Pitchfork Previews 2012 – Saturday
By: Bari Finkel and Dylan Samson
Previews are organized in descending order of time.
Blue Stage: 7:40 PM
When Danny Brown joined Das Racist during last year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, he reminded me of a young Busta Rhymes, delivering his rhymes so forcefully, you couldn’t help but take notice. Beyond his obvious skill, his distinctive style (the skinniest jeans and and a haircut so a-symmetrical, I was amazed he didn’t lean to one side), and his unmistakable midwest-meets-deep-south drawl made him stand out as one of the highlights from last year’s festival. Since then, Brown has exploded on to the scene, delivering the masterful XXX last August, and appearing on dozens of tracks for people like Flosstradamus, EL-P, and J. Dilla. XXX, released last August, is offensive and deliberate, chronicling excess in every imaginable sense of the word, and delivered through Brown’s one-of-a-kind voice. This year, Brown is sure to turn more than a few heads when he takes to Pitchfork’s Blue stage Saturday night. Check out Monopoly from XXX below.
Green Stage: 6:15
Don’t be fooled by the sweet sounding vocals of Sleigh Bells. With a sophomore album title like Reign of Terror, and the guitar shredding on every song, Sleigh Bells brings a noise edge to pop. The duo, consisting of Alexis Krauss (vocals) and Derek Miller (guitar), are Brooklyn bred and noise pop fed. Though Sleigh Bells have only released two albums, Reign of Terror was a highly anticipated and critically acclaimed album. For those Pitchfork attendees who like to dance around and push here and there at a concert, Sleigh Bells will be the perfect combination of dance and toughness.
Blue Stage: 5:45
An example of some of the finest Hip-Hop the west coast has to offer, Schoolboy Q’s ever evolving fire flow is a force to be reckoned with. Though his lyrics about drink, drugs, and girls may not be the most substantial around today, no one could ever fault the 25 year old MC for writing about what he knows. Beyond his two impressive full-lengths, 2011’s Setbacks and 2012’s Habits & Contradictions, Schoolboy Q can be found performing with the supergroup Black Hippy, made up of himself, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, and fellow Pitchfork 2012 performer Kendrick Lamar. Check out the video for Hands on the Wheel below.
Red Stage: 5:15
The members of Wild Flag might be some of the most important musicians of the last 15 years. Carrie Brownstein co-founded the influential Riot Grrl group Sleater-Kinney, and currently stars in the acclaimed comedy Portlandia; Mary Timony fronted the noise pop and post punk bands Helium and Autoclave; Rebecca Cole played drums in the Elephant 6 group The Minders; Janet Weiss has played drums for Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, and even contributed to the most recent Shins record. On their 2011 self titled album, Wild Flag emerges as a powerful punk revival group, one that easily stands up to any groups from the band members’ past. Get ready for an energetic, take-no-prisoners, performance when Wild Flag takes to Pitchfork’s Red stage on Saturday. Watch a live performance of their song Romance below.
Green Stage: 4:15
2010’s Cosmogramma is a truly stunning record. An masterful convergence of stylings ranging from free jazz, to drum ‘n bass, to break-beat, to chip tune, all focused to create some of the most impressive beats in recent memory. Seriously, even MF Doom could learn a thing or two from Steven Ellison, who performs under the stage name of Flying Lotus. The eclectic knowledge of such a vast range of musical styles had led to collaborations with Erykah Badu, composing almost all the bump music for Adult Swim’s bumps, and even a live scoring of avant-garde films. His new album Until the Quiet Comes will be out this fall, but in the mean time, he’s sure to turn out a crazy performance at this years Pitchfork Music Festival.
Green Stage: 2:30
The amount of music Bradford Cox puts out is pretty stunning. He seems to put out a at least one album every year, either with Deerhunter, or under his solo moniker Atlas Sound. In early 2010 he put out Halcyon Digest, making almost everyones end of the year list for its painful honesty and bizarre mastery of the drone and psych stylings. He opened 2011 by releasing a 4 volume set of Atlas Sound recordings, toured almost non-stop through the spring and summer, and ended the year with Parallax, the album many consider to his strongest recording to date. This year, he’ll bring Atlas Sound’s famously strange live show to Pitchfork’s Green stage. Check out a solo performance of Te Amo from Parallax below.
Red Stage: 1:45
When describing Cloud Nothings, the first word that comes to mind is refreshing. Their brand of indie rock, mixed with the alt-punk I was listening to as a young teenager brings back a nostalgia that the band spent a half hour dismissing on their recent record Attack On Memory. The album’s darker twist on power-pop brought the into the public eye, and those who continued on to their self-released 7”s and EPs found a songs that break away from the surf-rock that is so dominant in today’s scene, but is just as joyous as any of it. Their show on Saturday afternoon is sure to be one of the most exciting of the festival.
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