Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park – Chicago, IL – 7-17-2016 – Day Three

Day three. The last stand. 

Glad you stuck around this long. I’m impressed. And aren’t you glad you didn’t have to hangout with me for three day music festival, waiting in line as we pitter-patter our feet in unison hoping the porta-potty hasn’t overrun past its sanitary levels? Yeah, me neither.

Regardless, remember when A Tribe Called Quest told us they got the jazz? Well, by some outstanding chance Union Park hosted a quality amount of it to start day three.  

So, read on as we get past this contrived beginning and let’s enjoy day three, shall we?

The Sun Ra Arkestra, with a nearly mystical background (and I urge you to look it up), ignited day three with a jazz filled set that most in the crowd were probably not expecting. But those blind expectations only sweetened the band’s free-flowing and smiled-filled set.

Recommended listening:

When Kamasi Washington’s band started out with the indistinguishable notes of Miles Davis, well, everyone just knew exacly were this set was going. The stage presence from Kamasi and his band was nothing short of captivating due to their musical chops. They know how to play their instruments (understatement of the weekend no doubt). Saxist, Kamasi Washington is making jazz cool all over again. 

Recommended listening:

Neon Indian’s set…well how the hell can you expect NOT to dance during a music festival weekend. Everyone in attendance had the chance to do so as the band played amply from their latest album VEGA INTL. Night School. Fun. Catchy. Nostalgic. Fantastic set.

Recommended listening:

FKA Twigs closed the night to a mesmerized crowd. And it isn’t hard to understand the hypnotism when you consider what type of performance she puts (I mean have you seen her dance moves?) and how unique she is in today’s musical landscape.

Recommended listening:

Sure, the 2016 Pitchfork Music Festival is over. But with any music festival the real fun is in discovering new bands, songs, or, musical styles. So, I hope this relatively small snapshot of the weekend turns you on to something new!

Until next time friends…

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Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park – Chicago, IL – 7-16-2016 – Day Two

Before we begin let’s talk about the five greatest rappers of all time: 

Well, I’m glad we got that out of the way. Don’t you? 

A sun drenched Union Park hosted day two of the Pitchfork Music Festival. And while I wilted like a lifeless tomato plant, the rest of the crowd, filled with that pesky cosmic energy, buzzed right along. 

So, let’s buzz right into the top acts of the day:

Royal Headache was anything but what their name suggested. These Aussies proved to play their garage punk set at a frenetic pace, but not at the expense of catchy melodies.

Recommended listening:

While I previously mentioned the greatest rapper of all-time (Dylan [dye-lon]), one the better hip-hop groups of all-time, Digable Planets, played a rare set to an immense crowd. Their message, aside from making sure everyone grooved right along to their songs, was a message of peace, good will to your neighbors, and mindfulness of the struggles being felt around the world. 

Recommended listening:

The Super Furry Animals brought their brand of psychedelic brilliant madness to a noticeably tone down crowd (so I guess I wasn’t the only one beaten down by the sun). That still didn’t stop them from putting on a spaced out and visually compelling set.

Recommended listening:

Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals were honestly worth the price of admission today. Anderson .Paak manned the drums and MC’d in an extremely crowd pleasing that brought smiles to faces young and old. Anderson is one of the brightest stars in music today.

Recommended listening:

Sufjan Stevens…wow. I can’t even do justice to his sprawling live version of “Impossible Soul.” It really has to be seen to be believed. And props for his cover of Prince’s “Kiss” to end the night.

Live version of “Impossible Soul”:

Honorable mention:

Brian Wilson played Pet Sounds and other Beach Boys’ hits to a massive crowd. At 74 years old, he did about as good as you could expect. A tremendous amount of respect was telling for the reverent attendance to his incredible career.

And that’s day two ladies and gentlemen. 

Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park – Chicago, IL – 7-15-2016 – Day One

Hello, beautiful readers. How are you? How’d your morning/day/night go? Well, ain’t it how it always goes?

Well, anyways, I’m glad your reading this on your smartphone, laptop, PC, Mac, or a public library computer…or maybe even that dreaded internet cafe with bad decorations.

Anyways, I guess I just wanted to give you a snapshot (not to be confused with a Snapchat because these letters would self destruct in villainous seconds) of the Pitchfork Music Festival. 

The eleventh annual event arrived at Union Park with a dreaded drizzly start. But that’s nothing a rain poncho or an overly saturated flannel shirt couldn’t deter. 

So, this year, in the age of Buzzfeed countdown orientated articles, I decided to countdown the top four acts of my biased mind at the Pitchfork Music Festival that might even engage you to go out and listen, watch, or follow them at your own discretion. 

So, let’s get right down to it (in a no, purposely Buzzfeed, particular order):

Whitney:

With the break of sunshine late in a largely cloudy and misty set, Whitney proved to be a lighthearted but sonically diversive set to start the afternoon. A trumpet and mini string backing band will always brighten things up. 

Recommended listening:

Twin Peaks:

Chicago’s very own hosted a sizeable and raucous crowd to their garage rock set. This is the type of band you can crack open your tall boys at any barbecue and say hey wanna hear some new rock and roll? 

Recommended listening:

Carly Rae Jepsen:

My goodness. What’s the word for ethereal pop-yness? Michael-Jackson? Madonna? Sorry, but this Canadian gift of an artist (looking sternly at you Beiber) cannot be overlooked as just the girl who blew up on FM radio a few years ago with her international hit “Call Me Maybe.” (And don’t deny you didn’t sing along to this very song on your way to buy groceries a few years ago either). Friends, she’s actually the real deal. Pure pop at its finest.

Recommended listening:

Beach House: Turn the lights down low…way low. Now go ahead and grab your favorite drink. Take your time. No rush. I’m not going anywhere. Maybe take a puff of your favorite (disclaimer: not recommended) cigar, cigarette, or medicinal prescription while you’re at it. Pretty good isn’t it? 

Its honestly the only way to describe Beach House’s headlining performance. Mellow is an understatement. For you Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fans their rendition of The Korgis/and more likely known Beck’s version of “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” could not have been more fitting for their set. 

Recommended listening:

So, as couples kissed and friends hugged, the night ended in a much needed sign of peace and love that is always (and sadly) desperately needed in our always chaotic world. Let’s hope this continues, no?

Day two just around the corner…