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May 2010


DSC01127Cold Cave absolutely killed it tonight on the Pitchfork stage. At first, it sounded like the same synth-laden 80s stuff that's all the rage right now. But then, they went for this heavy stuff that just kept building and building to a deafening roar. Then, just when you thought it was about to end, it got Louder. Like MBV, only with keyboards instead of guitars. Overwhelming stuff. 

Americans Abroad

DSC01044It's clear to me now, six hours-plus into my first visit to here, that the Spanish are hopelessly addicted to American music. Their bands sound a lot like American bands. They pack a secondary stage to see Beach House: a perfectly fine but not exactly remarkable band from Baltimore. And now, I'm listening to Wilco on the San Miguel mainstage, and there are Spanish kids walking by singing all the words, in perfect American accents. Why no Spanish bands have broken through the way bands from France and the UK have shows just how challenging it is to adopt an existing style and make it your own. 

But with festivals like Primavera constantly blowing through town, it's only a matter of time before something sticks. As Jeff Tweedy just reminded us: "Every band you could ever want to see that matters is here this weekend, all in one place."

Bleak Hour

  071 primavera soundScout Niblett definitely won't win any Bubblegum Pop awards here at Primavera. But there is certainly something compelling about her: she bangs wildly on a snare drum, screams call-and-response, and wails on songs like "We're All Going To Die" to a crowd of 1,000 here at the ATP Stage. And everyone loves it. This girl is cut from the same cloth as Carla and Merrill: tough, true and utterly fearless.