Summer Music Preview: 10th Annual Pitchfork Music Festival

While about 100,000 people fill Grant Park each day during Lollapalooza, the more indie-focused Pitchfork Music Fest maintains a more manageable vibe...

MAY 2015 –The festival, set for July 17th-19th in Union Park at the far end of the West Loop, is the fest for hipsters hooked on the hot music put together by the music geniuses at Chicago’s own Wilco headlines Friday night, local hip-hop breakout Chance the Rapper hits the big stage on Saturday and the reformed Sleater-Kinney, with Portlandia‘s Carrie Brownstein, close out the fest. More than three dozen hip-hop, rock and electronic acts will play the Green, Red and Blue stages over the weekend. Who will you see? Here are some we’re excited about.

Run the Jewels – Made up of New York’s El-P and Atlanta’s Killer Mike, Run the Jewels didn’t take the hip-hop world by storm for being quiet and sweet. Their aggressive, intelligent rhymes backed by tight productions take a no-holds-barred approach to bring attention to major social issues. As they told NPR’s Frannie Kelley in 2014, “We’re a group comprised of two dudes who met at crossroads, who had come out of crossroads deciding to go out and hunt and kill.”

Caribou – If you picture a bunch of 20somethings swaying and bopping their heads in unison, you’re on the right trail toward Caribou. The one-man Canadian act seamlessly flows between electronic psych pop and downtempo dancefloor grooves. His 2014 hit, “Can’t Do Without You,” has become a favorite of DJs around the globe.

Future Islands – Anyone who loves grooving in a crowd while a wildly frenetic singer with soulful retro vocals starts to lose his mind on stage must not miss Future Islands set. Just go. You won’t be disappointed.

Todd Terje – Hear this now: Norwegian DJ Terje will whip the Pitchfork crowd into a dance-mess craziness. His blend of house, disco, techno and synth pop gets the kids moving. He has produced music with everyone from Franz Ferdinand to Bryan Ferry, so the guy’s got cred.

Jamie XX – One half of 2009 breakout act The xx, Jamie XX is the genius behind the group’s sweeping, gorgeous productions. He recently performed at Coachella and brought people to tears with his stunning light shows and sonic love, especially when playing “Loud Places,” the first release from his forthcoming album, which features xx’s Romy Madley Croft and a sample from Everything But the Girl.

Courtney Barnett – This Aussie rocker offers up fuzzy guitar riffs, snarky yet intelligent lyrics and an overall grungy, fun vibe. She has garnered big media attention and love from indie music lovers.


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