16 July 2007

my day at pitchfork

so. i ended up at pitchfork this saturday. somewhere along the way i got the lineup mixed up with lollapalooza's, and consequently thought there were much cooler bands (or at least ones better known to me) at the show. i absolutely knew i wanted to see Battles.. mark turned me onto them a few weeks ago and i got hooked on 'atlas' hardcore. plus he got me all hyped up by going on about how he saw them live and how mind-blowing it was. (damn him.) so when the opportunity to snag a press pass came up thru chicagoist, i jumped on it. i also wanted to see Girl Talk, but knew 90% of the crowd would want to see him/them too.

if it had been any other weekend, things might have turned out differently. i accepted the pass wednesday, then got slammed at work thursday and friday.. i had to cover for not one, but two people that were out. both days. not a happy camper was i. beyond that, my lower back and right ankle have been giving me problems, so i wasn't the most mobile of peeps. not what you want to have going on when you go to a huge rock festival. if i had a nickel for every broken branch i nearly rolled my ankle on, i'd be writing this on an iphone.

the weather was fantastic, but in my typical cloud of pessimism, i brought my umbrella just in case. skilling and all. i saw the first band, the Twilight Sad, a scottish band who had the lovely distinction of being called the Cunts in their homeland. if we weren't such pussies, they'd be called the Cunts over here, too. ..unless there's already a band called the Cunts here, which is a possibility. anyway, they were okay.. the frontman had a accent so thick you needed galoshes. feminine sigh.

i saw at least one girl who came prepared in that respect. dear god, some of the most questionable fashion choices went down on those grounds. oversized sunglasses? check. tweed fedoras? check. wide white studded belts? check. cowboy boots with shorts and skirts? check. neckerchiefs? check. feathered hair? check. long Journey-style hair? check. and so on. i felt like drew barrymore in 'never been kissed' or something, trying to infiltrate the valley of the hipsters in my pink gauzy blouse (yes, a legitimate blouse) and jean skort (oh yes, a skort). in retrospect, though, i'm glad i didn't have anything in my wardrobe that would have made me fit in. and you know what? while standing in line at various points, i could hear people behind me making fun of other people. sooo.. why dress like idiots again if no one believes in it? who exactly are you trying to impress?

after the Twilight Sad i lost interest in the stage and wandered around union park. i plunked down some cash for whatever Pinback CDs WLUW had for sale, trying to assuage my guilt on knowing most of their catalogue but not paying for any of it. *sheepish look* i took a look around at the crafts people had.. it smacked of the same ironic lemming mentality of everything else. a table proclaimed 'i love potatoes' and had pictures of potatoes shaped like hearts. that's great. this costs money? then there were the mounds of ironic tees and posters and fugly purses. i was interested in one guy's version of CTA signs; pretty good condition. but $40? for an 8"x10", when i could get my hands on a 12"x16" that was actually up in a station at some point, for half the money? they were in good condition would have been a great apartment addition, but come on. and shit, is that even legal? was the CTA getting a cut of his stuff? i didn't even check the prices on most other tables, for nothing really caught my eye.. until i came to a little comic book niche. figures i'd get sucked in by comics. i toyed with the idea of picking up gangsta rap coloring book, but got a little surprise for kim & scott instead. (shh!)

yeah, i felt old, which should not happen. i was just completely out of my element. and tired. and grumpy. and alone. it didn't help that i didn't know 95% of the bands playing. seriously, i like going to shows, but the huge outdoor fest isn't my style. hugeass lines, festering port-o-potties, swarms upon waves of people EVERYwhere. and i didn't even stay for the worst of it. i crammed my way in to see Battles, who totally rocked my sockless ass - 'fucking sick loops' i believe is how one guy described their style - and decided i'd review the food and go home. (the press pass didn't come NSA.. i had an article to write and wanted to cover as much as possible. oh yeah, i also felt like a tool in the press tent, since that's where people did interviews with the bands. you know, actual journalists.) i guess after i left it got mega packed, with basically nowhere to go if you didn't want to see a particular band. i can only imagine the lines to the ATM (just one), food vendors and port-o-potties. yuck.

it's the kind of thing i regret going to, but if i hadn't gone, i wouldn't know just how much i'd regret it. think i'll stick to club shows from now on. i just pray Pinback doesn't headline one of these things. oh, the dilemma..