The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne has a ball at the Pitchfork Music Festival; Sun-Times photo by Oscar Lopez
We're still recuperating from the long weekend of music, but here are a few highlights from Day 3:
Pharoahe Monch's set was a refreshing way to kick off Sunday (yes, a late start, but who can pass up brunch at Victory's Banner?). The super-talented MC brought some good energy with a soulful set featuring two backup singers, who made the hooks from Monch's last album, "Desire," come alive. Particularly resonant were "Push" and "Desire," and, of course, encore track "Simon Says" (Monch's 1999 hit). If you weren't pumped up for a day of music after his expletive-laden exhortations, well, you needed to drink more Sparks.
DJ/rupture (aka Jace Clayton) made for a good followup act, with a range of good beats from around the world. While his studied eclecticism was fun, it was the more familiar stuff that hit the hardest, especially a ridiculous remix of Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya." The five-year-old in the NWA shirt next to us seemed to really dig that one.
France's M83 brought the '80s pop as advertised, but we were as interested in the sights as much as the sounds (especially since we had a tough time hearing the vocals). Morgan Kibby caught our eye with a shimmery blue outfit and what looked to be a painted-on Ninja Turtles-style eyeband.
As for the much-anticipated Flaming Lips performance -- the setup for which began early in the morning on the Aluminum stage -- all we can say is that the Oklahoma City band comes as advertised. Within the first few minutes (after a couple of false starts), we'd seen the band members arrive on stage through a pulsating, electronic birth canal; watched lead singer Wayne Coyne venture into the audience in his giant plastic ball; and received a bounty of beach balls and confetti. That was before the music really kicked in; the set (which purported to count down the included a number of obscurities (the first dedicated to Jim DeRogatis, who literally wrote the book on these guys back in the '90s) as well as more well-known songs like "She Don't Use Jelly," "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" and the closer, "Do You Realize??" The band milked each for all they were worth, stopping the songs for applause only to start them right back up again. Coyne was his talkative self throughout, expounding upon everything from the band's long relationship with Chicago, to the fabulous food at Pitchfork, which he called the coolest fest "of this summer." We don't think he was just talking about the weather.
More Pitchfork wrap-ups from local media:
Time Out Chicago offers thoughts on Blitzen Trapper, Michael Columbia, Killer Whales, Vivian Girls, DJ/rupture, Women and more.
Chicago Public Radio closed its blog coverage with a video featuring Wayne Coyne, among other things.
Windy Citizen digs into Pitchfork's food options.
Stay tuned for more lingering thoughts...