Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, May 18

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Interview Tue Jul 21 2015

Pitchfork Interview: Ryan Graveface

gravefacerecords.png If your unfamiliar with Ryan Graveface, you're missing out on some incredible music. Besides being a key member of bands like The Marshmallow Ghosts, Dreamend, Black Moth Super Rainbow, and The Casket Girls, Graveface also who runs two of the most interesting record labels currently out there: the eclectic Gravefave Records and the obscure horror soundtrack focused Terror Vision Records. He also has a Graveface Records and Curiosities shop in Savannah, Georgia and is trying to expand into another store in Austin, Texas. There is no time wasted with this man and the world is all the better for that.

I stopped by the Graveface booth at the Chirp Record Fair at Pitchfork Musical Festival this weekend and even though our conversation came close to 18 minutes long, we barely scratched the surface of everything he has going on. We delved into to all things Graveface, talking about the quandaries of running two record labels, the state of vinyl pressing, passion projects, and more. Listen to the two parts below and check out some of the essential music he is putting out.

Interview with Ryan Graveface at Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Part One

Interview with Ryan Graveface at Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Part Two

Julian Ramirez

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 20 2015

Pitchfork 2015 - Sunday in Review

Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 - Sunday (photos by Amanda Koellner)

The weather may have shifted yet again on Sunday, but the rocking was just as fierce at the Pitchfork Music Festival as it had been all weekend. While music-lovers contended with squishy mud bogs (where they put those giveaway Flor tiles to good use) as well as long lines for water and food, they were also treated to killer sets and an epic finale from Chicago's own Chance the Rapper.

The festival gates opened to the tune of Benny Hill's "Yakkity Sax" playing from the Green Stage.

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Interview Mon Jul 20 2015

Pitchfork Interview: Ought

Despite the downright raucous atmosphere that their live shows produce and the amazing adulation they've gotten from fans and critics alike, the members of Ought are some of the most humble and endearing guys around. They take their success in stride and are just doing what they love. On Friday, I had the amazing opportunity to talk with them before their set at Pitchfork. We spoke about their current success and their upcoming album Sun Coming Down. You can listen to the interview below and check out their newest single, "Beautiful Blue Sky."

Interview with Ought at Pitchfork Music Festival 2015

Julian Ramirez

Pitchfork Music Festival Sun Jul 19 2015

Pitchfork 2015 - Saturday in Review

Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 (photos by Amanda Koellner)

Heat! Sun! Rain! Wind! Thunder! Lightning! Saturday's Pitchfork Music Fest was one for the weather books. Miraculously, even though the park was briefly evacuated during the height of the afternoon storms, only one full set was cut completely (that of Vince Staples). Ex Hex and Kurt Vile and the Violators had abbreviated sets before and after the storms, respectively, and the stage and sound crews earned their paychecks and then some. For those of us who stuck around and came back after the evac, we were treated to some of the most spectacular sonic storytelling ever to grace Union Park. Oh, and a metric ton of mud.

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Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 18 2015

Pitchfork 2015 - Friday in Review

Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 (photos by Amanda Koellner)

Friday the thunderclouds built up north and south of Union Park, but the rain held off while the heat ramped up. At one point, the lightning show over Lake Michigan was only rivaled by the dripping LED display along Wilco's stage. Our team spread out over the park and soaked up as much music as sun. Here's what they had to say about Friday's Pitchfork performances:

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Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Jul 10 2015

How to Pitchfork (and Win This Contest!)


The greatness that is Pitchfork Music Festival is just a mere week away, and it is certain that the 10th anniversary is going to uphold the fest's legacy of a well-curated lineup and a host of musical surprises within Chicago's spacious Union Park spot. It's a given that we'll be gathering to hear the stellar music options, so we've rounded up some tips for a our "How to Pitchfork Guide", showcasing delights that Pitchfork Music Festival has to offer you.

Still need a ticket to this exquisite 3-day event? Note your own Pitchfork tip or echo your favorite that is listed here within the comment section by 3pm today (make sure to utilize your email address!) for a chance to win! [Update: We've emailed our winner! Thanks to everyone for your tips!]

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (18)

Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Jul 03 2015

Our Picks for Pitchfork 2015!


We've reached the two week countdown for Union Park's glorious 3-day music festival, Pitchfork. This year's lineup is more diverse than ever, featuring an eclectic crop of artists, ranging from long-established favorites, to buzzed-about newcomers to the scene. Though there are numerous acts to choose from, we've rounded up our favorite recommended acts for you to take a listen to during this stellar weekend. Along with our recommendations, leave a comment on this post (make sure to use your email address) indicating who you're most excited to see at Pitchfork and why by 3pm today, and you could score a 3-day GA pass to Pitchfork! [Update! We've contacted our winner! Thanks for all your comments!]

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (9)

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jun 15 2015

Our Favorite Lines from Pitchfork Artists (Plus, a Contest!)

This summer's Pitchfork Music Festival is a mere five weeks away and we're pretty excited here at Gapers Block. To celebrate the coming musical smorgasbord we've compiled a list of ten lyrical gems from artists who will be performing at Union Park this year (and a little something special for our readers):

1. "Don't try me I'm not a free sample"
Shamir - "On the Regular"


Honestly this whole list could've easily been populated with Shamir lyrics - the young up and comer has some of the catchiest, smartest, funniest lyrics I've ever heard - but this one by far takes the cake. It's the perfect response to anybody getting on your nerves, although it loses something in delivery in the absence of Shamir's plus size personality. Catch the 20-year-old Nevada native on Saturday morning.

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Celeste Mallama / Comments (6)

Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Feb 13 2015

Pitchfork Music Festival Announces 10th Anniversary Lineup


2015 marks the 10th year of Pitchfork's dynamic Music Festival, in the sunny and vibrant square, Union Park, from Friday, July 17 through Sunday, July 19. To celebrate, they've rounded up a stellar crop of acts to commemorate its decade-long reign as one of Chicago's most revered music festivals. Their aim for the big 10th year lineup was to intermingle up-and-coming acts with established favorites, with an emphasis on hometown artists.

Well-loved Chicago group Wilco will headline the fest Friday evening, with the legendary Sleater-Kinney performing on Saturday evening. Chance the Rapper will bring his electric set to Union Park on Sunday to close out the weekend's events.

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Sarah Brooks

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jan 26 2015

Pitchfork Music Festival 2015 Tickets On Sale


The Pitchfork Music Festival has long been a celebrated destination for avid music fans who appreciate a distinct array of musical styles. Pitchfork has the ability to perfectly curate a weekend full of fun festivities alongside matchless musical performances. This summer marks a heightened special occasion as the fest celebrates ten years of indie darlings, veteran rockers, and up-and-coming artists performing dynamic sets among Union Park's lush landscape.

Tickets are now on sale for this three-day fest's 2015 experience, occurring from July 17 through July 19 this year. Three-day passes are available in limited quantities for $150, and single day passes are available for $65. With each three-day pass purchased, a complimentary one-year subscription to The Pitchfork Review will be included, with its next February issue featuring an in-depth, not-to-miss interview with celebrated avant-garde artist Björk, among other outstanding topics.

Sarah Brooks

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Jul 24 2014

Pitchfork 2014 by Tweet

Gapers Block's writers and photographers were all over Pitchfork Music Festival last weekend, tweeting and Instagramming and Facebooking. Here's a Storify collection of what we posted, including photos from Joshua Mellin, Jim Vondruska, Andrew Huff, Jasmine Davila and Sarah Brooks.

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Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 21 2014

Pitchfork Music Festival: Day 3 In Review

pitchfork2014.jpgBy day three at Pitchfork Fest, we had seen a wide range of musical and non-musical spectacles. From sets that packed the park to its capacity, showing no boundaries to where the audience ends, to an array of eccentric place-holding signs (the Kevin Spacey sign will always, always win), to wildly zany outfits turning Pitchfork into a fashion show, the three days kept us entertained in ways we did not anticipate. Day three brought about standout musical acts and allowed the festival to close out in an absolutely grandiose way.


Crowd at Pitchfork on Sunday (photo by Joshua Mellin)

Perfect Pussy

Shortly after Speedy Ortiz gracefully shredded apart the Blue Stage to greet the last day of the festival (and where Sadie Dupuis not-so-sincerely apologized for making out with all your friends), Meredith Graves and Perfect Pussy appeared to obliterate anything that remained. Playing their longest set in the city to date, clocking in just over a cool half hour, the band attacked their instruments with true disregard, playing material from their new LP so furiously that you could barely hear Graves screams above the din. Which was unfortunate, as much of Perfect Pussy's appeal lies is in Graves's gender-politicking lyrics and confrontational come-ons. Graves is a visceral and aggressive performer, and her I-dare-you-to-call-me-cute-to-my-face brand of gleeful intimidation is at the heart of her charm: In the throes of any given Perfect Pussy song she'll be screaming until her face turns blue, but somehow she'll manage to smile bashfully between songs and take the obligatory Polaroid of the adoring crowd at the set's end. Who said hardcore couldn't be endearing?
- Mike Bellis


Earl Sweatshirt (Photo by Amanda Koellner)

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (2)

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 21 2014

Interview: Hundred Waters at Pitchfork Music Festival

pitchfork2014.jpgHundred Waters is a group to watch; their dynamic opening set at Pitchfork Music Festival this past Friday was unreal and other-worldly, as it contributed ethereal sounds to Union Park's dense landscape. I was lucky to get a chance to chat with the group, who are as humble as they are a master of their musical craft, as we discussed their distinct sound, their growth as a band, and more. Catch the interview with the full sound clip below, and tune into their music for a sound unlike anything you've heard before.

Interview with Hundred Waters at Pitchfork Music Festival 2014

Sarah Brooks

Review Mon Jul 21 2014

Review: Wild Beasts @ Lincoln Hall, 7/18

Late during Friday's Pitchfork aftershow, Wild Beasts conceded that all of their music falls into one of two categories: the kind you fuck to and the kind you fight to. The only thing about the comment that should have surprised fans was that it didn't end with "or both." Over four albums, Wild Beasts have never shied away from discussing sensuality and brutality. On this year's Present Tense, the music is a little lighter than the two previous albums, but the subject matter leans darker. Or is there nothing too off about smearing lipstick on someone and wiping away their drool?

Singers Hayden Thorpe and Tom Flemming don't quite give away which side of fuck-or-fight each song is on, but they do punctuate key lyrics live. ("Wanderlust"'s spiteful "Don't confuse me for someone who gives a fuck" and "Bed of Nails"'s "I would lie anywhere with you / Any old bed of nails would do" spring to mind.) Vocal interplay between Thorpe and Flemming, thumping bass lines and poppy synths dominated an hour-plus set that drew heavily from Present Tense but didn't ignore any of their albums, much to the audience's delight.

The juxtaposition of nearly ethereal music and haunting lyrics is nothing new. Wild Beasts just happen to be delivering it better than many others these days. And whether it's in near darkness at a club at 1:30 a.m. or in the sun at a festival at 2:30 p.m., they're getting their points across.

James Ziegenfus

Pitchfork Music Festival Sun Jul 20 2014

Pitchfork Music Festival: Day 2 In Review


Day two of Pitchfork Music Festival brought the heat (literally, and figuratively) with stacked acts of tour-de-force musical performances one after the other, all day long. With a diverse array of artists present, Saturday's festival journey indulged any wishes to dance, see your favorite singer from a packed crowd, and bask in the sunlight amongst a colorfully dressed crowd.

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks drew a massive, eager-to-listen musical crowd for the day's first set under the sweltering sun. I interviewed the group earlier this month, and my favorite quality of their style right off the bat was the playful answers to my questions. The youthfulness of their sound was evident merely through these words that they spoke, and I looked forward to seeing how that manifested during their set. To the joy of the audience, their Peter Pan syndrome shone through in their sound in the absolute best way. Their forthcoming sophomore album, Wild Onion, will be released on August 5, available for pre-order on their Soundcloud. Their set featured these energized rock riffs and raspy, wailing vocals in songs such as "I Found A New Way," and "Flavor," while complementing these new sounds with old material from their 2013 release, Sunken.

(Photo by Joshua Mellin)

Their commitment to their niche rock sound was evident, as one of their members sat from a chair onstage and rocked out even while his leg was braced with a large cast, though he didn't look like he was feeling any pain as he jammed out throughout the duration of the set. Their set created a party with their summery garage rock, which engaged the crowd to surf during their second song and beyond, create a mosh pit atmosphere in the front, as concertgoers waved flowers in the air and tattered towels with inscriptions. Their end song featured the band throwing out a guitar (yes, you heard me right) into the crowd in two pieces. However, no one seemed alarmed at the fact that this guitar had been destroyed, and the atmosphere was as chill as ever. Frontman Cadien James ended the set by crowdsurfing himself, a euphoric look across his face as fans moved him throughout the crowd, never wanting the rock 'n' roll to end.
-Sarah Brooks

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Sarah Brooks

Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 19 2014

Pitchfork Music Festival: Day 1 In Review

pitchfork2014.jpgPitchfork Music Festival 2014's day one acts encompassed varied examples of musical greatness. With a range of talents and genres represented, there was a stellar act for each attendee to enjoy. Pitchfork is an odd festival in that the people watching in Union Park's annual soiree is almost more entertaining than the festival acts themselves. Thankfully, that's not always the case. Here are some of the acts from Friday that truly warranted a head-turn or two from the swaths of questionable/avant fashion choices and that Kevin Spacey sign camped out in the front of the Green Stage.

Hundred Waters

Hundred Waters is a group I've grown to admire over the past couple of years. They're very new to the scene, yet their sound is so organic and pristine, as if they've spent years and years refining it to bring it to this very point. The group created their sound after living together, immersed within a communal environment and given that space needed to experiment and grow their sound into what it is today. I first saw them open for Freelance Whales in January of 2013, where I was pleasantly intrigued by what I heard. I can't say I had ever heard a sound like that before, and was immediately entranced.

Seeing them a year and a half later, I have been able to visualize how much their sound has grown, and the progress they have made as they've shaped their identity further. Opening with "Show Me Love," a layered a capella ballad off of their recently released sophomore album, The Moon Rang Like A Bell, Nicole Miglis's voice was pristine and pure. They then continued with material off of their newest release by playing crowd-pleasers "Murmurs" and the tumultuously rhythmic "Cavity." The sound, amplified for the crowd, was on-point and direct, drawing you in naturally and allowing you to crave more. Their sound is completely other-worldly, and makes you feel like you're lost in a dream and literally have to pull yourself back to reality.

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Sarah Brooks

Pitchfork Music Festival Wed Jul 16 2014

Our Picks for Pitchfork Fest 2014

By Transmission Staff

pitchfork2014.jpgWhere does a year go? It seems that we were just getting over sunburns and rubbing the baseball diamond dust from our eyes as we stumbled to work on a misty Monday morn in late July. But no, it has come around again: the last days before the Pitchfork Music Festival.

Thankfully, it seems that Mother Nature got all the rain out of her system last weekend, and we're settling in for a lovely few days in Chicago. Come on and see what we're most excited to hear with our staff's picks for Pitchfork sets you won't want to miss.

At the festival, don't forget to stop by and say hi at our table at the CHIRP Record Fair! We'll have buttons, posters, I ✶ Chi shirts and more!

Pitchfork Sky_9333292936_m.jpg
Memories of Pitchfork 2013 (photo by Joshua Mellin)

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Contest Mon Jul 14 2014

Last Chance Pitchfork Giveaway!

pitchfork2014.jpgJust days to go to the Pitchfork Music Festival and the forecast is pointing towards awesome. We're busy writing previews for the artists playing and picking out comfortable shoes. But while we're ramping up for 3 days in the fields of Union Park we don't want to do it alone — we want to take you along! (Well, 2 of you, at least.) For those of you who wait till the last minute, we have 2 3-day passes to give away, and we're doing it today, so get your fingers ready.

To enter, leave a comment (with a valid email address) below, with a quick description of your ideal Pitchfork day. What sets do you want to see? What else do you want to eat/wear/do? What are you most looking forward to experiencing if you're picked as the winner? Enter by 5pm today, Monday, July 14 and we'll comb through and pick 2 winners tonight. [Update: We've emailed our 2 winners! Thanks to everyone who entered!]

Pitchfork Kid_9333302498_m.jpg

Pitchfork 2013 (photo by Joshua Mellin)

Anne Holub / Comments (29)

Contest Tue Jul 01 2014

A Pre-Pitchfork Interview with Twin Peaks (and Contest, Too!)

pitchfork music festival 2014Pitchfork Music Festival is swiftly approaching. With stellar acts across the board, you can't go wrong with which musical acts you see throughout the fest's reign. Sunday's tickets have now sold out, with other individual days sure to follow suit. To get you prepped for your festival music choices, we got the chance to speak with one of Pitchfork's local acts, Chicago's own Twin Peaks. With their energized rock'n'roll riffs and haze-infused sound, they will easily draw a great crowd during their festival set. I asked guitarist and singer, Clay Frankel, for some insight into their signature sound and their unique identity as a band.

The sound of Twin Peaks is so unique and full of wisdom beyond your years. Where do you draw your inspiration from when writing and creating your music?

All sorts'a things. Women mostly. You might think it sounds wise because of its good-natured honesty, which is rare in music today. But that's funny, though. Wise, ha ha.

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Sarah Brooks / Comments (42)

Pitchfork Music Festival Wed May 14 2014

Odes to Pitchfork Music Festival (and Your Chance to Win!)

pitchfork2014.jpgSome say that poetry is music. We'd like to add that an experience as unique and magical as a 3-day music festival in the middle of Chicago is something best captured in a poem. Better yet, a hiaku. That's right, we're daring you to create haikus about the Pitchfork Music Festival. Just write your most poignant thoughts down in a 5/7/5 syllable haiku in the comments below (Be sure to include a valid email address!) and we'll pick 2 winners to receive a 3-day pass to this year's fest!

Haikus must be entered in comments below by 3pm Friday, 5/16. We'll notify winners by email. Write as many haikus as you like! [Update! We've notified our 2 winners by email! Thanks for all the amazing entries!]

Need inspiration? Here are a few to inspire you, by Transmission writer Mike Bellis:

Would you like to see
Pitchfork's summer jubilee
All three days, for FREE?

Gapers has your back;
A way to watch Slowdive and
Neutral Milk attack

Send us some haikus
On some of Pitchfork's who's who's
And we'll cure your blues

Five, seven and five
Rhyming's swell, if you can jive
If not, well, that's cool.

How could you delay?
Grimes and St Vincent await --
Write us now, today!

Anne Holub / Comments (80)

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Apr 07 2014

Miss Your Chance for P4K Fest Three-Day Passes? Have No Fear, Gapers Block is Here!

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013_9333292274_m.jpg

Ptichfork Music Festival 2013 (Photo by Joshua Mellin)

As you may have seen, three-day passes to this summer's Pitchfork Music Festival are now sold out. But fear not, Grimes fans! Luckily for you, Gapers Block has a few passes available to what many of us here consider to be one of the best all-around festival experiences you can find.

Similar to our Pitchfork giveaways of years past, we're asking readers to leave a comment below this article with a few of their favorite memories from festivals of previous Pitchfork fests (or, if you've yet to see the Union Park festival in all its midsummer glory, give us a memory or personal story about one of this year's artists.) A winner will be chosen from among the comments section of this article — but you must comment by Tuesday morning at 11am. Good luck!

[Update: We've picked our winner! Congrats to Joy, who posted at 3:18pm Monday afternoon, and whose love for truly old-school lovelorn CD-R mixtapes and Beck softened our hearts. Joy, please email us your full name and mailing address at so we can get you your 3-day pass! Congrats and thanks for everyone for the great comments!]

Mike Bellis / Comments (48)

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Mar 20 2014

Pitchfork Music Festival Announces Full Lineup


This afternoon, Pitchfork Music Festival announced its next wave of artists to round out this year's lineup, and it is looking quite stellar. A couple of the acts could actually have formed a solid headlining set themselves, and the lineup includes variety in musical genre, some Pitchfork Music Festival veterans, and a whole lot of awesome.

Continue reading this entry »

Sarah Brooks

Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Feb 14 2014

Pitchfork Music Festival Announces 2014 Lineup


Pitchfork Music Festival, one of the city's most beloved summer music festivals, has announced the initial wave for its 2014 lineup, and let me tell you, it is good. Headlining acts have been announced as Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Kendrick Lamar. As Beck has been in the game for a long time and is releasing a forthcoming album this year, and Neutral Milk Hotel released their last album in 1998, the lineup is stacked with shows by established artists sure to make the indie soul within us the happiest festival attendee there ever was. Not to mention the fact that Kendrick Lamar is the headliner to close out the festival, whose live shows, speaking from personal experience, are of the best caliber.

The festival dates are July 18th through July 20th at Union Park, and promise a weekend full of varied musical entertainment from a vast array of genres, from songstress Sharon Van Etten, to indie singer with a tribal flair tUnE-yArDs, to electronic-pop hybrid Grimes, the festival has set the bar high with its initial lineup announcement.

Tickets are on sale in varying tiers. For $130, you can procure your own three-day pass, while single day passes can be purchased for $60. The full (initial) lineup announcement is listed below, for your festival excitement-building pleasure.

Giorgio Moroder
Sun Kil Moon
Factory Floor
Death Grips
Haxan Cloak
Sharon Van Etten

Neutral Milk Hotel
Mas Ysa
Pusha T
The Range
Circulatory System
The Julie Ruin
Wild Beasts

Kendrick Lamar

Sarah Brooks

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Jul 25 2013

Pitchfork 2013 in Photos

Relive last weekend with a slideshow of photos by Joshua Mellin, spanning the entire Pitchfork Music Festival 2013.

Anne Holub

Pitchfork Music Festival Tue Jul 23 2013

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Tree


Tree by Lisa White

We sat down with hometown MC Tree after he kicked off Sunday afternoon in Union Park, serving up Soul Trap and some Chicago pride under the sun. After answering a quick phone call and relaxing a bit backstage, Tree spoke with us about playing SXSW, discussed the Chicago hip hop community and what inspires him in our city. It was a lovely way to relax and end our weekend chatting with artist in Union Park.

Interview with Tree at Pitchfork Music Festival

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Tue Jul 23 2013

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Waxahatchee


Katie from Waxahatchee by Lisa White

We started our last day at the festival chatting with Katie from Waxahatchee before she took the stage Sunday afternoon. She raved about the atmosphere at the festival, discussed the difference in creating music as a solo artist and as a band, and was a good sport when Killer Mike's set almost overpowered our conversation.

Interview with Waxahatchee at Pitchfork Music Festival

Keep checking back for more conversations with artists from Pitchfork Music Festival here on Gapers Block.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 22 2013

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Sunday

Killer Mike Front Row_9338968461_l.jpg

Killer Mike Crowd by Joshua Mellin

The last day of a music festival is always bittersweet, the tired sunburned aching feet of the weekend passes shuffling around, making their last festival purchases and mustering up the energy to dance along to the last few songs. Mixed in Sunday was a large crowd of impeccably dressed older fans setting up camp for headliner R. Kelly, a strong showing of hip hop heads ready to catch the day most catered to their taste, and a lot of electronic fans camped out at the Blue Stage, creating one of the most diverse and excitedly allegiant crowds of fans in attendance at Pitchfork Festival yet this weekend. Whatever acts you were there to see, Sunday made sure you'd participate at some point, whether it be shimmying at MIA, moshing at Lil B, or steppin in the name of love. -Lisa White

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Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 22 2013

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Trail of Dead

You Will Know Us By The Trail of the Dead_ photo by Lisa White.jpg

Conrad from Trail of Dead by Lisa White

Conrad Keely, lead singer of ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, sat down to chat with us before taking the stage to deliver a heavy hitting rock set Saturday afternoon. We discussed some of his favorite festivals, the bands natural recording process, and how the music industry has changed since Trail of Dead began in 1994.

Interview with Trail of Dead at Pitchfork Music Festival

Keep checking back for more conversations with artists from Pitchfork Music Festival here on Gapers Block.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 22 2013

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: White Lung

White Lung Interview_9333296802_m.jpg

White Lung by Joshua Mellin

After waking up the crowd Saturday morning with their own brand of punk rock, we were able to catch up with Canadian outfit White Lung. We spoke to them about surreal life on the road, the shelf life of their music, and Canadian kid music.

Interview with White Lung at Pitchfork Music Festival

Keep checking back for more conversations with artists from Pitchfork Music Festival here on Gapers Block.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sun Jul 21 2013

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Saturday

P4k Red Bull Mirror_9333382684_m.jpg

Photo by Joshua Mellin

With the hot afternoon sun quickly drying up any remaining mud or sign of Friday night's Bjork-ending torrential storm, day two of Pitchfork promised to be another scorcher for what is perhaps their most heavy lineup of artists all weekend. As tank top-clad kids, overdressed aging punks, and everyone in between filed their way into Union Park for the earlier gate opening, the sounds of some of the angrier, more confrontational bands of the Pitchfork roster were there to greet them, providing a stark wake up call to those still hungover from the first day's festivities. -Mike Bellis

Pitchfork Kid_9333302498_m.jpg

Photo by Joshua Mellin

Pitchfork Festival saw another soggy ending last night, but not before dishing out a deep variety of acts to a much less humid crowd Saturday. Things kicked off with a double punch of speed and punk from Vancouver's White Lung. Vocalist and guitarist Mish Way's voice wailed throughout the field as her band members kept up an impressive and on point beat. It was a much needed alarm clock to the start of the day, whether you wanted it or not, squelching anyones hope of an early afternoon nap laying in the shade. -Lisa White

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Lisa White / Comments (1)

Pitchfork Music Festival Sun Jul 21 2013

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Wire


Wire by Joshua Mellin

We kicked off our Conversations at Pitchfork series this year chatting with Graham Lewis from the seminal art punk band Wire. Graham shared with us his preference in live venue, how the music industry has changed since Wire formed in the '70s, and his earliest music memory.

Interview with Wire at Pitchfork Music Festival

Keep checking back for more conversations with artists from Pitchfork Music Festival here on Gapers Block.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 20 2013

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Friday


Pitchfork Crowd by Joshua Mellin

Only Bjork and her Tesla coil could whip up a storm so savage that it shut down Pitchfork Festival early Friday night. The Icelandic nymph closed out the night after a breezy but hot kickoff to the weekend activities. Water lines were long throughout the day and many people were napping in the field during Joanna Newsom's set to muster up some much needed energy to last until the finish line of the Friday. The weather made us miss some of Bjork, but it will at least bring much appreciated cooler temperatures for the rest of the festival weekend. -Lisa White

Though the first day of Pitchfork was eventually defined by the expected-but-somehow-out-of-nowhere downpour of rain that called an early halt to Bjork's headlining set, the rest of the day was marked by a strong set of (mostly) laid back afternoon jams, with audiences slow-roasting under the intense summer sun. While we can only hope that last night's storm killed this past week's heat wave, we know we can expect to see more un-ironic Nirvana T-shirts, stylish undercuts and Lennon-gazing bottle sunglasses as the current love for '90s signifiers roars back in full force.

Like in previous years, the festival divided its acts across three stages and, also just like every other year, crowds sought refuge more often than not in the shaded, 15-degrees-cooler Blue Stage, the smallest of the three and placed in the corner of Union Park tucked behind the long row of beverage tents, Port-O-Potties, and local food vendors. -Mike Bellis

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Lisa White / Comments (1)

Pitchfork Music Festival Wed Jul 17 2013

Our Favorite Acts at Pitchfork Music Fest 2013

pitchfork_music_festival_2013.jpgAnother long weekend in Union Park is upon us, and excitement bubbles over an eclectic Pitchfork Music Festival lineup which includes legends as well as up-and-comers. Whether you're planning to chill out under the trees or dance on the grass, the three days' planned entertainment has a little something for everyone. Our eager Transmission staff have chosen acts to highlight which will lead us to head down Ashland this weekend.

And there's more than just music to entertain you this weekend. While you're at Pitchfork, don't forget to stop by and say hello to Gapers Block staff manning our table at the CHIRP Record Fair tent, bid on autographed memorabilia at the Rock For Kids charity tent, browse the crafty wares at Coterie, visit the Book Fort, The Creative Lounge or shop for sweet posters at Flatstock.

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Contest Wed Jul 10 2013

Contest: Win a Pair of Pitchfork Festival Three Day Passes in the Gapers Block Music Scavenger Hunt


You've got the rest of this week and next to hydrate, buy some comfortable shoes and some high SPF before heading out to Pitchfork Festival next weekend in Union Park. Three day passes have been sold out for a few weeks, but you can still buy single day passes for $50 each day here.

We at Gapers Block are no stranger to procrastination, and so we're sure a few of you kept meaning to get a pass, letting it slip your mind until it was too late. Or maybe you've had to budget this festival season, picking and choosing only select festivals to attend this year. And some of us are just flat out broke. Whatever the reason, if you haven't got ahold of a pass yet, there is still time for Gapers Block to hook up a few more lucky readers. We'll have a three day pass to give away at our Hot Dog Cook Off at Schubas this weekend. If you aren't a fan of tubular meat (for shame!) you can enter to win a pair of three day passes by participating in the Gapers Block Music Scavenger Hunt!

The scavenger hunt will take you around the city to some of our favorite Chicago music moments and landmarks. You have until now to Sunday at 7pm to play along. Want to explore the city a bit and throw your hat in the ring to win two weekend passes? Check out the rules and scavenger hunt clues after the jump.

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Lisa White / Comments (9)

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 08 2013

Ten Ways to Keep the Night Alive: Pitchfork After-Party Guide


The closing moments of a festival are strange. The people are high, but sadness creeps in as their beloved bands finish their sets. The sun is setting, but it's still early for a Saturday night. Droves of concertgoers pour through the exit gates and wander aimlessly in the streets, wondering ... where to next? Certainly, having somewhere to go always helps. To aid in that effort, here is the lowdown on Pitchfork's official and unofficial after parties.


Surrounding the festival this year, is the Pitchfork holiday season, which begins on Thursday, July 18th with the official Pitchfork pre-party at Lincoln Hall. Atop the bill is the Montreal duo, Magical Cloudz, who will be flanked by sets from Pitchfork DJs. The event is free upon RSVPing and also includes free food courtesy of Chipotle. The doors open at 10pm, but you'd be wise to arrive early because capacity at Lincoln Hall is limited. If the sound of this piques your interest, RSVP.


The official festival begins on Friday with headliner, Bjork, closing out the night in Union Park. But if you want to prolong the weird, the second installment in after-shows at Lincoln Hall is there for you. Sky Ferreira and Savages, two Pitchfork festival regulars, will share the night along with a "special guest" DJ and friend to Savages, Johnny Hostile. The coupling of these breakout chick rockers should make for a riotous night and if you want in you best start trolling Craigslist or other resellers because this show is sold out. Friday night is host to another sold-out show at Schubas. Foxygen, hungry to improve their sketchy reputation for live performances, will take to stages twice this weekend so if you can't find any tickets for their show at Schubas with Gauntlet Hair and Gambles, don't miss them on Sunday at the festival.

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Abigail Covington

Contest Wed Jun 05 2013

Didn't Grab a Pitchfork Festival Three-Day Pass Before They Sold Out? We're Here to Help!


Did you grab your Pitchfork Festival three-day pass? If not, you snooze you lose folks. On Monday the festival announced that they have officially sold out of three-day passes. Can't say we didn't warn you though! Single day tickets are still available for $50 each, and you can purchase them here.

Kicking yourself over not buying a full weekend pass in time? Well have no fear all you procrastinators out there. We've got a three-day pass for one lucky Gapers Block reader today. So breathe a sigh of relief and shoot an email over to with the subject line "Pitchfork Procrastinator" and you might be relaxing at the festival next month in Union Park. Make sure to get your email in by 4pm today, and at that time we'll pick a random winner. And remember next year to grab those passes early! [Update: Thanks to everyone who emailed in entries. We've notified our winner! Congrats to Brain B.]

If the diverse and stellar line-up of everyone from Bjork to Solange to R. Kelly to Lil B doesn't have you excited all ready, one of the newest additions to the festival (in the form of a beverage no less) might pique your interest. Goose Island is returning after a two year break to become the beverage of choice next month, and they are bringing some interesting brews specifically for the festival. Including a beer called Run the Jewels, a collaboration with rappers Killer Mike and El-P, named after their own new joint music project. So you can literally swig their beer while watching them perform at Pitchfork Festival, which I highly advise since their joint tour last year was one of my personal favorite shows of 2012. For more info on the other interesting beer selections being offered this year, check out this piece about it from the Chicago Tribune.

Pitchfork Festival is July 19-21st in Union Park. Three-day passes are sold out, but you can still purchase individual tickets at $50/day.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Mar 28 2013

Share Your Memories and Win a Pitchfork Festival 2013 3-Day Pass


Sleigh Bells Crowd Surf by George Aye

As the sun peeks out, temperatures rise, and Chicago begins to thaw out from the winter, we're reminded that our favorite time of the year is around the corner; summer festival season.

One of our busiest weekends is Pitchfork Festival, which is personally a favorite in my book. It has always been to me the perfect size, the perfect mix of new and old artist to check out, and a great relaxing weekend to enjoy quality music with friends.

We've had a lot of great memories at Pitchfork Festival, and we want to make sure our readers make even more come July 19th. We've got a three-day pass to give away today, and all you have to do is leave a comment below with your favorite memory from the festival (make sure to provide your correct email address so we can contact you.) If you win, you could be lounging as our guest this year in Union Park. We'll pick a winner from the comments at 5pm today, and contact them via email, so get cracking! [Update! Thanks for all of these amazing entries. We've contacted our winner. Congrats to Andrew!]

Need some inspiration? My own personal top five memories are after the jump.

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Lisa White / Comments (61)

Pitchfork Music Festival Tue Mar 26 2013

Pitchfork Announces Rest of 2013 Festival Lineup


Pitchfork Festival has just released the final additions to their lineup for their 2013 festival, adding a nice mix of veterans and newcomers to the already impressive lineup.

The obvious highlights to me of the latest additions are Yo La Tengo, M.I.A., Solange, Toro Y Moi, and Low. But I'm excited to check out some acts that have gotten a lot of attention recently, especially at SXSW, including Savages, Metz, and Foxygen. Overall the eclectic mix should prove an enjoyable weekend come July.

Tickets are still available in both three day passes for $120 and single day tickets for $50. You can purchase them here. Buy early, I'm sure with the full lineup released passes will start to go fast.

After the jump see the full schedule for the weekend, including new additions in bold.

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Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Tue Mar 05 2013

Pitchfork Festival Announces Additional Acts


Pitchfork Music Festival has announced their second wave of acts to play this year, joining the already impressive headliners of Björk, R. Kelly and Belle & Sebastian. The additions are a good mix of both up-and-coming acts and already established artists. The day-to-day breakdown so far is as follows:

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Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Feb 01 2013

Pitchfork Announces Headliners for 2013 Festival

PitchforkFest.jpgThe annual festival in Union Park announced this morning some of the acts playing the festival, and the list is already impressive with the three acts added to the bill. Chicago's R. Kelly tweeted this morning that he'd be playing Union Park in July, and sure enough Pitchfork confirmed it. Also playing the festival is Björk and Belle & Sebastian. Belle & Sebastian is a perfect fit for the type of acts popular at the festival. And getting Björk as a headliner might give Pitchfork an advantage over Lollapalooza this year. It's a very impressive artist to scoop up from a larger festival.

Personally the addition of Björk and R. Kelly has me over the moon. Two artist I haven't had the pleasure of seeing yet, and getting to see the over the top R. Kelly on his home turf shall be something special to witness. Now excuse me while I go listen to Björk's Post on repeat until July.

Tickets are on sale now here. Get them before they sell out.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Dec 21 2012

2013 Pitchfork Music Festival Dates Announced, Tickets On Sale Today at Noon

Pitchfork announced some good news this morning to help everyone beat away the winter blues. They formally announced this morning the dates for the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival, and that a special discounted three-day pass will go on sale at noon today.

The festival will return to Union Park for its eight year on Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21. The festival is offering a limited amount of three-day passes for $95 that go on sale to the public at noon today, December 21. Once sold out, three day passes will be available at the regular price for $120 and single day tickets for $50 each day. Also this year, the festival is offering a special layaway program for the full price three-day pass that allows purchasers to pay for the pass over three payments.

So get your refresh button ready at noon and buy your tickets here. The three day passes usually sell out quickly, especially ones at the limited price. And let's be real, it's the perfect last minute gift for all you procrastinators out there this Holiday season.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 23 2012

Pitchfork 2012 in Pictures

Our intrepid photographer Sara Pieper shares her favorite shots from the 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park.

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Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 23 2012

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Dirty Beaches


Dirty Beaches by Sara Pieper

Last weekend we had the chance to chat with a few of the acts playing Pitchfork Music Festival. We ended our Sunday chatting with Dirty Beaches after his thankfully rainless set about how he first heard of Pitchfork Festival and the first CD he ever purchased.

Keep checking back for more conversations with artists from Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 here on Gapers Block.

Lisa White / Comments (1)

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 23 2012

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: A Lull


A Lull and Friend by Sara Pieper

Last weekend we had the chance to chat with a few of the acts playing Pitchfork Music Festival. The guys from A Lull told us about finding out they were playing the festival, enjoying Godspeed You! Black Emperor's set the night before, and turn the tables on me and ask about my favorite sets of the weekend.

Keep checking back for more conversations with artists from Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 here on Gapers Block.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 23 2012

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: The Men

gb-themen-1-3 (1).jpeg

The Men by Sara Pieper

Last weekend we had the chance to chat with a few of the acts playing Pitchfork Music Festival. Rich and Nick from the band The Men chatted with us about their reasons for playing Pitchfork Festival, their show at the Empty Bottle during Pitchfork Festival weekend, and some early music memories.

Keep checking back for more conversations with artists from Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 here on Gapers Block.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sun Jul 22 2012

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Milk Music


Milk Music by Sara Pieper

Last weekend we had the chance to chat with a few of the acts playing Pitchfork Music Festival. The guys from Milk Music brightened up our day by turning down our festival questions and requesting that we ask about their favorite motorcycles and weed. Find out their answers below.


Keep checking back for more conversations with artists from Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 here on Gapers Block.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sun Jul 22 2012

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Outer Minds


Outer Minds by Sara Pieper

Last weekend we had the chance to chat with a few of the acts playing Pitchfork Music Festival. First up was Zach from the Chicago band Outer Minds. We talked to him about playing the festival, the Chicago garage rock scene, and acts he was looking forward to checking out that weekend.

Keep checking back for more conversations with artists from Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 here on Gapers Block.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 16 2012

Pitchfork Music Festival: Sunday


Milk Music by Sara Pieper

As Pitchfork winded down Sunday at Union Park, we were all afforded one last chance to hit all the photobooths, grab some free Vitamin Water and kefir, browse the CHIRP Record Fair and catch a solid line-up of artists. Luckily the sun was out all day and the ground was surprisingly dry enough to lay on without the worry of ruining your clothes. -Stephanie Griffin

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Lisa White / Comments (1)

Pitchfork Music Festival Sun Jul 15 2012

Pitchfork Music Festival: Saturday


Pitchfork by Sara Pieper

Well, it's still not as bad as Lollapalooza last year, but after another early afternoon round of heavy showers, Union Park is starting to resemble a giant mud pit. Thankfully Pitchfork Music Festival has come well prepared, as they've continually tried to dry out the grounds all weekend and installed plastic pathways in high traffic areas to keep people out of the muddy mess. It seems like the weather might be dampening spirits, as I witnessed more people hiding in the shade and napping today. But some acts still rallied the masses to salvage the day with some spirited sets. -Lisa White

I arrived at Pitchfork early Saturday afternoon only to be greeted with torrential downpour. After immediately seeking shelter underneath some trees in front of the festival's entrance, I remembered that I'd once again left my umbrella at home. Drats. Luckily the sun came out shortly afterward and the skies stayed clear for the rest of the day. I don't mind a little festival rain -- it can be refreshing on a hot summer day and the creative ways fellow festival-goers MacGyver trash bags, festival programs and trash lids into makeshift rain gear can make for some choice people watching. -Stephanie Griffin

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Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 14 2012

Pitchfork Music Festival: Friday


Pitchfork by Sara Pieper

My Pitchfork Music Festival weekend began as I sat in Big Star in Wicker Park, grabbing some celebratory margaritas with some other writers, as the mood changed when we noticed the monsoon downpour outside. Yes, Pitchfork 2012 is destined to be a wet one. But a little rain never hurt anyone too bad, so onward we march to a (now wet) weekend full of indie rock, record fairs, and plenty of bad fashion. -Lisa White

Being a veteran of outdoor music festivals, you'd think at some point I would learn to prepare for any and all weather conditions. But as Pitchfork Music Festival kicked off on Friday in the pouring rain, I realized that I didn't have an umbrella, or a poncho, or a ziploc bag to store my electronics (this last one is the largest offense, considering both my iPod and my iPhone were sacrificed to the Lollapalooza rain gods last year). Luckily Union Park has a copious amount of trees to hide under in case of emergency, plus the CHIRP Record Fair tent and various other booths around the park. -Stephanie Griffin

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Lisa White / Comments (1)

Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 14 2012

Conversations at Pitchfork: eMusic Editor-in-Chief J. Edward Keyes


eMusic Editor-in-Chief J. Edward Keyes and His Aura

If you've attended the Pitchfork Music Festival since the event started back in 2005, you are probably familiar with eMusic. The online music subscription site has been a supporter and sponsor of the festival since the beginning. It's no surprise, since eMusic and Pitchfork share very similar ideas on finding quality new music. Full disclosure, I've been a paying member on the site for years now, and I'm a huge fan of the catalog of music they have. Sure, I can find many popular hits on there, but I've also found a lot of under the radar bands, mainly thanks to their lovingly crafted editorial content.

This year eMusic has brought to the festival a contraption they've designed called the Electromusical Energy Visualizer. Basically you walk into a booth, put on headphones that pump out selected Pitchfork Festival artists, and then a machine snaps photos of your aura while listening to each artist. The machine prints out a photo for you to keep, and your aura can be read for you. It's a cool concept to explore how music affects us in more than one way, and we'll have up in a bit our own experience getting our aura photos taken yesterday at the festival.

Before the weekend kicked off, we got a few moments to chat with eMusic Editor-in-Chief J. Edward Keyes about the Electromusical Energy Visualizer, the festival itself, and the bands he suggested were the best bet to check out this weekend. Check out our interview after the jump.

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Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 14 2012

Pitchfork Festival's Iceage Guitars Stolen


Some sad news to start off Pitchfork coverage this weekend. Danish rockers Iceage's guitars were stolen yesterday in Wicker Park. Not only one of the highly anticipated acts at Pitchfork, the festival is also their first stop on their North American tour. If you see anyone with the guitars above or spot them in a pawn shop, please contact the police immediately, and also contact the band here. A more detailed description of one of the guitars is it's a mid '60s red Hagström Hag III. The middle and top pickups are not original, there is a sticker with a compass on the back of the guitar, and a big rip in the fretboard. Stolen equipment is always a shitty thing to deal with; here's hoping their guitars turn up soon.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Jul 12 2012

Pitchfork Music Festival 2012: Preview Highlights

By Transmission Staff

pitchfork2012.jpgWhile the weather looks downright seasonal and pleasant this weekend, it wouldn't be a Pitchfork Music Festival 2012 line-up if there wasn't a little something in store for everybody. Read along and check out the Transmission staff's best picks for sets to catch on each day of rock, rap, and thrash.

And hey, while you're around Union Park this weekend, don't forget to stop by and say hello to Gapers Block staff manning our table once again at the CHIRP Record Fair tent. Get yourself a cool free button, some free stickers, or buy a sweet I (star) Chi tee. While you're there, browse some record bins from indie labels and record stores/sellers, shop the Coterie craft fair, or just escape the sun for a while.

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Contest Wed Jul 11 2012

Contest: 3-Day Passes to Pitchfork Music Festival 2012

p4k12.jpgMissed out on three-day passes to Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend? Fest sponsor Badoo has hooked us up with two tickets to this weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival and we're giving them away to one lucky winner.

Just email with your name and the subject line "Badoo Pitchfork" by noon Thursday, July 12. We'll pick a random entry, and that person will have two three-day passes waiting for them at will-call when the festival starts on Friday, July 13 at 3pm. UPDATE: We have a winner! Congratulations to Darren P.!

Additionally, anyone who already has tickets and registers as a member of the site will have exclusive access to the Badoo lounge at the festival, where they'll be giving away free water bottles, sunglasses, tshirts and more. Concertgoers can beat the heat on plush white couches and watch the show from the tent's live stage feed, cool off with fans and misters, and get photos taking in a free photo booth.

Andrew Huff

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Apr 05 2012

Pitchfork Music Festival Full Lineup Released

pitchfork2012.jpgPitchfork released the full list of acts for the 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival today. Local acts include A Lull, The Atlas Moth, Outer Minds and Willis Earl Beal. Single day tickets are still available.

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Mar 26 2012

More 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival Acts Announced

pitchfork2012.jpgThe lineup for this year's Pitchfork Music Festival took further shape today with the announcement of 11 more performers. Sleigh Bells, Dirty Projectors, Flying Lotus, Danny Brown, Clams Casino, The Olivia Tremor Control, Iceage, The Men, Purity Ring, Schoolboy Q and The Atlas Moth will play at the festival in Chicago's Union Park July 13-15.

Unfortunately for those who waited for more acts to be announced before springing for tickets, three-day passes are now sold out. Single-day tickets are still available for $45 apiece.

Continue reading this entry »

Andrew Huff

Pitchfork Music Festival Tue Feb 28 2012

Pitchfork 2012 Initial Lineup Announced

Our friends over at WXRT tipped us off that today is the announcement of the first round of bands that will grace Union Park this summer during the Pitchfork Music Festival. The following acts will entertain the masses July 13-15:

- Vampire Weekend
- Feist
- Godspeed You! Black Emperor
- Hot Chip
- AraabMUZIK
- A$AP Rocky
- The Field
- Liturgy
- Kendrick Lamar
- Grimes
- Cloud Nothings
- Tim Hecker
- Willis Earl Beal

The lineup already has a solid foundation of impressive hip-hop acts to start, with A$AP Rocky, AraabMUZIK and Kendrick Lamar. I'm hoping that Hot Chip will hopefully bring back the dance party atmosphere that LCD Soundsystem gave us two years ago. And the addition of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Liturgy will add a great heavier edge to a dreary hot afternoon. Metal and sunshine is such a beautiful thing.

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 9 at noon CST, with weekend passes setting you back $110 and single-day tickets costing $45, the same price as last year. Remember, last year the three-day passes sold out pretty quickly, so grab a ticket while you can. Tickets will be available through the festival website.

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Jul 21 2011

Pitchfork Festival: Final Thoughts and Sunday


Photo by Stephanie Bassos

We've had the week to share some of our interviews from Pitchfork Festival with you, and some time to wash all the Union Park dust off and apply aloe to our sunburns. Now we wrap things up with Bonnie Page's thoughts on the last day along with more lovely photos by Stephanie Bassos. We here at Gapers Block hope you enjoyed your Pitchfork Festival 2011, and we'll see you next year. -Lisa White

Off to a sweltering start, the Sunday Pitchfork crowd was noticeably sparse and more inclined to sit on the sidelines if that meant shade rather than sweating it out under the sun. There were a number of festival-goers that started out their day with the garage/power pop rhythms of San Francisco band The Fresh & Onlys. The foursome, lead by tie-dye clad singer Tim Cohen, played clear and classic sounding guitar riffs for the crowd during "Waterfall" then added some throw back country twang in "Strange Disposition," accompanied by lo-fi vocals. It wasn't enough to get many people moving, but it was day three after all. -Bonnie Page

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Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Jul 21 2011

Conversations at Pitchfork: Chrissy Murderbot and MC ZULU


Chrissy Murderbot and MC ZULU by Stephanie Bassos

Our final interview at the festival found us sitting down with Chicago house and juke DJ Chrissy Murderbot and MC ZULU. We chatted about the importance of answering your emails, how great the Chicago dance music scene is, and joked about living out of a hatchback.


Keep checking back for our final reviews and thoughts on Pitchfork Festival 2011.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Wed Jul 20 2011

'Fork Fashion 2011

[This piece comes to us from writer Anne Chernik (a buyer and amateur fashion enthusiast) and photographer Paul Harris.]

This past weekend thousands of concert-goers and merry-makers converged upon Union Park for the seventh annual Pitchfork Music Festival where the temps were hot and the fashion was hotter. There were abundant feathers, face paint, and enough rompers for a rompage. The sultry conditions did little to inhibit the street style of concert-goers who still managed to look lovely and amazing. We were embedded with a photographer and are still alive to blog about it -- and bring you some of the best looks from the long, hot weekend.

Transmission / Comments (1)

Pitchfork Music Festival Wed Jul 20 2011

Conversations at Pitchfork: OFF!


OFF! by Stephanie Bassos

What do you talk about with a few of the guys that basically helped lay the groundwork of hardcore and punk rock music? KISS of course. Keith Morris, Dimitri Coats, and Steve Shane McDonald of OFF! chatted with Gapers Block about their early music memories, how to successfully keep sane playing in bands, and give a comparative analysis of how many times Keith Morris has seen Guided By Voices vs. Mott the Hoople.


OFF! by Stephanie Bassos

Keep checking back all weekend and next week for more Pitchfork Festival 2011 coverage from Gapers Block.

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Tue Jul 19 2011

Conversations at Pitchfork: Sun Airway


Sun Airway by Stephanie Bassos

We sat down with Philly based Sun Airway after their early afternoon set at Pitchfork Saturday. While enjoying Gang Gang Dance in the background, we chatted about the writing process, how art influences music, and a few band members early notable memories of "The Boss."

Keep checking back all weekend and next week for more Pitchfork Festival 2011 coverage from Gapers Block

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 18 2011

Conversations at Pitchfork: G-Side


G-Side by Stephanie Bassos

We kicked off our conversations at Pitchfork series this year when we sat down with G-Side, the Alabama rappers that would later take the stage Saturday and deliver a raw and energetic set that had critics and fans alike praising them across the Internet. We chatted with Yung Clova and ST 2 Lettaz about the Southern hip-hop scene, their first music memories, and what important acts from the South are on their radar.

Keep checking back all weekend and next week for more Pitchfork Festival 2011 coverage from Gapers Block

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sun Jul 17 2011

Pitchfork Festival: Saturday, Part 2


Photo by Stephanie Bassos

Easing out of the heaviness of Cold Cave, Wild Nothing and Radio Department lulled the 4pm-6:45pm hours. The one-man band of Wild Nothing (with the addition of a touring live band) came out in full plaid and ray ban glasses, giving off a sorta clean-cut '50s feel. They eased right into the smooth sounds of "Chinatown" and "Gemini." Wild Nothing was the perfect mix of dreamy electronic sounds and hazy vocals for the shady Blue Stage. Radio Department, with the same dream pop sound, made for a good follow up right after. -Bonnie Page

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Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sun Jul 17 2011

Pitchfork Festival: Saturday, Part 1


Wild Nothing guitar by Stephanie Bassos

Saturday at Pitchfork meant interviews all day for myself; meanwhile Bonnie caught a good mix of acts gracing the stage at the festival. The day kicked off with weather warnings from festival officials, and they installed two cooling buses, passed out free water to the first 6,000 attendees, and had the security barricades stocked with water to hand out and pour on the packed crowds. Heat or not, it didn't hold back artists from dishing out a day of solid sets.

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 16 2011

Pitchfork Festival 2011: Friday, Part 2


Photo by Stephanie Bassos

It was time for a little bit of a palate cleanse after Moore's earnest introspective set, so I moved to something a lot more lighthearted: the Brooklyn trio of hip-hop jokesters, Das Racist. The group rose to Internet fame with their 2008 song "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell," so obviously these guys definitely don't take themselves too seriously. They've been downplayed by some, but they show smart rhymes and a tongue-in-cheek style humor that pokes fun of pop culture. For instance, the song "Fake Patios" talks about the authenticity of rappers, pointing the finger at a number of "authentic" hip-hop artists who use fake accents and massive production. All the while they sing the track with an obvious fake Jamaican accent and autotune. They opened up their set with "Who's That? Broooown," the dirty beats stretched to match the elongated chorus line while a sitar and Casiotone noises add to the lazy yet catchy delivery style. -Bonnie Page

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Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 16 2011

Pitchfork Festival 2011: Friday, Part 1

We've got some interviews with artist coming up this weekend at Gapers Block, but Friday we kicked things off by enjoying the first day of Pitchfork Festival with a handful of veteran acts, much buzzed about bands, and Animal Collective.

Gapers Block writer Bonnie Page and I, along with our photographer, Stephanie Bassos, will be bringing you coverage of the fest, interviews, and photos all weekend long. Keep checking back all weekend for more Pitchfork Festival 2011 coverage. Now onward to our part one coverage of Friday!

Continue reading this entry »

Lisa White / Comments (1)

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Jul 14 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime: Pitchfork 2011, A Preview

Read all our Pitchfork Music Festival coverage here!

There's truly one festival in Chicago which has consistently worked to cram as much as possible into the confines of one block-long city park. Sure you could stumble for a mile or more around that other big festival later on in August, but it wouldn't nearly be the same as the cozy confines of Union Park with the Pitchfork Music Festival. With the sun on our heads, we'll carry on like kids (well, some of you are kids) scampering between the music stages (now named with the colors Red, Blue, Green), food and beer stalls, porta-potties, Flatstock music posters, the CHIRP Record Fair (where you'll find our Gapers Block table), tons of non-profits, and the Coterie arts and crafts fair. In between all that, you might even catch a set of music or two while relaxing on a blanket. (We'll have live reviews and artist interviews you can catch up with later.)

So smear on some zinc oxide, grab a bottle of water and your hula hoop and see what Transmission staff have to say about every single act this weekend.

Continue reading this entry »


Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Mar 25 2011

Chicago Native Neko Case Among Additions to Pitchfork Lineup

37501796htmlfile_1.jpgWe're getting more clues as to what is in store for us at Pitchfork this summer. Veteran rocker Robert Pollard's Guided By Voices and Chicago native Neko Case are at the top of today's additions to the festival's already robust lineup. The other artists announced include No Age, Gang Gang Dance, G-Side, Chrissy Murderbot, The Fresh & Onlys, Radio Dept., HEALTH, Shabazz Palaces, Baths, How To Dress Well, Kurt Vile, and Twin Sister. Plus we're promised more bands still to come.

To see who will be playing what day, check out the lineup as it sits now after the jump.

Three day passes already sold out (in record time), but single day passes are still available for $45. Pitchfork Music Festival takes place July 15-17 at Union Park.

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes / Comments (1)

Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Mar 04 2011

Pitchfork Initial Line Up Announced

PMF11_logo_452.jpgJust as tickets go on sale for this year's Pitchfork Music Festival, they have released the initial lineup. If you were skeptical about purchasing tickets to the summer indie fest without knowing who would be playing, today's announcement may quell some of your fears. The lineup includes some familiar names from years past, with the top billing (so far) bands being Animal Collective, TV on the Radio, Fleet Foxes and Cut Copy.

Tickets will be available for purchase beginning at noon today. $110 for three day passes; $45 for single day. Pitchfork takes place July 15, 16 & 17 in Union Park.

Michelle Meywes

Concert Fri Feb 25 2011

Pitchfork Festival Tickets On Sale March 4

Pitchfork Music Festival announced some very important dates today. This year's festival in Union Park will be July 15-17. Tickets go on sale next Friday, March 4, and will be $45 for single dates, $110 for three-day passes.

No news yet on who's playing, but if last year is any indication, we'll find out a few next Friday morning.

Andrew Huff

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Jul 22 2010

Pitchfork Music Festival 2010 Photo Essay by George Aye

George Aye, our dedicated Pitchfork Music Festival photographer, approached this year's fest with mosaic portraits and performance photographs. You've seen some of his work in our Pitchfork coverage, but we've compiled some of the highlights into a single slideshow for your viewing pleasure.

David Schalliol

Pitchfork Music Festival Tue Jul 20 2010

Pitchfork In Review

[Editors note: Our own Michelle Meywes spent the weekend racing from stage to stage in Union Park, trying to take in as much music as possible, of course, she wasn't alone, and we have a few thoughts interjected from James Ziegenfus and Andrew Huff at some opposite stages. There are also even more photos by George Aye coming soon. In case you missed them, please also enjoy Lisa White's interviews with artists from the weekend.]

Blu Blockers, Ray Bans, mustaches, headbands, skimpy clothes and sweat... ah, it must be Pitchfork weekend in Union Park. This indie music festival has certainly turned more mainstream over the past several years of its existence, selling out quicker each year, making those beer lines ever longer, but at it's heart it's still about the music.

The theme for the weekend was definitely the heat. Temps were in the 90s all three days (with the refuge of a single thunderstorm that rolled through early Sunday, but actually left things even more humid). Day one knocked the price of waters down from two dollars to one, and by day three were two-for-one. Every band's introduction included reminders to stay hydrated and keep an eye on your neighbors, pointing out the location of the first aid tent. Festival organizers were nice enough to hand out free waters to those camped in the first few rows for the evening headliners, with only one request: "Please do not throw them." LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy even thanked everyone working the fest, commenting, "You're really nice, giving people water and shit." Almost all the bands seemed to comment on the heat, including Liars' Angus Andrew, "I know you wanna look cool, but you should stay cool." One day I even walked into Glenn Frey's "The Heat Is On" on the speakers before the bands started.

Alright already, enough about the heat. If you were there, you're well aware of how hot and steamy it was. Let's get talking about the music, there was a ton of it!

Crowd at Sleigh Bells (photos by George Aye)

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Michelle Meywes / Comments (8)

Pitchfork Music Festival Mon Jul 19 2010

Final Thoughts on Conversations at Pitchfork Festival


St. Vincent by George Aye

Another Pitchfork Festival has come and gone, and I had a wonderful time talking to so many talented artist this weekend at the festival. I hope everyone enjoyed our interviews and amazing portrait photos from George (and Kirstie's pictures of Liars) that we posted during the weekend. This concludes all of the Conversations at Pitchfork Festival, but keep checking back as we wrap up our final thoughts on the weekend! Now time to take a nap and look forward to Pitchfork Festival 2011.

Click here for more interviews and coverage from the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival.

Lisa White

Concert Mon Jul 19 2010

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Big Boi

Big Boi by George Aye

Gapers Block sat down with some of the artists at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival to talk about the festival itself, their favorite festival memories, and much more. Click here for more interviews and coverage from the festival.

What a way to end Pitchfork, rushing backstage less than 30 minutes before Big Boi hits the stage to take some amazing photos and have a quick conversation with one of the most important figures in modern hip-hop. Big Boi talked about his thoughts on playing the festival, how he unwinds while keeping so busy, and what he hopes is the legacy of Big Boi.

Interview with Big Boi at Pitchfork Music Festival

Lisa White / Comments (2)

Concert Mon Jul 19 2010

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten by George Aye

Gapers Block sat down with some of the artists at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival to talk about the festival itself, their favorite festival memories, and much more. Click here for more interviews and coverage from the festival.

We talked to Sharon Van Etten, who opened up the festival Friday, while she enjoyed a day off. We discussed the transition from an intimate venue to a festival, her creative process, and life in the Brooklyn music scene.

Interview with Sharon Van Etten at Pitchfork Music Festival

Lisa White

Concert Mon Jul 19 2010

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Here We Go Magic

Here We Go Magic by George Aye

Gapers Block sat down with some of the artists at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival to talk about the festival itself, their favorite festival memories, and much more. Click here for more interviews and coverage from the festival.

We sat down with Peter from Here We Go Magic before they played Sunday to talk about recording their latest album, constant touring and life on the road, and about being signed to a Midwest label.

Interview with Here We Go Magic at Pitchfork Music Festival

Lisa White

Concert Mon Jul 19 2010

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Bear in Heaven

Bear in Heaven by George Aye

Gapers Block sat down with some of the artists at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival to talk about the festival itself, their favorite festival memories, and much more. Click here for more interviews and coverage from the festival.

The sun finally came back out Sunday while we chatted with Adam from Bear in Heaven. The band had a long Saturday, playing the festival before heading over to play a late show at Lincoln Hall. Adam told us about influences of the band, working together, and what it's like to go from playing a sweaty outdoor festival to an indoor venue in a matter of hours.

Interview with Bear in Heaven at Pitchfork Music Festival

Lisa White

Concert Mon Jul 19 2010

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Netherfriends

Netherfriends by George Aye

Gapers Block sat down with some of the artists at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival to talk about the festival itself, their favorite festival memories, and much more. Click here for more interviews and coverage from the festival.

We sat down with Shawn from Netherfriends to chat about the artists he is excited to see at Pitchfork Festival, playing teenage house parties, and doing what you love. We also survive a near death experience as our interview tent almost collapses on us, proving that Pitchfork Festival always gives us a surprise or two.

Interview with Netherfriends at Pitchfork Music Festival

Lisa White / Comments (2)

Concert Sun Jul 18 2010

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Freddie Gibbs

Freddie Gibbs by George Aye

Gapers Block sat down with some of the artists at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival to talk about the festival itself, their favorite festival memories, and much more. Click here for more interviews and coverage from the festival.

If you're a fan of hip-hop, and aren't familiar with Freddie Gibbs, do so now. The Gary, IN native is swiftly rising to the top, bringing a fresh yet familiar sound to the heavy and heady style of gangsta rap. He's charismatic, humble, and one hell of a showman. He sat down with us to discuss growing up in Gary, the Midwest style of hip-hop, and where he sees the genre heading in the future.

Interview with Freddie Gibbs at Pitchfork Music Festival

Lisa White

Concert Sun Jul 18 2010

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: WHY?

WHY? by George Aye

Gapers Block sat down with some of the artists at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival to talk about the festival itself, their favorite festival memories, and much more. Click here for more interviews and coverage from the festival.

We talked to Josiah Wolf from WHY? after they finished their set Saturday afternoon. We discussed musical influence, the bands he was able to catch at the festival, and if you listen (not that) closely, you can hear the massive dance party of LCD Soundsystem in the background. A chat with WHY? and the sounds of lasers in the background isn't such a bad way to end the second night of Pitchfork Festival.

Interview with WHY? at Pitchfork Music Festival

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Sat Jul 17 2010

Review: Michael Showalter @ Pitchfork, 7/16

Because I don't have cable television, I rely on my small movie collection to get me through those times when PBS doesn't deliver. A few weeks ago, I hauled out my copy of Wet Hot American Summer, the 2001 comedy masterpiece written by former The State members David Wain and Michael Showalter. As I watched it, I thought how great it was that Showalter and many of his talented former State castmates have had steady work in the industry (Party Down, Stella, Reno 911).

When Pitchfork announced its comedy lineup for this weekend's festival at Union Park, I was excited to see Showalter on the bill. I made my way through the crowd, found a nice place to watch the set, and for the next 30 minutes, I watched a surprisingly painful and embarrassing performance that made me wonder if after all the brilliant ensemble work he's done, Showalter works best in a scripted, more controlled setting.

Continue reading this entry »

Robyn Nisi

Concert Sat Jul 17 2010

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: EL-P

EL-P by George Aye

Gapers Block sat down with some of the artists at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival to talk about the festival itself, their favorite festival memories, and much more. Click here for more interviews and coverage from the festival.

I sat down with EL-P after his performance Friday at Pitchfork. We chatted about working with Trent Reznor, what type of work scares the shit out of him, and what he believes is the future of hip-hop and music.

Interview with El-P at Pitchfork Music Festival

Lisa White

Concert Sat Jul 17 2010

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Liars

Gapers Block Liars1.jpg
Liars photos by Kirstie Shanley

Gapers Block sat down with some of the artists at the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival to talk about the festival itself, their favorite festival memories, and much more. Click here for more interviews and coverage from the festival.

I started my Pitchfork Festival as soon as the gates opened, racing across the field to chat with Liars before they headed to load-in. We chatted about sleep deprivation, their love of the Midwest, recording covers, and getting the toxins out on-stage.

Interview with Liars at Pitchfork Music Festival

Gapers Angus1.jpg

Lisa White

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Jul 15 2010

Pitchfork Music Festival 2010: A Preview

pitchforkmf2010.pngOur staff is pretty excited about the upcoming Pitchfork Music Festival. We'll will be in the mix, with an ear on the stages, along with a table at the CHIRP Record Fair tent. (We fall under "other delights." Come on over and say Hi, buy a GB t-shirt or one of our fabulous anniversary party posters.) Remember to check out all the other non-performance activities this weekend including Flatstock, the Rock for Kids' auction booth, the Coterie craft fair, and more. Transmission writer Lisa White be bringing you daily coverage, as well as a festival wrap-up after the weekend's over from Michelle Meywes (all paired with photos by George Aye), but for now, here's our thoughts on what you can hear in Union Park on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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Transmission / Comments (4)

Event Mon Jul 12 2010

Venus Zine Hosts Free Pitchfork Aftershow at Beauty Bar

Venus Zine is partnering with Kanine Records, Wao Wao Record, InSound, and SoundScreen Design to host a special, free installment of its After Hours series post Pitchfork, featuring Brooklyn's We Are Country Mice, known for their lively rock, and L.A.'s Pepper Rabbit, a psych-pop band heavy on the instrumentals.

Venus Zine readers and guests are also invited to dance, dance, dance to the DJ sets following the live performances, including Delorean, a Spanish alternative dance band, Real Estate, a psychedelic surf pop band, and Headlights, an American indie rock band.

A night of national and international music begins at 9pm on July 16 at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave. Send an RSVP to RSVP is required but will not guarantee entrance. Photographers are welcome.

Vicky Lim

Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Apr 09 2010

Pitchfork Rounds Out the Bill

It's been sighs of relief and gasps of disbelief all week between the letter and number games and parties surrounding the final announcements of Chicago's two biggest summer music fest line-ups, and if you thought Pitchfork's couldn't get any better, boy were you wrong. Sure we were psyched about LCD Soundsystem, Pavement and Modest Mouse, but now that the full lineup has rounded out, we would be crazy to be anywhere else but Union Park July 16th through 18th.

Filling out the bill are: Big Boi, Wolf Parade, Why?, Major Lazer, Robyn, Liars, Beach House, Neon Indian, Free Energy, Local Natives, Real Estate, The Tallest Man On Earth, Delorean, Surfer Blood, Washed Out, Best Coast, Sharon Van Etten, jj and Netherfriends. Phew! Hurry up and nab those one-day passes (three-day passes sold out long ago, and in record time) before they're gone, too!

See the final full line-up after the jump.

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Michelle Meywes

Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Mar 05 2010

Pitchfork Music Festival adds BSS, Panda Bear, El-P, General Awesomeness

Oh it's on now. The Pitchfork Music Festival has announced even more bands for this year's lineup (in case you thought nine performers was a little on the scarce side). Friday night will not belong exclusively to Issac Brock and his Brockettes - a one-two 2002-tastic punch of Canadian gold-medal Juno-winners Broken Social Scene and king of Def Jux's former empire El-P. On Saturday, The Smith Westerns get to play as the home team while Jersey rockers Titus Andronicus, miseducated MC Freddie Gibbs, totally out-there futuredelic spacers Dâm-Funk and seemingly immortal Jon Spencer Blues Explosion join in the fun. Not to be outdone, Sunday pulls in local lovelies CAVE and Mexican-American Midwestern maestros Allá. Oh, and a band called Girls, who might have gotten a wee bit of critical attention this past year. If any of those sound appetizing, grab 'em if you want 'em: The three-day passes are gone, but you can still buy single-day tickets for each day.

Current festival line-up after the jump...

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Dan Morgridge

Pitchfork Music Festival Fri Feb 12 2010

Pitchfork Festival Three-Day Passes Sold Out!

Only five days after they went on sale, three-day passes for the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival have sold out. As mentioned before, two-day passes are not on sale this year, so anyone wanting to go is just gonna have to settle for singles. Buy em at the official site. Protip: Buy one Saturday ticket, and have your significant other buy the Sunday ticket. Then get an extra long trenchcoat and walk around the festival as the world's tallest music fan! (Gaper's Block does not actually endorse this plan - Ed.)

Dan Morgridge

News Fri Feb 05 2010

Modest Mouse, Lightning Bolt, LCD Soundsystem to play Pitchfork


True to their word, our numeric-rating-centric neighbors have announced the first acts for this year's Pitchfork Music Festival. To no one's surprise (thanks to Greg Kot) Stephen Malkmus will be coming back with some band who's not the Jicks. Modest Mouse will be floating through their own Friday night performance (which so far has not been designated as a single-album performance, so keep your eyes peeled). Saturday night brings none other than LCD Soundsystem and Raekwon (who hopefully won't face any mixing board problems - James and the chef would be the last ones I'd want to sonically offend). On the other end, who knows what kind of production notes are given for Lightning Bolt on Sunday - suffice to say there won't be any napping going on at that point. But fear not! The charming St. Vincent, old-timey-but-not-that-old Cass McCombs, and rising duo of Sleigh Bells will be around to soothe you at some point Sunday as well (maybe directly after - Laughing With a Mouth of Blood could reach a whole new level with Brian Chippendale's drums tearing a cameo through it).

Here's the schedule so far:

Friday, July 16th:
Modest Mouse

Saturday, July 17th:
LCD Soundsystem

Sunday, July 18th:
St. Vincent
Lightning Bolt
Sleigh Bells
Here We Go Magic
Cass McCombs

Tickets go on sale today at noon, and can be purchased here. The price has gone up a bit this year, but Friday's festival will be starting at 4 pm (much earlier than past years). And hey, unless you scored yourself some Golden Tickets, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than Lollapalooza. Single-day tickets are $40, and a full three-day pass will cost you $90. Weekend passes will not be available this year.

[Stephanie Griffin also contributed to this post.]

Dan Morgridge

Pitchfork Music Festival Wed Feb 03 2010

Pitchfork Dates Announced!

In case you weren't already thinking longingly of summer already, Pitchfork has announced that their always appropriately-named Pitchfork Music Festival will be happening this July 16 - 18 at Union Park. If squiggling a little circle around those dates on your calendar doesn't do it for you, fear not - come this Friday, the first line-up announcements will be made, and tickets will go on sale at the official website. Single-day tickets will run for $40 and three-day passes for $90 - sorry two-day fans, you'll have to commit one way or the other.

Dan Morgridge

Concert Thu Jul 30 2009

Oh, Those Pitchfork People

We've been trying to play catchup since Pitchfork, so I apologize for the lateness of this little gem, but our intrepid Pitchfork Music Festival photographer, George Aye, caught tons of snaps of some of the best part of the summer fest experience: the people.

Click here to remember the joy, the pain, the spandex pants.

Anne Holub

Feature Mon Jul 20 2009

Pitchfork 2009, in Hindsight

So once again, the dust has settled on another long weekend of music in Union Park. With bass still thumping in our ears, and soy ice cream still staining our shoes, we take a look back on what the past three days held for music lovers at the Pitchfork Music Festival.

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Anne Holub / Comments (2)

Interview Mon Jul 20 2009

Conversations at Pitchfork Festival: Beirut

Photo of Paul and Perrin taken by WBEZ

A weekend full of interviews with some of the nicest bands around was capped off with Paul and Perrin, two of the musicians in the band Beirut. The guys and I camped out backstage under a tree, chatting about the wonderful staff and actual musicians who work at Pitchfork Festival, their encounter with a drunk Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks, and how part of Beirut was formed in a Haggen-Dazs. Special thanks to WBEZ for reading my mind and taking a shot of the guys a day before during their set, somehow knowing I would get so engrossed in our conversation that I'd forget to snap a picture.

Interview with Beirut at Pitchfork Music Festival

Thanks for tuning in as I sat down with some of the artists this past weekend, and I hope everyone had a wonderful Pitchfork Music Festival 2009.

Lisa White / Comments (3)

Concert Mon Jul 20 2009

Pitchfork 2009 Photo Album

We'll have a more verbose review of the weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival a little later in the day, but as you ease into your workday, here's a brief recap in pictures. Keep going after the jump, and there's plenty more to see at Flickr from Saturday and Sunday performances. (All photos by our intrepid weekend photographer George Aye.)

Fucked Up-7006146

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Anne Holub / Comments (2)

Benefit Sun Jul 19 2009

Rock for Kids Silent Auction @ Pitchfork


If you're headed out for the final day of music, etc. at the Pitchfork Music Festival, don't forget to stop by the Rock for Kids booth and bid on awesome silent auction goods. Just donated yesterday by the always-generous Ice Cream Man are a pair of albums (a 7" and 12") from Jack White's new project The Dead Weather. These babies went for over $500 each on eBay recently, but now's your chance to outbid your fellow festival-goers and walk away with some pretty sweet swag. Rock for Kids is a Chicago-based non-profit, created by local musicians, which provides music education to at-risk youth.

Anne Holub

Review Sat Jul 18 2009

Pitchfork Gets Underway as Fans "Write the Night"

Friday night, the throwback day of Pitchfork Music Festival is always filled with bands that I am familiar with, but not intimately. I go in never knowing quite what to expect, but always come away a new fan of a classic indie group. Last night that band was Built to Spill. They were the highlight of the night, closing out the evening. Doug Martsch and crew and the crowd were equally rocking the park. I don't know if it was because it was a crowd-chosen setlist, or as my friend said, they're just really good.

The Jesus Lizard
was over the top as expected, and I literally mean lead singer David Yow went over the top of many fan's heads surfing into the crowd--right at the beginning of their set--and again several more times. There was aggressive rock, screaming vocals and general mayhem.

I arrived a little late and only heard a portion of Tortoise's set, but the local group sounded as tight as ever playing all older favorites as part of "Write the Night" but nothing from their new album, Beacons of Ancestorship. Yo La Tengo hit a groove and played the calming soundtrack for getting acclimated with the park and settling in.

Stay tuned for updates of Saturday and Sunday!

Michelle Meywes / Comments (2)

Feature Thu Jul 16 2009

Pitchfork 2009: A Preview

For once, the weather forecast looks positively delightful for mid-July (well, really, it's been nice all summer). And it's a good thing, too, because it's once again time to head down to Union Park and enjoy a long weekend full of band after band after band at the Pitchfork Music Festival.

Don't forget that the park will also play host to the Flatstock poster show, Coterie Chicago (the new craft fair on the block), the CHIRP record fair (where Gapersblock will have a table), auction items benefiting Rock for Kids donated by many of the artists playing Pitchfork, and a host of food vendors and other booths.

Keep reading for our staff's picks for the best way to squeeze the most fun out of the fest. (And keep an eye out this weekend as we have some exciting coverage from the Fest and after the weekend's over.)

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub / Comments (9)

Interview Wed Jul 15 2009

Pitchfork Festival Organizers Interviewed

Heeb recently caught up with publisher Chris Kaskie and editor-in-chief Scott Plagenhoe to discuss the upcoming Pitchfork Music Festival, and more. Check it out at Heeb.

Brian Leli

Event Mon Jun 22 2009

Start Gearing Up for Pitchfork Now

Now that the weather has (finally) warmed up, it officially feels like summer and we're even more eager for the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival creeping up in just a few weeks. But if you're having a hard time waiting for the real thing, make your way to Fizz this Friday from 8-10pm for a listening party featuring only artists playing the fest on the jukebox. Think of it as a really early pre-party, presented by AMI Entertainment and Flavorpill who will also be giving away festival tickets, CDs, vinyl, DVDs, downloads and other swag by acts performing at the festival--including The Flaming Lips, Built to Spill, The Walkmen, The Thermals, Matador Records, 4AD and more.

Fizz Bar & Grill is located at 3220 N. Lincoln Ave.


Michelle Meywes / Comments (1)

News Fri Jun 19 2009

Pitchfork Music Festival Schedule Announced


The official Pitchfork Music Festival schedule has been posted! Check it out here and start making your plans. I find myself with way more schedule conflicts for Pitchfork than Lolla (which we posted earlier this week). The National vs. The Black Lips? Mew vs. Grizzly Bear? Matt and Kim vs. Beirut? Such tough decisions!

Pitchfork Fest rolls through Union Park July 17th - 19th. Tickets may be purchased here. Hurry! Sunday tickets are already sold out, and remaining tickets for Friday and Saturday are limited.

Stephanie Griffin / Comments (1)

News Fri Mar 27 2009

The Flaming Lips To Close Out P4K Fest

TheFlamingLips.jpgIn case you were less than stoked about the Pitchfork Music Festival lineup thus far, we have a huge announcement to make. The Flaming Lips have been added to headline Sunday! They will also be participating in the new "Write The Night" series that until now, only the Friday night lineup was a part of. So, if you hold tickets for Sunday, you can vote for the set list they will play! Voting will end June 13.

The Festival lineup as it stands now, after the jump.

(Photo from the band's website by J. Michelle Martin)

Continue reading this entry »

Michelle Meywes

Pitchfork Music Festival Thu Mar 12 2009

Pitchfork Festival Updates


We reported last week the first announcements of bands playing the Pitchfork Music Festival this year in Union Park and that tickets would go on sale March 13th. Now Pitchfork has released the price you'll be paying to lay out in the hot sun and bake to a crisp while listening to the sweet sounds of Grizzly Bear.

A limited number of 3-day passes are $75 and a limited number of 2-day passes are $60, a ten dollar increase on both deals from last year. Single day passes are $35, a five dollar increase as well from last year.

It's still a great deal for three days of quality music, and leaps and bounds cheaper than Lollapalooza. But boy do we miss the original Intonation Music Festival price of $15/day or $22 for the whole two day pass. Those were the days folks.

Make sure you head over to TicketWeb tomorrow and grab your tickets.

Lisa White

Concert Fri Mar 06 2009

Pitchfork First Picks Announced

With a slight change of pace from previous years, the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival will not start with an evening of nostalgic full-length album performances. Instead, the Friday night lineup will feature four bands, all of them of the indie rock ouvre, playing sets that you, the early ticket buyer, vote on. Friday night, July 17th's performances, we've now learned, will come from a newly reunited Jesus Lizard, Tortoise, Built to Spill and Yo La Tengo. Other bands on board for the fourth annual summer festival which runs July 17-19, include Grizzly Bear, sad-core rockers The National, Pharoahe Monch, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Walkmen and Vivian Girls. Tickets go on sale March 13th.

Anne Holub / Comments (1)

News Fri Feb 27 2009

Here we go again...

I'm certainly not the first to break this news, but tickets for this year's Pitchfork Music Festival go on sale Friday, March 13. The indie music fest that rocks Union Park every year will do it again July 17-19, 2009. Want to know who will be playing the fest? Time Out: Chicago has some guesses.

Michelle Meywes / Comments (1)

Feature Mon Jul 21 2008

Pitchfork Rewind

Having listened to their singles collection, 03/07-09-07, (out July 22nd on Thrill Jockey) over the last week I could tell that the duo of Robert Barber and Mary Pearson (aka High Places) had a complex sound and I wound how they could possible translate to the stage. The stage they played on Sunday (Stage B) was running a half-hour behind, and I want to say that it took these two maybe five minutes to set-up for their performance. They stood in front of a folding table filled with electronics and cables and shells and bells. I would have loved to take a look inside the case that they had spread over table, and witness the various homemade instruments that contribute to High Places unique beats and noises. Robert focused mostly on percussion, while wearing a t-shirt that read "Support The Scene", and Mary sang and added extra sound. She several bracelets made of bells, and smiled and sang with the same joy and innocence as her songs would suggest.

The second to last slot of summer music festival is a challenging one to play. The crowd is a mixed bag of the exhausted, drunk, burnt, stoned, and the dedicated. When Dinosaur Jr. took the stage J must have made the same observation because the small grin cracked the normally stoned-faced and silent Mascis. He stood there in front of the six stacked Marshall amps and quietly said "Thank You" before tearing into "It's Me" from last years album Beyond. When the band first reformed back in 2005 they vowed they would only play the songs they had written when they were together which limited them to four albums worth of material. However, they have now opened up the entire catalog and performed classics like "Out There", "Feel The Pain", and "Wagon". The set was filled with body surfing, nostalgia, and a surprising amount of energy. As it progressed both the crown and the band heated up, J's solos shifted from structured and album ready to wild and roaring by the time they closed the set with 1988's "Freak Scene". The crowd demanded an encore, and they got their wish as the band came back and continued to rock for just one more song.

HEALTH (photo by George Aye)

Pitchfork weekend was a weekend of t-shirt slogans, and Jacob Duzsik of the Los Angeles noise band HEALTH really took it to heart by wearing a white t-shirt with the words "If it's illegal to rock then throw my a** in jail" scrawled across in red marker. Yet, it wasn't just a clever saying, he did rock. The four member band was spread around the stage and thrashed and dance violently to the brutal noise they created. Burying the rhythm and melody deep under a raw blanket of what had to be freestyle noise, the band jolted the crowd. Most remarkable was the way Jacob held one mic for screaming and used the mic on the stand for hushed Radiohead-like singing. He would switch fluently through out different songs. Towards the end of the set the band looked almost to be in pain from all of the high energy banging and dancing. Each movement felt labored, but they finished strong and drenched in sweat.
-Jason Behrends

Saturday morning got off to a nice, slushy start with overcast skies and intermittent rain, which just meant the hipsters got to break out their galoshes. The Balance Stage was where it was at, and kicking off the first set of the day was Serbian ten-piece gypsy brass ensemble Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar. The lengthy warm-up left a few listeners cold, but once the party started — boy howdy! Led by father/son team Boban and Marko, the band burst into one quick 'n dirty song after another, even inciting the crowd to dance to a rousing "Hava Nagila." Luckily, the Boban set was one instance where it was really apparent that the Pitchfork sound system had been upgraded: Instead of last year's squelches and slurriness, the horns came off as bright and crisp. In case your lazy self missed the set, you can check the group out again tonight at Martyr's .

Following in Boban's Balkan footsteps, the similarly inspired A Hawk and a Hacksaw played a more subdued, though no less musically complicated, set. The Albuquerque-based duo added two more multi-instrumentalists to the mix, filling out their Eastern European-inspired set. Violinist Heather Trost is nothing short of amazing, and accordionist/drummer/singer (all at the same time, mind you) Jeremy Barnes managed to draw a sizable crowd despite Jay Reatard's rival set across the way. Unfortunately, AHAAHS suffered from some technical setbacks — the mixing was slow on the take, and as a result many of the instruments were lost, particularly the drumming.

Icy Demons experienced the same mixing-based messy unevenness that befell A Hawk and a Handsaw (particularly with the vocals). The maybe-kinda Chicago-based group seemed to have some personnel changes in the group. Most notably missing was Man Man drummer, Pow Pow, who was replaced by someone who looked an awful lot like him. Anyway, as much as I appreciate that Icy Demons can play a zillion styles of music &mdsah; switching from bass-booty '80s beats and Latin grooves to squiggly jazz and electronica — their method of using every single song to showcase another style just made the performance feel like a sampler platter. It was hard to get a real sense of what the band was about. My favorite descriptor came from my cohort, Arpad, who summed up one of their more rock numbers: "It's as if King Crimson got commissioned to do a song for a Super Mario game."

Dizzee Rascal-3422
Dizzee Rascal (photo by George Aye)

A break from the B-stage was needed, as well as a break from heady world music. London's own Dizzee Rascal provided a good hip-hop escape. Mr. Rascal deftly ran through his singles, including "Fix Up, Look Sharp," "Sirens," and "Where's Da Gs." As the sun came out, off went his shirt (Dizzee's really cut — who woulda thunk?) and up with the hands in the ay-yer. Overall, his set went fairly without incident, and though his performance was missing some of the vocal flips that usually make his albums a lot of fun, Dizzee's quick double-dutch rhymes made up for it.

Les Savy Fav-5563
Singer/Barber Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav (photo by George Aye)

Finally, and oddly, one unexpected (but nonetheless well attended) performance was to be found by a clutch of trees. A hand-scrawled sign advertising "Haircuts $2" hung over a fast-working barber who had customers lined up and waiting (see some pics of the barber in action in our Detour photo feature). It turns out the beardy barber was Tim Harrington, the singer for Les Savy Fav. Rogue haircutting! It just doesn't get better.
- Kara Luger

A diverse lineup of bands and a steady fashion parade made for an interesting three days at the Pitchfork Music Festival this past weekend. Add to that rain and mud, treacherous humidity, long lines at the port-a-potties, plenty of shirtless, bearded dudes, girls in hippie-hipster garb carrying gleaming i-phones or designer handbags, and you've got the picture.

For me, the whole thing felt akin to summer camp with the grown-up privilege of beer, as I was there for the whole shebang, soaking up the music and the crowd, and talking up this fine website at the Gapers Block table. I traipsed across muddy fields, braved scary toilets, made new friends, ate unfamiliar food, sat in the sun, eyed cute male creatures, watched the bands come and go, said hello and goodbye. I arrived home on Sunday with boots caked in mud, and fond memories of a distinctly summer-like Chicago weekend.

Friday night the folks slowly trickled in, gathering around the stage to see Mission of Burma, still intense and visceral after twenty years as punk rock veterans. The crowd at this point was a bit mellow (no wild dancing or bodies floating on hands in the audience) as things were just gearing up. After the show I walked through the crowds and was confronted with an overwhelmingly white demographic, which sitting around on the grass looking bored appeared to be living up to its reputation as disaffected youth. Yet nothing cures a case of apathy better than alcohol and pot (which you could smell everywhere), and several hours later the crowd was properly soused and happy.

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Flava Flav (photo by George Aye)

Just the right moment to go see Public Enemy, which swooped down to rescue Pitchfork from being a festival of predominantly white artists playing to a white audience. Being the prima Donna he is, the dynamo known as Flava Flav was late arriving on stage, as apparently he had trouble getting his "family" past security. Sporting his trademark oversized clock of a sparkling white and black variety around his neck (along with several heavy golden chains) he bounced and rapped across the stage, reminding all that it's not good looks but charisma and talent that make a man popular with the ladies. He didn't hesitate to promote his latest reality TV concoction, "All Under One Roof," to which the audience responded with resounding boos. Apparently Mr. Flav is a bit sensitive, as he heatedly retorted by calling everyone who booed him "motherfuckers who should be booing their spouses not him." In the end, it was all part of the Flav schtick, which added an entertaining element to an overall solid performance from these old-school rappers.

My favorite show on Saturday was Jay Reatard, who I saw for the first time. Memphis-born, Reatard has the je ne sais quois element of no holds barred performer. Reatard didn't waste time chatting with the audience; he simply took to his guitar like a bat out of hell and ripped out a half hour of an explosive, heady set. Reatard and his band is garage punk with a heavy dose of Southern sensibility: no frills and super-charged.

A couple of shows on Sunday caught my attention: High Places, Health, and another Southern wonder, King Khan and the Shrines, but the big draw for me was UK space rockers Spiritualized. Although I was right up front I still couldn't see the elusive Jason Pierce, who clad in white and big sunglasses stood towards the back of the stage (conspicuously out of close reach of the audience) next to the two gospel singers. Space rock amped up to the highest degree mixed together with gospel-soaked blues makes for a transcending experience. The music blared through with me with unabashed emotion and deep layers of sophistication that I can only describe as one part symphony and the other part David Bowie and Iggy Pop fused together on steroids. The band played songs from their new album, Songs in A and E, and at the end of a set that brought three electric guitars to a frenzy, Pierce threw his own guitar in hard rock fashion and walked off stage. Not one to indulge in overkill he came out again not for an encore but to say goodbye with a wave and yes, no words.
-Marla Seidell

A good argument could be made that none of Friday's Don't Look Back participants were performing their best release. (Seriously, Bubble and Scrape?) But that certainly didn't deter a large crowd, even with an early afternoon rain, or keep the acts from owning albums featuring songs that they admitted to not touching in more than a decade (if ever) in some instances.

Since reforming in 2002, Mission of Burma has shown that they have not lost the aggression or work ethic that built their reputation in the early 1980s. Considering Vs. was their only full-length release during their first run, it was the obvious choice to be played, even though it doesn't have what're probably their two most-recognizable songs. Highlighted by "Trem Two" and "That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate", MOB kicked off the festival the only way they seem to know how - loud and abrasive. Perhaps the best sight of this set was away from the stage when I spotted a 3-year old girl headbanging with her dad. (Far too many children were without ear protection. C'mon, parents.)

Headlining Friday was Public Enemy playing It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. Once Sebadoh finally finished (after "Sebadoh sucks" chants from the PE audience), the Bomb Squad opened with a short set showcasing their talents as premier hip-hop producers for 20+ years. As soon as they ended, the crowd began humming the sirens that begin the legendary hip-hop album. Since Nation of Millions had never been performed in the US, it was the first time many had heard some of the tracks live. And aside from fouling during "Bring the Noise", Flavor Flav proved to many that the parody he's become on television is mostly an act. Even though Chuck D was the star, Flavor was on his game, except when trying to plug his latest reality show. Once they wrapped up the album, they performed a few other monster hits for the crowd that, especially far back from the stage, was dancing like it was their business. Even in the mud.

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Jarvis Cocker (photo by George Aye)

Again the crowds were not deterred by heavy rains on Saturday as the grounds filled with people toting blankets and chairs to wildly inappropriate spots. (Between the soundboard and stage should be standing room only for obvious reasons.) Coming off Thursday's tight preview show at Pritzker Pavilion, Fleet Foxes drew a large crowd for a mid-afternoon set that sounded sublime as the sun parted the clouds and relieved everyone bracing for more storms. Near the merchandise booth during Vampire Weekend's humdrum set, Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington drew a sizable crowd by cutting hair for $2. (This makeshift barbershop had many people wondering how much Les Savy Fav was getting paid for what was one of the weekend's most entertaining hours.) Later in the day !!! turned in a set heavy on their keen musicianship and the three dance moves that Nic Offer's been getting by on for at least five years. Nonetheless, they were definitely one of Saturday's highlights. However, when it came to showmanship, no one topped Jarvis Cocker. The Pulp singer split his time almost equally between songs from his first solo album and the rockers that'll be on the followup still being recorded. Even though he didn't play any of the songs that made people adore him in the first place and he talks a bit much between songs, he was terrific. It's doubtful he made many new fans since he was clearly performing for the already converted. Although, to ingratiate himself with the crowd, he did cover the Chicago house classic "Face It" by Master C & J. Closing out Saturday was Animal Collective with a spectacular light show that kept the interest of those who've previously never had any desire to hear more than two minutes of their music.

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Ghostface and Raekwon (photo by George Aye)

Unfortunately, the weekend's two biggest disappointments were both on Sunday. In the afternoon, the Japanese power trio Boris were plagued with power supply issues and forced to cut their thunderous set at a half-hour. But in that time, they put on a performance worth remembering by everyone. And Australian electro group Cut Copy were caught in flight delays that got them to the festival in time to play just four songs before the 10pm curfew. (When traveling intercontinentally, I usually go a day before I have plans. But I guess not everyone thinks that's necessary.) Their short set dominated the faithful crowd that spurned Spoon and withstood a horrendous jam session from various musicians. However, there was much else to like - such as Apples in Stereo playing their indie psychedelic pop in the beating sun, HEALTH wowing with an energetic set and Ghostface getting huge cheers split between genuine and ironic.

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King Khan (photo by George Aye)

Sunday's 4pm hour created a situation where the 40,000+ audience was split between two of the most potentially entertaining acts of the weekend — King Khan & the Shrines and Les Savy Fav. Neither choice was wrong. King Khan put on one hell of a show that was mightily influenced by Screamin' Jay Hawkins. From the wardrobe to the freakouts to telling people to throw trash (and there was a whole lot of it), it was raw and dirty like any good rock'n'roll performance should be. Across the field, Les Savy Fav's hour was a whole mess of insanity. While the band flew through a good mix across their albums, Tim Harrington was clearly the show, as usual. When watching him perform, it's hard to not try to imagine him away from the stage because he couldn't really be all an act, right? Maybe.

Spoon (photo by George Aye)

Now, a few days ago, I realized that Spiritualized would be playing in daylight and something about that didn't seem quite right. They just don't come across as a band that'd perform well with the sun out. Somehow J. Spaceman pulled it off with a tremendous "Come Together" and a wall of sound that may or may not have been unplugged in its final seconds. (The sound cut; the band kept playing; the sound came back; Spaceman smashed his gear.) Shutting down the festival were Dinosaur Jr and Spoon. J Mascis and Lou Barlow rolled through a predictably loud set (3 Marshall stacks for Mascis?!) that even delved into the post-Barlow years with "Out There" and "Feel the Pain." The sound was a bit muddled and the play was sloppy, but it was quite tolerable. No one sees Dinosaur Jr because they're concerned about precision anyway. Later in the evening, Spoon contrasted their predecessors by recreating a note-perfect mix of their music in front of an enormous crowd stretching all the way out to the gates. As they wrapped it up (and Cut Copy put the finishing touches on their abbreviated set), everyone who'd stayed was more or less pleased with the weekend. Yet on the way home I heard two people wondering who'll play next year. How about savoring this year for a day, ok?
-James Ziegenfus

Anne Holub / Comments (2)

Concert Mon Jul 21 2008

Pitchfork in Pictures

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King Khan (photo by George Aye)

Working through the night, our fearless photographer George Aye has compiled 72 hours of Pitchfork Music Festival mania into some really tremendous photo sets on flickr. It's a great way to slide into your Monday (or to try and remember how you spent your Saturday afternoon). We've got you covered, Pitchfork Festival, from Animal Collective to !!!.

If you've got great Pitchfork pictures to share, load them up to our Transmission pool on Flickr, where we're always glad to see your Chicago music pics!

(Keep an eye out here in Transmission for more Pitchfork recaps later today.)

Anne Holub

Concert Thu Jul 17 2008

Pitchfork Preview Night @ Millennium Park

Didn't get your act together to make it to this years Pitchfork? Don't want to fork over the cash for another summer hipster fest? Tonight's latest installment in the Music Without Borders series at Millennium Park should be enough to whet that indie appetite for awhile.

While it may be a bit of a stretch for a "world music concert series", the Pitchfork Music Festival Preview night, which goes up in just a few hours, features four acts who will all be at the festival as well, but are giving us just a little sprinkle for taste in this free preview. Taking the stage tonight will be the the indie band from space, Fleet Foxes, representing Elephant 6's international/ polka constituent, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, a "Gypsy brass band" found in Boban Markovic, and Thrill Jockey's own Extra Golden.
It's a wonderful day outside, get out and enjoy the free rock.

Pitchfork Music Festival Preview Night
Music Without Borders Concert Series
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
w/ Fleet Foxes, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Boban Markovic, and Extra Golden.

Emily Kaiser

Feature Wed Jul 16 2008

Pitchfork Music Festival 2008 Preview

Friday, July 18

Mission of Burma / 6pm (C)
Mission of Burma have a difficult legacy to live up to. The anthemic bombast of early tunes like "Academy Fight Song" and "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" would eventually earn them the reputation of being American punk rock titans and godfathers of the '80s indie-rock movement. Nonetheless, Burma had their share of artier inclinations. While their 1982 album Vs. lacked some of the overt hookiness of Burma's earlier material, it revealed the group was expanding its sonic palette to cover more moody and experimental material. Still, when the band launched into high gear, they played with an unbridled fervor that at times suspensefully teetered on the edge of collapse. Considering that Vs. is the only full-length the band recorded during its initial run in the early '80s, its candidacy for Friday night is pretty much a no-brainer. Since Mission of Burma reunited in 2002, reports of their live performances describe them as being about as flatteningly loud and ferocious as one could hope for.
-Graham Sanford

Sebadoh / 7:15pm (C)
It's always interesting when the side project overshadows the original band, and regardless of how you feel about Dinosaur Jr, it's hard to argue that Lou Barlow's Sebadoh hasn't managed to eclipse his original band in both popularity and influence. Pitchfork has Barlow and original collaborator Eric Gaffney reunited to perform the band's landmark fourth album Bubble and Scrape, an effort which spawned a million lo-fi imitators since its release in 1993. Flannel shirts and high-waisted jeans optional.
-Nilay Patel

Public Enemy / 8:30pm (A)
It's easy to forget how hard Public Enemy used to be now that Flava Flav is some kind of cartoon pimp, but the pioneering hip hop group was responsible for bringing political consciousness to mainstream rap, and DJ Terminator X elevated scratching to an entirely new level. The 'fork has booked the boys for a straight-through performance of It 1988's It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, and while you already know "Don't Believe The Hype," chances are you'll be familiar with every other track as well — every hip hop artist since has been ripping them off.
-Nilay Patel

Saturday, July 19

Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar / 12:30pm (B)
A left-field choice for the festival that seems to be without precedent for Pitchfork or any other western news media source, the choice of Yugoslavian master of the flugelhorn Boban Markovic and his 20-year-old co-band-leader son Marko are strong bets to win over a few stray Beirut fans who showed up early. With a lively, worldly, and multiple-award winning brass section, the band should have everyone fired up immediately, no matter what part of the set their audience shows up for. Get a sneak peak at the band's fist-pumpingly good anthems Thursday night at the Pritzker Pavilion with Extra Golden, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, and Fleet Foxes.
-Dan Morgridge

A Hawk and a Hacksaw / 1:25pm (B)
Dig this: Balkan is the new black. This year, Pitchfork gets into the current trend of gypsy- and klezmer-influenced bands, including Boban I Marko Markovic Orkestar (a bit more authentic than the others on the bill) and A Hawk and a Hacksaw. Featuring violinist Heather Trost and former Neutral Milk Hotel drummer Jeremy Barnes, the Albuquerque-based group will be especially interesting to watch, particularly just how they pull off such lush, emotional music with so few people (assuming they perform as a duo, per usual, of course).
-Kara Luger

Jay Reatard / 1:30pm (A)
If the name Jay Reatard rings any bells with you, chances are good that you've spent some amount of time perusing (or living) the Goner Records catalog. The Memphis-based label has prided themselves for years — decades! — on promoting and revering all blends and flavors of real honest-to-hell rock and roll, with none of the sickening rock-and-roll-never-forgets wedding dancefloor safety-valves, and Jay was one of their original poster-children. He has fronted the Reatards, the Final Solutions, the Lost Sounds, Angry Angles, Terror Visions, and others. Now, Jay returns to his own name, sounding like a person who lives in a perpetual state of rock readiness. His output ranges from anthemic sing-along blasters to detached post-punk (he's no more afraid of keyboards or tricky changes than he is a fist to the face) to tracks that resemble the hardier side of glam — Bowie/Ronson, Slade, that lot. Daniel DiMaggio of Home Blitz has recently followed a similar path of open-faced rock and roll devotion, and received near-immediate (and warranted) recognition for his work. Here's hoping Pitchfork will help Jay catch up for lost time — this man deserves the rock and roll life if anyone does.
-Chris Sienko

Caribou / 2pm (C)
It's completely cool to play a recorder again. Caribou and I firmly believe this. Anyone else? Changing his name from Manitoba after a lawsuit too unnecessary to actually go through with, Daniel Snaith has been releasing his airy psychedelic worlds as Caribou since 2004. 2007's Andorra moved him beyond the niche world and is earning respect among a more widespread indie fan base. He earned an opening spot for math-rockers/ass-kickers, Battles, last fall with a live show that engulfs you with lights, videos, and of course, music. He moves beyond the expected show experience to deliver a spectacular performance that leaves you with absolutely no idea where you've just been and an uncontrollable desire to go back immediately.
-Emily Kaiser

Icy Demons / 2:20pm (B)
The terms "eclectic" and "uncategorizable" get lobbed about pretty frequently these days, but Icy Demons earn the distinction moreso than any other local band. A restless entity, their five-plus member roster is made up of musicians who each play in at least two other bands. The band's current line-up is heavy on percussion and keyboards, with plenty of instrument switching occurring throughout (sometimes in the span of a single tune). With their new album Miami Ice, Icy Demons juggle genres and strip stylistic gears in a brilliantly brilliant and elegant manner. Live, however, they're a much hungrier and more agitated beast. Since their around-town appearances are pretty infrequent, here's your chance to catch one of Chicago's best off-the-radar acts.
-Graham Sanford

Dizzee Rascal / 4pm (C)
Mix meaty beats and a East Ender mouth full of marbles and you got yourself a certain Dizzee Rascal. Backing up his latest album, the Mercury Prize-nominated Maths + English, Mr. Rascal has been wooing audiences since his (Mercury Prize-winning, bitches) 2003 Boy in Da Corner brought grime into college radio stations the world over. Check his single "Sirens" for his trademark mash of synth bleeps and gut-punch vox.
-Kara Luger

Vampire Weekend / 5pm (A)
Bringing a preppy sound to your indie rock channel is much-hyped Vampire Weekend. Not the goth band that their misnomer of a name might lead you to believe, this group is actually part of the more parent-friendly end of the festival's lineup. Their self-titled debut LP met with mad air play (including many a rotation in Chicago bar jukeboxes) and a rush on tickets at their spring show at the Metro. Don't fear though, this isn't any kind of easy-going bubblegum pop music. Vampire Weekend's songs are filled with excessively smart lyrics (some might say too smart... a song about commas? For real?), afro-pop melodies and are topped off with a little bit of that unfamiliar thing called happiness. It's pretty darn upbeat stuff, and you just might like it, or at the very least get up and boogie.
-Anne Holub

Elf Power / 5:20pm (B)
Pitchfork will play host to three relatives of the Elephant 6 collective, Apples in Stereo, A Hawk and a Hacksaw and certainly the most musically buoyant of the bunch at the moment, Elf Power. What may be the only reason to love Athens, GA, these veterans have worked with members of the impressive collective for years such as Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Magnum and Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes. Their 2008 release, In A Cave, is no stranger to the characteristic lo-fi sound and spacey lyrics. It oozes with a classicism that makes you want to simultaneously dance and cry, much like being confronted with Jack Nicholson's 1989 (not Dark Knight) Joker bombing your restaurant/city street to a Prince soundtrack. Elf Power is for lovers and children, except not at all.
-Emily Kaiser

Extra Golden / 6:25pm (B)
Extra Golden's origins trace back to Kenya, but their sound spans the globe. They have a unique history, having lost one of their original members to liver disease during the early stages of the band, a fact which actually spurred the remaining members to action to make sure their music was heard. Since then, they've released two fantastic releases on Thrill Jockey, and the band has developed a sound that incorporates many familiar textures and feels of rock and roll while retaining a distinctly international flavor. Their sophomore effort from 2007, Hera Ma Nono, made many top 10 lists for the year, and their live show consistently lives up to the promise of their recorded output, not to be missed.
-Daniel Melnick

The Hold Steady / 7pm (A)
With a powerhouse album released in 2006, Boys and Girls in America, The Hold Steady finally started to make their well-deserved named among the Pitchfork crowd. These crooners call Brooklyn home but rock with a force that is unmistakably southern, yet dominants anything the region could hope to put out. They're latest offering, Stay Positive, released only days ago on Vagrant, overflows with feeling as well as talent. "Sequestered in Memphis" slams with that classic piano jam we love the Hold Steady for, while darker tracks such as "Both Crosses" show a musical maturity in the new album. "Lord I'm Discouraged" transcends the sum of its parts and literally becomes the intense melancholy that is lead singer Craig Finn's acid-washed voice at it's best. There's also a few Northside/Southside references. Perhaps they've been spending more time in Chicago then they're letting on? At least we know they'll be here once, and you'll be sorrily mistaken if you're not there, too.
-Emily Kaiser

Jarvis Cocker / 8pm (C)
There are not many performers in the music industry who've spent as much time languishing in mediocrity as Jarvis Cocker before breaking big. From the late 1970s through the early 1990s, he led different versions of Pulp through lineup changes, red tape and indifference. In 1992, with a new lineup and new perspective, Pulp finally began to show signs of their forthcoming greatness. Over the next ten years, they'd release four revered albums and achieve stardom before going on indefinite hiatus. In 2006, Jarvis released a self-titled album that was clearly a step in a new direction. Jarvis showcased a more sedate and domestic side than Pulp while still keeping the wit. Now he returns to the Midwest for the first time in 12 years hopefully to make up for lost time (and maybe even preview some cuts from the Jarvis followup supposedly in progress).
-James Ziegenfus

Animal Collective / 9pm (A)
Avery Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist and Deakon are four of the weirdest pseudo-stars of the indie world. Constantly threading disparate howls, yelps, and, well, animalistic energies that veer from serene to spasm, the boys of Animal Collective find new nooks and crannies or caves and pits that you want to follow them into. Their latest, — the mildly new Water Curses EP — features a brief but promising tour through where the band could have gone with last year's excellent Strawberry Jam, and where they're heading to now with it under their belt.
-Dan Morgridge

Sunday, July 20

Mahjongg / 12:30pm (B)
With the arrival of their freshman album Kontpab this past February, Mahjongg moved beyond the punk-funk trappings of their prior output and steered their sound percussion-heavy West African territory. While a fair number of artists of opted for the Remain In Light move in the past year or so; but Mahjongg throw themselves into the groove with unmatched abandon. To top it all off, they wrap all this polyrhythmic ping-ponging around plenty of synth-punk bubble and throb in what makes for a brilliant tug-of-was between hot and cold. In its best moments, Mahjonng's music often verges on a deliriously unhinged energy that vaguely recalls the Butthole Surfers in their brain-scrambling heyday.
-Graham Sanford

Times New Viking / 1pm (C)
Best known by some as the band that brought Tom Lax and his Siltbreeze label out of retirement, this ramshackle, crappier-than-thou-fi band from Columbus, Ohio share a sonic affiliation, if not a similar sound, with projects like Sic Alps and Home Blitz. All three bands play within standard rock forms, yet somehow manage to avoid any major comparisons with their musical influences (coincidentally, all three have seen their earliest recordings explode into Ebay fetish objects). While mention has been made of the Vikings' association with Mike Rep, thereby connecting them, six degrees style, to those other fidelity skanks Guided By Voices, TNV are comfier amidst comparisons to another, earlier Mike Rep collaboration, St. Louis' favorite sons the Screamin' Mee Mees, whose "Live From the Basement" 7-inch still shines as a beacon to all who would walk the path of willful scuzziness and intelligent abandon. Times New Viking's Dig Yourself LP will hopefully fill the same role for the next generation of high-octane trash-strutters.
-Chris Sienko

High Places / 1:25pm (B)
Oh the joys of indie pop. Formed in 2008, this boy/girl duo consisting of Rob Barber and Mary Pearson combine playfulness with tribal rhythms to pleasantly weird effect. High Places are Brooklyn-based artists who released their debut self-titled EP on Chicago's own Thrill Jockey in 2008. How they got noticed began with a Chicago connection. A familial relation with Pitchfork Media (Pearson's sister used to work there) led to a review of their self-titled debut EP by critic Mike Powell, sealing them as confirmed members of the indie universe. They blend Hawaiian music with Chinese pop and hardcore, which, strange as it sounds, is danceable, in a jumping around type of oddball fashion.
-Marla Seidell

Boris / 2pm (C)
A few years ago one of my friends saw Boris in Atlanta and wrote the next day, "It was like standing in front of a jet engine. My brain is complete jelly today." That was actually a rousing endorsement. Over the last sixteen years, the trio that emerged from Japan's hardcore scene has stayed out of genre niches by regularly altering their sound. They've played all sorts of metal and even released experimental albums, as well as notable collaborations with Merzbow and Sunn O))). Even though their latest, Smile, is more in line with drone metal, expect an eclectic set from Boris. Turning brains into jelly is just the beginning of what they have to offer. (Plus, they have tremendous equipment for the gearheads to gawk at.)
-James Ziegenfus

HEALTH / 2:20pm (B)
I will never forget the night, standing right in front of a small stage in a café in Dekalb, IL, my ears were brutally assaulted at the hands of the Los Angeles noise band HEALTH. You see my first experience with HEALTH was listening to a few tracks through the tiny speakers of my work computer at a low volume. I wasn't sure what to think and basically wrote them off and moved on. This was is until they opened for Crystal Castles one night in May. I moved close to the stage when I saw some one taping a keyboard to floor. There were electronics and pedals and cables everywhere. Anticipating the sound that all of this might make I moved a little closer to the left speaker, and suddenly the room exploded. This young band plays with so much energy it only amplifies their raw sonic output. The word of the night among the shocked concert goers was "primal". HEALTH released their self-titled debut album last September (Lovepump United), and in May they also put out a fantastic remix album (Lovepump United).
-Jason Behrends

The Apples in Stereo / 3pm (A)
You may not know it, but you probably know Apples in Stereo. Does their "Signal in the Sky" from the Let's Go! EP sounds familiar? That's because it appeared in the Powerpuff Girls movie, you stoner. Does guitarist/singer Robert Schneider look familiar? That's because he introduced the infamous shred-off between The Decemberists and Stephen Colbert. Check out their so-sunshiney, sugary-sweet indie pop as the Denver-based Apples make their Pitchfork debut.
-Kara Luger

King Khan & The Shrines / 3:15pm (B)
King Khan arrived in The States late last month for his first American tour already carrying with a reputation of putting on wild and dangerous performances. He has been noted for combining the erotic and the soulful, and the results are often chaotic. Forming in Germany in 1999, at the age of 22 Kahn started to gain a reputation for his understanding of soul music and his ability to perform. The band, a super bad 10 piece soul inferno which includes Chicago-born Ron Streeter, has been touring Europe with Kahn for the last eight years. Recently signed to Vice Records, the band released a greatest hits collection just last month, and will be tearing up stages across America through August 3rd.
-Jason Behrends

Les Savy Fav / 4pm (C)
Anyone who's seen Les Savy Fav probably doesn't need added incentive to see them again. The energetic Tim Harrington is one of the best frontmen of this era and the band he leads sounds far more dynamic on stage than on any record. Whether it's rolling out slip'n'slides, crawling underneath floorboards, cutting hair or kissing audience members, Harrington manages to be both entertaining and borderline insane at all times. While he provides the visuals, the band nullifies the awkwardly varying production levels on its albums by delivering a chunky post-punk rock sound that they can only seem to pull off live. Even non-fans should make a point to experience the inevitable spectacle.
-James Ziegenfus

The Dodos / 5pm (A)
Meric Long (vocals/guitar) and Logan Kroeber (drums) are two musicians from San Francisco who have been playing together since 2006. The remarkable thing is that it is just two men walking on stage to an acoustic guitar and a worn drum set, and they create the most electric, energetic, sound I have heard in years. With rhythmic strums, graceful vocal tones, and inventive drum play, The Dodos released their second album (first as The Dodos, formerly Dodo Bird) on March 18th via Frenchkiss Records.
-Jason Behrends

Occidental Brothers Dance Band International / 5:20pm (B)
OBDBI is one of the hidden gems of the Chicago music scene, representing an international conglomeration of first rate musicians playing some of the most joyous, danceable music around. Formed by local guitarist Nathaniel Broddock, the band also features Ghana natives Kofi Cromwell and Daniel "Rambo" Asamoah, and local jazz scene stalwarts Greg Ward and Josh Ramos. The band started out as a cover project, playing classic Ghanian highlife and Congolese rumba, but as time has gone on they've developed their own unique compositional voice and style. The result is an infectious mix of African grooves and blistering improvised passages that lives up to the band name's promise to get everybody dancing.
-Daniel Melnick

Ghostface Killah & Raekwon / 6:25pm (B)
At the dawn of the Wu-Tang dynasty, when each of the initial participants started ripping out their own solo records, Ghostface (then Ghostface Killah) and Raekwon (the Chef) established themselves as having the albums that you had to check out first... after you, y'know, checked out Method Man, Old Dirty Bastard, and the GZA. Lacking attention-getting novelties like dope, insanity, or being the head when the group "forms like Voltron," Ghost and Rae had to depend instead of tight, inventive, fluid raps and unique flows (Ghostface's urgent, high-voiced machine gun vs. Raekwon's deeper, duskier noir narratives), as well as solid word-of-mouth from hip-hop fanatics, who know skills when they hear 'em. Looking back now, time's been kinder to the catalogs of these two than just about anyone in the original stable, save perhaps for the GZA. Expect nothing less than sweat, intensity, hand-raising and skills... from the artists, that is. What the crowd will do during this is anybody's guess.
-Chris Sienko

Spiritualized / 7pm (A)
UK psychedelic/experimental Spiritualized counts over twenty-six years of music history under its belt. Members have come and gone as often as the many looks of Madonna, yet front man Jason Pierce remains the steady driving force. Hailing from Rugby, England, the vocalist/guitarist formed the band back in 1990 out the ashes of Spacemen 3, ensuing controversy over the band's breakup. In 1999 Pierce completely stripped the band, hiring brand new members. It's this type of risk taking and unwillingness to compromise that typifies the music of Spiritualized, which has continued to evolve over the years. The band's trademark spacey minimalism is present in Songs in A & E, the band's sixth album, yet the heavy layers of gospel and blues exhibit a new depth of emotion. It took Pierce two years to finish the album, during which time he was hospitalized for double pneumonia. It's not called Songs in A & E for nothing, as A &E is a reference to the UK terminology for ER (accident and emergency), where Pierce spent considerable time on the verge of death. So yeah, if you want to hear what back-to-life music sounds like, go see this band.
-Marla Seidell

Dinosaur Jr. / 8pm (C)
J Mascis is a rock god! I have contended for many many years that he is the greatest guitar player of all time. You may or may not agree, but the fact remains that no other musician take a pop melody and insert a roaring yet majestic guitar solo quite like J. Forming in 1984, Dinosaur Jr. release three studio album before the departure of bass player (and Sebadoh frontman) Lou Barlow. J continued on as Dinosaur Jr. releasing four more albums between 1991 and 1997. In 2005, the original line-up finally reunited and they haven't looked back since. Last year, the band released their first studio album in over ten years, Beyond, and the sound is just as fresh and raw as it was back in '84. It is well documented that the live performance of Dinosaur Jr. are some of the most sonically impressive and loudest shows around. Just to witness the stacks of amps and microphones the J plays in front of is worth the price of admission.
-Jason Behrends

Cut Copy / 8:25pm (B)
While last year's laughingly bad sound problems caused many to flee the Balance Stage early, the final, late, aggro set from the Klaxons put a nail gun to the coffin and let it rip. So it would be unfair to say that Cut Copy have bid shoes to fill — rather, they could do nearly anything they wanted to and top last year's Sunday finale with ease. Yet, the men of Melbourne have proven to be a dance-floor inducing live show even for kids standing around at a rock concert, and thusly do they deserve the honor of finishing off the night for those who want to head home when the dancing stops. With great hipster limb movement power comes great responsibility, so expect the band to push only the best of their classic material while they milk the cohesion and energy of their astounding In Ghost Colors.
-Dan Morgridge

Spoon / 9pm (A)
With the release last summer of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon confused many a tongue-tied radio deejay and delighted most critics who raved about the latest efforts of this Austin, TX-based indie group. Classified as some sort of "gentleman punk" or a lo-fi indie romp, Spoon defied conventions once again with their latest work. At only 36 minutes, Ga Ga... is a whirlwind trip through lyrical mazes, production dubs and crafted percussion — but in a good way. As an album that has been labeled "a grower" and "one to be revisited" by the critics, I wonder how well it'll go off live on Sunday night. I'm not entirely sure why this Texas-bred group seems to have so much trouble getting their energy level up when playing summer festivals, but after watching them play a steamy Lolla set and an equally hot and lazy Pitchfork performance over the past couple years, you got the feeling they just didn't have their hearts in it — maybe a headliner slot is what they craved (and finally received). As it is, my fingers are crossed that Britt and the boys are out there somewhere, taking it easy, getting hydrated, and maybe getting a neck rub, because if the weather holds out with this hazy, hot and humid business, I'm not sure that they're going to make it through the weekend. And hey, it's not the first time you'll hear it, but take a chance on a winner of an encore, boys, and give the fans a little something from the past and play "Chicago at Night" (after all, it will be Chicago... at night).
-Anne Holub

Pitchfork Festival Schedule 2008, Union Park, Chicago, IL

Friday, July 18 (in conjunction with All Tomorrow's Parties/Don't Look Back):
6:00 - Mission of Burma performing Vs. (C)
7:15 - Sebadoh performing Bubble and Scrape (C)
8:30 - Public Enemy performing It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (A)

Saturday, July 19:
12:30 - Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar (B)
1:00 - Titus Andronicus (C)
1:25 - A Hawk and a Hacksaw (B)
1:30 - Jay Reatard (A)
2:00 - Caribou (C)
2:20 - Icy Demons (B)
3:00 - Fleet Foxes (A)
3:15 - Fuck Buttons (B)
4:00 - Dizzee Rascal (C)
4:15 - The Ruby Suns (B)
5:00 - Vampire Weekend (A)
5:20 - Elf Power (B)
6:00 - !!! (C)
6:25 - Extra Golden (B)
7:00 - The Hold Steady (A)
7:30 - Atlas Sound (B)
8:00 - Jarvis Cocker (C)
8:25 - No Age (B)
9:00 - Animal Collective (A)

Sunday, July 20:
12:30 - Mahjongg (B)
1:00 - Times New Viking (C)
1:25 - High Places (B)
1:30 - Dirty Projectors (A)
2:00 - Boris (C)
2:20 - HEALTH (B)
3:00 - The Apples in Stereo (A)
3:15 - King Khan & the Shrines (B)
4:00 - Les Savy Fav (C)
5:00 - The Dodos (A)
5:20 - Occidental Brothers Dance Band International (B)
6:00 - M. Ward (C)
6:25 - Ghostface Killah & Raekwon (B)
7:00 - Spiritualized (A)
7:30 - Bon Iver (B)
8:00 - Dinosaur Jr. (C)
8:25 - Cut Copy (B)
9:00 - Spoon (A)

(A) - Aluminum Stage
(B) - Balance Stage
(C) - Connector Stage

(For a full map, click here.)

Anne Holub

Contest Wed Jul 16 2008

Contest: Three Days of Pitchfork

Don't have your tickets to the Pitchfork Music Festival yet? How's a three-day pass for free sound? We've got a pair to give away, courtesy of Boost Mobile -- just email with the subject line "Pitchfork Booster" by 5pm today. We'll choose a winner at random from the entries received. Be sure to include your name, phone number and an address where the tickets can be overnighted to you if you win. UPDATE: We have a winner! Congratulations to Jen!

Andrew Huff

Concert Fri Mar 28 2008

KEXP To Broadcast Live from Pitchfork Fest, More Bands Announced


Pitchfork Music Festival announced today that KEXP, the "where the music matters" public radio station in Seattle known for its innovative music and web programming, will broadcast live from the actual festival and from Chicago in the days running up to the festival.

The announcement helps bolster KEXP's efforts to become the nation's top new music/rock station via its internet stream. KEXP replaces KCRWMUSIC.COM (Santa Monica, CA) as the chief radio sponsor, and why KCRW did not grab this opportunity is unknown. The fact that, for two years in a row, public radio stations from other states have sponsored the festival seems to demonstrate how sorely lacking Chicago is of a great rock station, public or commercial.

In addition to the radio broadcast announcement, the festival announced the following newly added acts to the lineup, and expects to announce more in April.

Those newly announced acts are:

* Dinosaur Jr
* The Pitchfork Music Festival and All Tomorrow's Parties present "Don't Look Back" featuring Mission of Burma performing "Vs."
* Jarvis Cocker
* Ghostface & Raekwon
* The Apples in Stereo
* Jay Reatard
* Ruby Suns
* Dirty Projectors
* Cut Copy
* A Hawk and A Hacksaw
* Fuck Buttons
* King Khan & His Shrines
* Occidental Brothers Dance Band International

They will join the following previously announced performers:

* The Pitchfork Music Festival and All Tomorrow's Parties present "Don't Look Back" featuring Public Enemy performing "It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back"
* Animal Collective
* Spiritualized
* !!!
* M. Ward
* Boris
* Vampire Weekend
* Dizzee Rascal
* No Age
* Atlas Sound
* Fleet Foxes
* Extra Golden
* El Guincho
* and more than a dozen others TBA

David Polk

Concert Mon Mar 10 2008

Festival Season Hits High Gear w/Pitchfork Announcement

Maybe you already got your tickets to Bonnaroo, perhaps you got an early Lollapalooza pass, or perhaps you were waiting for this Wednesday the 12th, when tickets to the annual Pitchfork Music Festival go on sale. In its two year lifespan, the festival has gained many lauds for the diverse and of-the-moment lineup and solid value, only tarnished somewhat by last years grumbles about growing pains evidenced most clearly in the obvious technical and production stumbles.

The lineup is still skeletal, as are all festival pre-sale lineups, but it looks alright, with Public Enemy slated to play their classic "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back", and current prep-popsters Vampire Weekend and '90s British psychedelic superstars Spiritualized making appearances. Keep track of new developments on the undercard and get your tickets Wednesday 3/12 at

Dan Snedigar

Feature Mon Jul 16 2007

Review: Pitchfork Music Festival 2007

We went, we saw, we listened. Here's some of the Gapers Block: Transmission staff's impressions in words and pictures of this year's Pitchfork Music Festival.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Feature Thu Jul 12 2007

Pitchfork Music Festival Preview 2007

With a weather forecast that's for once not predicting heat stroke to coincide with the weekend of the now 3rd Annual Pitchfork Music Festival, and tickets already sold out well in advance, the crowds descending upon Chicago this coming weekend are going to be energized and ready to rock. Indeed, lucky are we that the tickets were (relatively) cheap for the festival line-up that is so wide and varied and worthy of our attention. There are Chicago bands, old bands, new bands, brass bands, DJs, and, oh yes, Yoko Ono all about to spill into Union Park at what's become a summer ritual for all true indie music fans. Below, Gapers Block: Transmission staff let you in on some of our picks for how to best spend a few days in the grass.

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

Concert Tue Jul 10 2007

Strewn With Exclamation Marks and Brought to You With Love

artwork courtesy of Struggle Inc.

This weekend, there'll be no shortage of clubs hosting afterparties for the Pitchfork Music Festival, but it looks like the Empty Bottle has pulled out all the stops by stepping up with the most ambitious of all. Entitled "We ♥ Chicago," the Bottle's series of afterparty events offers three straight nights of merrymaking and dancing with a top-shelf selection of bands and DJs.

Looking down the schedule for the series, you probably notice a lot of exclamation points. And hey, that sense of excitement is perfectly appropriate because the whole affair is poised to be one of the biggest party events of the year. In case you missed it, here's the whole swoll package:

Friday, July 13
Gravy Train!!!!
The Cool Kids
GutterButter DJs

Saturday, July 14

Sunday, July 15
Yo! Majesty

Continue reading this entry »

Graham Sanford

Concert Tue Jun 26 2007

No Time Left for Hedging

This year's Pitchfork music festival is nearly sold out! If you want to get in on the mid-July music weekend, you'd better act fast. Pitchfork Media announced this week that 2-day weekend passes are gone gone gone. Friday's already sold out, so you'd better get going if you want to hear the likes of The New Pornographers, Yoko Ono, De La Soul, Stephen Malkmus, Clipse or Iron & Wine (plus oodles more) this summer. It's $25 per day (which is less than you dropped at the bar the other night, so what's your excuse now?).

Anne Holub

Concert Sat Apr 21 2007

Pitchfork Update...Again

The Pitchfork Music Festival continues its slow but steady lineup revelation for this year's three-day swelterfest in July by announcing yesterday afternoon the final two parts to its All Tommorrow's Parties Friday night "Don't Look Back" feature. For those who don't know, or haven't read a music blog in a while, the "Don't Look Back" show will feature, as Pitchfork has put it, three classic bands playing one of their classic albums in its entirety. Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation had already been revealed as the first act, and yesterday's announcement ended the suspense over the final two slots. Besides NYC's avant-punks, "Don't Look Back" will feature Pitchfork favorites Slint playing their all-important Spiderland, and the Wu-Tang's GZA rolling through his '95 opus Liquid Swords. The announcement is certainly exciting, but it leaves us pining for what might have been: Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain? Neutral Milk Hotel's Aeroplane Over the Sea? Built to Spill's Perfect From Now On? Wishful thinking aside, the whole "entire album being played" gimmick makes the Friday night "Don't Look Back" set-up pretty unique in what will no doubt be the most essential aspect of the festival for many, despite the great Saturday and Sunday lineup already announced. Plus, it starts at 7 PM so, you know, it'll only be around 95 degrees, instead of the 125 degrees that will doubtlessly scorch the Union Park hipster faithful during the rest of the festival. Tickets for the "Don't Look Back" feature on Friday night, July 13 are $15 bucks and you can get them here.

Brandon Forbes

News Mon Apr 16 2007

Some Pitchforkery

Just in case you haven't caught the updates swirling about online concerning everyone's favorite hipster fest, the following bands have been added to the Pitchfork Music Festival in July (culled from the festival website):

"Atlanta psych-rock powerhouses Deerhunter, Portland-based experimental pop trio Menomena, dance-rock juggernaut Klaxons, sleek Brits Fujiya & Miyagi, upstart Sub Poppers : Oxford Collapse, neo-slowcore duo Beach House, fantastically insane one-man-band Dan Deacon , and boundary-breaking jazz ensemble Craig Taborn's Junk Magic."

Myspace rumor also places recent Pitchfork Best New Music recipient The Twilight Sad unoffically at the Festival as well (thanks RFC). Now, if they can only convince Bjork to appear...

Brandon Forbes

Concert Fri Mar 30 2007

We Know You Got Soul

Five more bands have been announced in the line-up for the Pitchfork Music Festival.

  • Much more than three feet of entertainment will be brought by Native Tongues founding members De La Soul.

  • Pavement powerhouse and Jick-leader Stephen Malkmus will be flying solo.

  • Summer festival stalwarts The New Pornographers will woo the crowd with material from an upcoming album.

  • Tyondai Braxton will return to the fest with his new super-group Battles. (who are in town tonight!)

  • Big-local-fish-who've-just-become-big-national-fish The Ponys will return to make sure we're following their energy saving tips.

In addition, Pitchfork has introduced a official festival podcast titled "Backline." The 'cast features festival-specific info as well as interviews with the likes of rapper Malice of Clipse, All Tomorrow's Parties founder Barry Hogan, and poster artist Jay Ryan. Episodes 1 and 2 are now available.

Dan Morgridge

Concert Fri Mar 16 2007

All Pitchfork's Parties

This year's Pitchfork Music Festival is shaping up to be great, thanks in part to the just-announced headliner: Sonic Youth, who will be performing their seminal Daydream Nation in its entirety as part of All Tomorrow's Parties "Don't Look Back" series. [via]

So here's the announced line-up so far:

Friday, July 13
Pitchfork Music Festival
& All Tomorrow's Parties Present: Don't Look Back

Sonic Youth

Saturday, July 14
Cat Power
Iron & Wine
Girl Talk
Grizzly Bear
Professor Murder

Sunday, July 15
Of Montreal
Jamie Lidell
Ken Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound

Discounted three-day passes have already sold out, but you can single-day, two-day and full-price three-day passes on Ticketweb. Get yours here.

Andrew Huff

News Thu Mar 08 2007

Pitchfork Adds Another Day, Announces Some Performers

Greg Kot reports that this year's Pitchfork Music Festival is adding Friday to its weekend and it'll feature acts performing albums in their entirety. (Hmm... maybe they loved GvsB's Venus Luxure as much as everyone else at last year's Touch & Go Anniversary.) Also, Cat Power, Clipse, Girl Talk, Grizzly Bear, Iron & Wine, Jamie Lidell, Of Montreal, Powerhouse Sound, and Professor Murder are slated to appear Saturday and Sunday. Tickets go on sale next week at varying prices.

James Ziegenfus

Concert Thu Jul 27 2006

You Like GB, You Like Pre-Parties

Friday night, you can have the best of both worlds all on the same block. There's the monthly Gapers Block get-together, this time at The Gingerman Tavern, and right next door at the Metro, there'll be bands, djs, and comedians all in celebration of this weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival. (And if you're headed to the festival this weekend do two things before you leave the house: 1. remember your sunscreen and 2: check out our picks before you go.)

Anne Holub

Pitchfork Music Festival Wed Jul 26 2006

Pitchfork Music Festival: Recommended Listening

This weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival brings the bundled joy of indie rock back to Chicago for what hopes to be a hot two days of shake your booty music. The best part is at $20 a day, you just can't beat the value of rock for your dollar. Here at Gapers Block Transmission, we want to make sure you don't miss something worth hearing because you chose that half hour to go get a funnel cake. While we all have our highpoints for Pitchfork, there really shouldn't be any low points. Below are just some of our top picks:

Continue reading this entry »

Anne Holub

GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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