Pitchfork Music Festival turns eleven this year and will be invading Union Park this weekend for a few hot days of summer sounds, overpriced-yet-surprisingly-delicious food and trying to relax under a shady tree.
Though “indie music” can conjure images of bland acoustic guitarists wearing a flannel shirt in a wheat field or gutter punks in a basement, this fest and the commonplace of the genre have gotten more heavy on independent R&B, electronic and hip-hop artists the past several years.
Indie rock performers still make up a lion’s share of the artists, but performances by Big Boi, ASAP Ferg and Kendrick Lamar, to mention just a few, are some of the most notable at Pitchfork in recent memory. This year’s buzz revolves around the three headliners, Solange, LCD Soundsystem and A Tribe Called Quest, perhaps reflective of a larger shift away from rock as a standard of music festivals—indie or otherwise. As Pitchfork Media was born in Chicago, hometown artists like Jamila Woods and Joey Purp will be big draws for local fans, especially fans of color that may otherwise not find much to relate to at an indie festival taking up public space in a near westside neighborhood.
It is not always simple to point a finger to the most relevant sounds in this DIY music world that favors blended and re-imagined genres over the old staples. Although rejection and alienation from the ‘mainstream’ music industry is the primary reason hip-hop, R&B and even electronic sounds have needed to blossom from underground, they are now about as major as ever. They are among the most familiar and necessary musical expressions of desires, political and social critiques, affirmation, and reflections that are as American as the proverbial apple pie. Though its lineup leaves more to be desired when it comes to Latinx, other non-black POC and womxn representation, Pitchfork may prove to be a decent attempt to keep a finger on the pulse of the country, with the artists showing us the way.
Follow Gozamos for more exclusive content and interviews, as we cover the fest all weekend! Check out some tracks by artists we are looking forward to, below.
Jamila Woods – “Blk Girl Soldier” (Sunday, 6:30pm, Blue Stage)
LCD Soundsystem – “call the police” (Friday, 8:10pm, Green Stage)
Solange – “Losing You” (Sunday, 8:30pm, Green Stage)
A Tribe Called Quest – “We the People” (Saturday, 8:30pm, Green Stage)
Danny Brown – “Ain’t It Funny” (Friday, 6:00pm, Green Stage)
Avalanches – “Because I’m Me” (Sunday, 6:15pm, Green Stage)
Madlib – “Slim’s Return” (Saturday, 6:30pm, Blue Stage)
Joey Purp – “Girls (feat. Chance the Rapper)” (Saturday, 4:00pm, Blue Stage)