It’s been a few years since I’ve stopped by Lollapalooza as distance and compounding prices have proved a more woeful deterrent than I’d expected, but this year, armed with my press pass, I’ve been mulling over all my fond memories of festivals past to get myself excited again. To get everyone else out there equally riled up, here’s a short list of the five primary reasons I’m getting antsy all over again for the Midwest’s biggest and showiest music festival.
By Cameron Graff
We entered Saturday with renewed spirits. We’d dried off and so had the world; nothing but blue skies and slightly less health-endangering heats awaited us. The plan was to get to Pitchfork at around 1 p.m. and catch White Lung and Pissed Jeans for a notably punk afternoon, but underestimating both Chicago traffic and the lunch rush threw us off and we arrived too late to do either. Instead we headed over towards the blue stage, our consistently shady bastion, to see Julia Holter.
Every festival during the summer is obligated to some sort of inclement weather, generally either scorching heat or rain. The first day of Pitchfork 2013 unfortunately suffered from an overabundance of both to almost comical, God-rebuking degrees. There’s nothing more disheartening than walking down the road toward Union Park and reading a bank sign’s proud declaration that it’s 104 outside.
As much as Pitchfork gets a bad rap these days (I recently asked a “too-cool” friend of mine if he wanted to go see Pharmakon and Wolf Eyes, making the mistake of mentioning it was a Pitchfork sponsored event. He loves both acts, but responded, “that sounds like the worst thing ever,”) it’s hard to doubt the staff’s intentions and love of music. Even with all the ugly talk of “politics,” “agendas” and “taste making” surrounding their buzz band-birthing empire, you have to give them credit for building a truly devoted monument to the artists they cover. They do it all; interviews, music videos, cover stories, in-house sessions and more. Best of all, they put on the Pitchfork Music Festival every July at Union Park in Chicago.
So you’re coming to The University of Wisconsin, huh? Well, if you want to play ball with the big leaguers, you’re going to have to update your iPod with all the hippest, most sitcom-approved musical representations of collegiate life. For your listening pleasure, here’s a list of the most essential albums for any incoming freshman.
So here we are, seven years later, and our Bluths have finally been saved. If you haven’t been keeping up with “Arrested Development” (which likely means you aren’t part of the show’s frothing and obsessive fanbase in the first place), here’s the deal: “Arrested Development,” frequently lauded as one of the funniest shows on television for its intelligent, rapid fire and frequently painfully subtle humor was cancelled back in 2006 as it’s constant deluge of critical praise and fervent cult following failed to keep the ratings buoyed for a show that, admittedly, benefitted better from the repeat viewings of DVDs than weekly airing.
In light of this whole Mifflin-versus-Revelry fiasco—and I think it is, at this point, fair to objectively refer to it as a fiasco—I’ve never more been distraught over the status of the Madison community. I’ve been hearing left and right, “It’s an essential part of Madison! Mifflin’s part of our culture!” And it’s just been burning my ears. This is our culture? This is what we base our identity as a school around?
Like a terrible, blood drenched disco ball ascending from the stygian bowls of the earth, The Knife have finally returned to us.
I’ll preface this with a disclaimer: I’m far from an authority on hip-hop. To contextualize—I’m currently sitting at my desk listening to my dad’s copy of U2’s War on vinyl with Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 “Hamlet” adaptation playing in the background. In the reductive language of stereotypes and essentialism, I am currently the whitest man alive.
Passion Pit has had, by all measures, a stellar few years. Their first EP, Chunk of Change, was a love letter to a doomed romance, given as a gift by singer Michael Angelakos in 2008 and never meant to be heard by the general public. Since then they’ve released two albums of stadium-crushing pop, both topping their predecessors’ ever growing repute: 2009’s hit debut LP Manners and 2012’s darkly triumphant Gossamer. Their latest album’s success eschews the traditional pitfall of the sophomore slump, eclipsing the already impressive accomplishments of Manners.