Pitchfork Re-Cap: Rise of the Temporary Tattoo Artist
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of going to Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. We were joined by some other amazing indie presses (Hobart, Curbside Splendor, Featherproof, Sarabande to name a few) at the coolest tent in the park—Book Fort. We were set up next to a Perrier booth handing out free water, a frozen yogurt truck handing out free yogurt, and a sea of port-a-potties. Not a bad place to be considering the main stage was within earshot as well. I had the surreal experience of selling Scott McClanahan's Crapalachia while listening to Carly Rae perform "Call Me Maybe."
Eric couldn't make the festival because he was hosting a paint by numbers wine party all weekend. I brought along dear friend and co-musician, Tom Konitzer. Tom launched his modeling career when he showcased our shirts for our 2016 catalogue.
I spent most of the weekend behind the table selling books and applying temporary tattoos. I'm going to add "traveling temporary tattoo artist" to my CV. It was awesome meeting a ton of excited festival goers who were also interested in reading good books. Here are a few standout moments from my experience at Pitchfork (other than the obvious):
Breakbeat Poets Reading
These readers were totally badass.Their words were powerful and their delivery captivating. I had goosebumps for most of the readings. At a violent time for America and Chicago, these poems were moving and meaningful and necessary.
I knew little about the band before the festival. I was lucky enough to catch their last 4 songs. Damn. They were seductive and soulful and put on one of the freshest performances I've seen.
Jeremih dancing on stage with his mom
For some reason, I caught almost the entire Jeremih set. The performance had several cameo appearances. One being the amazing Chance The Rapper, and another being his mom. It was Jeremih's mom's birthday and she came out and danced with him. It was heartwarming and totally bizarre. One moment he's singing Don't Tell Em ("Body like the summer, fucking like no other"), and then he's dancing with his mom for her birthday. It was the kind of unique experience that seemed right at Pitchfork
Don Giovanni Records
I have followed the label for years now. I first caught wind of them when Waxahatchee released American Weekend. To this day it is still one of my favorite albums. I actually bought the record from Katie Crutchfield herself at a house show in Columbus years ago. She has now signed to the larger Merge records, but Don Giovanni is thriving. I got to hang out with crew member Zach for a while, where we shot the shit about music, books, tour, and booze. We did a book/record swap which scored me the new Downtown Boys album and Zach a copy of Nog by Rudolph Wurlizter and The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga. It was the type of experience you hope for in that kind of setting.
Pitchfork was beautiful and productive. I bought a lot of books and koozies, and drank a lot of beer. We were happy to be there and hope to be back next year.