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Radio K at Pitchfork Music Festival

Pitchfork Day 3

Posted on 7/24/2013
Pictured: Mikal Cronin, (photo credit Josh Olson)

Pitchfork Music Festival

Chicago, 2013

Radio K's Best

Written by: Josh Olson

Edited by: Jerod Greenisen

Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo took the main stage and immediately began to start into a jam with Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley both playing guitar while James Mcnew played drums.  The band switched instruments no less than 10 times throughout the night, each member playing every instrument on stage.  Their set was also a great mix of noise-y jams and chilled out ballads.  A fantastic highlight was when they played “Autumn Sweater,” with Ira singing and playing keys, while both Georgia and James played drums. 


It's a gift to the world that Yo La Tengo is still around. Since before the time of Radio K's birth (1993) You La Tengo has consisted Georgia Hubley (drums) and Ira Kaplan (guitar), who are married if you didn't know with James McNew (bass). However that is not to say that that's how it always is, each member switches instruments several times each show. Yo La Tengo's most recent album, Fade, is the most shred-worthy to date and seems to spiral off wildly until you can't hold still any longer. Lots of respect for Yo La Tengo and their long haul.

Toro y Moi

Toro Y Moi brought the funk to the Green Stage this evening. Throughout the course of their 45-minute set, the band played a combination of new and old songs, with the latter being newly arranged to fit in with the band’s move away from their “chillwave” roots to more synth-based funk jams. This was easily one of the best sets of the entire day.

he product of a move from South Carolina to Berkeley, CA and the subsequent extended separation from loved ones, Toro Y Moi’s third full-length, Anything in Return, puts Chaz Bundick right in the middle of the producer/songwriter dichotomy that his first two albums established. There’s a pervasive sense of peace with his tendency to dabble in both sides of the modern music-making spectrum, and he sounds comfortable engaging in intuitive pop production and putting forth the impression of unmediated id. The producer’s hand is prominent—not least in the sampled “yeah”s and “uh”s that give the album a hip-hop-indebted confidence—and many of the songs feature the 4/4 beats and deftly employed effects usually associated with house music.

Blood Orange

By far one of the funkiest shows of the entire weekend, Blood Orange played to a packed crowd on the Blue stage, with singer and writer Devonte Hynes doing his best to channel his inner Prince.  His set consisted of songs from his album and 7 inch release, as well as a cover of a Sky Ferreira.  Everyone in attendance seemed astounded at the way Hynes played guitar, and he was shredding hard all night.

Domino Records' funkiest of the funk. We still love this 2011 release and we are very pleased to know that Lightspeed Champion is still touring with Blood Orange. Although more recently you've heard his project TRAAMS on Radio K. Lots of things happing from this artist, and he surely keeps us entertained.

Tags: radio k kuom pitchfork day 3 university of minnesota blood orange toro y moi yo la tengo

Pitchfork Day 1

Posted on 7/23/2013
Pictured: Mikal Cronin, (photo credit Josh Olson)

Pitchfork Music Festival

Chicago, 2013

Radio K's Best

Written by: Josh Olson

Edited by: Jerod Greenisen

Daughn Gibson

Daughn Gibson’s set was early enough in the day to draw a smaller crowd, which made the show both intimate and incredible because Gibson's stage presence is something that is not to be missed.  Playing tambourine, while vocally nailing the lowest baritone, was the simplest pleasure of the whole day. Gibson was playing samples of classic monologues surely reminiscent of his classic country influences.  It was a welcome start to the day and truly one of the highlights. 

Daughn Gibson's Me Moan is one of the most interesting albums to come out of 2013. Just listen to "You Don't Fade".  All this after his critically acclaimed album All Hell. This album features appeaaences by John Baizley (of Baroness) and Jim Elkington (of Brokeback) and stands for everything Americana should be pushing itself to be. Me Moan fiercely tramples through several classic country samples hand selected and dusted off by Gibson himself. Gibson's vocal range lyrical tendencies that waver between somber darkness and bittersweet optimism make a touching entertaining listen.

Mac DeMarco

To sum up (basically any) Mac D show, put a medley of classic rock songs together with hilarious stage banter and child-like antics.  We got that and more at this show.  The covers included "Blackbird", "Enter Sandman", "Takin’ Care of Business", "Cocaine", and "Rollin’".  During his last song, “Together”, he brought out his girlfriend, Kiki, who sat on his shoulders for the entirety of the song. It is awesome that Mac was able to make it to Pitchford, having just canceled his Minneapolis show due to passport issues.

Mac Demarco's 2 is a sweet and heartfelt ode to lovers and rock 'n roll, or as much as anything of that nature can be. Released mid 2012, to much critical acclaim, we have grown very fond of the release and repect it for its polished qualites that were a welcome addtion after the edgy debut of Rock and Roll Night Club. We look forward to perhaps an even more polished third release or a return to the edge, either way more Mac D, please. 

Mikal Cronin

Mikal Cronin clearly knows how to play rock and roll music, and he wanted the whole crowd to understand.  His music always comes across heavier live, but this show was especially heavy, and Mikal was shredding away for the whole set.

"Kiss Me (Sixpence None the Richer cover)"

Mikal Cronin is a man of contradictions. Lyrically, his songs will bounce between the desire for closure and the insecurity of his motives, or the pleasure of solitude but the fear of loneliness and isolation.  Musically, he spent the majority of 2012 playing bass for the Ty Segall Band, laying down a wall of fuzz for festival goers and simultaneously scaring the living hell out of talk show crowds (their Dave Letterman performance is especially chaotic/incredible). However, Cronin also shows a deep affinity for pop music, going so far as to record ukulele covers of the Proclaimers and Sixpence None the Richer. But despite his highly diverse and scattered musical pedigree, Cronin’s newest record is a terrific showcase of his talents as a songwriter and musical arranger, and is easily one of the most cohesive records to come out of the West Coast garage rock scene in recent years.

Check Out Day 2

Pitchfork Day 2

Posted on 7/23/2013



Pitchfork Music Festival

Chicago, 2013

Radio K's Best

Written by: Josh Olson

Edited by: Jerod Greenisen


I was excited to see Low again for many reasons, including them being the only band from Minnesota on the bill, as well as wondering what type of songs Alan Sparhawk would chose to play.  Their set was a perfect mix of noise-y drone and structured songs, which I’ve come to realize is kind of Low’s thing.  Alan was more interactive than in previous concerts that I’ve attended of theirs, and the whole band seemed to genuinely appreciate playing at Pitchfork.  As a side note, I saw a person in the crowd wearing a shirt that said ‘DRONE, NOT DRONES’, which is a reference to a previous Low show where they played one song for the entire show and said nothing except that phrase.  Needless to say, I congratulated him on a fantastic shirt.

Local Duluth rockers just recently wow'd everyone at the Walker Art Center's Rock the Garden this past month with the one song set "Drone not Drones" and its great to see them doing so much since their start in the 90s. Low has a movie playing in select theaters, check out the dates, Low: How to Quit Smoking. And their most recent album Invisible Way is steller, they also have 10 years worth of B-sides and rareities available on their website.


The four members of Savages walked on stage, exactly at the set start time, dressed in all black, and without saying a word charged right into an energetic performance. It was strange in all the right ways, powering right into their debuts album’s, Silence Yourself, opener, “Shut Up.” The rest of the set followed much the same way; minimal stage banter in favor of a constant onslaught of post-punk goodness. I am for sure going to see them again,  Savages definitely lived up to the hype. I would request, though, that the sun and outdoor setting be traded for an equally sweaty- but dark concert hall. The rawness of their sound and performace value from Jenny Beth is too much to miss out on.

Savages just played a sold-out show this past Sunday (July 21st) at the Triple Rock Social Club. Ending their set encourless and with "see you next time" I doubt the next show at First Ave's Mainroom will be anyless hyped. Savages' debut album Silence Yourself is a fantastic release and is exacly what many of us have been waiting a long time to hear. Many have wondered what it would have been like to see the rise of Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees, well Savages is about as close as it comes while still retaining a great deal of originality.

Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts, one of Radio K's favorite bands to appear in 2013, brought their awesome brand of punk to the Blue Stage this afternoon. They played a fast-paced set that included older, less-known songs, tracks from their excellent debut Light Up Gold, and even a few new songs. Extended Sonic Youth-y noise jams were common, along with some good fast, moshing songs.

Little was said about Parquet Courts' debut effort, American Specialties. Released exclusively on cassette tape, the quasi-album was an odd collection of 4 track recordings that left those who were paying attention wanting more. A year of woodshedding live sets passed before the Courts committed another song to tape. The band's first proper LP, Light Up Gold, is a dynamic and diverse foray into the back alleys of the American DIY underground. Bright guitars swirl serpentine over looping, groovy post-punk bass lines and drums that border on robotic precision. While the initial rawness of the band's early output remains, the songwriting has gracefully evolved.

Check Out Day 3

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