Sunday, July 18, 2010

Field Report: Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago, Illinois

It's hot.

I'm not going to belabor this point because it's boring but if you want to simulate the Pitchfork Festival experience while reading along, go sit in a sauna with 75 sweaty hipsters and put on a Real Estate album.

That being said, it's also pretty great. The sound is really good and everyone is very nice, despite the heat, and in Union Park there are at least a few stands of trees you can go and hang out under to get out of the sun a little bit. Beers are 5 bucks, which feels like kind of a steal, even if the only thing they have is Heineken and Heineken Light. Plus there are a ton of girls everywhere wearing very little clothing and also it's become clear to me that every single person between the ages of 18 and me (and including me) has one or more (usually more) tattoos. I saw a girl with a tattoo that was the word "TATTOO" in a box on her arm and then I got dizzy from the postmodernism of that and had to sit down again.

Titus Andronicus! Oh my God! They're like Springsteen crossed with the Replacements crossed with Awesome and it's just pure rock and made me forget how fucking hot and uncomfortable it is out here. Incredible set. Then at the end the singer said, apropos of nothing, "If you want to learn more about American history, I'm sure there are lots of excellent books at your local public library," and I love non sequiturs more than anything so I was moved by that.

Kurt Vile was OK. My traveling companion said "Really depressing." Maybe!

Do you guys know what "somnambulant" means? I love that word. Panda Bear was somnambulant.

Wolf Parade was fine except they didn't play the one song I really wanted to hear and so now I have a grudge.

It was pretty clear that most people were there to see LCD Soundsystem and I will say that they were great. I think I get them now. You need to see it live.

OK, one more thing. The closest bar to our hotel is a vaguely Irish bar called "Dugan's" with entertainment programmed apparently by a former cruise director because the first night we went there it was karaoke night and wow, the Grease soundtrack will live forever. Then last night we stopped by after the show and there was a cover band of old guys playing the hits of the 50's 60's and 70's DEAFENINGLY LOUD and I say that as someone who just came from seeing LCD Soundsystem and was not prepared to have his hair blown back by the Turtles' "Happy Together."

I gotta go get some brunch and a bloody mary.

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