Pitchfork Music Festival & 2010 Preview

Chicago Pitchfork Music Festival
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Pitchfork Music Festival, held every summer for the past few years in Union Park in the West Town neighborhood, must have the highest concentration of Hipsters, Yuppies, Buppies, Guppies, Blipsters, Backpack Hip-Hoppers, Dinks (that’s “double income no kids” for ye uninitiated), and BoBos in a place not called Williamsburg-Brooklyn in the country. It is quite possibly the best people-watching experience I’ve had in the city. And if you’re into avant-garde and innovative music in a multitude of styles you’ll be in HEAVEN! Think of funny descriptors like “Swedish pop-synthetic”, “alt-goth-country”, “Favela funk-meets-big band standard,” and I can almost guarantee that they will accurately describe at least one of the performers at the show. It’s not all about looks and “the scene” at Pitchfork though (although I would argue that these things are a BIG part of the experience). For most attendees it really is all about the music.

This year the show will be held July 16th – 18th, with a diverse group of headliners lineup that’ll appeal to just about any serious music fan. Headlining Friday’s set are Broken Social Scene and Modest Mouse, two very different bands that come pretty much as close as possible to straight-up rock as any other band will get at Pitchfork. On Saturday the big names are LCD Soundsystem (aka James Murphy, a moody bleeps-and-blips minimalist DJ), Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox, a secretive darling of the indy-set), Wolf Parade, and Raekwon (if I need to tell you who Raekwon is you might as well stop here… but not before I remind you that “cash rules everything around me, cream, get the paper, DOLLA DOLLA BILLS Y’ALL!”). Sunday’s main acts are Pavement (true paragons of indy-rock, they haven’t played a show together since 1999… this will be truly epic) and Big Boi of Outkast fame.

Though I have mentioned the “headliners”, one of the coolest features of Pitchfork is that depending on who you ask, you might get any number of replies to the question “Who’s headlining?” That’s what makes Pitchfork so exciting; there are so many crazy niche bands that you might get someone whose sole reason for attending is Sharon von Etten on Friday, the Netherfriends and WHY? on Saturday, and Surfer Blood on Sunday. On Friday there are only seven acts performing, but on Saturday and Sunday there are about 15 acts performing each day.

You also have to love the whole ethos of the Pitchfork festival in terms of the organizers’ commitment to keeping prices down. From the website: “With so many blockbuster festivals gouging their attendees out of absolutely obscene sums of money, only to confine them in uncomfortable, tight spaces and skimp on basic necessities, our goal is to do the right thing: That is, to create a reasonably priced summer music festival that provides an overwhelmingly positive, comfortable and fun festival experience for both attendees and musicians.” Single-day passes run $40 and three-day are $90. Seriously. Compare that to Lollapalooza and prepare to vomit. Tickets are still available for all three days as well as three-day passes, so if you’re interested, get moving. In the past scalpers have been able to sell tickets for well over face-value as they usually sell out closer to the date of the show. Bear that in mind, and prepare to have a singularly fun time if you attend!




Want a little Pitchfork preview? Check out the audio player below and listen to some tunes picked out by Pitchfork editor Tyler Grisham for Baeblemusic.com’s “t.g.i. mixtape 68”. Use player below, or check it out here.

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Max Wolod

About Max Wolod

I’m a Chicago lifer. I studied Creative Writing at Tulane University in New Orleans but my prodigal ass returned to Rogers Park a year ago and for keeps. If I had a tattoo it would be a phantasmagorical BearBullHawk riding the Sears Tower a la Dr. Strangelove. My pastimes include eating and drinking to excess and lamenting another woeful year for the (INSERT CHICAGO SPORTS TEAM). I represent Rogers Park and the Tao of Ditka. Amen.

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