|EMA kicks off #p4kfest 2011|
I headed over to the Red Stage to start things off. EMA (Erika M. Anderson) had just started, providing background droning mix of 90s indie rock and shoegaze. Likewise, the dueling electric violins owed much to John Cale (and the minimal drums to Maureen Tucker, for that matter), but provided an ominous yet uplifting background to EMA’s more confrontational vocals. Nowhere was she as provocative as on the closing song "California," starting off simply: “Fuck you, California, you made me boring.” After the microphone straddling and chord self-strangling, I headed over with most of the rest of the crowd to the Blue Stage for tUnE-yArDs.
|Somewhere behind this wall of people is tUnE-yArDs|
Wanting to catch a glimpse of Battles, I tried heading over to the Green Stage, which took more effort than leaving any side stage should. The Blue Stage was as packed as I had seen it all day, and close to ever for that time slot in years past. I finally made my way out to catch Battles rock their last jam "Futura" off this year’s golden Gloss Drop. It would have been interesting to see the full set, as I’m yet to see them play post-Tyondai Braxton, but I don’t feel wrong in my choice.
After walking around the fest aimlessly for a bit, running into random friends, complementing EMA on her leggings, and basking in the sun, I decided it was time to head back to Blue Stage for a stint in the shade to chill out to the background beats of NOLA rapper Curren$y. Some of the biggest problems from last year involved the deplorable, barely audible sound "emanating" from that stage. The Smith Westerns seemed to barely let out a whimper and Sleigh Bells didn’t really have the kick in the balls I expected. But for whatever reason, the sound peeps kicked things up a notch this year and sound was great all around the side stage, with little bleed over from the mains. Kudos.
|Das Racist gettin' the crowd movin'|
I moved a bit closer to the stage to check out Brooklyn hip-hop duo Das Racist, whose music is as ridiculous as their name would imply. Racially charged lyrics, but with tongues in cheek, bedroom beats and plenty of airhorn (didn’t know that was still a relevant sound). The pitched up Billy Joel sampling "You Oughta Know" and crowd moving "Who’s That? Brooown!" were highlights that I caught. As Neko Case was numero uno on my agenda for the day, I had to bail early over to Red Stage before I had a chance to see if they’d play the entirely absurd "Combination Pizza Hut Taco Bell." Still can’t get over how great that song is.
|Neko Case gives a performance as fiery as her hair color|
Recognizing I hadn’t eaten too much that day, I finally decided to grab some grub. I had seen Animal Collective when they headlined three years ago. Didn’t really dig on them, except for one song they played called "House." which would eventually turn into "My Girls" on the following year's Merriweather Post Pavilion. Except for that, I remember the set being pretty boring (maybe due to the lack of illicit substances I was on). So I decided to hang out in the dirt, eat some tacos and just have them in the background. Well, according to Loud Loop Press, things were a bit different this time. Since I can’t really comment on the show, check out their review of the day (as well as their coverage on Battles, Thurston Moore, and Guided by Voices) and a more elaborate photo set on Time Out.
Day two: I'm coming for ya.