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The [Friday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

I've actually never been to Pitchfork, but that's not because I haven't wanted to - though I've never been a big festival guy. Too many people, and usually crummy sound and sightlines.

But whatever.

I've been a Flaming Lips fan since the early days when they would play the Empty Bottle, and I'm proud and grateful to be able to say I saw them there way back when.

The Flips close the festival on Sunday night, meaning they are the kings of the Pitchfork universe.

Here's some of my favorite Pitchfork preview commentary from our fine daily rock critics, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot.

From DeRo:

Yo La Tengo, 6:10 p.m., Friday, Aluminum Stage
The long-running, Hoboken, N.J.-based trio of Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew probably have done more with less than any band in the history of indie-rock.

Fucked Up, 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Aluminum Stage
After the Jesus Lizard, this anarchist art-punk group from Toronto has the potential to blow more minds than any other act on the bill, though pseudonymous band leaders Pink Eyes and 10,000 Marbles wreak their brand of chaos in a much more tuneful way.

Doom, 6:15 p.m., Saturday, Aluminum Stage
One of the most inventive and imaginative forces in hip-hop, the artist formerly known as MF Doom gets his look and persona from the super-villains of Marvel Comics and his gonzo sound from Mars by way of Venus. Live performances are a rare thing, so this could be something special.

From Kot:

Fucked Up, 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Aluminum Stage
Bare-chested, Sumo-sized singer Damian Abraham is not someone you want to mess with. He will not be ignored, and despite their not-ready-for-a-family-newspaper name [both papers refused to use it], neither will his band, which plays a doomy, expansive variation of hardcore.

Doom, 6:15 p.m., Saturday, Aluminum Stage
A rare set by the masked villain of the hip-hop underground. His legendary rhyme skills, astutely chosen collaborations (with everyone from Gorillaz to Danger Mouse) and shadowy persona make him a must-see.

Grizzly Bear, 7:25 p.m., Sunday, Connector Stage
If blog entries equaled record sales, this quartet would be the Fleetwood Mac of 2009, and "Veckatimist" is their "Rumours." The new album consolidates the group's strengths: rich pop melodies, intricate arrangements, mid-fi intimacy.


Jock Itch
"If you're a sports fan," Rick Morrissey writes today, "you have to feel good that one among us works in the Oval Office."

Yeah, our last president didn't like sports at all!

Obama Loses His Cool
Teleprompter troubles, overseas goofs, and All-Star gaffes.

Zoning Boning
At least there'll be continuity.

City Hall Ways
Strangling small business in in their cribs.

Good King Rich
And company.

Plus, special bonus tracks!.

Arlington Eye Candy
Just like that High Life commercial.

Bloodshot Briefing
There's now an app for that.

Alaska Cool
"I believe vacation is giving me too much time to think," our very own Scott Gordon writes today in his final installment of his beautiful Serenade Of The Seas series. "My activity today, the 'Glacier View Bike And Brew,' will at least bring some peaceful moments as our group cycles through Juneau to the Mendenhall Glacier viewing center. More blue ice, more dirt. In the van on the way to the bikes, I realize part of my group is the LBJ-Ken Lay Fan Club, as I have secretly named a group of three domesticated wisecrackers from Houston. The oldest one is in the 'gas and oil' business; the other two are his son and son-in-law. The first question the in-law asks our bike-tour guide is, 'What' the average house price in Juneau?'"

Customer Relations
Our very own pseudononymous Patty Hunter of our At Your Service series in our Life At Work feature is interviewed at 6 p.m. tonight on Outside The Loop Radio (WLUW-FM, 88.7).

Also streaming on WLUW, and archived at Outside the Loop Radio.

Brain Gap
"It is the year 2009, folks, there is absolutely no reason why the National Center for Education Statistics should be releasing a report about a Black/White achievement gap for U.S. school children to the exclusion of Hispanic students, not to mention Asian and many other ethnicities," Esther Cepeda writes at 600 Words.

"And no reason why newspapers and television and radio stations across the country should be reporting on this admittedly sad state of affairs (see Illinois numbers here) while excluding the context of every other struggling kid in the U.S. - be they poor and white, from a foreign country, or Latino."

Librarian Types
"When the American Library Association's annual conference kicked off in Chicago," the Washington City Paper reports, "some attendees wanted the world to know that librarian get-togethers aren't all about shushing and stacking: There's a lot of fucking, too."

(Credit: I'm pretty sure that item came to me via Alexander Russo.)

Wrigley Rawk
I never need to hear this song again, but the scene at Wrigley looks pretty amazing, you have to admit.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Probably for life.


Posted on July 17, 2009

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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