Who’s NOT Playing Pitchfork This Year

March 26, 2009

Thanks to the idiotic “Radius Clause” inflicted on Chicago every summer, while we eagerly anticipate which bands are announced to play its  two major music festivals every year, we know immediately who WILL NOT be playing.

"Sad hipster" courtesy of Aubs on Flickr

Time Out Chicago explained it well last year:

For 60 days before and 30 days after their Lollapalooza appearance, Lolla performers are prohibited from booking a show within 250 miles of Chicago (which includes Madison, Milwaukee, Champaign, Indianapolis, Ann Arbor and Iowa City)

Because of these bullshit protectionist agreements we know that any band that plays P-fork (July 17th to 19th) cannot play Lolla (Aug 7th to 9th). Boo, fucking, hoo. But it gets more interesting than that.

Provided that Pitchfork also follows these festival rules we know that any band playing between ~May 18th and ~August 16th will not be sweating it up on stage in Union Park.

This includes TONS of bands, most of which are inconsequential. But there are a few groups that are well-regarded by the haute-indie online tastemakers that now cannot play. (Pitchfork ratings in parenthesis):

I’m especially suprised to see SXSW * bloggy sweethearts School of Seven Bells and Passion Pit on this list. St. Vincent, though only registering one album on p4k, has been a favorite over the years.  As has Art Brut who will be doing a 5-day residency at Schubas over the summer.

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Indie Fantasy

March 26, 2009

With Fantasy Football a long ways away, and with Fantasy everything else sucking, we have created the obvious next step in “fantasy gaming”…. Fantasy Indie Rock.

Is there any better way to monitor the commodity that has become “indie” than by drafting artists as properties and tallying points?  I don’t think so.  It’s a simple formula:  Their name gets mentioned on Pitchfork or Stereogum news, you get a point. Simple as that.

So me, Curran, Kenny, Matt and Rob sat down and did our inaugural “Indie Rock Draft” this week, and began tallying points.  The scoreboard is on a Google cloud spreadsheet so everyone can make changes and update their rosters as need be.

I’ll keep you updated on it’s progress, but for your enjoyment (and so I can tag the shit out of this post), here’s how the draft went (please note, Matt came late):

Round 1

  1. Curran    Kanye West
  2. Kenny    Wilco
  3. Rob    Animal Collective
  4. Brian    Colin Meloy

Round 2

  1. Brian    M.I.A.
  2. Rob    Lily Allen
  3. Kenny    Radiohead
  4. Curran    The Decemberists

Round 3

  1. Curran    Neko Case
  2. Kenny    U2
  3. Kroll    Conor Oberst
  4. Rob    Girltalk
  5. Brian    Death Cab For Cutie

Round 4

  1. Brian    Peter, Bjorn & John
  2. Rob    Sigur Ros
  3. Kroll    Ladyhawke
  4. Kenny    Andrew Bird
  5. Curran    Grizzly Bear

Round 5

  1. Curran    Jane’s Addiction
  2. Kenny    Bruce Springsteen
  3. Matt   Jesus Lizard
  4. Rob    Dangermouse
  5. Brian    No Age

Supplemental Draft

  1. Matt    Crystal Stilts
  2. Matt    Pains of Being Pure At Heart

The strategies were interesting… do you draft small-time bands with their SXSW stock rising, do you try to take a big guess on who’s going to be announced at Lollapalooza (or the billion of other festivals doing press releases),  do you risk taking the frontman of a band in the hopes you can double-up on points for their solo AND group material, or pick-up a producer who has his hands in a LOT of recordings but sometimes isn’t mentioned in shorter news articles.  Ohhhh, strategery.

If you’re curious, here are the top-5 scorers as of yesterday, 3/25:

1. Animal Collective – 6
2. Dinosaur Jr – 5
3. Death Cab For Cutie (tie) – 4
3. Passion Pit (tie) – 4
5. *13 bands tied with 3 points each* Beach House, Billy Corrigan, Black Lips, Conor Oberst, Department of Eagles, Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear, Jimmy Chamberlin, Kanye West, No Age, Soundgarden, Vivian Girls, Yeah Yeah Yeahs


Lolla Predictions… already?!

February 13, 2009

Chicagoist has thrown the gauntlet down in predicting who might make it to this year’s Lollapalooza… in a “purely speculative” way.

It seems that Lolla guessing has gone the way of political campaigning, in that the speculation begins as soon as the last year’s event has ended.  So, despite it being 6 months away, I can’t help but continue the rumor mill… heavily abbreviated via c’ist:

we are almost positive Jane’s Addiction will headline with their original line-up. They’ve already played a few small shows in L.A. … We also wouldn’t be surprised if The Smashing Pumpkins headlined a night …

And there’s one band we’re really hoping plays this year, and that’s Blur with Graham Coxon in the line-up .. And how could we forget Pavement?

Okay.  Pavement, granted.  Yes, there’s been plenty of rumor talk about that, and I would be thrilled to see them play.  Watching Stephen Malkmus do Pavement covers alone at Pitchfork was sort of satisfying but made me yearn for the whole she-bang… you know… it’s like picking the salt off a pretzel and eating it. (ed. note: work simile ever)

As far as Jane’s Addiction, that would be interesting.  But leave it to Perry Ferrel to book his own band as “the big surprise. ” Ferrel’s current project, Satellite Party, is completely mediocre but P.F. keeps on putting them pretty high-up on the Lolla band list despite the crowd’s collective indifference.  At least Jane’s Addiction reforming would be worth touting.

Blur would be great. Fingers crossed on that one.

I HIGHLY doubt Smashing Pumpkins would do Lolla, considering how few times they even play in the greater Chicago area (or its outlying casinos) not to mention Billy Corigan’s penchant for tantrums and cancellations.  Quite frankly, based on the reviews the last tour received, I don’t know if I’d even WANT to see them play.  Without D’Arcy or James Iha, it’s really not the Pumpkins anyway and I’ll rot in hell before they get Iha to sign on (or find which corner of the world D’Arcy ran off to).

So, if we’re being purely speculative, not based on any actual information, here’s my Lolla wishlist:

  • The Beatles
  • The Velvet Undergrond (special appearences by Nico and Warhol)
  • Leonard Skynard (original line-up)
  • Nick Drake (special appearance by Zach Braff)
  • Dogstar

Update: The Smiths!


Lollapalooza Plan of Action: Friday

August 1, 2008

I promised myself I wouldn’t do Lolla this year (after doing all three days the last two years), but dammit, they really do book a fucking awesome show.  And the sheer size of the event allows C3 to hedge their band bets:  covering all the bases just by booking every band in the entire universe to play in Chicago on one weekend.  (Note to self: Buy PBR now before the entire town runs dry).

Thankfully, I’m able to volunteer this year, which means I miss a bit of the middle-shows, but I’m seeing what I can for free-ninety-nine. 

Here would be my recco/wish-list of who to see today:

Anything before Noon:  I have no idea, so, go crazy. 

Holy Fuck: Should be fun.  Band was made to play live, and they’re damn entertaining.  Also, maybe they’ll play their mix of the Radiohead’s “Nude” they entered in that contest.

Rogue Wave: I hear they’re actually not that great live, but c’mon.  How cool would it be to hear “Lake Michigan” right next to Lake Michigan?

Yeasayer:  Why not?

Tiny Masters of Today:  Badass little kids.  CSS, Karen O., and !!! love them, so why can’t you.  What thread connects all these bands —  the fact that their lyrics are terrible but it doesn’t matter. 

The Black Keys / Golgol Bordello:  Meh.  This might be a good time to take a late lunch.  These are definitely the two bands you should prolly see, but I’m not particularly a huge fan of either.  Do you prefer your rock bluesy or gypsy-y?

 Mates of State: Adorable

Grizzly Bear: A swell combo of pretty and creepy.  Pretty Creepy.  And a bit Sleepy.  If you’re not up for this, I’d recco heading straight over to…

VHS or Beta DJ Set: VHS or Beta played a REALLY good live Lolla set two year back, but now they’re just here to DJ, which is a bummer.  That said, there’s plenty of Robert Smith-leads-a-dance-punk-bands these days.  20$ they play Cut Copy.

The Cool Kids / CSS:  Can’t really go wrong here, but CSS will probably be the most entertaining, but then again, Chicago Party Rap is the new Brazilian Electro Pop.

Radiohead: duh.

 

(view image larger here)


Don’t Look Back in Anger: Pitchfork Music Fest Styles of the Past

July 25, 2008

So, here’s the deal.  I kept referring to my past Pitchfork commentary, but then I realized my MySpace blog is torturously slow (and some of the pics are missing).  So, I’ve rescued it from that page, updated some of the pics, reformatted, and voila… a year-old piece that still makes fun of festival-goers effectively.  (A topic that, apparently, is timeless.)  Away we go!

Originally posted 8/9/07

 

In and Out

Well………. both Pitchfork and Lolla have occured and aside from all the music I wanted to see, a bonus for going is the people-watching.  Trends come and go, but never are they more embraced (badly or not) than at music festivals.

I’m not dismissing and ESPECIALLY not condoning any of these, but here’s a little heads up about what the art undergrads and coffeeshop workers near you will be sporting and/or name-dropping over the next few months:

 

1.

Out: Aviators

In: White/plastic-framed sun-glasses,  and the glasses David Duchovney’s wore in Zoolander

2.

Out: The Baumer  

In: The Smooth Sailor

 

3. 

Out: Truckers Caps

In: Painters Caps

4.

Out: Iceland

In: Sweeden

5.

Out: Vespas   

 

 

In: low-cc pedal-start motorbikes

Puch Maxi .JPG

 

6.

Out: Dance-Punk

In: Prog

7.

Out: Soccer jerseys

 

In: old-school soccer / tennis / basketball shorts

 

 

 

8.

 Out: the urban cowboy

 

 

In: the urban lumberjack

 

 

 

 

9.

Out: useless terms like “electroclash”

 

In: useless terms like “futureshock”

 

 

 

10.

Out: headbands

 

In: kerchiefs