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Recap: Afterfest Chicago

At this time last year we were holding our first ever Afterfest in the ever-charming Chicago, and now this year, with a few more successful Afterfests under our belt, we were happy to return to The Mid for our second Chicago Afterfest! For our triumphant return, we headed back to Chicago Friday night where we had Liars, one of our favorite bands, and Vatican Shadow, one of our favorite electronic artists, play to a packed house. As always, Dave P. and Sammy Slice from Philly collective Making Time were on hand to DJ throughout the night to make sure everyone was dancing their little hearts out. (We seriously wanted to hand out medals to the intrepid partygoers who made it all the way until 4am.) The whole show went off without a hitch and was a perfect end to our otherwise super hectic Friday! If you're bummed you missed out, keep your eyes peeled for more of our upcoming Afterfest events, because chances are we'll soon be in a city near you. Photography by Evan Jenkins

Dave P. and Sammy Slice...UNITED.

The awesome graphics from Klip Collective.

Vatican Shadow taking the stage.

Liars on stage.

Read our recent interview with Liars!

About a Band: Liars

Before heading out to Chicago and hitting the stage at our next Afterfest, we wanted to catch up with Liars’ guitarist Aaron Hemphill to hear what the band has been up to, listening to and looking forward to, following the release of their seventh album, Mess.
Photography by Zen Sekizawa and Jiro Schneider

Hi Aaron! What have you been up to since we last spoke? (For the “Mess on a Mission” video.)
I’m not sure if we’ve ever been as busy as we have been in the last few months, but we’ve gotten to do some amazing projects and it’s all to do with Liars so I’m definitely not complaining. In between playing more shows in support of Mess, we hosted and curated an event called Friday Flights at The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, which was really special. We assembled and installed a wide range of visual pieces all exclusive to the event and space. We also got to involve our very special friends like Mary Pearson Andrew, John Wiese, Kate Hall and Protect Me to do the same. At the moment, Angus and I are working on a special project that’s somewhat a secret at the moment, but we’ll be dropping clues on our social media and website to keep everybody informed as soon as we are able to. When we last met, our beloved Clippers were still alive in the NBA playoffs, so we’ve been dealing with the crushing blow of our early dismissal and are looking forward to the future and rebuilding for next season.

In the immediate future we have some exciting plans, all things we’ve never done before. First we are going to be performing at the Roskilde Festival where some little band called the Rolling Stones will be headlining. After that we are performing at All Tomorrow’s Parties (ATP) in Iceland—our first performance and trip ever to that country!

Really, we’ve been super busy and we’re so grateful for all of these amazing opportunities.

Can you tell us about the process of making Mess? Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance?
The process of making Mess was all about immediacy and trying not to over analyze too much. WIXIW was such an intense experience where personal issues mixed with our inexperience with tools we were using. This led us to a very critical, doubtful, and calculated process. With Mess we had more experience with the music programs and we really felt grateful to be in the position to make records. It was a much more relaxed and confident atmosphere that I think was—dare I say—more playful. It’s not to compare one album with the other; it’s more that both records were made over a period of time where as we moved forward, the more we learned, and the more songs were able to flow with less debate. There are always things you wish you did differently, but you always realize that it’s better to learn from it than to be able to change it. Whatever happens is part of the album, and the experiences around it that you hope to incorporate into the music. If every record was perfect you might lose any sense of place or timing the album should hold.

What can we expect from your upcoming Afterfest performance?
To be honest, our live shows are similar to how we write our records. If we start feeling too comfortable with what we are doing, we naturally gravitate towards an environment where we are forced into feeling like complete novices. We like to feel that anything can happen, both good and bad, during a performance. It’s been our experience that when we play a show where we feel there were no mistakes, this rarely equates to what the crowd feels is a great show. This contrast is what keeps putting on a great performance a mystery and not a formula, which is great since there is the band experience meeting with the crowd’s experience. That said, I think the highest expectation we could hope to attain is for the crowd to expect the unexpected.

Are there any bands you’re excited to check out while in Chicago?
There are certainly a lot of great artists performing that we admire. I’m sure Kelela, Grimes and our friends Factory Floor will all be amazing.

And any spots you like to visit whenever you’re in Chicago?
Chicago is a great city. While we’ve been there many times on tour, we’ve never had any time to take in the sights. We’ll be so preoccupied with preparing for our show, we won’t be able to devote the time and attention a great city like Chicago deserves.

What’s been one of the best parties you’ve ever been to (besides this Afterfest, of course)?
For Angus’ birthday we raced go-karts and went to a Clippers game. We don’t have much downtime and when we do we tend to spend it apart doing our separate things, which is totally understandable. It’s nice to get together outside of band situations and cut loose a bit.

We saw the recent video you did with Yoonha Park for “Pro Anti Anti.” How did that come about?
What we like to do is give the directors complete freedom to execute their interpretation of the song. For all of our videos that aren’t directed by a band member, the story and vision is all from the director. One of the reasons we prefer this method is because we feel it adds another meaning or possibility for the song’s interpretation by having someone else’s vision represent the track. While in certain circumstances we like to make the videos ourselves, we fear that if we do it too often it might be perceived as how the song should be heard. We feel that once we’ve released the album, the song’s meanings are no longer strictly based on our perspective. Any misinterpretation is not only welcomed, it’s an invaluable part of us being able to learn what has been communicated by our album.

The ending was awesome, but do you wish you had gotten to keep the busts of yourselves?
I don’t know… for me it was really hard seeing my head that way. I got to see angles of myself that I’m more than happy never to see again!

What do you think are the best albums of 2014 so far? Any upcoming releases you’re stoked for?
Container’s Adhesive 12" is amazing. Also, HTRK’s Psychic 9-5 Club is pretty amazing. I’m excited for the new Grimes record, though I’m not sure when it’s due to come out. We did some shows with Jana Hunter recently where she played some of the new Lower Dens tracks solo. From what we’ve heard, the new Lower Dens record should be pretty amazing.

What are you listening to currently?
The two records I mentioned above are played quite frequently. I recently got a hold of Free Kitten’s discography, which is awesome. I think Kim Gordon’s bass playing was so huge in defining Sonic Youth’s sound. If you imagine any song of theirs with a different bass player, with a different bass line, you might argue that it’s the backbone of their sound. I got to see Free Kitten play once back in the day and it made such a huge impression on me. At the time I hadn’t ever made songs or played in a band but I had been playing guitar since I was really young. They sort of fortified the concept in my head that anything is possible. I know that sounds cliché, but I can’t describe it any other way.

Come see Liars at #AFTERFEST in Chicago on Friday, July 18th! Click here to RSVP.

As always, Making Time DJs Dave P. and Sammy Slice...UNITED will be DJing our Chicago event. Listen to
July's edition of Making Time RADio here!

Happenings: Afterfest Making Time Chicago

Chicago, listen up! We're excited to announce that for this year's Afterfest our friends Liars and Vatican Shadow will be performing at The Mid (306 N. Halsted St.) on Friday, July 18, from 10pm-4am. As always, Making Time's resident DJs Dave P. and Sammy Slice will be continuously DJing throughout the night. Admittance is free with RSVP, but make sure to arrive early to guarantee entrance. We hit capacity last year (thanks, everyone!) and expect the same to happen this year. Read our recent feature with Liars here and watch their video for "Mess on a Mission" below. See you in Chicago!

Click here to RSVP for #AFTERFEST

Chicago: Meet Lil BUB!

Have you been dreaming of meeting BUB? Tomorrow, October 10, is your chance! Beautiful, angelic BUB, the best cat on the planet, will be visiting Urban Outfitters in Chicago (651 Diversey Parkway) from 5-7PM, and will give Chicagoans the opportunity to stare at her beautiful face. Back in the spring, we got to interview Lil BUB here at home office and it was the greatest day in all of Earth's existence. You definitely do not want to miss this!

For more details, head over to our event page.


(Photo C/O Sidewalk Hustle)

On Friday night we had our first ever Making Time Afterfest at The Mid in Chicago and everyone had a blast! Even though it started pouring right as doors opened up, the rain didn't stop everyone from having a good time. First up on our bill was Classixx, the L.A. based electronic duo whose video is currently residing at the top of our blog along with an exclusive interview with the band and director. Everyone was super pumped to hear "All You're Waiting For" live, and the band played to a full house.

(Photos C/O Sidewalk Hustle)

Philadelphia's own Dave P. and Sammy Slice were also on hand to DJ throughout the night, and they kept everyone dancing with plenty of fist-pumpin' dance songs.

After Classixx finished their set, Chromatics were up next! The Portland-based band famously provided the live soundtrack to Chanel's S/S 2013 runway show, and everyone was excited to see them perform. They did not disappoint! Lead singer Ruth Radelet was lookin' good in a gold dress and beautiful, perfect bangs, and sounded incredible to boot. They played a great set and the crowd was really loving them.

(Photos C/O Sidewalk Hustle)

(Backstage. It was packed!)

Finally, we closed out the night with an intense DJ set by Glasgow's very own Optimo! Even though it was past this blogger's bedtime, there were still plenty of people dancing and having a good time way into the wee hours of the morning.

Overall, our first ever Making Time Afterfest was a huge success and we can't wait to do it again. Thanks to everyone for coming out, and The Mid for having us! Here's hoping we'll see you all at the next one!

Look Of The Week: Ashley Otis

Introduce yourself!
My name is Ashley Otis! I'm from Detroit, Michigan but I've been attending school in Chicago for 3 years, studying Contemporary, Urban and Popular Music at Columbia College. My goal is to have an established career as a solo artist/singer/songwriter, but for now my main focus is my lovely band, SHE, an all female band based here in Chicago! We're just a year old so until we blow up, I'm persuing my 2nd love as a Sales Associate at Urban Outfitters Wicker Park! =)

Awesome! What are you wearing today?
I am wearing a light pink, short-sleeved, backless Lucca Couture button-up that I believe was purchased at UO about a year ago, a high waist light denim skirt from American Apparel and a pair of cream colored crochet flats also from UO.
Are you going to Pitchfork this weekend? If not, what are you going to be doing?
I won't be going to Pitchfork this weekend but I will be working at UO!

What's your favorite thing about Chicago?
My favorite thing about Chicago is its music scene! I never thought I'd be this involved with it prior to moving out here. I thought Detroit had a great music culture but nowadays it's nothing compared to Chicago's.

If you could only dress like one cartoon for the rest of your life, who would you pick?
I would dress like Maria Wong, Sharon Spitz's best friend from the show Braceface!

That is one of the best character references I've ever gotten, actually. Where can we find you online?
Facebook: Ashley Janea Otis, Instagram, and Tumblr!

Thanks, Ashley!

Afterfest Presents Making Time

Come join us Friday, July 19 in Chicago for #AFTERFEST at The Mid (306 N. Halsted St.) with Chromatics, Classixx (live!), and OPTIMO, as well as Dave P. and Sammy Slice, the resident Making Time DJs. The event runs from 10PM-4AM and is totally free with wristband or RSVP, but entrance is based on capacity. Make sure you RSVP here!

We'll see you soon, Chicago!

Charli XCX "I Want It That Way"

Just in case you need further proof as to why Charli XCX is the best, here she is covering The Backstreet Boys. —Katie

Look Of The Week: Anna Rafferty

Hi Anna! What do you do at UO?
Hello, blog team!  I am the women's department manager at Urban Outfitters on Rush St. in Chicago's magical Gold Coast neighborhood. 

Can you tell us what you're wearing?
It's all thrifted, except the socks are from Urban. The '90s mom jeans I thrifted in Omaha, Nebraska (where I'm from); everything else I scored in Chicago. 

Did you make your shirt, or thrift it? What are your favorite thrift stores in Chicago?
Well, both! I found this amazing Simpsons printed flat sheet for 50 cents at the Village Discount Outlet in Irving Park in Chicago and couldn't pass it up. I thought maybe I'd make it into curtains or something. Then my best friend, Lauren (a fashion student and sales associate at the Urban in London, UK), designed an outfit from the fabric when she was here for a visit recently. There's a matching skirt, too!

I'm obsessed with thrifting, and Chicago is home to some of my favorite thrift stores. I love the Village Discount Outlet in Logan Square. It's a massive space, not the kind of thrift store you can peruse if you have only 10 minutes to kill. You gotta commit to an hour at least and do a lot of digging. But it's worth it when you leave with a garbage bag full of treasure!

But seriously, that Simpsons tank is amazing. Who is your favorite character on The Simpsons?
Ralph! He has some of the best quotes on the show. "Eww, Daddy, this tastes like Grandma!"

Do you love donuts the way Homer loves donuts? Any favorite donut places in Chicago? (MMM, donuts.)
That's a tough passion to rival. No, Homer has me beat. But I do love Glazed and Infused in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.  They make some really creative donuts, like Peach Iced Tea or Blackberry Goat Cheese.

Where can we find you online?
I have an Instagram page where I post a lot of thrifted looks. Annarifraf is me!

Interview: Wild Belle

Brother and sister team Natalie and Elliot Bergman are the duo behind the band Wild Belle, and they take the stage at Coachella for the first time this year. We recently caught up with them when they came through on tour.

When you guys were growing up did you play any games that revolved around music? Because there was such an age difference, what was your collaboration like?
Elliot: I’m 8 years older than she is but Natalie’s been such a natural performer since she was young. Last night some old family friends came to visit in DC and they were talking about how it used to be, like “Okay, Natalie’s going to do a performance for everyone in the kitchen, gather round.” I always watched her and then she started coming on tour with my band when she was 16. It was pretty recently that we were like, “Okay, let’s do something a little more serious together.” That’s when Wild Belle started to come together.

How did you talk your parents into letting you go on tour with your older brother when you were 16?
Natalie: I think they were always very encouraging and pushing us to work together in some capacity. I didn’t leave high school or anything, it was summer, I think after my freshman year of high school I went and –
Elliott: I convinced them it was 'an internship.'

What were some of the musical influences that you guys were around as kids?
Natalie: Lots of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.
Elliot: Michael Jackson and Prince, a lot of that.

How did you guys get into world music as two kids from Chicago?
Natalie: It’s what our ears liked. I think it’s because our parents are both very well-traveled and they love world music. They love India, they love Africa and they brought a lot of beautiful things back from their travels and shared that with us. I think that’s where it began.

What was the first instrument you started playing?
Elliot: I started playing the clarinet.

Were you in school band?
Elliot: I played in band all through high school and then I studied music at college in Michigan. But when we grew up, music was pretty much part of the landscape. I started on the clarinet, but my grandma gave me a saxophone when I was a freshman in high school. She played saxophone so I got this really cool Martin tenor sax with red lipstick on the reeds and then I progressed from there. But jazz was always my interest as a young kid which was weird. All my friends were into grunge and I was listening to Miles Davis' In a Silent Way.

How many instruments do you own?
Elliot: Hundreds. We have a storage unit full of instruments in Brooklyn and then our house is like, everywhere we live has instruments. There’s probably 50 instruments in the band. I like to build instruments too, so those accumulate. Natalie loves vintage keyboards and that comes through on the record. There’s all kinds of crazy synthesizers and percussion. It’s not only a collection of objects but it’s a collection of sounds you can use – it’s your palette. Instruments are beautiful and there’s a reason people take the time and care to make them beautiful. You can really fall in love with instruments. We both love searching for sounds and trying to find something that’s evocative. I’m drawn to sounds that are both wooden and metallic and I love working with wood and metal. The instruments just keep piling up. Everywhere we go, there’s something new to find.

Any particular ones have a nostalgic story behind them?
Elliot: We have all of our mom’s guitars, and my grandma’s saxophone is really cool to have, but my mom has this old, big-bodied Guild acoustic guitar we love, and she has a number of really cool electric guitars. She passed away about six years ago so her guitars sat around until a friend in Milwaukee fixed ‘em all up for us.

How has your relationship as siblings evolved now that you’re working together in a band?
Natalie: It’s been surprisingly easy. It’s like, we just see eye to eye on so many things regarding our music or not regarding our music. The way we perceive the world is very similar. It’s been fun. There are challenges but it doesn’t necessarily have to do with our relationship as siblings, but challenges of the business. I guess that is sort of the hardest thing if we run into any difficult situations.

How is the music you’re making together different from what you were previously doing separately?
Elliot: I think we both needed something. It wasn’t necessarily the most conscious decision. We were both doing things and they kept overlapping a bit. It happened pretty organically. The energy that we were getting people responded positively to. It was definitely a coming together of our influences and ideas.

How did shooting the video “Keep You” with director Malina Matsoukas come about? She’s done some epic videos.
Natalie: She has. How it really came about was I saw the video “Why Don’t You Love Me” by Beyoncé which they shot on Super 8. Have you seen it? I love that video.

I have. I didn’t know until I looked it up, but she did the Rihanna video too.
Natalie: "We Found Love"? That video rules! It was a little bigger than what we had plans for our video to be. I was just so attracted to that Beyoncé video, so I said let’s try and see if she wants to work with us. And she was so cool. It was fun to bounce ideas back and forth. I would love to work with her again.

Wild Belle

Pitchfork 2013

The full Pitchfork lineup was announced! Do you guys see what this means?! Solange, Sky Ferreira and MIA are all going to be in the same place, and I am going to explode from lady pop music excitement! See all my exclamation points?! Our pal Autre Ne Veut is also gonna be there, killin' it like always I'm sure. The 3-day passes haven't sold out yet, so if you'd like to get in on this action, you can purchase them here. See ya then, guys! (If you want to find me, just look for the sweaty monster hulking in the corner of every show.) —Katie

Lollapalooza 2013?

According to the internet, the Lollapalooza lineup for this year has leaked. Oh shit! Looks like a pretty decent lineup, so if you want a chance to see The Cure alongside 2 Chainz, you better buy your tickets quick; single-day passes are the only ones left! —Katie

Smith Westerns: "Varsity"

One of the acts I'm most excited to see at Coachella this year is Smith Westerns, who are back with "Varsity" off their new album Soft Will (out June 11th via Mom + Pop). Chicago boys Cullen Omori, Cameron Omori, and Max Kakacek won my hearts over in 2011 with their second album, Dye it Blonde, so I'm very pleased to finally hear something new from them. Listen on SoundCloud via Pitchfork.Maddie

Pitchfork Festival Announces Headliners

Pitchfork has announced the headliners for Pitchfork Festival and they are (drumroll please): Björk, R. Kelly and Belle and Sebastian. Hmm. —Katie

Winter Getaway

StyleSeek and company took a squad of friends to Camp Wandawega for a weekend of maxing and relaxing. They took plenty of photos—how could they not with such a stylish backdrop and group of ladies and gents? Check out the whole set over here. -Bob

Obama Thanks Campaign Staff

Barack Obama is the best. After winning the election on Tuesday he gave a short speech to his campaign staff, thanking them for all their hard work, and he even shed a little tear. Do you hear that? There is a man in charge of this country who will cry in front of us! And then put it on YouTube! God bless America, for real. After your "USA" chants have died down, watch the full video below - it really is a very touching speech. -Katie

The UO Nice List: Tavi Gevinson

We spoke with UO Nice List participant Tavi Gevinson, founder of Rookie Mag and accomplisher of the wildest of teenage dreams, to get her take on the holiday season, what she's asking for (seriously, LOL), and her proudest moments of the year 2012.

Introduce yourself!
I'm Tavi Gevinson, I edit and founded the online site Rookie Mag, and I edited and art directed our first annual print edition, Rookie Yearbook One.

What do you love and loathe most about the holidays?
I love all the decorations people put up and how a Starbucks run suddenly feels like some holy occurrence and wrapping presents and seeing my sisters. I loathe how quickly the snow gets depressing basically as soon as the holidays are over.

What’s your gift-giving style? Personalized presents, or a Starbucks card for everyone?
Personalized, of course! It'd be no fun anonymously giving threatening ransom notes if I wasn't cutting out all the little magazine clippings myself.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
I got an electric guitar for a birthday/middle school graduation present.

What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?
I can't think of one, but once my mom got my sister a broom for Christmas.

If you could ask for anything this year (and money is no object) what would you ask for?
Blue Ivy, the child.

What is your favorite holiday tradition that you share with friends or family?
My mom is from Norway, so we do Jul, which is basically Norwegian Christmas, only instead of a nice jolly man who brings you presents, this little troll guy just delivers the ones your family was already giving you, and instead of putting out milk and cookies, you put out this really nasty porridge. There's one tradition where a single almond (OOOOH, AN ALMOND) gets mixed into the porridge pot before it is served, and whoever gets the almond in their bowl gets an extra present, which in our home means something vaguely Judaism-related because we feel bad for neglecting Hanukkah.

What’s your favorite holiday snack or food?
That disgusting porridge, because as much as it disagrees with my taste buds, it's the ultimate signifier of Jul, holding a very special place in my heart. 

Without looking it up, what are the ingredients in eggnog? 
I've never had eggnog!

Any idea how you will spend New Year’s Eve this year?
Not yet! I'll probably just watch movies about the apocalypse with my friends.

If you could be any character from a holiday movie, who would you be and why?
The little girl from Love, Actually because she gets to sing "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and that cute kid crushes on her. Or Kevin from Home Alone cuz duh.

If you could plant a New Year’s kiss on your dream crush, who would that be and why?
Anders from Workaholics.

What was your proudest moment from this past year?
Publishing Rookie Yearbook One was a lot of work, reaching Rookie's one-year anniversary was a lot of work, and getting to hold events with our readers and meet these people in real life and talk with them about all the stuff we normally just type about online was really, really rewarding and special. I kind of feel like the luckiest person ever.

What are you looking forward to most about 2013?
Starting my senior year of high school.

Shop Tavi's Wish List

Lana Wachowski's HRC Visibility Award Acceptance Speech

You should watch the awe-inspiring acceptance speech from Lana Wachowski (co-director of The Matrix) after winning the Visibility Award at the Human Rights Campaign's annual gala. This is one video that is well worth a half hour of your day (or for those unable to watch, you can read the transcript here). Then, go support her and her brother's new film, Cloud Atlas!-Ally

Lollapalooza 2012

Our Marketing Coordinator, Vanessa W., went to Lollapalooza for the first time last weekend and lived to tell the story. Read about her journey through the crazy Midwest weather, the amazing performances, and the creepy 12-foot clowns (we're scared just thinking about it!).

"Mind. Blown. Upon entering the heavenly gates of Lollapalooza for the first time, it was impossible to not feel the energy of the hundreds and thousands of people inside. Grant Park is HUGE—it's gorgeous and it perfectly accommodated the crowd of all-ages (seriously, I saw some elderly gentlemen who looked like they just stepped off the golf course, as well as some babies with mohawks). The next three days were wild. Shirts (and some pants) became optional. Pacifiers were in. Wine was sold in sport bottles. We sang, we danced, we sweated, we evacuated.

What can I even say? I saw Black Sabbath. Friggin’ Ozzy Osbourne! I couldn’t believe it. He sang, screamed, swayed and had his own little headbang move going on. Yes, they played “War Pigs,” “Iron Man” and “Paranoid,” and yes, everyone completely lost it. Legendary. Enough said. Other noteworthy Friday bands: First Aid Kit, Dr. Dog, The War on Drugs, Tame Impala, Metric, Passion Pit and The Head and The Heart.  Major shoutout to Charity Rose Thielen of The Head and The Heart, with whom I became slightly obsessed, from her rocking it out on the violin and melting the audience with her powerhouse voice. She once tweeted, “Life goal: becoming the female Jimmy Page”. I die. 

On Saturday, aka Evacuation Day, we started off with Milo Greene and then Bear In Heaven. We caught Neon Indian (pictured above) right before we had to evacuate the park due to the impending apocalypse (seriously, people freaked). Before evacuating—I love how intense that sounds—frontman Alan Palomo had some kind words of advice for those who may be “experimenting” for the first time: “It’s going to be okay. Just drink lots of water.  It’s going to be awesome.” Thanks, Alan! Let’s hope everyone felt safe after that. Washed Out played after the storm (no pun intended!) and Red Hot Chili Peppers closed out to a muddy, smelly and extremely pumped crowd. Nothing like a mud slip 'n’ slide to play in during “Suck My Kiss”. Other Saturday awesomeness: Twin Shadow and Santigold.

I saw some seriously amazing outfits during these three days. I spotted this tank from a mile away. Check out that mullet! The staggering question of “Dudes or Dudes?” made it even better. Turns out this tank was representing a wondrous event called “Dudefest”…obviously. A close second to this tank was an “I’m Perkisizing” tee (Heavyweights, people! One of the all-time classics). I took a creepy distant picture of it and unfortunately forgot to ask where the man got it. So, if anyone knows where to get a Perkis Power tee, please let me know. Besides the amazing tees and tanks, there were other random items being thrown into the mix. In no specific order: an Alf doll (terrifying), a 12-foot clown with a spinning head (exorcist-style and even more terrifying than the Alf doll), inflatable helmets, unicorn balloons, and I definitely saw at least one person “riding” around on a stick pony (you know, those toy sticks with a horse head on them). Just your average festival crew.

Sunday had a sad vibe to it because it was the last day of the fest and I couldn’t see the final performances because of my flight time. Sad. However, I did get to see Florence + The Machine. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but had heard she was incredible live. No disappointment there. She has the whole ethereal goddess thing down and her flowy, gypsy witch-like maxi dress didn’t miss a twirl or frolic. I was into it. She also got the audience to make friends by telling us to hug the person we were next to. What more can you ask for? (Sorry to the random man next to me for my forceful embrace—Florence made me do it!). Some of my favorite shows for this day also go to Trampled by Turtles, Dum Dum Girls, Sigur Ros and Amadou and Mariam.

Overall, it was an incredible, eclectic festival that left me in a zombie-like state of mind on Monday. I saw some ultimate performances by new favorites and old loves. Lollapalooza did a fab job of showcasing the best talent from all walks of music life.

Oh, I almost forgot! I want to give some love to the sign language performers—holy crap. That cannot be an easy task and they killed it. Air guitar never looked so good. Even Ozzy gave his performer a hug. Rock on, guys! 

I want to end this little post with a lovely inspirational quote from Flea of RHCP, “Be nice. Be gentle. Be kind… and f*ck shit up.” See you next year, Lolla!" -Vanessa

Pitchfork Festival 2012 #FESTEVER Picture Winners


Two weekends ago, we asked you to show us your #FESTEVER photos from the 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card at Urban Outfitters.  Throughout the weekend (and the rain, the mud, and the performances) we were sent so many great shots, and going through them made us feel incredibly nostalgic.  We wish we were back in Chicago!  Above and below are the three #FESTEVER winners, congrats! -Ally

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