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Simplifying Pitchfork

 

“[Rolls eyes] I’ve heard of all of these bands. Don’t even try to help me out; I already know everyone to see at Pitchfork. You suck.”

If this is your attitude, goodbye. This story is not for you. For any non-grumps out there seeking guidance, we’ve put together thoughts on how to maximize your Pitchfork Music Festival (July 18-20 at Union Park) based on rising stars to watch, backup plans and simple picks to get you dancing. See you there!

Skip to Friday | Saturday | Sunday

 

Friday

Can’t miss:

SZA, 6:15 p.m. at Blue stage. 

The R&B singer’s recent, smooth EP “Z” is hard to deny, and not just because it features guest turns from Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. Maybe the latter, appearing Sunday, will join her on stage? - Matt Pais


 

Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, 7:15 p.m. at Blue stage. 

The band comprises members of Dirty Projectors, Ponytail and Animal Collective--expect a freewheeling, off-kilter set. - Ernest Wilkins

If you have time:

Beck, 8:30 p.m. at Green stage. What will he do? - Matt 

Sun Kil Moon, 6:25 p.m. at Green stage (dude has skills, even though the subject matter of his songs might bum you out); Beck, 8:30 p.m. at Green stage (he's got the catalog to please a crowd) - Ernest 

Skip at all cost:

Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, 7:15 p.m. at Blue stage. I am not in the Animal Collective. - Matt 

Death Grips. They were on the Friday Pitchfork schedule but recently broke up and canceled, less than a year after not showing up for a Lolla slot. Still: Skip them and their whole tired existence in general. - Ernest 

Rising star:

Hundred Waters, 3:20 p.m. at Blue stage. A pretty start to the day that still demands your attention. - Matt 

SZA, 6:15 p.m. at Blue stage. More than just the token R&B singer for Top Dawg Entertainment (the label that brought you Kendrick and Schoolboy Q), she packs depth and power into her songs. - Ernest 

If you want to dance: Factory Floor, 4:15 p.m. at Blue stage. If you’re moving and hydrated, you won’t realize how long the tracks go. - Matt

Giorgio Moroder, 7:20 p.m. at Red stage. Pitchfork scored a major coup by landing the disco icon. Leave the John Travolta moves at home, please. - Ernest 

Saturday

Can’t miss:

St. Vincent, 7:25 p.m. at Red stage. Annie Clark’s new self-titled album as St. Vincent takes her to a new level of songwriting. She’s also a magnetic, unusual performer.

Kelela, 5:45 p.m. at Blue stage.

Her recent release, 2013's "Cut 4 Me," resides at the intersection between dance music and traditional R&B conventions (standout track "Enemy" exemplifies this style perfectly.) Here's hoping this performance gets more people exposed to her delightful sound.

If you have time: 

Danny Brown, 6:15 p.m. at Green stage. Anyone who never gave the nasal rapper a chance pretty much had to surrender to 2013’s “Old.” Great album. - Matt 

Danny Brown, 6:15 p.m. at Green stage (consistently a fun performer); Pusha T, 4:15 p.m. at Green stage (has more hits than you remember) - Ernest 

Skip at all cost: 

The Field, 6:45 p.m. at Blue stage. I know some love this kind of plodding electronic business, but A. It bores me and B. It’s stuffed between the day’s most unmissable acts. Not happening. - Matt

Neutral Milk Hotel, 8:30 p.m. at Green stage. This snore fest of a band might do it for some, but not me. - Ernest 

Rising star: 

Twin Peaks, 1 p.m. at Green stage. It takes about three seconds to see why these young Chicagoans are rising fast. Can’t wait for “Wild Onion,” out Aug. 5. - Matt

FKA Twigs, 7:45 p.m. at Blue stage. The British singer's style is equal parts sexy and exciting. If there's any justice in this world, the sun will be down in time for this one. - Ernest

If you want to dance: 

tUnE-yArDs, 5:15 p.m. at Red stage. The consensus "Oh, look, a large group of people flailing around a lot and calling it dancing" pick of the entire festival. - Ernest

Cloud Nothings, 3:20 p.m. at Red stage. It will be a wild, rock-inspired dance, but it’s the best option today. - Matt

Sunday


Can’t miss:

Mutual Benefit, 1 p.m. at Green stage. Before launching into an intense final day of the fest, start with tracks from the beautiful “Love’s Crushing Diamond.” Relax and enjoy, but don’t snooze—you’ve got a big schedule ahead. - Matt

Kendrick Lamar, 8:30 p.m. at Green stage. The last time he was at Pitchfork, he played the smallest stage. This time, it's his victory lap. Maybe we'll get songs from his forthcoming album? - Ernest

 

 

If you have time:

Deafheaven, 2:30 p.m. at Green stage. After the nonstop energy of Perfect Pussy (see below), this set will run the spectrum of all-out guitar assault and subtle texture waiting to explode. - Matt

Speedy Ortiz, 1 p.m. at Blue stage (fun rock to start day three); Hudson Mohawke, 7:45 p.m. at Blue stage (Kanye collaborator/half of DJ duo TNGHT will bring the noise) - Ernest

Skip at all cost:

Dum Dum Girls, 3:45 p.m. at Blue stage. Never understood the fuss about them, and the band’s not worth breaking up your hip-hop-heavy agenda of Isaiah Rashad, Earl Sweatshirt and Schoolboy Q. - Matt

Perfect Pussy, 1:55 p.m. at Blue stage. Overhyped, overhyped, overhyped. - Ernest


Rising star: Perfect Pussy. 1:55 p.m. at Blue stage. The New York band has started a lot of conversations, and not just because of its name. “Say Yes to Love” is a freewheeling, contagious album. - Matt

Isaiah Rashad, 2:50 p.m. at Blue stage. Rashad's album "Cilvia Demo" impressed many earlier this year; now's his chance to show his skills to a big audience. - Ernest

If you want to dance: Grimes, 7:25 p.m. at Red stage. Your dancing will involve a certain degree of bouncing, and you will not mind. - Matt

DJ Spinn, 6:45 p.m. at Blue stage. This will turn into a celebration of the life of the late DJ Rashad who was supposed to be performing with Spinn in this slot. Expect joy, not sadness. - Ernest

 

Pitchfork Music Festival, 3:30 p.m. Fri, 1 p.m. Sat.-Sun. at Union Park. $60 Friday passes available; all other tickets sold out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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