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Postcards From Pitchfork

As much as I hate crowds and people talking over the music and didn't have the time or beer money for it, I found trolling through YouTube for videos from Pitchfork to be pretty inspiring. Especially in contrast to utterly ignorant comments from people about how nobody makes music like they used to anymore. Haven't we been hearing that all our lives, all evidence to the contrary?

(Jeff Johnson in the Sun-Times reviewing Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival: "Maybe it's just the collective imagination of the 27,000-plus brainwashed boomers who went down to the Crossroads on Saturday, but it sure seems that the music of 40 years ago is ever more vibrant than today's lame pop music. It's unlikely that fans in 2050 will look back on 2010 the way today's fiftysomethings revere the sounds of the 1970s."

(I'll save the multiple levels that that is so wrong on for a later date.)

"In the year of the super-sized Lollapalooza, the fifth Pitchfork Music Festival continued to make its case as the best music festival not only in Chicago, but the nation," the Onion's A.V. Club writes. "The event's forward-thinking lineup went lighter on the nostalgia acts this year by dumping the 'Don't Look Back' night, where bands play seminal albums in their entirety, and featuring a bevy of buzzing acts, such as Sleigh Bells, Free Energy, Titus Andronicus, Major Lazer, Local Natives, Surfer Blood, Beach House, and numerous others . . .

"For a festival of its size and stature, Pitchfork remains completely manageable and enjoyable, the best of its kind."

Veteran Chicago-based rock critic Jim DeRogatis, now blogging at Vocalo, saw it quite differently. He called the festival Yawnfork.

In turn, some bloggers ganged up on him.

I'm in no position to judge, but simply here to bring you the video, along with some commentary from various reviewers.

And that's what I'll do over the next four days. See also Pavement at Pitchfork from Monday.

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1. "Titus Andronicus at Subterranean, Lightning Bolt at Bitchpork, Liars, Broken Social Scene, Surfer Blood, St. Vincent . . . the list goes on and on," hotmetaldoberman writes. "What a weekend . . . enjoy this clipshow of all the pain and craziness I caught up with this weekend."

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2. "The highlight of the entire festival may have arrived earlier than expected Saturday night, when LCD Soundsystem went from 'Daft Punk Is Playing At My House' to 'All My Friends' early in its set," Kyle Ryan of the A.V. Club writes.

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3. Robyn's set was also pretty much universally deemed a highlight.

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4. Panda was pretty much universally deemed a dud.

"feel like #p4k should institute a Nap Time Tent where Panda Bear can play all day #p4kfest," Radio Free Chicago tweeted.

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5. At least Panda set the bar low - which is by no means a slap at Surfer Blood.

"The crowd for Surfer Blood over at the Balance Stage was primed and ready, and I was anticipating greatness or at least something more than synthesizers and voice effects," Sentimentalist writes. "Thankfully, this young West Palm Beach-based quartet delivered. Light-hearted and summery music that would sound great at a beach party or bonfire thrown by your favorite fraternity or social club. Nothing groundbreaking, but at least it didn't sound like Panda Bear's tortured dolphins."

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6. The great thing about this time in music is that you can still love Clapton and his pals and appreciate their talents and legacies while feeling nostalgic for the Replacements and swooning over LCD Soundsystem. Anyone who thinks great music isn't being made today simply isn't paying attention.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on July 20, 2010


MUSIC - Verböten.
TV - The Berlin Tunnel TV Wars.
POLITICS - Loyola's Predatory Lending Bill.
SPORTS - Chicago Should Miss Sam Kerr.

BOOKS - Blow Your Mind.

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