Category Archives: Music

Pitchfork Music Festival 2012: Saturday

Pitchfork has been my main source of independent music news and reviews since 2003. But I’ve only been to their festival as recent as yesterday. To sum up my first experience, I had a blast. So, now, I’m regretting why I didn’t get a 3-day pass. I’m pretty bummed that I missed acts like Japandroids and Real Estate.

Anyways, here’s my recap in photos.

The Atlas Moth. One of my favorite metal bands.

[1:00 PM] The Atlas Moth: 1 of the 4 bands that I wanted to see (another 1 of 4 is Psychic Paramount, which also played at 1:00 PM), and I’m pretty happy that they brought it. I had goosebumps all over when they opened with “Perpetual Generations”, which happened to be my favorite AM song. I’m also grateful that the Blue Stage has a lot of shade.

[1:35 PM] The Atlas Moth: Then, just when Psychic Paramount at the Green Stage started pulling me, they brought out horn players to mix things up. I loved it!

These kids from Cleveland brought it yesterday.

[1:40 PM] Cloud Nothings: I left the Blue Stage for the Red Stage, and tried to find a decent spot for photos before Cloud Nothings starts. Like The Atlas Moth, Cloud Nothings brought it too, as I’ve expected. They’re even better live. The crowd also went wild and kept dancing, even with all the humidity.

[2:10 PM] Cloud Nothings: Just when the first mosh pit of that day was building up, rain started falling. Most of the crowd scattered into the four winds to seek shelter. I would’ve stayed but I didn’t have a Ziploc to secure my camera and phone. I found shelter at a parked CTA bus that was meant for cooling.

A crappy shot of the rain-drenched Liturgy set.

[3:10 PM] Liturgy: After a pizza and a couple of beers, I went back to the Blue Stage to catch Liturgy. Unfortunately, rain started falling again. Even harder and longer this time. I only had a glimpse of the band, heard a bit of their playing, and took a crappy shot. Then, I ran back to the cooling bus.

[3:40 PM] Cults: The rain finally stopped. At this time, all of my bands are done playing. So, I just fooled around and went to go see the Cults. Surprisingly, I found myself singing along –and messing up the lyrics– when they played “Go Outside”.

Flying Lotus, playing on the Green Stage.

[4:20 PM] Flying Lotus: I’ve never been to a live electronica set before. So, Flying Lotus gets that honor, and I really dug his performance. Especially when he played “Intergalactic” by Beastie Boys, a homage to the late Adam Yauch.

[5:00 PM] Flying Louts/Wild Flag: Meanwhile, on the Red Stage, Wild Flag kept doing equipment checks while Flying Lotus was still playing. It was annoying.

Some kid, enjoying Wild Flag’s music.

[5:15 PM] Wild Flag: I’m not that familiar with Wild Flag’s music. But, man, I loved them yesterday.

[5:30 PM] Wild Flag: My friend and co-worker, Stacey, along with her friends and boyfriend, shows up. I’m not by myself anymore. Then, she tells me they don’t like Wild Flag.

I was too far from Sleigh Bells’ stage to get a decent shot. So, I just took pictures of Sun-tanners instead.

[6:30 PM] Sleigh Bells: While not 1 of the 4 bands I wanted to see, I’ve been a fan of Sleigh Bells since day 1 of Treats. But I wasn’t sure if they’re any good live. Last night’s show, changed my mind. They sounded good. They’re set, with stacks of Marshall speakers, looked bad-ass. And Alexis looks sexy as hell.

[7:30 PM] Hot Chip: After getting drunk with my friends, we went over to the Red Stage for some Hot Chip.

Hot Chip. This band made me want to dance.

[7:50 PM] Hot Chip: Honestly, I’ve never heard of this band before. But, wow, they got people dancing. I would’ve been dancing too if I wasn’t sober enough.

[8:10 PM] The End: I wanted to see Goodspeed You! Black Emperor. But, after the fun I had with Hot Chip, I didn’t had it in me to listen to some droning post-rock. Besides I have to drive to my friend’s house that night to babysit her kids for 2 days.

So, that’s my Pitchfork 2012 Saturday Recap. Like I said earlier, I had a good experience, even with the rain. There were some great performances, especially from the bands that I wanted to see, and I got drunk as hell. Also, I’m happy that my new point & shoot camera, a Panasonic DMC-LX5, did great.

Parting shot:

Cloud Nothings’ crowd.

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Festival of Books and Blues

I’ve always wanted to go to Printers Row Lit Fest and the Chicago Blues Fest since migrating here 11 years ago. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to attend to any of them. It’s either that I needed to study for a test, or I’m working on that weekend. But not this year, however. Because I requested a couple of days off for these events, months in advance.

It’s also fortuitous that both events were held on the same weekend. So, I was able to kill two birds with one stone. I also took my camera out with me, and did some photography. I’ve been slaving away at work these past few weeks that I didn’t have time to take pictures, killing my project 366. So, it feels great to be a shutterbug once more.

Printers Row Lit Fest

The Book Fair on Dearborn St.

I never really stayed long at the Lit Fest. I only stayed there for an hour. Mainly because I wanted to go to the Blues Fest. But I did have fun browsing for books, looking for bargains, and listening to writers giving advice and talking about literature. I wasn’t able to do what I set out to do, however. Which is getting my copy of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks signed by Rebecca Skloot.

First edition copies of The Lord of the Rings and The Once and Future King.

I saw a lot of cool books though. By cool, I meant their bindings. There was a huge bible with a nice red leather binding and a gold cross on the cover. It costs $400 though. I also found a the first edition copies of The Lord of the Rings and The Once and Future King, two of my most favorite fantasy books. The copies were mint too. So, I didn’t ask for their prices. Because I know I won’t be able to afford them.

The only book I can afford from the Lit Fest.

I wasn’t able to stock up on books as I’ve planned either. But I really didn’t know what I was looking for. Plus, I only have a $10 budget. The only book that I got was The Daily Book of Photography. It’s a good book for newbie photographers like me. Because you can read it one page a day and learn a new skill or some factoid about photography.

Chicago Blues Festival

The Mississippi Juke Joint stage.

Blues fest was a blast! It was hot as hell, however, and I got sun burnt. So, I left the grounds earlier than I expected. But I still saw a couple of bands, great bands, that I really enjoyed.

Homemade Jamz. These kids know how to play.

His muffler guitar is smoking –literally and figuratively speaking.

The first performer I heard was the sibling band, Homemade Jamz. I was walking into the festival ground and their sweet music, like the pied piper, guided me in. They’re good. They’re pretty young too. The vocalist/guitarist is 20, the bassist just turned 18 the day before, and the girl drummer is only 13.

“The Devil Ain’t Got No Music” –Lurrie Bell

I also saw Lurrie Bell. In all of the fest performers, he’s the only one I’m familiar with. He mostly sings sanctified songs. But I really like them. Plus, he’s a good picker.

Charlie Wilson’s awesome string men.

This old dude is the boss!

Charles Wilson’s band probably had the best sound at yesterday’s fest. He sings good, and his guitarists were really great too. They also had the best rendition of B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone”.

I had an awesome day in the city yesterday. But that was only the primer. I still have Pitchfork Festival and Lollapalooza coming in the next few months.

Parting Shot: Photography in a photograph.

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Thin Air

I love metal. But no matter how much I try, I could never get into doom metal. Hence, for years, I’ve avoided Anathema’s work.

Recently, however, their latest album, Weather Systems, have been getting a lot of good reviews. One reviewer also mentioned that they’re a different band now. So, I checked them out and saw this video of them, which is a stripped-down live performance of the band, playing their song “Thin Air”. It’s really beautiful.

This was not the Anathema that I knew from back in the 90’s, not anymore. They’re a completely different band now, playing what’s sounds to me like Pink Floyd-ish progressive rock instead of doom metal, and I really like it. I guess I’ll have to get their new album and then follow their work after they shifted from doom metal.

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Cleaning My Plate

Sometimes, I love working on Sundays. Just because no one bothers me, and I get to finish what I need to finish earlier than usual. So, today, I had 3 hours of nothing to do. That left me with a lot of time to surf the net, visit and read random blogs, and learn something new. And I did learn something new today. I found out that I have too much things on my plate, and that I might be suffering from adult ADD because of it.

Early this year, I trimmed down my hobbies so I could focus on some. I stopped streaming movies and anime from Netflix, and also minimized the time I put into gaming. But, sometimes, I still feel being overwhelmed by my hobbies. When I’m stuck in a game, I pick up and play my guitar. When I can’t play a hard lick on my guitar, I pick up a book to read. When I get bored with the book, then I go back to gaming. So, I usually end up accomplishing nothing. That’s why I need to clean my plate.

From what I read this morning (I forgot which blog, sorry), when cleaning your plate, you start out by leaving only five things on it. Right now, these are the things that I have on my plate:

  • Music
  • Guitar
  • Photography
  • Gaming
  • Blogging
  • Books
  • Comics
  • Work
  • School (I will go back this Fall)
  • Stalking my exes and crushes on Facebook
  • Porn

If I lick it clean, and prioritize it, it will end up looking like this:

  1. Gaming (will replace with School this coming Fall)
  2. Work
  3. Photography
  4. Music
  5. Blogging

For now, I’m just going to stick with these things. It was hard for me to let some of my hobbies go. Especially the books and comics. I wanted to let go of gaming instead. But, while not that productive, it relieves me of stress better than reading. I will let it go once I start with school though. Because it will be a very unwelcome distraction to my studies.

So, there, my plate is cleaned. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep it this way. Also, If I ever manage to manage the contents of my plate, I’ll probably add one more thing in it and bring reading books back into the fold.