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Monday, July 19, 2010

Chicago Critic's Pitchfork Dis Gets the Blogosphere Steaming

Posted By on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Robyn at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago - JASON STOFF
  • Jason Stoff
  • Robyn at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago

Just when it seemed cool to hate the taste-making music site Pitchfork, one critic went and ripped the site (and its music festival in Chicago this past weekend) a good one. So how did indie-loving blogs and blog readers respond -- that is, in addition to rushing to Pitchfork's defense?

By calling the critic fat.

Chicago Sun-Times writer Jim DiRogatis' sizzling critique of the Pitchfork music festival (check out our photos) this past weekend included harsh takes on the music of such sacred indie cows as Real Estate, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and -- are you sitting down -- Animal Collective's Panda Bear. But DiRogatis didn't stop with the music. He pivoted from the overall lameness of the festival (in his view) to some chin-scratching about whether the king of indie music sites is worth its salt anymore:

Animal Collective's Panda Bear, a.k.a. Noah Lennox, played a way-too-long set of drony trance grooves punctuated by atonal yelps, yodels, and the occasional wounded whale noise. If this sort of thing had been delivered by a third-tier Grateful Dead offshoot band on one of the smaller stages at Bonnaroo, the Pitchfork crowd would have scoffed in derision. But since it was Pitchfork-endorsed, most stood politely and soaked it in, though there was a steady stream of refugees fleeing for the other stages, the food lines, or the Porta-Potties.


Still, as great as [LCD Soundsystem] was, the mediocrity of much of what preceded it on the first two days prompted one to wonder if Pitchfork ultimately means as much in 2010 as it did earlier in the decade.

So, standing out in 92-degree heat -- sober -- while listening to Noah Lennox moan into a microphone isn't all that awesome? Surprise! But indie bloggers responded feverishly to DiRogatis' review -- mostly to the charge that people like something because Pitchfork says its good.

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Ian S. Port


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