Pitchfork Day Party

J Mascis
J Mascis (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Pitchfork Day Party

East Side Drive-In, Thursday, March 17

Maybe somebody at Pitchfork could use a pricing lesson in signaling. They charge $100 for a couple of days of this in the summer, and it sells out in 24 hours. They give people a scaled-down version of the same for an afternoon in the spring, and turnout is just so-so. Yet for their SXSW day party, the Chicagoans put together a solid cross-section of their normal stock-in-trade. The Fresh & Onlys? More like Fresh & the Bunnymen. The San Franciscans dished out West Coast slo core that built but never delivered the payoff for all the tension involved. Brooklyn's Hooray for Earth were the afternoon's surprise with their cool marriage of synth punk and dance into a huge rhythmic cacophony. Sentimental fave was Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis. His acoustic set contained some surprise inclusions – surprise if you didn't catch his set at the IFC Crossroads House gig the day before – with a cover of Edie Brickell's "Circle" and "Ocean in the Way" from the overlooked Farm. Maybe the single moment of genius came from shred-rockers Off!, whose singer advised all to "Party until your eyeballs fall out." This is coming from a 55-year-old, so you're a wuss if you're not willing to at least try.

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