catch Japandroids, we weasled our way into the crowd a bit and waited for them to begin. A man was on stage playing music off his laptop, and it wasn’t until he walked off that I realized it was not an act to fill time during set up, but a performance. No one could have said it better than the gentleman behind me: “I like Tim Hecker when I’m listening to him alone in a dark room, but just not here.”

Japandroids, though, were quite a contrast to Tim Hecker’s set. Due to the weather, the stage was running a bit behind, and you could sense anticipation building. Regardless of the delay, the crowd erupted as the two-person outfit took the stage and played a very energetic live show; jumping, moshing, and shouting lyrics immediately ensued. The two worked well on stage, each feeding off the others’ raw energy, adding drum fills, and improvising as necessary. Seeing as it was just one guitarist, he had a very full sound, playing through numerous amps. Pitchfork’s decision to put them on the smaller Blue Stage was questionable, but they drew a large and enthusiastic crowd, and then (here comes an understatement) rocked it.

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TVD Recommends: Pitchfork Music Festival: Day 3, 7/15

Last but not least, Sunday boasts a great line-up of bands, with Vampire Weekend headlining in the evening. After two days of non-stop festivalling, as well as the numerous after-parties held by local venues, we hope you’ve got the energy to make it out to Day Three.

Milk Music | 1:55PM | Blue Stage

Fresh off a European tour in support of their debut EP Beyond Living, Milk Music bring their brand of mid-90’s pacific-northwest rock to Pitchfork ‘s Blue Stage Sunday afternoon.  Hailing from Olympia, PA and picking up where bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Husker Du left off, Milk Music’s debut sounds like an old grunge favorite right from the start.

Singer/Guitarist Alex Coxen tries to stray away from the obvious comparisons to the Seattle sound of the 90’s hoping to transcend the “grunge” label and make something different. Coxen’s howling vocals and screaming guitar solos deliver a sound that is both fresh and retro all at once.

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TVD Recommends: Pitchfork Music Festival: Day 2, 7/14

After a music-filled Friday, hopefully you will find yourself heading back to Union Park on Saturday for Round Two. Eighteen bands will take the many stages, and in case you find yourself, once again, overwhelmed, TVD Chicago has some solid Pitchfork recommendations.

Cloud Nothings | 1:45PM | Red Stage

Cloud Nothings began simply as the lo-fi home recordings of singer-songwriter Dylan Baldi. After releasing an EP and an album solo, Baldi is now working with a full band and has taken Cloud Nothings in a whole new direction.

The band’s newest album, Attack on Memory, released last January, finds Dylan straying from his lo-fi origins into a lush post hardcore sound that retains the dynamic pop hooks and lyricism that got Cloud Nothings noticed in the first place. This album is as catchy as it is angst-ridden. Produced by Steve Albini here in Chicago, it’s a huge step forward for Dylan Baldi and his new band. Catch them at 1:45 on the Red Stage and see for yourself.

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TVD Recommends: Pitchfork Music Festival: Day 1, 7/13

The opening day of Pitchfork boasts a great line-up of bands on three stages in beautiful Union Park, Chicago. With so many bands playing, it’s impossible to catch them all, so here are a few recommendations from TVD Chicago.

Outer Minds | 3:20PM | Blue Stage

Outer Minds is a local psychedelic garage rock outfit scheduled to start Pitchfork off on the Blue Stage. After releasing a modest amount of 7″ vinyl, a self-titled full length album debuted last March.

It’s hard not to get a little excited to see Outer Minds live when their songs online are so 60’s inspired and energetic, not to mention dripping with steady tambourine beats and organ melodies. Led by Zach Medearis, Outer Minds is rumored to put on a fantastic live show.

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TVD Live: Peter Bjorn and John, Lincoln Hall, 8/25

I’m usually very frugal with my money. I try to live a modest life and avoid purchasing extravagant things (though I’m a sucker for purchasing many cheap things at once –  i.e. cd’s from resale shops). Once in a great while though, I binge. I binge hard. This time around it was on tickets, and I was fortunate enough to secure some Peter Bjorn and John tickets for their “All You Can Eat” tour at Lincoln Hall before they sold out.

Life was good.  Life, actually, remains good, since the show was fantastic.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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