DECISION ’09: Wavves vs Pitchfork


Ever since Wavves aka Nathan Williams had a little mental breakdown on the Pitchfork-curated stage at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona a few weeks ago, the music site has taken a not-so-subtle negative stance towards Williams whenever it sees an opportunity. It began with the actual news story of Wavves bad Primavera show, which Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber himself began with this little cat scratch directed at the Best New Music-earning band…

Over the past six months, the San Diego no-fi outfit Wavves has notoriously made a better bedroom project than live band.

… and finished with a suggestion that Williams and drummer Ryan Ulsh might kill each other before they even made it to Pitchfork’s own music festival on July 18th. The latter bit of blood lust has proven itself to be untrue with the passage of time, but the former seems an odd assertion considering Schreiber is presumably the one who booked (or approved the booking of) Wavves at both Primavera and the Pitchfork Festival. We’ve also seen Wavves several times in venues both large and small and he’s never failed to be pretty awesome, if not more accessible than he is on record.

So what are we to make of Pitchfork’s recent Wavves-bashing editorial direction, which culminated today in a post that quotes Black Lips’ Jared Swilley talking wildly about Williams in a Norwegian radio interview, crescendos (yeah, blog posts crescendo) with “it should be noted that this is not the first time a band has talked shit about Wavves” (yes, clearly should be noted) and mentions both bands will be at Pitchfork’s festival and ends with “Feel the drama!” (really?)?

We’d like to hear what you think in the comments section. Has Wavves one bad show earned the ire of music’s biggest critic? Is Pitchfork just trying to pump up its festival’s ticket sales? Or is Pitchfork just being a dick? Let’s hear it.

POSTED June 10, 2009 7:39PM IN THE TRIPWIRE Comments (8) TAGS: , , ,




  1. bang says:

    pitchfork are just dicks. wavves is what it is.

  2. Art says:

    Pitchfork are dicks with tickets to sell

  3. jsscka says:

    seriously, Pitchfork needs to get over itself

  4. Dustin says:

    Wavves aren’t good live. Without the scuzzy effects on the vocals that you hear on the record, he sounds like a junior high kid playing Nirvana covers.

    Wavves made a mildly interesting album. Probably the most over hyped band of the last couple years (and that is TRULY saying something).

    Pfork are dicks too, this isn’t to excuse their drama-mongering. :)

  5. TheKid says:

    Pitchfork loves printing shit the Black Lips say to other news sources. Buy tickets to the festival, they are craaaaaaazy.

  6. boone says:

    I’ve never believed the Wavves hype, and they can’t hack it live, but Pitchfork should just leave em alone. It’s like crowning a king and then dragging them through the mud, royal robes and all. Pitchfork is in large part responsible for getting Wavves into this mess, the least they can do is not kick em when they’re down. It’s almost like they want them to self-destruct at Pitchfork fest.

  7. tom says:

    i saw wavves and i thought they were much better live than on the records. i think mr pitchfork is just trying to start a 50 cent vs Kanye or oasis vs blur. if that is the case, then everybody wins. except for 50 cent.

  8. oaktree says:

    P4k is trying to pump up its festival’s ticket sales AND P4k is being a dick. Saw that infamous Primavera show, and it wasn’t as bad as they’re leading people to believe. At least, not mid-to-end part of it.