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Monday, May 28, 2007

Music Sasquatchin’ It Out

Posted by Ezra Caraeff on Mon, May 28 at 9:24 AM

Photo by Sean Pecknold

We went to Sasquatch, and all we got was this lousy ten dollar beer.

Our lovely Saturday at The Gorge was a learning experience for us. First off, once the sun goes down it gets cold. Not a wee bit nippy cold, but fucking freezing cold. My hoodie was not cutting it.

Secondly, hippies like anything. Anything! The shittier the music, the better. That explains why this amazing band was watched by so few, while this clown performed to a sea of fans hanging on his every word.

Portland held its own at Sasquatch, as Blitzen Trapper, The Blow, Viva Voce and Mirah all played excellent sets, especially The Blow, who attracted the largest crowd to the tiny "Yeti Stage." Blowette Khaela Maricich was chatty, very chatty, (Chas would be bummed), but her summertime dance jams worked well in the Washington Valley sunshine.

Best set of the day? Hmmm. As always Arcade Fire were spectacular, Two Gallants debuted some great new songs from their The Scenery of Farewell EP (due out next month), Neko Case (who was short a bass player due to a car accident) was her usual classy self and Björk's set was worth the wait, and freezing temperatures. The pride of Reykjavík (thankfully) didn't play too many new songs, instead peppering her set with some older hits ("Army of Me" and "All Is Full of Love") plus an onstage laser show! Lasers!!!


Why the hate for Manu Chao?

Hahaha. Your hipster influence is so pervasive it allows you to laud the merits of a band who is certainly lacking in originality and merely following in the footsteps of more interesting and varied bands while simultaneously decrying one of the better musicians who played Sasquatch.

I'm sorry, but the Mercury is really losing credibility. It's like being part of a group mentality not unlike that present in a highschool setting wherein only the 'trendiest' bands' hold any merit and anything foreign, different, unusual is 'clownish'. That, to me, is hilarious. Especially considering the numerous and disparate bands that played Saturday--you can really only call out The Hold Steady and Manu Chao? Hilarious.

Also, journalistically, you should note that the Hold Steady played around 1 PM and Manu played around 7 PM or 8 (memory does not serve, as you can imagine). OBVIOUSLY the later slate, followed only by two bands (Arcade Fire and Bjork) is going to have far, far more interested on-lookers. Especially when you consider the no re-entry policy at the Gorge (which is fucking bullshit).

Once again I am disappointed by your musical critiques, but if there's one thing I've noticed from regularly reading this blog, it's that you, Ezra, need to either get a job at Pitchfork (obviously the be-all end-all of music criticism for you, which is hilarious in its own right) or actually start saying something that comes from YOURSELF, something interesting and without all of these bullshit pretenses that guide your writing.

Thanks for the kind words. I did not like Manu Chao's performance, nor did anyone in my party, this includes non-"hipsters" who were there primarily to see him.

Also, I swear to you that I only write about what comes from myself, not from Pitchfork. If you check the archives you will see that I have championed TONS of music that has zero to do with that site, or other "hipster influences." This ranges from the more obscure (Dawn) to the downright embarrassing (Brand New, My Chemical Romance).

I really wanted to like Manu Chao. I enjoy his records, and made an effort to work my way up to the front of the stage (if you were there, you'd know that is no easy feat) before his set. But what I saw was a dumbed-down take on global music, complete with a guitarist and his beloved wah-wah pedal, TONS of police siren samples and inane talk of a "crazy world." As much as I like him as an artist, it's enough to give him a pass on a subpar show.

If you have any other questions of comments, please feel free to email directly: ezra@portlandmercury.com


You also forgot to mention how fucking incredible ELECTRELANE'S performance was!

Here Here..Electrelane's performance was incredible!

i saw electrelane open for arcade fire on sunday and thought they sounded terrible. one guitar solo consisted of scratching the strings with a guitar pick. i used to do that in high school to annoy people- it usually worked- it for sure worked on sunday.

I have to agree somewhat with Ezra on Manu Chao. I've been a fan for years since hearing Clandestino while travelling in Latin America, and was really looking forward to his performance at Sasquatch....But, just every song devolved into an uptempo rock number or ska song, he played the same siren break over and over, and the setlist was almost exactly the same as all the songs he played on his live album from 5 years ago. I like Manu, but it was kind of a mediocre, repetetive set. And I since I skipped the Beasties instrumental set for it, it was a letdown.

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