More than many of Pitchfork’s other acts, there’s an important costuming element to Cold Cave’s shtick. Their goth posturing benefitted greatly from the black leather jackets and black pants the crew wore for their Saturday afternoon show. It was nearly 90 degrees out, but we all know that the perpetually bummed can’t feel heat. Cold Cave did their pounding 80s synth-dirge thing for a good 45 minutes. If you’re into feeling bad with bass pressing into your guts, you’d have loved it.
Gang Gang Dance
As a clever tweet put it, Gang Gang Dance was the only act at Pitchfork that had a professional incense man. The trance version of a weed carrier, the dancing incense man did what, exactly? Not sure, but he looked great doing it, brandishing a flag made out of what must’ve been trash. Even outdoors, the NY-based electro outfit laid the rhythms down so loud that your brain shut down from the repetition. Locked into a groove, you stop thinking. Try it sometime; it might become your new music drug of choice.
Ariel Pink heralded the return of yacht rock; Dan Bejar’s Destroyer project sailed the rest of the way, smooth jazz sax in hand. His new album Kaputt is a difficult thing. It’s not a parody, but it’s too weary to be a carefree celebration of the Steely Dan sound. Like Bejar himself, who has a kind of negative charisma on stage, the album, with its cloying flute ‘n sax arrangements and hyper-literary lyrics, is too dense with neuroses to be easily classified. Those looking to unlock the album would have found no such key during his Pitchfork performance. Clad in all white and alternating between Heinie (the only supplier of booze on site) and a plastic bottle of what was probably whiskey, Bejar felt out of the audience’s reach, just like the music.
They’re so inoffensive you might take offense, but you might just want to sing along to the pretty vocal arrangements while you imagine hiking through the Pacific Northwest. Of course, the next day, you’ll just end up strolling through your farmer’s market, but Fleet Foxes music posits that their might not be a real difference.