Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tankboy's "off-the-record" thoughts on that whole PFork Fest thing.

So, as promised, here are some more personal musings on the whole Pitchfork Music Festival goings-on this year. If you want to know what I thought of the bands and the fest in general you can find that over at Chicagoist.

First off, the vibe was definitely different than last year's "wow, this is all brand new and (even dorkier) 'it's really happening!'." There was an idealism and excitement that was missing from this year’s edition. I suppose it is partially because it is no longer new (even though the original Lolla did keep that sense of wonder going for at least the first three years) and, due to our accelerated times, is already slipping into the role of "the establishment."

This was even more apparent in the treatment the press received, which was odd since Pitchfork is itself a media site. Last year, we were given free reign to go pretty much anywhere, photograph anything and talk to anyone. This year we were locked out of the backstage area and were only allowed front-stage for the first three songs before being shuffled off into the crowd.

Now the three song thing I totally got, since I wouldn't really want a horde of photographers and writers blocking my view if I was a fan that had staked out a spot front and center just behind the barricade. However there was a cordoned off area to the side of the stage, that could have housed all of the press, that seemed to be off-limits to everyone until Sunday when I was told it was there to meet the requirements for handicapped accessibility. This would have made total sense if we hadn’t seen a girl in a wheelchair kicked out of the same area the day before!

Now I'm going to lay the brunt of the blame for these gripes on the security staff (especially the overly strict dude we dubbed "Cowboy Hard-ass" that seemed to be running all stage security on day one. He was the dude kicking out the girl in the wheelchair.) Even so perhaps Pitchfork wasn't clear enough on stage rules and they were left open to interpretation. I know from years of doing show you NEVER allow hired security to interpret ANYTHING. This rule is different in clubs when you have a permanent staff, but for a festival or a setting using freelance hired hands, you leave NOTHINTG to their purview.

The "no press backstage" policy was only annoying in that it kept me from really interviewing any of the bands. There was a press tent, but it only consisted of three tables and a few chairs ... and I think I saw two interviews conducted there all day. The one big plus was that they gave the press free water, which was greatly appreciated. Next year, maybe they'll revise it ... or maybe the press friendliness was actually on the part of the folks who split off to continue Intonation (since heard the press treatment was much better there, even if (in my opinion) the festival was lacking artist-wise in comparison to Pitchfork.) So take note Pitchfork-types, next year lets give the press a little more leeway; don't forget your roots!

Ultimately, most of the bands fell a little flat for me, but that's to be expected in any festival setting. I still had a great time watching so many people lapse into ecstasy during main-stage sets by The Futureheads, Art Brut, Ted Leo, Mission Of Burma, and Spoon. And the vibe in the Biz 3 tent threatened to spark with the hot summer sun and set the whole festival ablaze ... seriously, that tent was B-A-N-A-N-A-S! It was awesome.

On a wholly personal level I really enjoyed running into old friends, meeting a few new ones who read my ramblings on a regular basis as well as a few publicists, like Karen, I actually enjoy corresponding with. On an artistic level I think Pitchfork set the bar for themselves after the first go-'round that the second was destined to pale in comparison. However, as far as a terrific way to spend two days – even taking into account the oppressive heat – I can’t recommend the experience highly enough.


...and now the usual Tuesday thing...

How about a bit of cut 'n paste from the usual weekly email ... I'm a bit "written-out" right now after al the above blathering.


DJ Tankboy matches wits with DJ JB.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get
any hotter, we just turned up the heat!

Old school rock and/or roll attitude
mixed with only the finest selections
from yesterday, today and tomorrow.

TONIGHT , Tuesday August 1, 2006
Stunning musical selections from 9pm until 2am

$3 Budweiser bottles

New and Unreleased Stuff From:

Snowden – Anti-anti
Rye Coalition – Curses
Lily Allen - Alright Still
Teddybears – Soft Machine
The Oohlas - Best Stop Pop
The Dears - Gang Of Losers
Aphex Twin – Chosen Lords
Wires On Fire – Wires On Fire
Ad Astra Per Aspera – Catapult Calypso
Oxford Collapse – Remember The Night Parties
Thunderbirds Are Now! – Make History
Primal Scream - Riot City Blues
The Like Young – Last Secrets
Cursive – Happy Hollow

It’s Buster Poindexter hot hot HOT!

Every Tuesday.
Only at The Pontiac.

Also, don’t forget I'll be at Liar's Club with a special guest DJ this Thursday! I know a lot of you don’t work the next day due to Lollapalooza, so if you fall into that category you have no excuse for not showing up. Hell, come to think of it, NONE of you has an excuse for not showing up!

Help me make the night a blow-out to end all (well, almost all (well, most (?))) blow-outs!

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