Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The song "All For The Best" sounds like something off of his solo album, The Eraser, with its simple, droning electronic drum beat, layered with minor chords and Yorke's soft wailing voice. From there, the song picks up as the simple layers are compounded with bursts of guitar noise, and syncopated rim shots sprinkled throughout the song. The entire song, despite a slight build up, still gives off the floating sense associated with much of Yorke and Radiohead's slower songs.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The music video is also quite interesting (not to mention full of nude people), going hand in hand with their most recent album art. Enjoy.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Coming off his 2001 album A Man Under the Influence, "Castanets" suffered a self-imposed 3-year ban on performing this song live from 2005-2008, explaining on the song's comeback that he stopped playing it after hearing that the song was on the iPod of George Bush.
Castanets - Alejandro Escovedo
Friday, July 24, 2009
"Snookered" falls somewhere between Animal Collective and LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends". His electronic, splintered yet pulsating noise-pop is mixed in with the dynamic similar to James Murphy's epic 7+ minute build up.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The song evokes feelings of lonliness and isolation, despite the title suggesting closeness and gratefulness to another. Falling somewhere between Elliott Smith's "I Didn't Understand" and Beach House's "Apple Orchard", this song meanders through 5+ minutes of minimalistic floating, with somber, almost regretful lyrics, complimented by slight, yet perfect touches of piano, steel guitar, and light drumming. As a whole, "You Save My Life" creates a small little world for all of us to temporarily get lost in.
I would also recommend watching the video for an additional visual ambiance to the song, just as Pitchfork has suggested. It makes the experience of partaking in this song all the more enjoyable. So sit back, play the video version on full screen, and become immersed in this beautiful piece of art.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
With bands like Grizzly Bear, The Black Lips, and The National playing in some of the bigger time slots at Pitchfork this year, it has become apparent to me how these bands have broken out through the help of Pitchfork, now playing to significantly larger crowds than they did last year. While it's easy to see that these bands are big indie acts, not everyone could have predicted such success at this time last year. Who will be the next set of breakout bands? I have chosen my candidates for bands who played earlier shows this festival, who are on the brink of becoming much bigger, and who could be seen playing the late shows at Pitchfork in years to come.
Photo by dirty black chucks
The Walkmen are distinguished most by the lead singer Hamilton Leithauser’s Dylan-esque voice, which he emulates so with much success. Leithhauser is complimented by the rest of the band, who offer an intriguing combination of an antiquated, warm indie sound. Their sound becomes even more complex as they layer their music with frequent dynamic changes between their meandering ballads and blistering explosions of beautiful noise.
Highlights from their set include “The Rat”—a fast-paced, straight up, edgy rock song teeming with Leithauser’s angry and bitter lyrics, as he shouts out “You've got a nerve to be asking a favor / You've got a nerve to be calling my number”. In addition, the band had the support of about a half-dozen horn players, which complemented their rustic feel nicely on songs such as the lonesome ballad “Red Moon”. With up to ten people on stage during their show, The Walkmen’s full sound provided the crowd with one of the more impressive acts of the festival.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Photo by Robert Loerzel
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart can be described in a nutshell as pure pop bliss. Their innocent, noised laced indie rock combines a shoegaze sound topped with undeniably catchy riffs. The band, which exploded onto the indie-rock scene with the release of their 2009 eponymous debut album, hails from New York and was performing at Pitchfork for the first time.
Despite the light rainfall during their set, the band brought their A-game from the moment they stepped on the stage. The band impressed the crowd as they cranked out a solid set, with a string a songs including “Young Adult Friction”, “Come Saturday”, “Everything with You”, and “Stay Alive”. While the band did not stray much from their album versions, they did not need to, as their tightness as a band defined their clean pop sound on Saturday.
The entire band seemed beyond happy with the idea that they were playing at this festival. Lead singer Kip Berman looked in awe, donning a smile which was overflowing with his happiness and gratefulness just to be there. While this was only their first time playing Pitchfork, I have a feeling it will not be their last.
Photo by self-titledmag
Portland natives Blitzen Trapper are a six-piece outfit, with a diverse sound ranging from folk to country-tinged rock, mixed with a variety of other influences, including Tom Petty and the Grateful Dead. The band released their 2008 album Furr, receiving acclaimed criticism from numerous publications. Since Furr came out, the band has really come into their own as live performers, and it showed both at their Pitchfork set, as well as their after-show at the Empty Bottle.
Blitzen Trapper kicked off their set ready to rock, as they jammed with their more powerful, Americana-based rock , including “Sleepytime in the Western World,” “Wild Mountain Nation,” and “Saturday Nite.” These songs got the crowd’s attention, as they seemed to be enjoying the groove that these songs possessed. Halfway through the set, Blitzen Trapper played their hit “Furr”, which brought the hipster-filled crowd together for a sing along of sorts. By the time the set had reached its end, the crowd seemed pleased with what they had heard.
Be sure to check these bands out over the next year, as there is a good chance one or more will breakout!
(Repost of my story from the Windy Citizen: http://pitchforkmusicfestivalblog.windycitizen.com/)
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Photo by slay1975
As I was eagerly waiting for Saturday night’s headliner to come onstage, I overhead someone behind me who posed the question to his friend: “Are The National really that big of a band that they can headline Pitchfork Music Festival?”
Ten years, four albums, and two EPs later, this Ohio-originated band has come a long way. Their third album Alligator (2005) put this band on the indie-rock map. However, their follow-up, Boxer (2007), lifted the band to the upper-tiers of the indie rock universe, receiving many spots on best albums of 2007 lists. The band has toured extensively following their last release, and has appeared to be at their best this past tour.
The band started their set just as dusk was settling, as they began slowly with their new song “Runaway” and “Start a War”. After meandering through these two slow and melancholy pieces, the group kicked it up a notch at the end of the second song with a blistering jam. From there, they went into their rich, pulsating mainstays, including tracks primarily from their past two albums—Alligator and Boxer.
Their set list was highlighted by several poignant songs. Matt Berninger’s “Abel” had him screaming “well my mind’s not right!” over and over as if he was Abel himself and needing to yell in order to exude his pain. Their main set closer, “Mr. November” capped off a tight set in excellent fashion. The emotion with which Berninger not only sings, but lives this song, is breathtaking. The way he grasps the microphone with both hands in such an intense manner appears as if he can not only sing his songs, but needs to feel it throughout all of his body. His songs overtake him to the point where he can barely control his spastic motions. Beside his haunting baritone voice and somber lyrics, his complete immersion in his music becomes contagious to his listeners, as they can equally feel his conveyance of sadness, loneliness, and the like.
Photo by slay1975
Beyond Matt’s beautiful crooning, Bryan Devendorf’s drum mastery shines through every single track. His ability to be a pocket drummer while still having such power and complexity in his style stands out remarkably. His intensity and concentration set the foundation for the full sound that the band possesses. Devendorf deftly colors the music similarly to how Berninger brings life to the lyrics—by adding an overflow of emotion and life into each beat.
If that doubting fan wasn't sure at the time if the The National were good enough to headline, he definitely realized the correct answer by the show’s end.
(Repost of my story from the Windy Citizen: http://pitchforkmusicfestivalblog.windycitizen.com/)
Friday, July 17, 2009
My friend told me a few weeks ago about “Hipster Bingo”, and what it entailed. Rather than simply writing about my own experiences with the culture and attire that many Pitchfork attendees consider themselves apart of, I decided to make this an interactive experience with all of you. I look forward to seeing all your responses to this game.
How to play Hipster Bingo: Pitchfork Edition
- Print out your Bingo cards (use the image above!) and bring them with you to the Pitchfork Music Festival.
- Find hipsters!
- When you have found an item on the bingo sheet, take a picture of the given object.
- Email your pics to us at email@example.com, or send twitter pics to @pitchforkblog.
- First to get Bingo with their hipster pictures wins! Winners will be recognized by on the pitchforkblog and on twitter
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
From the mouth of Slug on the new release:
hello party people. as we approach the launch of our new digital online store anthony and myself have put together another project that we are giving away for free to any of you who sign up for a user account on our online store www.FifthElementOnline.com. the project is a 7 song ep called LEAK AT WILL, and it was a lot of fun to make. nothing too serious, just smiles and cries. consider it another "thank you" for all of the support you have offered us over the years.
and again, thank you very much. have a good summer.
Enjoy the album (click on the album cover here to go to the free download).
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Here’s a really good one for you. Last week EMI sales reps started making calls to many if not all of their small accounts, mostly independent mom & pop stores, to tell them that they would no longer sell them product!!! Were these accounts bad payers? Nope. Would they not stock catalog or new artists? Nope. Then why in God’s name, you may ask, would they simply cut loose paying customers? The answer given by sales reps — cost cutting.
So let me get this straight. EMI intends to save money by not selling their CD’s to independent retailers. Instead they want these retailers to go to one stops for their product. These retailers are the only ones who buy catalog anymore. You sure can’t find it at Walmart and Best Buy. These are small businesses who have been loyal customers of EMI for 20, 30, 40 or more years. Like in the movie High Fidelity, these guys know every catalog number ever released. Every disk ever cut out of the catalog. They live and die by making personal recommendations to their customers–turning them on to new music. These shops are where music lovers go to discover and buy music. Several I have spoken with are so upset that they vow never to buy any EMI catalog again–or any new artist releases either. Only the certifiable hit product that they know will sell. They will no longer take chances on new EMI artists.
So I guess it just isn’t worth it to EMI to take these orders over the phone anymore. Too labor intensive. And after all, they’re doing so well that they really don’t need the business. Small potatoes. Let ‘em eat cake.
INTERESTING UPDATE: In making this policy change, EMI took the unusual step of notifying these retailers by phone instead of the standard letter. Could it be that they didn’t want anything in black & white?
Also, don’t forget that by being forced to buy from a one stop, not only does a mom & pop retailer pay more for his product (cutting into the already slim margins and pricing pressure from the likes of WalMart, etc.), but the one stops don’t carry nearly the depth of catalog that these guys need in order to make a living. And is this really a good strategy for EMI to introduce their new artists? Another gripe they have is that now they won’t even get new and/or important releases (does EMI have important releases? Maybe the upcoming umpteenth release of remastered Beatles catalog) on Tuesdays, the new release day. It just makes it all the more difficult for them to compete and stay in business, even if it we were experiencing better economic times.
© 2009, Wayne Rosso. All rights reserved.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Whether it be the myth behind their origin, that while watching The Last Waltz one night, Finn asked guitarist Tad Kubler "Dude, why aren't there any bands like this anymore?" And then proceeded to follow that vision. Or their endless energy featuring the likes of Finn's emphatic dancing and storytelling as if all his characters were ones he deeply related to, or Pianist Franz Nicolay's exuberant eclecticism that can't help but make you smile.
My favorite part about seeing this band, however, after seeing them live three times, is that no matter if they are on a large stage at Bonnaroo, or at a small venue like the 40 Watt, their demeanor never sways. This band does Rock and Roll the right way--bringing everything they have to the table night in and night out, and doing it with nothing but with the deepest happiness, living out their dreams, or the possessing most gratefulness for their fans that I have seen from any band ever.
I hope everyone of you reading this has the chance to see the band live at some point in your life.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
5) Heartless Bastards - "The Mountain"
Album: The Mountain
4) Bon Iver - "Woods"
Album: Blood Bank EP
3) Japandroids - "Young Hearts Spark Fire"
2) Cymbals Eat Guitar - "...And the Hazy Sea"
Album: Why There Are Mountains
1) Sufjan Stevens - "You are the Blood"
Album: Dark Was The Night
Tuesday, July 7, 2009