My apologies for the delay on the Sopranos postings. I know that many of you were out there losing sleep over my tardiness, especially if you were reading the blog through Internet Explorer. I’m not sure what’s going on there, I’ve had some problems with IE and the blog before, and being as bad with computers as a product of my generation can possibly be, I haven’t been able to fix the problem with last post. My suggestion is to use Firefox if you aren’t already.
And if you are already, look at the page through Internet Explorer. It’s weird.
But I was kept from finishing up my bit on the Sopranos due to a weekend of extraordinary circumstances. Not Lollapalooza. Cubs game Sunday. Reed Johnson. Wilco did the Seventh Inning Stretch. Helluva game and I still got to see Wilco!
From everything I’m hearing, the Lolla experience was great for everyone involved, but being a hater of outdoor festivals and an even bigger hater of spending money, I kept myself out of Grant Park for the third year in a row. This is not an easy process, mind you. Keeping myself away from that lineup is an act that requires constant justification.
I had to look at the schedule and note all the times when I would have been forced to choose between bands. I kept up with coverage from several sources, dutifully noting each disappointment, no-show, and complaint about prices within the park as I continued to convince myself that I did the smart thing.
I was very happy to see that Pitchfork had detailed coverage because they were the perfect source to pad my rationalization. The cynical hipster haters have enough to prove to themselves and their coffeehouse buddies as it is, but given the fact that their own festival was only a couple of weeks ago, they also had to make it known that they did it better.
But even though I was calling on Pitchfork for their pessimism, I couldn’t help but get completely annoyed. I’ve always taken the site with a grain of salt. On one hand their coverage is thorough and they’re an excellent source for news, but jesus christ can they get exhausting. It gets pretty old having to constantly look up words on dictionary.com just to understand what they think about Titus Andronicus. I liken my relationship with Pitchfork to the relationship I had with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in first grade. Making fun of all those rat-tailed kids that were obsessed with the Green Ranger on the bus, but running home the moment I got off so I didn’t miss a minute of Zordon and co. It’s great to see how much maturity can come from fifteen years of getting old.
Editor Amy Phillips’ coverage of Saturday stands out as the definitive piece. Particularly her take on Wilco’s performance. In the typical emotion-free experience that defines indy rock concert-going, Phillips is unimpressed with the Wilco performance. Refusing to acknowledge that Kicking Television put their review of A Ghost Is Born to shit, she is still riding on this concept that Wilco will never do anything better than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. But then things change:
…during "Pot Kettle Black", a guy in a Hawaiian shirt standing next to me with a beer in his hand asked me how I was enjoying the show. I said I was kind of bored. He looked stunned. "But it's such a nice night!" he exclaimed. "Everybody's having such a good time!" He waved his arms around to indicate all of the happy people around us.
You know what? Fuck it. He's right. How can I hate on a Wilco show on a beautiful (and not humid!) night in downtown
Well, gee, Amy. How about a pat on the fucking back? Despite all your efforts to sit their with your arms crossed you were able to see a rock n' roll concert for all the natural beauty it can bring. You were able to forget about all the underlying bullshit and actually enjoy yourself. Jesus, what the fuck are you there for in the first place? Reporting on the music, but are you so caught up in fitting the mold of your website that you’ve become this distanced from actually enjoying rock n' roll? Why did you get into this gig in the first place?
As I said, I’m reading this because I want to hear their cynicism—to hear that Grizzly Bear was disappointing or that seeing The Black Keys Thursday night at The Metro was way cooler than at Lolla (which I am happy to say I did do. And they ruled). But come fucking on. Wilco. In
Thankfully the music was there to set Ms. Phillips straight. But should it really have to in the first place?