nate patrin.


PITCHFORK FEST ’08: THE PHOTOGRAPHENING
July 22, 2008, 7:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s some visual documentation of my time at the fest. I took a ton of photos, but these are the ones that turned out good and weren’t too redundant.

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PFORK FEST 08: I AM TOO BEAT TO HELL TO THINK OF A SUBHEADER
July 21, 2008, 10:48 am
Filed under: Music

“Chicago May Not Have Seemed Tired Last Night, But I Sure As Hell Was” might work. Or “The Hold Steady And/Or Standing For Eight Hours Straight Almost Killed Me”. As you can tell, the Craig Finn and Pals Good-Time Rock’n’Roll Jamboree made a pretty big impression on me, though they were hardly alone in their high-quality hell-yes stage show spectacularness. Here’s a quick, list-dependent (surprise, surprise) rundown of some highlights (and low points) of my festival experience — my first ever, inexplicably enough.

FIVE COOL THINGS
1) Meeting a whole lot of my fellow writers and finding out that they’re more or less down-to-earth cool people. Everyone from Ryan Schrieber to Amy Phillips to Joe Tangari to Stephen Deusner to Nitsuh Abebe — and a ton of other Pfork folks — struck me as the exact opposite of the aloof, arrogant indie-snob stereotype, and even though there were a lot of folks I unfortunately only managed to spend maybe five minutes with, tops, I’m looking forward to picking up where we left off sometime soon. Also had great (if sometimes brief) conversation with Maura Johnston, Jessica Suarez, Christopher Weingarten, Jeff Weiss and a host of other people that I sadly cannot immediately remember because my brain is stupid.

2) The train ride. I’m still in Chicago, so there’s the chance the trip home will be a world of crap, but my decision to save a few bucks and a big headache at the expense of time (16 hours round trip) has paid off so far: lots of cool scenery, plenty of legroom and a place to plug in my laptop so I can actually get some stuff done. Plus the check-in process is infinitely less of a headache than anything one has to go through at the airport.

3) The Bottom Lounge. This bar was a block or so from Union Park, which made it the de facto afterparty venue, and it’s a pretty cool venue — two levels, with seating/dining/club venue on the first floor and a spacious barroom/dance floor and a patio on the second. I spent most of my time upstairs, and the atmosphere makes it the kind of place you’d want to bring tourists or shoot a “we are in Chicago” movie/TV show: there’s an El train line right outside the front window, and the patio has a ridiculously photogenic view of the skyline, with the Sears Tower front and center. I didn’t bother going all-out on the whole drinking thing so I can’t attest too much to their beverage quality, but it seems like a pretty solid place overall.

4) Ghostface and Raekwon getting bumped to the rear stage. Yeah, it was a slight — especially since their spot on one of the main stages was taken by the Dodos (the Dodos?) — but on the other hand: shade, and lots of it.

5) The dozens upon dozens of photos I took, most of which are somewhere between salvageable and amazing. I’ll post some later, probably via Flickr.

FIVE UNFORTUNATE THINGS
1) My feet. I kind of underestimated how problematic it’d be to spend eight hours a day actually standing — I remember doing it pretty often at some of my earlier jobs, but that was something like ten years ago and I have since been rendered weak and feeble by desk work and society’s general insistence that you sit your ass down for as much time as possible. My adidas walked through concert doors and roamed all over coliseum floors, but they provided dick as far as arch support goes.

2) Boris’ short set. They melted brains with total rock power action, but only for about twenty minutes, possibly owing to the fact that they were playing a club gig on Sunday and/or the fact that it was something like 85% humidity.

3) Missing all but the last five minutes of Cut Copy’s (much-belated) set — pushed back due to customs issues at the airport — and the entirety of the King Khan/Jay Reatard/Bradford Cox batshit all-star superjam that kept the crowd entertained in the interim. Hopefully it’s all been preserved on video for posterity and will show up on pitchfork.tv later.

4) The intermittent but annoying rain on Saturday. Made worse later that night; Grayson Currin mentioned that he was at a No Age basement show and got word that they were fifteen seconds away from getting flooded — after which he made note of all the cords on the floor and got out of there in a hurry.

5) Not getting much of a chance to get any touristy stuff in. I saw Millenium Park, since there was a pre-festival concert taking place there, but other than that I missed out on seeing some of the area museums or going to a baseball game.

FIVE BEST SETS
In chronological order:

1) PUBLIC ENEMY. Fucking killed it — Nation of Millions in its entirety; “Shut ‘Em Down” and “Public Enemy No. 1” and the set-closing double-whammy of “Fight the Power” into a cover of The Isley Brothers’ “Fight the Power”. Chuck D still sounds like the most commanding MC in the world; Flav reminded us he was a reality TV star but made everyone forget that fact anyways.

2) JAY REATARD. I never saw the Sorry Ma/Stink-era Replacements in concert, what with me being in kindergarten and all, but I think this set made up for it. A reminder of why I still give a shit about punk rock even when every other impulse tells me it’s not my scene.

3) THE HOLD STEADY. The surest thing in live rock shows today. Concluded with an amazing rendition of “Killer Parties”.

4) KING KHAN & THE SHRINES. Dude more or less made it his mission to be the festival’s show-stealer, riding around the grounds on the back of a Carryall park vehicle, rocking a Viking helmet and waving his fist in the air. Dude is a soul-garage maniac in hot pants and a cape who makes Ian Svenonious look and sound like Leonard Cohen, and his stage banter is priceless. I would gladly pay $50 to see two hours of this act in a club.

5) GHOSTFACE & RAEKWON. I’ve seen ’em before, and I must’ve heard all those Cuban Linx classics a fistful of times during their sets, but that doesn’t make it any less energizing. Almost got ruined for me by the airhead ohmigawd-types standing behind me (during one of Ghost’s brief addressing-the-audience interludes, where he was talking about how they’d just flown in from Europe, one of these ditzes yelled “LESS TALK MORE ROCK” — barf), but you cannot stop the Wu, even if you push ’em to the back. When I headed off to see Spiritualized with a few minutes left in their set, I could still hear ’em all the way across the park.



(INSERT OBLIGATORY “WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS” LYRIC HERE)
July 16, 2008, 11:42 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: ,

As I mentioned previously, I am going to be in Chicago at the Pitchfork Music Festival from Thursday evening through Monday morning. I think I’ve lucked out with this year’s schedule, since not only are there few-to-no moments where I am stuck with having to choose between three bands I don’t care about, there are also few moments where I have to make a super-tough decision that will lead me to completely miss a band I like. (The biggest conundrums are the Hold Steady at 7pm vs. Jarvis Cocker at 8pm on Saturday, which should be solvable by the fact that the Hold Steady comes to the Twin Cities a lot more frequently than Jarvis Cocker, and Sunday’s Cut Copy vs. Spoon conflict. There’s also the potential downer of having to leave an hour into Boris’ set to catch King Khan & the Shrines.)



I AM POWERLESS TO RESIST
July 3, 2008, 1:30 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags:

I thought I already did this “favorite album of each year of your life” exercise sometime, somewhere, some years ago. But in case I didn’t, here’s my current version. As a special bonus, I’m throwing in singles and obscure/underrated/overlooked favorites, ’cause I feel like it. Enjoy this perplexing juxtaposition of famous rap records, club/pop dance stuff and indie rock/new wave/Britpop/nu-psych.

1977: Steely Dan, Aja; Parliament, “Flash Light”; Mandre, s/t

1978: Van Halen, s/t; Giorgio Moroder, “Chase”; Parlet, Pleasure Principle

1979: The Clash, London Calling; Machine, “There But for the Grace of God”; Candido, Dancin’ & Prancin’

1980: The Clash, Sandinista!; Prince, “Dirty Mind”; Defunkt, s/t

1981: Kraftwerk, Computer World; Rick James, “Give It to Me Baby”; Scientist, Scientist Meets the Space Invaders

1982: Michael Jackson, Thriller; Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force, “Planet Rock”; Prince Jammy, Prince Jammy Destroys the Invaders*

1983: Madonna, s/t; Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel, “White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It); ESG, Come Away With ESG

1984: Prince, Purple Rain; Van Halen, “Jump”; The Treacherous Three, s/t

1985: New Order, Low-Life; Doug E. Fresh, “The Show”; Mantronix, s/t

1986: Run-DMC, Raising Hell; Beastie Boys, “It’s the New Style”; Just-Ice, Back to the Old School

1987: Boogie Down Productions, Criminal Minded; Prince, “U Got the Look”; Just-Ice, Kool & Deadly (Justicisms)**

1988: Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back; Eric B. & Rakim, “Follow the Leader”; Stetsasonic, In Full Gear***

1989: The Beastie Boys, Paul’s Boutique; Public Enemy, “Fight the Power”; Low Profile, We’re in This Together

1990: Eric B. & Rakim, Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em; Brand Nubian, “All for One”; D-Nice, Call Me D-Nice

1991: Massive Attack, Blue Lines; A Tribe Called Quest ft. Leaders of the New School, “Scenario”; Ragga Twins, Reggae Owes Me Money

1992: Eric B. & Rakim, Don’t Sweat the Technique; Pete Rock & CL Smooth, “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.); Diamond & the Psychotic Neurotics, Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop

1993: The Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers); KRS-One, “Sound of Da Police”; Black Moon, Enta Da Stage

1994: Nas, Illmatic; OutKast, “Git Up, Git Out”; Bay B Kane, The Guardian of Ruff

1995: Genius/GZA, Liquid Swords; Pulp, “Common People”; Big L, Lifestyles Ov Da Poor and Dangerous

1996: OutKast, ATLiens; Beck, “The New Pollution”; The Juggaknots, s/t

1997: The Chemical Brothers, Dig Your Own Hole; The Notorious B.I.G., “Hypnotize”; Faze Action, Plans & Designs

1998: Massive Attack, Mezzanine; OutKast, “Rosa Parks”; Hieroglyphics, 3rd Eye Vision

1999: MF DOOM, Operation Doomsday; Basement Jaxx, “Red Alert”; Mike Ladd, Welcome to the Afterfuture

2000: Ghostface Killah, Supreme Clientele; Wu-Tang Clan, “I Can’t Go to Sleep”; Lifter Puller, Fiestas + Fiascos

2001: Daft Punk, Discovery; The Strokes, “Hard to Explain”; Res, How I Do

2002: The Roots, Phrenology; Clipse, “Grindin'”; Comets on Fire, Field Recordings from the Sun

2003: Basement Jaxx, Kish Kash; Dizzee Rascal, “I Luv U”; Burnt Sugar, Black Sex Y’all Liberation & Bloody Random Violets

2004: Sonic Youth, Sonic Nurse; Annie, “Heartbeat”; Soulwax, Any Minute Now

2005: M.I.A., Arular; Three 6 Mafia, “Stay Fly”; DJ Muggs vs. GZA, Grandmasters

2006: Ghostface Killah, Fishscale; T.I., “What You Know”; Ciara, The Evolution

2007: UGK, Underground Kingz; Justice, “D.A.N.C.E.”; Neil Landstrumm, Restaurant of Assassins

2008 (so far): The Bug, London Zoo; Justice, “DVNO (Radio Edit)”****; Kail, True Hollywood Squares*****

*man, the early ’80s were a great time for Space Invaders-themed dub records

**so yeah, Just-Ice was pretty damn good

***though I guess only in the ’80s’ best year for rap could this get overlooked

****I know this showed up on their album last year but this version’s more than different enough to count as an ’08 track

*****maybe it’s kind of early to call this one obscure/underrated/overlooked but dude doesn’t even have his own page on discogs.com or rateyourmusic yet



THE HALFWAY HOME HOT 100
July 2, 2008, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags:

Yeah, here’s a list of stuff I’ve liked so far this year, neatly rounded off to 100. (Oddly enough, I went through my list of artists who released something in 2008 that I liked, dragged-and-dropped one song from each artist into a playlist sight unseen, worried that I wouldn’t have enough to make a list of 100, then found that I had exactly that many.) Note that some of this hasn’t been officially released as of the pseudo-half-year mark of 7/1/08, but enh. This is maybe the indiest/geekiest aggregation of pop music I’ve put together in a while, but it’s all good in its own way whether it’s trashy electro or slick R&B or indie rap or mainstream rap or used-to-be-mainstream-but-is-now-indie rap. Or indie rock, yikes. Arranged alphabetically, so it also boasts the hilarious awkwardness of pitting Jason Forrest Donna Summer next to Real Actual Original Donna Summer.

THE HALFWAY HOME HOT 100

Alliteration!

1. Akrobatik – Rain (ft. Brenna Gethers) (3:11)
2. Arcade Lovers – Fantasy Lines (Original Mix) (6:27)
3. Atmosphere – Wild Wild Horses (4:15)
4. Awesome Color – Already Down (2:42)
5. Baby Charles – This Time (2:57)
6. Bad Dudes – Cabana Boyzz, B.C. (2:07)
7. Erykah Badu – Twinkle (6:56)
8. Beck – Chemtrails (4:40)
9. Big Boi – Royal Flush (ft. Raekwon & Andre 3000) (3:17)
10. The Black Angels – 18 Years (5:25)
11. Black Mountain – Evil Ways (3:25)
12. Booka Shade – Control Me (5:08)
13. Boris – Flower, Sun, Rain (5:35)
14. The Bug – Angry (ft. Tippa Irie) (3:37)
15. Bun-B – Underground Thang (ft. Pimp C & Chamillionaire) (4:28)
16. Chicha Libre – Gnosienne No. 1 (4:33)
17. Clinic – Coda (3:17)
18. The Cool Kids – Gold and a Pager (3:47)
19. Cut Copy – Hearts on Fire (4:54)
20. Daedelus – Get Off Your HiHats (4:53)
21. Dengue Fever – Intergration (3:43)
22. The Dirtbombs – Ever Lovin Man (2:45)
23. Disfear – Get It Off (3:17)
24. Dizzee Rascal – Driving With Nowhere to Go (3:56)
25. DJ Donna Summer – Sweet Assed Child ‘O Mine (4:21)
26. Donna Summer – I’m a Fire (7:10)
27. Drive-By Truckers – Daddy Needs a Drink (3:48)
28. Dub Trio – Mortar Dub (4:19)
29. El-P – Krazy Kings 3 (4:19)
30. Elephant9 – Dodovoodoo (5:12)
31. eMC – Say Now (4:16)
32. Estelle – American Boy (ft. Kanye West) (4:44)
33. Factor – Time of the Year (ft. Sadat X) (2:03)
34. Fat Ray & Black Milk – Flawless (3:00)
35. Flying Lotus – GNG BNG (3:38)
36. Food For Animals & Faust – Planet Say (4:51)
37. Sascha Funke – We Are Facing the Sun (7:10)
38. Morgan Geist – Palace Life (4:46)
39. Gnarls Barkley – Who’s Gonna Save My Soul (3:16)
40. Al Green – I’m Wild About You (4:51)
41. HEALTH – Triceratops (CFCF Rmx) (3:34)
42. Karl Hector & the Malcouns – Sahara Swing (3:29)
43. The Herbaliser – Street Karma (A Cautionary Tale) (ft. Jean Grae) (3:39)
44. Hercules & Love Affair – Athene (4:00)
45. The Hold Steady – Navy Sheets (3:23)
46. Michael Hunter – Soviet Connection (Theme from GTA IV) (2:51)
47. Invisible Conga People – Cable Dazed (6:12)
48. J.Rawls & Middle Child – By Your Side (5:00)
49. James Pants – Theme from Paris (1:46)
50. Jay Reatard – See/Saw (2:57)
51. The Juan MacLean – Happy House (Original) (12:40)
52. Justice – DVNO (Radio Edit) (3:13)
53. Kail – Sweet Dick Willy (4:56)
54. Kleerup – 3AM (ft. Marit Bergman) (3:57)
55. Knife World – Sunbeam (3:18)
56. Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80 – Don’t Give That Shit to Me (9:22)
57. Ladytron – Runaway (4:50)
58. Lil Wayne – Shoot Me Down (4:29)
59. Lindstrøm – Where You Go I Go Too (28:58)
60. Little Vic – Caked Up (ft. Kool G Rap) (4:41)
61. Lloyd – Girls Around the World (ft. Lil Wayne) (3:29)
62. The Long Blondes – Too Clever By Half (4:25)
63. Lyrics Born – I Like It, I Love It (3:42)
64. M83 – We Own the Sky (5:02)
65. Metaform – Lamenting Break (1:23)
66. Monade – Elle Topo (4:27)
67. Monotonix – No Metal (3:38)
68. Alex Moulton – Out of Phase (7:15)
69. Mudhoney – Tales of Terror (3:17)
70. Neon Neon – Luxury Pool (3:55)
71. NOMO – Ghost Rock (6:00)
72. Lee ”Scratch” Perry – Party Time (4:22)
73. Plantlife – Rollerskate Jam (3:37)
74. Kelley Polar – Entropy Reigns (Pearson and Usher’s Second Law Instrumental) (8:27)
75. Poni Hoax – The Paper Bride (6:32)
76. Portishead – Threads (5:47)
77. Presto – Part of Greatness (ft. CL Smooth) (3:54)
78. Connie Price & the Keystones – Thundersounds (ft. Percee P) (2:58)
79. Prodigy – New Yitty (2:38)
80. Quiet Village – Broken Promises (5:47)
81. The Raconteurs – You Don’t Understand Me (4:53)
82. Ratatat – Shempi (3:57)
83. Re-Up Gang – Cry Now (4:02)
84. Rigas – Born Not to Run (3:03)
85. The Roots – 75 Bars (Black’s Reconstruction) (3:19)
86. RZA – Put Your Guns Down (ft. Star) (3:33)
87. Santogold – Creator (3:33)
88. Shaya – Impeccable Concepts (2:56)
89. Snoop Dogg – Sexual Eruption (4:00)
90. Sinkane – Autobahn (6:40)
91. Spoon – Don’t You Evah (Ted Leo’s I Want It Hotter Remix) (4:00)
92. Subtle – Unlikely Rock Shock (3:10)
93. Titus Andronicus – My Time Outside the Womb (2:54)
94. Trama – 9,10,11,12 (ft. Carnage & Ayentee) (3:18)
95. Vast Aire – Mecca and the Ox (ft. Vordul Mega) (3:29)
96. The Whitest Boy Alive – Golden Cage (Fred Falke Remix) (8:28)
97. Wiley – Wearing My Rolex (Club Edit) (2:43)
98. Williams – Love on a Real Train (Version By Studio) (9:01)
99. Wire – Perspex Icon (3:16)
100. Zomby – Mu5h (4:12)