“Summer” in Chicago means a lot of different things; with a handful of burger celebrations, beer tastings, and general street festivals happening each weekend, how could it not? For music-lovers in Chicago (and across the nation, as a matter of fact), Pitchfork Music Festival is the leading festival of the summer. Pitchfork boasts an incredible line-up this year, with Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Kendrick Lamar headlining their respective days, and a phenomenal line-up of musicians throughout the days leading up.
Bouncing between three stages might force you to make some tough decisions. We’re just here to make those decisions a bit easier.
SZA | Friday – 6:15 at Blue Stage
The intimate Blue Stage is a perfectly fitting setting to SZA’s chill R&B. With her sexy, smooth vocals weaving in and out of equally smooth beats, she’ll have no problem getting the audience to groove with her for the length of her set.
SZA’s debut album Z arrived in April 2014. Listen to it below:
Beck | Friday – 8:30 at Green Stage
Go see Beck.
Twin Peaks | Saturday – 1:00 at Green Stage
We love local rockers, and lucky for us, Twin Peaks music is damn good, too. 2012 saw the release of their debut album, Sunken, and 2014 is shaping up to be quite a year for them , too. With a Pitchfork performance, an album on the horizon, and a seemingly full concert schedule, this quartet of lo-fi rockers doesn’t seem like they’ll be stopping any time soon. Check out a track from their upcoming album, Wild Onion, due in early August.
Cloud Nothings | Saturday – 3:20 at Red Stage
Returning to Pitchfork after a rained out set two years back are energetic rockers out of Cleveland, Cloud Nothings. Following their 2012 LP, Attack on Memory, March saw the release of their latest full-length studio album, Here and Nowhere Else. The album is filled with such drive, energy, and punk rock goodness, it’s no surprise it’s received as much positive praise as it has.
Enjoy a performance from the outfit’s 2012 Pitchfork debut below:
tUnE-yArDs | Saturday – 5:15 at Red Stage
If there’s one performance not to miss, that would be tUnE-yArDs’ return to the Pitchfork festival stage. nikki nack was released a no more than a month or two ago, and Merrill’s got a whole album of new material to bring to the stage – and the energy to back it up. With a powerful, dance-inspiring rhythm section and insane pipes, this stage will be nothing short of a party.
Danny Brown | Saturday – 6:15 at Green Stage
St. Vincent | Saturday – 7:25 at Red Stage
Annie Clark of St. Vincent has been making music for a long time, but it’s her current project that I’m most infatuated with. After playing with Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stephens, Annie released Marry Me in 2007, and has been recording as St. Vincent ever since.
This year saw the release of St. Vincent’s self-titled album. St. Vincent is some of her best work to date, with intergalactic guitar solos accompanying her sweet, narrative vocals. The album is energetic and confident, undoubtedly translating well into a stage performance. Watch St. Vincent perform “Rattlesnake” live below:
Perfect Pussy | Sunday – 1:55 at Blue Stage
Perfect Pussy, five-piece outfit out of New York, make driving, hardcore harmonium out of guitars, drums, bass, keys, and frontwoman Meredith Graves’ fuzzed-out vocals. Their proper full-length debut, 2014’s Say Yes to Love, is short, clocking in at only 23 minutes, but explosive and intense – a storm of instruments and vocals. appreciated by blogs and mainstream media alike. Recently, Perfect Pussy headlined a sold-out showcase at SXSW, and we’re looking forward to seeing that same energy at the festival’s intimate Blue Stage.
Dum Dum Girls | Sunday – 3:45 at Blue Stage
Grimes | Sunday – 7:25 at Red Stage
Another Pitchfork alumni, Grimes, has graduated from the 2012’s Blue Stage to an evening spot at the Red Stage. A follow-up to 2012’s Visions is in the works, and Claire Boucher recently released “Go” – the upcoming album’s “summer jam”. Mixing electronica and hip, this song is a departure from the artist’s debut, and a good taste of what’s to come. To see where Grimes has come from, watch her 2012 Pitchfork performance below: