Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CHIRP playlist (7/20/11)

I never want to go outside again. Let's just stay in and listen to good music. We all have the internet, right? Just noticed I had a stretch last night of Steely Dan, Lou Reed, Talking Heads. Man. If you don't listen to my CHIRP show, get on it. Chicago Magazine's "Best Internet Radio" 2011. For real.

12:02AM The Cool Kids Gas Station from When Fish Ride Bicycles (Green Label Sound)

12:07AM Kanye West Good Life from Graduation (Roc-a-Fella)

12:13AM Real Estate Out of Tune from Out of Tune (True Panther)

12:18AM Eleanor Friedberger Owl's Head Park from Last Summer (Merge)

12:24AM Dennis Brown Musical Heatwave from The Crown Prince of Reggae (VP)

12:28AM The Buttercream Gang Everything Will Be Alright from Polite Men (Pitted)

12:33AM Paul Simon Graceland from Graceland (Warner Bros.)

12:40AM Twin Sister In Heaven from Bad Street (Domino)

12:44AM HEALTH USA Boys from HEALTH::Disco2 (Lovepump United)

12:49AM Gardens & Villa Star Fire Power from Gardens & Villa (Secretly Canadian)

12:54AM Steely Dan Peg from Aja (MCA)

1:02AM Lou Reed Street Hassle from Street Hassle (Arista)

1:11AM Talking Heads Slippery People from Stop Making Sense (Sire)

1:15AM Death Ships I Wanna Know from Circumstantial Chemistry (Faithful Anchor)

1:19AM Feist Gatekeeper from Let It Die (Arts & Crafts)

1:24AM Shabazz Palaces yeah you from Black Up (Sub Pop)

1:27AM Labi Siffre Remember My Song from Remember My Song (Mr. Bongo)

1:34AM Chad Valley I Want Your Love from Equatorial Ultravox EP (Cascine)

1:39AM Four Tet Nothing To See from Future Bass (Soul Jazz)

1:49AM Ty Segall The Floor from Goodbye Bread (Drag City)

1:52AM Tennis Long Boat Pass from Cape Dory (Fat Possum)

1:55AM They Might Be Giants Canajoharie from Join Us (Rounder)

2:01AM Cut Copy Sun God from Zonoscope (Modular)

2:17AM Fleetwood Mac The Chain from Rumours (Warner Bros.)

2:22AM Father's Children Universal Train from Who's Gonna Save the World (Numero Group)

2:28AM Brilliant Colors Round Your Way from Again and Again (Slumberland)

2:32AM The Poison Control Center Thousand Colors from Stranger Ballet (Afternoon)

2:43AM M83 Midnight City from Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (Mute)

2:45AM Biosphere Shika-1 from N-Plants (Touch)

2:51AM Face Candy Eight from Waste Age Teen Land (Rhymesayers)

2:55AM Test Icicles Circle. Square. Triangle. from For Screening Purposes Only (Domino)

Monday, July 18, 2011

You Missed Out: Real Estate

I was planning on writing a review of each day at Pitchfork, but I think the best I can say is already in my previous post. And it's not even a review really, more of a perspective piece. But other than having fun at Cut Copy and being really excited in general about the music of Shabazz Palaces, you got my Pitchfork take.

So instead, I'm making this post about last night's after-show with Real Estate. I was ready to collapse as I dragged my feet up the stairs of the Subterranean, and wasn't really sure if seeing a dreamy band like Real Estate was the best idea. Especially after all of the beer I had consumed the past three days. That VIP area gave us free Heineken all weekend. And I know Heineken sucks, but I'm too stupid to turn down free beer. I had one last Dead Guy at the Subterranean, and now I'm done for a week.

Anyway. I wasn't completely aware of it until a few hours ago, but Real Estate are a really good band. And a perfect way to chill out after a hot weekend in the sun. Maybe part of it was just getting indoors, but of all the excellent artists I saw at Pitchfork, Real Estate impressed me more than most.

"Out of Tune" is the sole reason I decided to pop into the show last night, a song which has a 90s' lo-fi vibe with a little bit of psych-rocky reverb. But I couldn't believe how many more gorgeous guitar harmonies the band had at their disposal. It reminded me of the first time I saw Voxtrot (RIP), who were one of the better bands out there making sweetly cooed harmony-based pop-rock. Throw in some of Wavves surfy vibes, and a dash of bedroom-pop, and Real Estate proves their place as a talent amongst a sea of wannabes.

When I got the press release for their upcoming album, Days, last week, I didn't immediately put October 18th on my calendar. But after last night, I don't think there's an album I'm more excited about this year. Real Estate's new songs are crafted with precision, but breeze by effortlessly. In a way, it's a shame the album is coming out in the autumn, because the songs are quite summery (especially the first single, "It's Real").

So yes, Pitchfork Fest was fun as usual, but Real Estate is what most people missed out on last night. So don't miss out when they come to town next time.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pitchfork 2011

We know that steeple. Whenever we see it we immediately think of Pitchfork Fest. This is probably because the only time we're in Union Park all year is for this festival. But after my first day at Pitchfork Fest 2011, I'm wondering if this might be the last time I'll be able to enjoy the church's tall spire.

Now don't assume I'm growing tired of Pitchfork Fest. I love it as much now as I did when it was Intonation. The organizers still bring some of my favorite artists to Chicago for a weekend. The music is great. The vibes are always cool.

But (and we all know this) with each year comes a little bit more corporate sponsorship at the fest. I'm not against this, because it brings in money and the fest's ability to pursue a higher quality product of entertainment from year to year. But... did they really have to get Axe?

Ok. I won't go off on that rant. Even though Axe is the most repulsive product in the world. Whatever Pitchfork. You have your reasons. But my point here is easy for anyone to come by--Pitchfork is big now.

This shouldn't be a surprise though. This style has been selling well for a few years now. Arcade Fire won the Grammy. Indie is a commodity and Pitchfork is the market key-master (sorry, I missed today's opening act Gatekeeper, otherwise I might have a good pun in here somewhere). We will probably be enjoying some sort of Justin Vernon project in a much larger venue for next year's Pitchfork Fest. It's about that time.

This feels like a turning point year. The set-up is so familiar and comfortable, to the point it doesn't seem quite right. One of my favorite things about Pitchfork Fest is how it has grown a little bit each year. Remember when it was only 2 days? Remember when they added the third stage over on Ogden? Goose Island beer instead of Heineken? The year they gave all the press free Chipotle burritos in that backstage area? The comedy night last year. Oh, the memories.

The strange thing about this year is what seems to be a lack of any sort of "new idea." Maybe that's where Axe comes in?

People have come to expect something of Pitchfork, and they're getting it this year. They're getting a wild opening night headliner in Animal Collective, generation-X appeal with Guided by Voices and Thurston Moore, non-mainstream but still really hip hip-hop with Curren$y and Das Racist, 'Best New Music' darlings like Tune-Yards and James Blake, and always plenty of weed.

It just can't stay like this though. Come 2012, Pitchfork Fest might as well take that big step. Leave behind the "independent" thing and just focus on the entertainment. The ideology has changed, and the fest has to bring as many people in as possible. It is about fun now.

It used to have local flare, but that's really not how it is anymore. What started as a fest where neighborhood Chicagoans could celebrate their music culture has become a world renowned event. Yes, there will be a Pitchfork Fest in France. Chicago is just a setting now. This fest could move to any city it wants at this point. Half of the attendees are from other states (well, I could be wrong, but you really do meet people from all over the place at the fest now).

Axe is a hint. No I know, it's a pungent stench. But I mean it hints at Pitchfork's next step. There is absolutely nothing even remotely close to the "indie ideal" in Axe body spray. That Pitchfork allowed them to have a huge corner tent at the fest this year is a pretty big deal. It's not just Whole Foods or hybrid cars (companies with philosophies) that are giving money to the fest now, but straight-up misogynistic companies that have nothing to do with independent music or culture. But hey, welcome to the real world. Right?

Pitchfork knows it's global. And in 2012 we'll see it come full circle. But we won't see the steeple. Not that it even matters. Half of the people who go to this fest never saw it before, and will never see it again after this weekend.

And I might forget it too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CHIRP playlist (7/13/11)

Come to the Burlington on Thursday. I'm DJing the unofficial Pitchfork Pre-Fest Party at 10pm. We'll drink and be merry. Don't let this Time Out Chicago writer's words be in vain. Yeah, it'll be fun. Here's my set from last night. Oh it's good to be back.

12:02AM Com Truise Ether Drift from Galactic Melt (Ghostly International)

12:08AM The Glitch Mob We Can Make The World Stop from We Can Make The World Stop EP (Glass Air)

12:13AM Casa del Mirto Poison from Poison (Mashhh!)

12:16AM Battles Africastle from Gloss Drop (Warp)

12:22AM Vampire Weekend Giving Up The Gun from Contra (XL)

12:28AM Blanck Mass Sub Serious from Blanck Mass (Rock Action)

12:35AM David Bowie Queen Bitch from Hunky Dory (Virgin)

12:40AM The Cars Shake It Up from Shake It Up (Elektra)

12:43AM Sparks Moustache from Angst in My Pants (Atlantic)

12:48AM Curren$y Get Paid from Weekend at Burnie's (Warner Bros.)

12:52AM Memory Tapes Today is Our Life from Player Piano (Carpark)

12:59AM Michael Jackson Remember the Time from Dangerous (Sony)

1:03AM Walter Meego Forever from Voyager (Almost Gold)

1:09AM Galapagos Actin' Up from Big Cat EP (Absent Fever)

1:13AM Tangerine Dream Love On A Real Train from Risky Business OST (Virgin)

1:19AM Brian Eno with Rick Holland Pour It Out from Drums Between the Bells (Warp)

1:22AM Herbert Something Isn't Right from Scale (!K7)

1:27AM Thee Oh Sees Castlemania from Castlemania (In the Red)

1:30AM Rim and Kasa Love Me For Real from Too Tough (Sum Sum)

1:39AM Cults Go Outside from Cults (Columbia)

1:42AM CSS Hits Me Like A Rock from La Liberacion (Co-op)

1:46AM M Pop Muzik from Pop Muzik (Sire)

1:52AM John Maus Believer from We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (Ribbon)

1:56AM Dosh If You Want To, You Have To from Wolves and Wishes (Anticon)

2:02AM Shout Out Louds Normandie from Our Ill Wills (Merge)

2:06AM Al Green Love and Happiness from I'm Still In Love With You (Hi)

2:10AM Gold Panda Vanilla Minus from Lucky Shiner (Ghostly International)

2:15AM Machine There But For the Grace of God Go I from There But For the Grace of God Go I (Unidisc)

2:20AM Junior Boys Itchy Fingers from It's All True (Domino)

2:27AM Black Dice Manoman from Load Blown (Paw Tracks)

2:32AM My Silence What Ever Happened To Doo Wop? from It Only Happens at Night (482 Music)

2:40AM Moonface Fast Peter from Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped (Jagjaguwar)

2:47AM Yourself and the Air Sick Days from Who's Who in the Zoo (Lujo)

2:53AM Sons and Daughters Axed Actor from Mirror Mirror (Domino)

2:59AM Michi Sarmiento Tumbando from Aqui Los Bravos! The Best of Michi Sarmiento y Su Comba Bravo 1967-77 (Soundway)