Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Pitchfork Music Festival preview

| July 15, 2009

Union Park, Chicago
Friday, July 17 to Sunday July 19, 2009


While we’re still waiting for Pitchfork to hire one of the black-metal bands they wrote so much about in 2008, there is a change in store for this weekend’s festival that proves they’re paying attention.

Last year continued the All Tomorrow’s Parties “Don’t Look Back” series, in which veteran bands revisit a classic recording. In 2007, that meant Sonic Youth playing Daydream Nation, Slint doing Spiderland, and Gza recreating Liquid Swords. Fifty-two (or so) weeks later we got Public Enemy (with a newly VH1’d Flava Flav) and It Takes A Nation Of Millions, Sebadoh and the questionably honored Bubble & Scrape, and an underwhelming offer of Mission Of Burma and Vs.

Instead, 2009 has “Write The Night,” for which ticketholders could vote on sets for Tortoise, Built To Spill, The Jesus Lizard, and Yo La Tengo. Competition with Lollapalooza has put strain on the rest of the weekend, which is bravely headlined by repeaters The National, Grizzly Bear, and The Walkmen, but also one of the premier outdoor-festival bands in The Flaming Lips.

Pitchfork, per its name, should be more about the breaking and unknowns, of which there are many. They lost the bidding for Yeasayer last summer, but the band’s lo-fi Peter Gabriel-ness should translate better in Union Park. Fellow Saturday bands Plants & Animals, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Bowerbirds, and The Antlers tweak known-quantity indie-rock formulae (psychedelia, Up Records, indie pop, and loneliness, respectively) and it’s not an afternoon without abrasions suffered from Fucked Up, Wavves, and Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

(Only two substantial hip-hop acts this year as well: MF Doom and Pharoahe Monch.)

Sunday represents a more standardized indie-rock lovefest, with M83, Vivian Girls, The Thermals, Blitzen Trapper, Frightened Rabbit, and Mew. But the most pleasant surprise is the return of Chicago’s duellin’ basses Dianogah.

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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