Out of Town Pitchfork Music Festival Day 3: A Spacy Geoduck
posted by July 16 at 10:16 AMon
Reporting by Mairead Case. Photo of Jamie Lidell by gbtransmission.
There are lots of places to read about, or hear, Sunday’s brightest bands. For example: the New Pornographers, whose show was just as well-mapped and balanced as any of their three studio albums. Craig Taborn played junk magic and futuristic keyboard, Brightblack Morning Light sang to the sky, and Stephen Malkmus had a guitar but no Jicks. (He did do some Pavement songs, suggesting a reunion is not totally impossible.) To recreate these experiences for yourself, find some classy headphones and a mild sunburn, crack a beer and listen away. It’s not exactly the same (and obviously it’s hard to be whiz-bang original for a bazillion hipsters and two large windscreens)—but you get the idea.
What you can’t MySpace are Jamie Lidell’s betinseled hair and golden robe, the way his songs run six minutes long and two too many, but nobody seems to care. You gotta directly experience the sheer class that is De La Soul, how they made the crowd putty, got them dancing not two minutes in. And you really can’t download the glory-glory hallelujah that is Of Montreal, whose stage outfits included pinkly feathered angel wings, leather hotpants, teacup-bright football helmets, mesh visors, catsuits/batsuits, alien oyster puppets with eight heads, and something part nose, part dick, and clawed, sprayed McDonald’s colours and stuck with tiny mirrors: a spacy geoduck, maybe. When the crowd clamoured encore, Kevin Barnes rushed back out in a thong, fishnets, and a red neckerchief, then banged through “Girl You Really Got Me.” I could’ove kissed ‘em all.
Other moments unFacebookable include the one kid with “No Fear” fabric painted on his back, and the other wearing a blackmarketed Dave Matthews shirt, with “Before These Crowded Streets” scribbled in Hebrew. The giant dodgeball game. The giant foursquare game. The public pool across the street, its water blue enough for headache, and jammed with kids treading water to the Sea and Cake’s dreamy roll.
Now, hey, I’m the very first to wax sarcastic at blogs and dateless, bandless, soulless rock critics, but thankfully (and as Buckley once said), a lot of Pitchfork was still “so real.” There weren’t any “Jesus snakes!” fracas-moments, like last year when Ted Leo wore white and smashed his face into a microphone, streamed blood down the nose, but I guess that happens when festivals get super-big. Plus the Ice Cream Man (aka Matt Allen, who treks crosscountry in 1969 Chevy, dishing out free treats at shows) ran out after 3,087 sugar-sticks. Nobody cared, not even Of Montreal’s toddler, so maybe love really is better than ice cream.