Live: The New Pornographers and Ought – Kalamazoo, MI – August 17, 2017

The last time I saw the New Pornographers live was in 2007 at Chicago’s Metro.   Lead singer Carl Newman commented during the show about a strong thunderstorm happening outside during the gig, and you could hear thunder between songs now and then.  It was a great show, and my wife and got back to our hotel room still buzzing from it.  I noticed I had a voicemail from work, so I listened.  The storm that had rolled through Chicago during the show had become a tornado by the time it reached our hometown.  Nearly every home on the southeast side of town had either been destroyed or damaged.  A factory and a convenience store were wiped off the face of the Earth.  Amazingly, no one was injured.  Our house was fine, but we returned home early the next day to help with the rebuilding and cleaning efforts.

Thankfully, the only thing dire that happened during my second time seeing the New Pornographers was that the brewery in which they played, Bell’s in Kalamazoo, didn’t serve cider, radlers, or even their own root beer.


Unfortunately, I missed nearly all of opening band Ought‘s set.  I walked in during their last song (Thanks, Google Maps, for directions that were fine until the last two steps of the journey.), which sounded like some good shoegaze.  I need to check out their material.

The New Pornographers opening with “Moves.”

The New Pornographers came out sharp and quick with crowd favorites like “High Ticket Attractions,” “The Laws Have Changed,” and “Sing Me Spanish Techno.”  They sounded great.  They haven’t lost anything in ten years.  In fact, the additions of more electro touches from keyboardist Blaine Thurier and keyboardist / co-vocalist Kathryn Calder and violin and vocals from Simi Stone bring the band a new brightness.

Joe Seiders on drums and Simi Stone on violin and co-vocals.
John Collins on bass and Kathryn Calder on keyboards and co-vocals.
L-R: Blaine Thurier on keys, lead guitarist Todd Fancey, and lead vocalist and co-guitarist Carl Newman.

“Whiteout Conditions,” the title track of their new record, sounds even better live, and I was delighted to hear “Dancehall Domine” from Brill Bruisers live for the first time (They nailed it, by the way.).  The show cruised along well until a string broke on John Collins‘ bass and the band had a brief on-stage break while Mr. Collins worked some magic and had his axe swinging again in moments.  They were soon they were back to a fine rendition of “Adventures in Solitude.”

Broken bass string break.

The encore included “Challengers,” “Brill Bruisers,” “The Slow Descent in Alcoholism” (which I found funny considering they were playing in a brewery), and a rousing version of “The Bleeding Heart Show” that had us all cheering.


It was a fun night, and much needed by all.  It’s no secret that depression and the 2016 presidential election fueled much of Newman’s songwriting for Whiteout Conditions, so the crisp sound, fun vibe, and power pop the New Pornographers brought were, for one night at least, an escape from the miasma of news, Tweets, rumors, and anger.

Keep your mind open.


New Pornographers release new video and N. American tour dates into October.




Critically acclaimed supergroup The New Pornographers debut a new video for the track “Whiteout Conditions” from their critically acclaimed album of the same name; watch/share the video at Of the video, director Kevan Funk explains, “I wanted to tell a set of stories featuring characters who could act as conduits to explore that tension, each of them repressing some sort of tormenting emotion (guilt, shame, self-loathing) that they haven’t been able to reconcile internally. The facade of the mall, with its surreal fantasy elements, provided an effective metaphorical backdrop.”

Earlier this summer the band performed the song on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Whiteout Conditions— the first release on the band’s own Collected Works Records imprint in partnership with Concord Records— continues to receive critical praise:

“Pure, blissfully irresistible power pop…the band would be forgiven for receding into legacy-act status at some point. Instead, its catalog just gets more formidable: now seven albums strong, with as little patience for filler as ever.’”
NPR Music

“The New Pornographers’ seventh album is a peppy team effort, rich with new wave synths and closely blended harmonies…this, plus a singularly bright and skipping tempo, creates an almost forcibly energetic mix.” –Pitchfork

“…uplifting three-to-four-minute indie-pop numbers, imbued with lush vocals.” –Rolling Stone

“A.C. Newman and Neko Case don’t miss a beat; Whiteout Conditions provides another dose of power-pop with quirky synth accents from a collective that hasn’t faltered yet this century.” –New York Magazine

“Expect flawless harmonies, precisely arranged power pop, and more Neko Case vocal wizardry than any mere human deserves to hear in one lifetime.” –Cosmopolitan

“A parade of hook-laden songs.”
Whiteout Conditions [is] a characteristically punchy and catchy LP with more than a few jams set to become worthy contenders in the New Pornos’ canon.” –Stereogum

“loud, infectious, and energetic—classic New Pornographers” –Entertainment Weekly

“power-pop phenoms” –Vice Noisey

Whiteout Conditions contains some of The New Pornographers’ most interesting musical ideas.” –The Onion’s A.V. Club

“It is Newman’s steady creative hand and brilliant understanding of pop music’s beating human heart that once again win the day on Whiteout Conditions…a typically neat package that sits comfortably and appropriately in one of rock’s greatest band catalogs. 9 (out of 10)” – Magnet

“More than ever before, the Pornos feel like a legitimate band rather than an all-star union.” –Relix

“Finest yet from Carl Newman, Neko Case et al. 4 stars (out of 5)” –MoJo

Whiteout Conditions made its Billboard debut at #2 on the Alternative Albums Chart, #13 on the Current Album Chart and #35 on the Top 200. Additionally, the album hit #6 on Billboard’s AAA Radio Chart. The band’s world tour in support of the new album continues this summer and fall, including shows with Born Ruffians in select cities. Tickets for all headlining U.S. shows include a free download of the new album; see below for a list of dates.

Of writing the new record, founder and frontman A.C. Newman notes that, “At the beginning of this record, there was some thinking that we wanted it to be like a Krautrock Fifth Dimension. Of course, our mutated idea of what Krautrock is probably doesn’t sound like Krautrock at all. But we were thinking: Let’s try and rock in a different way.” Newman recently discussed the new record and the band’s 18-year career in a pair of Salon Talks here, here and here.

Since their debut in 2000, The New Pornographers have released six studio albums including their most recent, Brill Bruisers, hailed as an “exuberant, synthpop-infused set” by Rolling Stone, “infectious” by Harper’s Bazaar and “the grand and purposeful hookfest that you would hope these guys would come back with” by Stereogum. Pitchfork went on to note that “with the futurist sound of Brill Bruisers, the whole band embraces a more electric version of itself—bulked-up in chrome-plated armor, firing on all cylinders, and ready to steamroll anything in its path.” The band celebrated the release with a special NPR Music “First Listen Live” concert at the legendary Brill Building, and performed songs from the album on both “Conan” and the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

For more information, please contact Joe Cohen, Krista Williams or Carla Sacks at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000.

1. Play Money
2. Whiteout Conditions
3. High Ticket Attractions
4. This is the World of the Theater
5. Darling Shade
6. Second Sleep
7. Colosseums
8. We’ve Been Here Before
9. Juke
10. Clockwise
11. Avalanche Alley

†with Born Ruffians

August 17 /// Kalamazoo, MI /// Bell’s Beer Garden
August 18 /// Madison, WI /// Majestic Theater
August 19 /// Omaha, NE /// MAHA Music Festival
August 25 /// Mexico City, MX /// Pabellon Cuervo
September 23 /// Cincinnati, OH /// Midpoint Music Festival
September 28 /// Victoria, BC /// Sugar Nightclub†
September 29 /// Vancouver, BC /// Commodore Ballroom†
September 30 /// Kelowna, BC /// Kelowna Community Theatre†
October 1 /// Nelson, BC /// Spiritbar at the Hume Hotel†
October 2 /// Calgary, AB /// MacEwan Hall†
October 4 /// Edmonton, AB /// Winspear Centre†
October 5 /// Saskatoon, SK /// O’Brians Event Centre†
October 6 /// Regina, SK /// The Exchange†
October 7 /// Winnipeg, MB /// Burton Cummings Theatre†
October 9 /// Detroit, MI /// Crofoot Ballroom†
October 10 /// Cleveland, OH /// Beachland Ballroom
October 11 /// London, ON /// London Music Hall†
October 12 /// Ottawa, ON /// Bronson Centre Theatre†
October 13 /// Montreal, QC /// Corona Theatre†
October 14 /// Toronto, ON /// Massey Hall†

Keep your mind open.

Elephant Stone announces Europe and North America tour dates.

Elephant Stone have been on tour for seemingly all of 2017, and now they’ve added more tour dates throughout Europe and North America that go into the winter.  They’re playing gigs with the likes of the Black Angels, A Place to Bury Strangers, and the Dream Syndicate.  Any of these shows would be well worth your time and money.  Here are the dates:

8/11 Quebec City, QC @ Le Cercle TICKETS | FB EVENT

8/12 Gaspe, QC @ Festival du Musique au Bout du Monde TICKETS | FB EVENT
8/13 Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, QC @ Sea Shack TICKETS | FB EVENT
9/1 Rouyn Noranda, QC @ Petit Theatre de Rouyn Noranda TICKETS | FB EVENT ^
9/7 Berlin, DE @ Bassy TICKETS | FB EVENT *
9/8 Cologne, DE @ Gebäude 9 TICKETS | FB EVENT *
9/9 Hamburg, DE @ Molotow TICKETS | FB EVENT *
9/12 Malmo, SWE @ Plan B FB EVENT
9/13 Copenhagen, DK @ Pumpehuset TICKETS | FB EVENT #
9/16 Angers, FR @ Theatre le Quai TICKETS | FB EVENT ~
9/18 Le Havre, FR @ McDaid’s Live FB EVENT
9/19 Leiden, NL @ Gebroeders Nobel TICKETS
9/20 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso TICKETS | FB EVENT @
9/22 London, UK @ O2 Forum TICKETS | FB EVENT #
9/23 Liverpool, UK @ Baltic Triangle TICKETS | FB EVENT &
9/27 Theossaliniki, GR @ Rover Bar 
9/28 Arta, GR @ Miles Bar 
9/29 Athens, GR @ Death Disco FB EVENT
12/3 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups TICKETS  +
12/4 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall TICKETS  +
12/5 Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line TICKETS  +
12/6 St Louis, MO @ Off Broadway TICKETS +
12/7 Nashville, TN @ High Watt TICKETS +
12/8 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl TICKETS  +
12/9 Raleigh, NC @ Stag’s Head Music Hall TICKETS +
12/10 Richmond VA @ Capital Ale House TICKETS  +
^ w/ A Place to Bury Strangers
# w/ The Black Angels and A Place to Bury Strangers
@ Indiestadt Festival w/ The Black Angels,A Place to Bury Strangers, Beach Fossils
& Liverpool Psych Fest with sets by Elephant Stone and Acid House Ragas
+ w/ The Dream Syndicate

Rewind Review: Ty Segall – Live in San Francisco (2015)

Ty Segall is so prolific that I’m surprised it took him until 2015 to release a live album. He seems to put out a new record every month, so it feels like he should have three live albums by now.

The psych-fuzz whiz kid opens his live set with, oddly enough, “Wave Goodbye.” It starts out with low bass and then kicks into squealing high gear that has the small crowd cheering in joy. It sounds like something Tom Petty wishes he could release on his new record, but fears it would alienate his long-time fans. “Slaughterhouse” (from the album of the same name) is pure freak-out punk rock with a little Nirvana vocals sprinkled on top for good measure. “Death” mixes stoner rock with punk so fast it might give your ears friction burns. It’s one of the best cuts on the record.

“I Bought My Eyes” is one of Segall’s biggest hits, and he lets it rip on this live album. The guitars seem to come at you from all sides while Segall’s vocals are somehow gentle in the din. “Feel” borders on arena rock territory at first, but the sleeveless denim jacket riffs cut it off at the front door (which is a good thing).

“The Hill” follows the band’s friend, Julie, telling a joke, and next up is “Thank God for the Sinners,” which sounds like something Buzzcocks cooked up at their second jam session. Segall claims “Standing at the Station” “is about the cow trade.” I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that it’s a swaggering, wild blues-influenced tidal wave coming out of your speakers.

The album ends with another of Segall’s hits – “What’s Inside Your Heart.” I’m sure the fans at this gig told him how their hearts were full of palpitations from being shaken by so much rock. It’s a strong ending to a strong record.

I know this entire review has essentially been me saying this record is non-stop blaring madness, but that’s the best way I describe it. You’ll understand once you hear it. Ty Segall is making crazy records, and we should all be grateful to him for doing it. The world needs more live records, and live performers, like this.

Keep your mind open.

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The Damned announce UK winter tour dates.

British punk legends the Damned have announced winter tour dates for the United Kingdom.  They put on a great live show, and catching them in their homeland would be outstanding.  Tickets are on sale now for the Evil Spirits tour, so don’t wait to snag some if you’re in the UK or planning a trip there this winter.

Keep your mind open.

Desert Daze 2017 announces a great lineup.

The 2017 Desert Daze music festival in Joshua Tree, California is boasting one of the best festival lineups of 2017.  This four-day festival of psychedelic and stoner rock is well worth the trip if you don’t live close to the west coast.

Just some of the stand-outs in my book are Eagles of Death Metal, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, the Thurston Moore Group, Liars, Boris, Allah-Las, La Femme, the Budos Band, Deap Vally, Holy Wave, Froth, L.A. Witch, Death Valley Girls, Jjuujjuu, and Dahga Bloom.

Get your tickets now.  I’d be there if I could, but I’ll probably have used up most of my vacation time by the time October 12th arrives.

Keep your mind open.

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2017: Day Three recap

Day three of the Pitchfork Music Festival started out a bit chilly as the Windy City was living up to its nickname, but we soon got our sweaty groove on thanks to a great set by Chicago house music legend and pioneer Derrick Carter.

Derrick Carter dropping beats like an Olympic power lifter dropping a barbell.

For those of you who weren’t dancing during his set, please see a doctor because something is wrong with you.  He put on a house music clinic.  It was a great way to start the day.

We also heard a bit of Colin Stetson‘s set.  He plays this wild, droning, hypnotizing saxophone music that is difficult to describe but quite mesmerizing.  We had plenty of time before Ride‘s set, so we met up with my college pal and his husband again before heading off to do a little shopping and eating.

Ride put on a good set of shoegaze that was a great switch from all the hip hop, electro, and funk we heard during the festival.  Unfortunately, they had a shortened set due to some early technical difficulties, but they played new and old material and blasted all of us with the final song of their set.  It was a loud, distorted, fuzzed-out assault.  “I needed that,” said one man next to me by the time they were done.

Ride melting faces in a killer finale.

Ride did a signing at the record fair afterwards, and I scored a signed copy of their newest album, Weather Diaries (review coming soon).  They were happy to meet everybody, and I’m happy to report they had a long line of fans there.

Mandy caught Jamilla Woods‘ set, which she enjoyed very much, after she’d been moved from the Blue Stage to the Green Stage due to the Avalanches cancelling their performance.  According to their Twitter feed, a family member one of the band members had some sort of dire medical emergency.  My college pal came to the festival mainly to see them, so he was more than annoyed they weren’t playing.  He and his husband learned via a Google search that the Avalanches are about as finicky as Morrissey when it comes to performing.

Thankfully, Nicolas Jaar put on an excellent set of his experimental electro / trance music that was both psychedelic and dance-inspiring at the same time.  At about the halfway point of his set, a guy in front of me turned to his friends and said, “This is the best set I’ve seen all weekend.” and then left.

Chilean DJ Nicolas Jaar creating intricate beats on the fly.

We split after that, beating the crowds and stopping to meet artist Jay Ryan so we could get one of his posters.  He does really neat and cute art for a lot of bands and other projects.  We already had a Bob Mould tour poster of his hanging in our living room, and now Mandy has a “It’s Time to Read” poster that will go in her office featuring bears, cats, and a wooly mammoth reading books.

I walked out with a new pair of sunglasses and CD’s by Screaming FemalesVacation, Waxahatchee, Tycho, Priests, Slowdive, She-Devils, Ride, and Wavves, and even a cassette by a band called Diagonal.  I’ll have reviews of all this stuff in the coming months.

All in all, the Pitchfork Music Festival was a good time.  We’d go back if the lineup was good and we could stay close to the festival.  As it’s been for the last few festivals I’ve attended, VIP tickets don’t look worth the money.  It’s not as laid back as a Levitation festival, but still fun.  It also could’ve used a little more rock, in my opinion, but it was worth the trip.

Keep your mind open.

That’s my pal, Chris, on the far right and his husband, Darin, on the far left. Chris and I hadn’t seen each other since 1993.

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2017: Day Two recap

We were happy to learn that the folks at Pitchfork Music Festival decided to open a second entrance on the east side of Union Park.  This saved us from having to walk around the park to get into the lone entrance (unless you were a VIP), and saved probably thousands of people from waiting in another long line at the start of the day.

The new entrance, located at Ogden and Washington, sent us straight into the poster and print exhibition.

Posters and prints everywhere!

We immediately noticed it was far busier than the previous day.  The weather was better, too.  It was sunny and just a tad humid, whereas it had been mostly cloudy on Day One.  The new entrance also put us near the craft and record fairs.

Clothes, jewelry, sunglasses, hats, one-hitters.
It’s a bunch of wrecka stows under one roof!

I’m curious to see how much prices drop on Day Three, as I’m sure all of the vendors would like to pack up as little as possible.

As for the music, we started off the day with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic.  We managed to find a college housemate of mine in the crowd.  I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years, and it was fun to jam with him, his husband, and Mandy while Mr. Clinton and crew went nuts.  I was surprised when they ended their set with some trap music.  I expected more funk.  As my friend said, “They need to have about fifteen more people on stage.”  The group did include a foxy lady whose job was to stand next to the drummer and look sexy.  She succeeded on all counts.

Mr. Clinton is in the striped shirt. The foxiest go-go dancer / back-up singer I’ve seen in a long while is to his right. MEOW!

We had plenty of time until the next set we wanted to see, so we headed to the food vendors for drinks and snacks.  The festival organizers made another smart decision by not checking I.D.’s at the entrance gates (like they’d done on Day One, creating an even longer wait time to get into the park), but instead checking them by the tents where you bought drink tickets.  One extremely dry cider and two teriyaki chicken buns later, we were off to see Madlib.

Madlib not caring if you expected more bass or trance beats. He’ll play what he wants, and we’re all better for it.

Madlib gave a master’s course in mixing and spinning.  He played a lot of tracks features different rappers he’s collaborated with in the past such as J Dilla and MF DOOM.  I geeked out when part of his visual display showed clips of the psychedelic movie Phase IV.

I caught part of  S U R V I V E‘s set, which was a neat blend of dark wave and film score music.  I saw more than a few kids at their set and figured they were probably jazzed to see the guys who made the Stranger Things score.  One man was tripping hard during their set and dancing like he was having a religious experience.  More power to him.

S U R V I V E gets bonus points for one of their members (far left) wearing a Goblin shirt.

We couldn’t get even halfway to the stage for A Tribe Called Quest.  The crowd for them was massive, and having P.J. Harvey on a nearby stage before their set only added to the number of people on the main lawn of the park.

A photo of a video screen. Mandy and I are somewhere in the back right of that crowd.

Nevertheless, we had a blast during ATCQ’s set.  They ripped through classic and new tracks, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad is still one of the best DJs in the business.

Representin’ Linden Boulevard.

The crowd around us was a bit low key, for reasons unknown to us.  One woman was wandering around asking random strangers if they had any weed to share.  A drunk man danced with Mandy and mumbled nonsense before learning I was with her and then freaking out a bit when he saw me.  I patted him on the shoulder and told him not to worry.

One of the best, and most bittersweet, parts of ATCQ’s set was the unmanned microphone on stage for Phife Dawg, who died last year from diabetes.  They still played his vocals, and even an a cappella version of one track that had the stage dark and only Phife’s vocals carrying across the lawn.  The band was big on “Dis Generation” and “Award Tour,” which they restarted twice.

It’s an award tour so far.

It was a fun way to end the day, but getting out was another story.  Pitchfork has VIP entrances and exits, but they don’t open these exits to everyone at the end of the day.  As a result, hundreds (at least) of us who figured we could get out through the east VIP exit were sent back through the record fair tents to the entrance and exit gate for the plebeians.  This gate still had a folding chair, a box, and some cattle gates across it that should’ve been moved before thousands of people started to leave.

Day Three will involve Derrick Carter, Ride, the Avalanchesand Nicolas Jaar.  Wish us luck.

Keep your mind open.

Pitchfork 2017 Day Two is in the bank.

Jane’s Addiction to release live version of “Ritual De Lo Habitual” this August.

Alt-rock legends Jane’s Addiction recently announced they’ll release a live version of their classic album Ritual De Lo Habitual on August 25, 2017.  This was recorded on their 2016 tour and features all the original members of the band.  They play the album in its entirety and include four encore tracks (“Mountain Song,” “Just Because,” “Ted, Just Admit It,” and, of course, “Jane Says”).

The album will be available for download (for a mere nine bucks) and on red or blue vinyl.  Get it while it’s hot.

Keep your mind open.

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2017: Day One recap

I must admit that the Pitchfork Music Festival crams a lot of stuff into a small park.  I’m used to larger spaces like Levitation Austin, but Pitchfork gets a lot of bang for its buck at Chicago’s Union Park.

Speaking of cramming, the lines to get in were long, but moved well when my wife and I got to the festival close to 2:00.  By the end of the day, we were hearing stories of the line to get in wrapping around the block and going the whole length of the park.  One friend posted on Facebook that it was almost as bad as getting into the massive Star Wars Celebration convention.

Once inside, I was surprised to see how close two of the stages are to each other.  The Red and Green Stages are almost a stone’s throw apart.  Mandy and I wondered how noisy it was going to be with the bands playing on each stage, but the Pitchfork programmers wisely schedule the bands so that none are playing on the Red and Green stages at the same time.

We missed Madame Gandhi‘s set, unfortunately, but arrived in time to see Priests.


They played a set that proved post-punk is alive and well and had a fun time.  I later picked up their first record at a record fair located on the park’s tennis courts.  We had plenty of time to wander after their set and that’s when we discovered not only the record fair, but also a print and poster fair, a book fair, a craft fair, and plenty of food vendors.  I walked out of the record fair with not only that CD by Priest, but also CD’s by Waxahatchee, Screaming Females, and Vacation.  I might go back for a Chicago Cubs World Series Champions poster and a cute one of animals reading books.

We wandered to the Red Stage to catch the Thurston Moore Group, who put down a loud punk / noise rock set with hammering guitar solos and thunderous bass.  Moore told a funny story about Henry Rollins’ too during the set, so that was a treat.

Thurston Moore Group

We went straight back to the Green Stage to catch Danny Brown, who came out to Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.”  He quickly got the crowd jumping with his crazy rhymes and booming beats.  Water and water bottles were flying in every direction from a mosh pit that broke out in front of the stage.  There was a lot of call and response stuff between Brown and the crowd, who I’m happy to say looked sharp and healthy (check out his lyrics if you’re wondering why I was concerned).

We stayed in our spot for about an hour to wait for LCD Soundsystem, who got a big cheer just from raising the biggest mirror ball I’ve ever seen above their set.

The crowd kept building as their 8:10 start time grew closer.  It was so packed at one point that I had difficulty raising my arms to get this photo.

I’m glad I’m not claustrophobic. That’s the Red Stage behind us, and this is just half the crowd for LCD Soundsystem. Mandy’s checking her phone to my left.

LCD Soundsystem started their set ten minutes early, bringing seemingly enough people for an Earth, Wind, and Fire tribute band with them.  They burst out of the gate hard and fast, and the crowd seemed to release energy it had been storing all day.  Their big hit “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” was the second song of the set, so they didn’t waste time.

How it looks when Daft Punk is playing at your house.

A mosh pit broke out next to us at one point, and this aging punk rocker had to get into it and show these young hipsters how its done.  Other highlights included “Trials and Tribulations,” a lovely and loud version of “New York I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down,” and “You Wanted a Hit.”

LCD Soundsystem won’t be your babies anymore.

I warned Mandy as they started “Dance Yrself Clean.”  “This whole place is going to go ape shit,” I said.  She had no idea what I meant and thought the entire crowd was going to break into a mosh pit.  She was pleasantly surprised when instead we all pogoed when the song kicks into full gear.  It’s as great as you can imagine.

Dancing ourselves clean with LCD Soundsystem.

They closed with a wild rendition of “All My Friends.”  It was well worth the waits (the hour before their set, and a few years since they called it quits) to see them.  I had been bummed that I missed them when they were first on the scene, so their set at Pitchfork was my main reason for buying weekend passes.  They didn’t disappoint, and lead singer James Murphy performed with a bad back and keyboardist Nancy Wong with a bum knee – although neither showed much signs of impairment (Murphy stretched at one point, and Wong would sometimes take his arm to walk from one spot on stage to another).

This is how you end a set. Stay home if you can’t bring this kind of energy.

Getting out of the festival was a big harder than getting in since the main entrance and exit isn’t huge.  We plan to look for a VIP exit tonight.  On the way out, a young man behind said to his friends, “Mosh pits were fun when I was a sophomore three years ago.  Now, I’m not so sure.”  The old punk rocker in me wanted to give him a backwards elbow shot to the face and say, “I’m getting into pits at twice your age!”

On the list today is George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Madlib, P.J. Harvey, S U R V I V E, and A Tribe Called Quest.  We also plan to meet up with some old friends we haven’t seen in a while (one in decades), so it should be a good time.

Keep your mind open.