Entries tagged with: Pitchfork Paris
by Johnny Zachman
Caribou and balloons (via Jonathan Dadoun)
My night began with Movement, a downtempo three-piece band from Sydney, Australia. Their set was dark and atmospheric, showcasing lead vocalist Lewis Wade's strong and emotive vocals. I've had the band's self-titled EP on heavy rotation, and the show left no doubt in my mind that they can totally pull it off live. My favorite point in the set came when keyboardist / percussionist Sean Walker stepped out from behind his rig to deliver a phenomenally passionate guitar solo on the EP's second track, "Ivory."
Foxygen performed next, playing songs from this year's ... And Star Power plus some older favorites such as "Shuggie" and "On Blue Mountain." I'm not quite sure what the baseline level of chaos for Sam France performances is anymore, but I would say this is probably right around normal. His long blonde hair, red lipstick, and skinny shirtless look felt very Iggy - and while he didn't draw blood or injure himself, he did manage to jump, fall, twist and kick all around the stage (and into the crowd) - throwing the microphone, laying down, jumping on Jonathan Rado and singing about half of the lyrics. It was incredibly entertaining. However, the most improved element of this Foxygen performance was the addition of three female singers who cover (in excellent harmony) all of the vocals that actually have to be sung - allowing Sam to really do whatever he wants and have it all still work.
Jose Gonzalez performed next on the main stage, kicking off the show with a series of a half-dozen solo selections, including show opener "Crosses" and the much-beloved cover of The Knife's "Heartbeats." Both Gonzalez's vocal and guitar playing were in top form, and I was impressed by the crowd's patience throughout the show: I saw a lot of closed eyes and did not hear much talking. Halfway through his set, Gonzalez was joined by a percussionist and keyboardist, both of whom provided gentle accompaniments and occasional background vocals. The second half of the show showcased a run of patient, tasteful performances which included a few songs from Gonzalez's other project, Junip, as well as "Cycling Trivialities" and "Teardrop" from his 2007 album, In Our Nature. This set was just a few days after he announced In Our Nature's followup, Vestiges & Claws, due 2/17 via Mute.
Up next on the main stage was Dan Snaith's project Caribou, performing songs from their excellent new album Our Love. Touring drummer Brad Weber led the group through a series of Abelton-based live sequences that mapped the synth and electronic drum sounds through constant evolutions during the set. A smiling Snaith handled vocal, synth, and secondary drum responsibilities - while guitarist Ryan Smith and bassist John Schmersal provided backing vocals and filled out the rest of the sound.
Their set opened with "Our Love" and included most of the songs from the album, plus a few highlights from Swim, including the haunting "Jamelia" (sung by Schmersal), "Bowls," "Odessa," and the show-closing "Sun." As on the album, Jessy Lanza (who performed earlier in the day) lent her voice to "Second Chance" - and "Mars," "Back Home," "All I Ever Need" and "Your Love Will Set You Free" were all performed.
The highlight of the show came when lead single / Johnny Zachman song of the year nominee "Can't Do Without You" was performed near the conclusion of the set. As with every other song in the set, this was performed with masterful precision: the samples and synths were mixed with careful attention to maximize the ear candy potential of the massive sound system - and the sonic spectrum was left open enough for there to be plenty of moments throughout the set when a synth suddenly became so much louder. The energy in the audience throughout the whole show was tremendous - and as "Can't Do Without You" reached its climax, a mass of balloons was released from the ceiling of the venue, sending the crowd even further into joyful frenzy and capping off an incredible weekend in Paris.
Four Tet, Jamie xx and Kaytranada closed out the night with performances scheduled all the way until 6 AM. Were you there too? Did you make it all the way?
Meanwhile, Caribou's tour with Jessy Lanza heads to NYC for performances at Webster Hall on November 12 and 14 (both sold out).
by Johnny Zachman
Belle & Sebastian at Pitchfork Paris on Friday - 10/31/14
Perfect Pussy began the second day of the festival, but I showed up a little later and my night started with Australian songwriter D.D Dumbo, a one man act. Dumbo used a Danelectro 12-string guitar, an octave pedal, drums, pan flute and recorder to generate an entirely loop-based sound. I thought that Dumbo was an incredibly proficient looper, but sometimes the layers were so thick that it became difficult to follow the songs.
Up next was Son Lux, the project of New York City's baroque experimental songwriter Ryan Lott. On stage, Lott (playing keyboards and vocals) was joined by drummer Ian Chang (also of Brazos) and avant-jazz guitarist Rafiq Bhatia, a highly impressive trio. The song's arrangements left room for Bhatia's improvisations to shine, and the guitarist responded with an arresting series of sounds, combining distortion, panning and tremolo to send his guitar soaring around the room through a series of seemingly broken speakers. Chang drummed with mechanic deliberation and Lott added layers of effects on his vocals to match the grand nature of his soundscapes.
Future Islands came out dressed in Halloween costumes, which included lead singer Sam Herring in vampire makeup (which he quickly sweat off after the first few songs). It's no secret that Herring is an incredibly engaging performer, and last night he danced all over the stage with remarkable fluidity, bending his knees in ways I never thought possible, jumping into the photo pit to sing with the crowd, and injecting his delivery with more than a little of the theatrical. The band nailed a variety of high-energy selections from their 4AD debut Singles, including "Seasons," which has apparently just been dubbed a "miracle" by Bono.
Danish singer-songwriter MO kept the energy high, performing her style of synth-heavy electronic pop backed by a drummer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, and complemented with a series of projections. If last night was the post-rock and ambient night, then tonight was the pop night, and I thought that the upbeat hook-heavy run from Future Islands all the way through Belle & Sebastian gave the night a great energy.
CHVRCHES brought out the most extensive lighting set up of the festival thus far, complementing their arena-ready songs with equally commanding visuals. Lauren Mayberry's voice was spot-on - the best I've heard it thus far - and the band performed many of the highlights from their full-length, including "Recover," "The Mother We Share," "We Sink" and "Gun."
St. VIncent was next. It's been such a pleasure to watch St. Vincent's live show evolve into the aggressive, fully realized animal that it is now. A set that started with "Rattlesnake" only grew in intensity throughout, with the guitars and synths especially screaming on new songs like "Huey Newton" and "Bring Me Your Loves." It's inspiring to witness the variety of textures that Annie Clark can pull out of her guitar - it felt like a jet airplane, a synthesizer, a vacuum cleaner and a theremin at various points in the night - and it helped propel the band through an incredibly engaging set, closing out with an updated version of "Your Lips Are Red" from Marry Me.
And what a treat it was to see Belle & Sebastian! Stuart Murdoch and company brought out a four-piece string section to complement their already intricate arrangements, and there could be no complaints about the setlist: The show opened with the rocking "You're Just A Baby" and included magnificent takes on "Fox In the Snow," "Like Dylan In The Movies," The Boy With The Arab Strap" and "Sleep The Clock Around." Murdoch was in excellent form and as charming as ever, attempting his best French, pulling out some Sam Herring-esque dance moves, inviting fans to come dance on stage, and (most importantly) delivering his gorgeous vocal with delightful ease. The band received what appeared to be a true encore from the loudest crowd of the night, ending on the ever-so-appropriate "Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying."
The festival continues tonight with tUnE-yArDs, Caribou, Four Tet, Jamie xx, Foxygen and much more. If you're not there, you can stream it live HERE. Archived videos of previous sets at that link too.
A few more pictures from Friday (including one of Belle & Sebastian's setlist) below...
by Johnny Zachman
Pitchfork Paris began yesterday (10/30) in the Grande Halle de la Villette, a slaughterhouse-turned-cultural center in the city's 19th arrondissement. The festival featured two stages at opposite ends of the venue, with acts performing in immediate succession on alternate sides of the room.
Montreal's four-piece art-punk band Ought kicked off the night, injecting the already sizable crowd with good energy off the bat. Lead singer Tim Beeler channeled David Byrne, David Bowie, and most especially Jonathan Richman in his performance - which was spoken almost as often as it was sung - and the band's combination of keyboardist Matt May on Nord Electro 3 and the rhythm section's tight, dynamic and often repetitive grooves made for a refreshing take on punk.
How To Dress Well performed next, also as a four-piece. "It's nice to be back in the barn" remarked singer and songwriter Tom Krell, before saying hello to his mentor Beck, who was watching the show via live stream. The band performed many of the highlights from this year's excellent album "What Is This Heart?" while a series of muted, abstract visuals were projected behind them. I was impressed by the band's ability to recreate the album's sounds in a live atmosphere. On stage, Krell performed with two microphones - one dry and the other soaked in full reverb - between which he would modulate throughout the show, sometimes mid-phrase. Krell was backed by a drummer and two multi-instrumentalists covering violin, maracas, guitar, vocals and keys. Krell gave props to Ought for their excellent performance and also expressed his excitement to see The War On Drugs later in the night, who are his current favorite band.
The Notwist brought a packed stage including two xylophone players to the party. Compared with other times I had seen the band, I was impressed by how quickly they moved away from their songs and into heavier psychedelic territory, executing multiple movements of noise-based chaos that each felt earned and not excessive. Markus Acher's relaxed voice contrasted nicely with the more dissonant, anticipatory mood of the music, and the festival's extensive lighting rigs played especially well into The Notwist's swirling experimental soundscapes.
The War on Drugs
The War On Drugs performed "Burning," "Eyes To The Wind," "An Ocean In Between The Waves," "Under The Pressure," "In Reverse" and "Red Eyes" to the most palpably energetic crowd of the night. The band was as tight as the last time I saw them (in June at Williamsburg Park), and I was happy to see so many young Frenchmen jumping up and down to Adam Granduciel's guitar solos and singing along to the "Woo!"s from the album. Even within the 45 minute format, the band still took their time with the instrumental sections, extending multiple guitar solos well beyond the album's length, including an exceptional version of "Red Eyes" to end the set.
Mogwai's performance began with remarkable force. The Glasgow natives played to the biggest crowd of the night, sending their dynamic waves of emotional post-rock slamming down on the audience's ears. The band played with excellent restraint: quiet instrumental passages were pursued for minutes at a time; louder peaks were continued well past their originally-perceived climax. I was surprised by how much louder Mogwai's set felt than everyone else's - not in amplitude but in thickness. The band had a confidence in them that flowed into their music, setting a dark, almost terrifying mood within the room.
Jon Hopkins carried the mood from dark to hypnotic, delivering his tastefully emotional electronic compositions along with projections whose concepts included an alternating series of solid colors and the "Collider" music video. Hopkins was very active within his setup - which added to the energy of the performance - and a constant stream of red lights flashed around the room to enhance the ambience. The crowd reacted well to Hopkins' cinematic soundscapes, with relatively subtle shifts in the music drawing various cheers.
James Blake closed the night with performances of "Retrograde," "The Wilhem Scream," "Limit To Your Love," and an arresting show-closing rendition of the entirely loop-based "Measurements." Blake's voice was in stellar form, modulating between multiple octaves and singing over his loops with remarkable ease. I'm always impressed by how much Blake adapts his sets to fit the mood of the room, and last night's late show was rightfully less song-based and more reliant on the ambient, with a healthy dose of songs (including one new one) mixed in.
It was an excellent first day for Pitchfork Paris. The sound was spot-on for all of the artists, and I especially enjoy festivals when only one artist performs at a given time so that there is no sound bleed between stages.
Belle & Sebastian, St. Vincent and more play today's portion of the festival, and we'll be back with coverage of that too. If you're not at the fest, stream it live HERE. Today's stream begins at 1:30 PM EST with Perfect Pussy.
A few more pictures from yesterday below...
Pitchfork Paris begins today (10/30) and as discussed, select sets will be streaming live. The streaming schedule has now been revealed and includes sets from Belle and Sebastian, St. Vincent, Future Islands, Mogwai, Four Tet, Caribou, tUnE-yArDs, Foxygen, Perfect Pussy and more.
Check out the full schedule and stream the fest in the video player below. The streams begin today at 1:30 PM EDT.
Belle & Sebastian at Pitchfork Chicago 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Pitchfork Paris begins this Thursday (10/30) and continues through Saturday (11/1), but if you won't be in Paris for it you can still stream many of its sets from the comfort of your own home. (Buy some croissants and it will be just like you were there!) You can watch sets from Belle and Sebastian, St. Vincent, Mogwai, Four Tet, Future Islands, tUnE-yArDs, Foxygen, the Notwist, Ought, Son Lux, Perfect Pussy, Jungle, D.D Dumbo, Kwamie Liv and possibly more TBA, in the video player below.
Stay tuned for Thursday, meanwhile check out the fest's schedule and a teaser video below...
XL-signed Montreal producer, AlunaGeorge remixer and Vic Mensa collaborator Kaytranada has expanded his previously announced tour. The tour was already scheduled to hit NYC on October 9 at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and he's now added another NYC show happening a day earlier (10/8) at Bowery Ballroom. It's also been announced that Benji B and Obey City will open both shows. Tickets for the newly-added date go on sale Friday (9/5) at noon with an AmEx presale starting today (9/3) at noon. Tickets for the MHOW show (same link) are still available.
Kaytranada was also recently added to Pitchfork Paris which also includes Belle & Sebastian, Caribou, James Blake, Mogwai, Jamie xx, Four Tet, St. Vincent and more.
Updated dates are listed, with a stream of his newest single from his forthcoming EP on XL, below...
Watch Pitchfork Paris below....
photos by Erik Erikson
M83 @ Hammerstein Ballroom, 10/2/2012
M83's Hurry Up We're Dreaming came out a year ago and its popularity doesn't seem to be waning. Anthony Gonzalez has already brought the M83 live spectacular through the NYC area three times (most recently at Summerstage in August), and last night's show at Hammerstein Ballroom (10/2) was the first of THREE shows in the tri-state area this week with tour mates Sun Airway. Pictures from last night are in this post.
M83 and Sun Airway will play Hammerstein again tonight (10/3) (tickets) and will hit Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ on Thursday (10/4) (tickets). After wrapping up North America at the end of the month, M83 head to Europe for more shows, including at stop at 2012 Pitchfork Paris festival which happens November 1 - 3.
Gonzalez isn't done with Hurry Up We're Dreaming yet on record, either, with "Steve McQueen" being released as a single this week with remixes by Maps, BeatauCue, SALM and Laura Escude.
More pics from last night's show and a list of all remaining dates are below...
The Rosebuds at Prospect Park last week (more by Amanda Hatfield)
The Rosebuds, who just opened two incredible shows for Bon Iver in NYC as the last two dates on their tour together, have a few more shows announced that happen later this year. No tour has been announced yet, but we know that they'll be at Hopscotch in North Carolina, Pitchfork Paris and a NYC show on October 12 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale Friday (8/19) at noon.
Pitchfork Paris, taking place October 28th & 29th in France, is being co-curated by Bon Iver and the lineup looks like this so far:
28 OCTOBRE : 16h00 - 5H00Tickets are on sale.
APHEX TWIN + PANTHA DU PRINCE + EROL ALKAN + WILD BEASTS + CUT COPY + WASHED OUT + REAL ESTATE + MONDKOPF + ICEAGE
29 OCTOBRE : 14h00 - 22H00
BON IVER + JENS LEKMAN + STORNOWAY + KATHLEEN EDWARDS + ROSEBUDS
Kathleen Edwards also plays shows with Bon Iver in September. All Bon Iver & Rosebuds dates, and the video for "Woods" (by Rosebuds) below...