Smile Politely

A C-U guide to Pitchfork Music Festival 2015

In its 10th year of existence, Pitchfork Music Festival remains a music-lovers festival. Sure, there will still be fashion bloggers. There will be teenagers on molly (though ILoveMakonnen will have nothing to do with that). There will be mud. But most of all, there will be music from legendary to up and coming acts to transient internet personalities to critically acclaimed artists on the verge of mainstream discovery. As a C-U music fan, I now present to you the lineup I plan on checking out, and the C-U musicians you’d dig if you dig ’em. Or vice versa.

FRIDAY, July 17th

3:20 — Ryley Walker (Blue stage)

I’m going to start Pitchfork off right by catching the first act Ryley Walker. He’s slotted for Pygmalion this year as well, so his set will be a taste of what’s to come to C-U in September, that is, percussive acoustic guitar-based music that gets intense before you even know it.

RIYL: Finer Feelings

3:30 — Natalie Prass (Red stage)

4:15 — Jessica Pratt (Blue)

Jessica Pratt has the hair and bohemian looks of Stevie Nicks, but her singer-songwriter style a tad more understated. Simple acoustic strumming and singing brings out the beauty in both.

RIYL: Rebecca Rego, Kenna Mae

4:35 — iLoveMakonnen (Green stage)

5:15 — Steve Gunn (Blue)

5:30 — Mac DeMarco (Red)

6:15 — Tobias Jesso Jr. (Blue)

6:25 — Panda Bear (Green)

Panda Bear’s performance at Pygmalion was one of my favorites from last year. I enjoyed the setting, in one of the Krannert Performing Arts Center theaters, but it was controversial. There was no dancing or moving, but the visuals were beautiful. This set will be for dancing.

RIYL: DJ Belly

7:15 — Iceage (Blue)

There aren’t too many heavier bands playing Pitchfork this year, and even Iceage will probably be playing songs from their latest record, Plowing Into The Field of Love, which is a little more cowpunk, a little more dramatic, and a little less heavy. Perhaps their newfound maturity will translate better to a festival stage.

RIYL: Terminus Victor

7:20 — CHVRCHES (Red)

8:15 — Ought (Blue)

8:30 — Wilco (Green)

I couldn’t possibly imagine a better place to see Wilco than at Pitchfork Music Festival in their hometown on Chicago. Whether you’re a Wilco fan or not, you really ought to watch this set because—I’ll call it right now—it’s going to go down in Chicago history as one of the best Pitchfork performances ever.

RIYL: The 92s, Tara Terra

SATURDAY, July 18th

1:00 — Jimmy Whispers (Green)

1:45 — Protomartyr (Red)

I’ve been a fan of Protomartyr ever since I heard their debut LP No Passion All Technique, an upbeat post-punk record with some of the coolest punk guitar riffs I’d heard in a while. Since then, they’ve signed to Hardly Art, released an excellent follow up and are working on another.

RIYL: Lonely Trailer

1:55 — Bully (Blue)

2:30 — Future Brown (Green)

2:50 — Mr. Twin Sister (Blue)

Formerly known as simply Twin Sister, this group continues to make deep spacy chillwave that is some of the most relaxing music you’ll ever hear. It’s the R&B of the future, if you could imagine that.

RIYL: Champaign

3:20 — Ex Hex (Red)

3:45 — Vince Staples (Blue)

4:15 — Kurt Vile and the Violators (Green)

Kurt Vile’s still riding the wave he made with his 2014 album Wakin On A Pretty Daze, aka the perfect summer porch chillin’ album, which is just fine. I want to be at this set with a beer in one hand and an ice cream cone in another.

RIYL: The Fights

4:45 — Ariel Pink (Blue)

5:15 — Parquet Courts (Red)

How could I miss this band? Parquet Courts are one of those punk bands who are geeky enough to make music that sounds both old and new at once — and keep it non-derivative enough to stay interesting. I hear everything from The Modern Lovers to Neil Young and I like it.

RIYL: Horrible Things

5:45 — A$AP Ferg (Blue)

6:15 — The New Pornographers (Green)

6:45 — Shamir (Blue)

7:25 — Future Islands (Red)

7:45 — Sophie (Blue)

Sophie has had the most actual commercial success out of any member of the PC Music collective, with the song “Lemonade” recently featured in a McDonald’s commercial. I can’t decide if that’s weird, or perfect.

RIYL: McDonalds

8:45 — Vic Mensa (Blue)

8:30 — Sleater-Kinney (Green)

Members of Sleater-Kinney have stressed that they are not “re-uniting” but simply continuing on their musical journey. The band came out with a new album called No Cities To Love this year and have already played a few shows (in various cities that love them). They’re already living riot grrrl ledgends and to hear them play their new songs will be as awesome as the old songs will be nostalgic.

RIYL: Bullnettle

SUNDAY, July 19th

1:00 — Bitchin Bajas (Green)

It’s not going to be easy to get an early start Sunday morning, especially if you’ve been soaking up the sun all day and partying all night all weekend long. But if you manage to get to the fest by 1 p.m., you will have arrived in time to experience sonic euphoria by way of Chicago’s synth-based krautrock revival band Bitchin Bajas.

RIYL: Lanterna, Jeremiah Fisher

1:00 — Single Mothers (Blue)

1:45 — Viet Cong (Red)

1:55 — Mourn (Blue)

2:30 — Waxahatchee (Green)

Katie Crutchfield of P.S. Eliot has found more mainstream success as Waxahatchee with just a little more fuzz and honest pop melodies and lyrics. Her band is made up of members of Swearin’ and P.S. Eliot.

RIYL: Nectar

2:50 — The Julie Ruin (Blue)

3:20 — Madlib & Freddie Gibbs (Red)

Based on my judgement from conversations I’ve had with Pitchfork 2015 ticketholders over the past weeks, this is one of the most anticipated sets of this year’s fest. Madlib picks his collaboraters wisely and as MadGibbs, this pair has already released an excellent record in Piñata.

RIYL: Klevah

3:45 — Perfume Genius (Blue)

4:15 — Courtney Barnett (Green)

4:45 — How To Dress Well (Blue)

5:15 — Jamie xx (Red)

5:45 — Clark (Blue)

6:15 — Caribou (Green)

6:45 — A. G. Cook (Blue)

Some of the catchiest PC Music songs originate in the mind of A.G. Cook. It will be interesting to see how they translate to a live, outdoor setting but I’m hoping for the best. Maybe a QT or Hannah Diamond cameo?

RIYL: Zeta Sagittarii

7:25 — Run The Jewels (Red)

Yesterday, dynamic rap duo Run The Jewels was announced as Pygmalion Festival’s main headliner, so here’s your chance to see them twice if you plan on attending in September. Killer Mike is a seasoned rapper in his own rite. So is El-P and he’s a prolific producer as well. Together they are even more than the sum of their parts.

RIYL: The Gr8 Thinkaz, T.R.U.T.H.

7:45 — Todd Terje & The Olsens (Blue)

Todd Terje thinks of elecrtonic music differently than the rest of us. In a world where trends like vaporwave and seapunk run their course and dissapate into nothing, Terje makes music that can stand the test of time.

RIYL: Dr Responsible

8:30 — Chance The Rapper (Green)

Check back next week as we recap our trip to the festival.

Related Articles