Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pitchfork Music Festival

Wow. Tired, dirty, and super tan I crashlanded my liver back into Denver Monday night. I have lots of stories and tales to be told, but how do you describe Jens Lekman's sweet pop wafting through the afternoon sun or the cathartic overwhelming feeling of love slash near-riot at the end of Broken Social Scene's set? It's hard to do.

After a night of heavy drinking and Cadillac drunk driving in Omahell, we set out hungover for Chicago. Wasn't in Morgan and Kurt's place ten minutes before I had drained an Old Style tallboy. We went to the Pitchfork kickoff party at the Metro, but kind of missed everything (including Aziz Ansari). Voxtrot was good, but catching up with the DOC Chicago seemed more important.

The next morning was hurting though. I will never complain about the heat in Denver ever again- the heat wave in Chicago was super fucking gnarly. It was all I talked about. Very similar to Miami in terms of the high humidity, but Miami never ever gets over a hundred (I loved the happy news reports- "The high today is 96 but with the humidity it feels like 120. Now to Frank with sports").

We had an extra ticket to sell, so I watched most of Band of Horses from the front gate. I am also the worst fucking scalper ever.

Mountain Goats and Destroyer played next respectively, then came the surprise of the whole week for this guy:

Art Brut!

Frontman Eddie Argos, swaggering like Dick Valentine*, led his team ("Ready Art Brut?") through most of Bang Bang Rock and Roll as well as some new songs. Totally fun, shamelessy self-effacing Brits. How can you not love a band who has a lyric that says "we're the band thats gonna write the song/that makes Israel and Palestine get along"? They are coming to the Bluebird October 10th with We Are Scientists. Do one, it'll be worth it.

Ted Leo commanding the didn't think they could hate you now did ya?

Ted Leo is one of the most talented/immensly likeable guys in rock music today. Later that night Ted was at the Hideout for the Joggers and all I wanted to do was give the guy a hug. The set was Hearts of Oak heavy, with an incredible version of "Timourous Me" and a set-closing "Ballad of the Sin Eater" in which Ted leaped into the crowd and cracked his forehead open with the mic, leaving his face completely bloody by the end of the set. Fucking sweet. All the new stuff sounded amazing, very soulful and -dare I say- Clash-esque. Can't wait for the new record.

Total count for the day was Band of Horses/Mountain Goats/Destroyer/Art Brut/Ted LeoRx/the Walkmen/Futureheads/Silver Jews. We went right from Union Park to the Hideout for the Joggers/Jai Alai Savant show. Morgan, Kat and I got extremely drunk off of Old Style and Early Times.

Jens Lekman.

Day two started late, missing Tapes n' Tapes and Aziz Ansari again apparently. We pulled up just as Jens started his set, but it was hot and I was hungover, so we layed in the shade and listened to the Swede master do his thing. Highlights included "Pocketful of Money" and set-closer "You are the Light". Love that fucking guy (and his horn section- does?)

After that we jetted over to the Biz3 stage to catch CSS. Not quite as impressive as I was lead to believe, but sort of fun anyway. Unless you were crammed into that tent you couldn't see shit. But then...


This band slays. I don't get it but it still slays. Homeboy was wearing pants and shirt which he shed mid-set to reveal a lovely polka-dotted dress. They kept bitching about the heat (kindred spirits) and some jerk yelled "you pussies!" It was kinda funny...though they didn't seem amused.

Aesop Rock.

Aesop and Mr.Lif slayed as well...Aesop did a killer version of "Lucy" with some dirty drumbeats behind it and had the whole crowd singing "Daylight" with him. Mr.Lif was good as well, throwing in "I Phantom" which was nice.

After that we watched Mission of Burma, Yo La Tengo, and a sound-problem-plagued Spoon, and didn't stick around for Os Mutantes. The trains were murder and even leaving as early as we did was still a mission. Quite a sticky smelly train ride.

More Chicago adventures to come!

96th floor bar, Hancock building. Worst ten-dollar well vodka press EVER- but the view more than makes up for it...

*Singer of Electric Six, who, quite frankly, are the fucking shit. Did I mention they are coming in October?


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