Aside from King Kendrick, here are my scattered notes from a sweaty but thoroughly engaging Panorama Festival.
-Kaytranada had pretty sounds and a better timeslot, but he was thoroughly out-raged by Tokimonsta, who is bae-and-we’re-getting-married-tomorrow. The LA producer spliced the Wu-Tang Clan seamlessly into deep house into 90s R&B, filling the spaces with wondrous, dreamy synthesizers and never missing a beat.
–Kathleen Hanna will kick your ass. In her afternoon set with The Julie Ruin, she thundered against Donald Trump, sexism, tokenism, and especially ageism. “It essentially means that everyone turns into a piece of shit!” she yelled. “I’ve still got it.” She is correct.
-I was planning on seeing Sia for 10 minutes as a stopgap before one of my favorite rappers, A$AP Rocky. But then Maddie Ziegler came out, eyes wide with terror and ferocity, twisting and leaping to “Alive,” and I knew immediately I had to stay the whole set. You’d be hard pressed to find another performer with her talent for both sheer physicality AND facial expressiveness. Also on hand to act out Sia’s glorious, throaty existentialism were a solemn Tig Notaro; Paul Dano, fighting manically through feathers on “Bird Set Free,” and Kristin Wiig, weeping on cue. The singer herself was almost an afterthought.
-Glam Cabaret Sufjan is best Sufjan. Although now that I think about it, it probably loses to Ineffable Truth Through Folk Sufjan. Which itself is tied with Apocalyptic Electronic Sufjan. Damn. What a mind.
–Anderson.Paak went absolutely ballistic on his set, thrashing at his drums, yelling his rapidfire raps, screaming at his bandmates, strutting around in an Olympic tracksuit. The audience responded in kind. But by amping the energy up to 11, he lost most of the sly soulfulness that makes his album “Malibu” such a joyride.
–Melanie Martinez‘s pop songs are pretty basic, but her whole sexy-scary-baby aesthetic is 💯. Her split color hair looks dope on video but even cooler in real life, especially because she does a good amount of her show in profile. So sometimes you’ll get the cheery, innoncent blonde, but when she turns, you get the foreboding dark. Also, after she stopped singing on certain songs, her face fell into a look of utter exhaustion and depression. Then she would perk back up and start dancing wildly. I’m just gonna assume she’s a marketing and style genius.
–LCD Soundsystem locks into some insane grooves – I think I blacked out from dancing too hard during “Get Innocuous” despite not having a drink all day. But if you don’t care for a specific beat, too fucking bad – you might be stuck inside of the same exact bar for the next 7 minutes.
-Speaking of repetition–I think the National played the same morose, four chord song for half an hour. I’m not sure, though, because I fell asleep.