We have to hand it to Pitchfork Music Festival this year. The headliners the fest pulled in for its 2014 edition (happening July 17-19) are not only impressive but also impressively diverse. Revered singer songwriter Beck kicks things off Friday night, recently reunited indie rock gods Neutral Milk Hotel headline on Saturday and Grammy-nominated Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar will close out the festival on Sunday. These headlining acts alone are worth the cost of your ticket but Pitchfork is cramming dozens of other buzzworthy acts into Union Park over the weekend.
Expand your musical palette with these artists and, who knows, maybe someday you’ll be watching them in the headlining slot.
DJ Spinn – Tragedy struck Pitchfork’s lineup earlier this year when DJ Spinn’s longtime collaborator and fellow juke music pioneer DJ Rashad passed away unexpectedly. DJ Spinn’s Pitchfork Fest set will now be a solo one but we expect him to keep Rashad’s memory alive when he spins the same beats that brought footwork and juke from the streets of Chicago to the mainstream music scene. DJ Spinn plays the Blue Stage at 6:45 p.m. on Sunday.
Believe it or not, Giorgio Moroder had a career long before he collaborated with famed robots Daft Punk on their latest album released last year. In fact, Moroder, born in Italy in 1940, is often credited as one of the creators of electronic music. For a first-person account of Moroder’s start in music turn to “Giorgio by Moroder” off Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories or check out one of his 13 studio albums, 10 soundtracks (including American Gigolo and Scarface) or his countless collaborations (i.e. Donna Summers’ “Love To Love You Baby”) for a true taste of his music. Giorgio Moroder plays on the Red Stage at 7:20 p.m. on Friday.
Hudson Mohawke - Scottish producer Hudson Mohawke booked perhaps the biggest gig of his career last year as one half of the electronic hip hop hybrid TNGHT when Kanye West enlisted him (and his TNGHT partner Lunice) to contribute to his critically acclaimed album Yeezus. If he’s good enough for Yeezy, he’s worth your time too! Hudson Mohawke plays on the Blue Stage at 7:45 p.m. on Sunday.
St. Vincent (pictured at top) - St. Vincent, or Annie Clark as she’s known offstage, is most revered for the beauty that she manages to bring to life through her music every time she performs. A whimsical pairing of indie rock, bold jazz and funk sounds and jarring electronic elements has warranted the attention of music fans spanning all corners of the genre landscape. St. Vincent plays on the Red Stage at 7:25 p.m. on Saturday.
In an age of music when it's more easily produced and more readily available than ever, truly talented songwriters are truly something to be valued. Sharon van Etten is just as much of a musician as she is a storyteller. Her songs are personal glimpses into intimate moments of the 33-year-old East Coast native’s life. Sharon van Etten plays on the the Red Stage at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
If you’re searching for the most unique sound in Union Park this weekend, look no further than tUnE-yArDs set early Saturday evening. Described as “one-woman afro-pop,” Merrill Garbus is as likely as to sing as she is to whip out a ukulele as she is to digitally loop portions of her set resulting in more layers than the most extravagant fondant cake. tUnE-yArDs plays on the Red Stage at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday.
With Kendrick Lamar headlining Pitchfork Music Festival this year, it’s no surprise he’s bringing along one of his prospects. Lamar recently signed 22-year-old Isaiah Rashad to his imprint of TDE. The young rapper mixes West Coast MC styles similar to that of his new boss’s with influences from his Southern upbringing. Isaiah Rashad plays on the the Blue Stage at 2:50 p.m. on Sunday.
Twin Peaks - Twin Peaks’ second album Wild Onion is due out on August 5 but that’s not the most exciting bit of news about this hip rock pop group. What is? Why, the fact that this potentially huge band is from our hometown of Chicago! It’s no secret that Chicago’s rap scene is on fire right now but the guys from Twin Peaks are proving we’ve still got a lot to offer in the rock department as well. Twin Peaks is playing on the Green Stage at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Deafheaven proved that shoegaze and black metal go together like bacon and eggs with their wildly popular release Sunbather last year. This will easily be one of the loudest sets at Pitchfork this year but it may also be one of the best. Deafheaven plays on the Green Stage at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Grimes - Grimes has drawn an increasing amount of fans towards her music in recent years thanks to her infectiously creative personality and seemingly limitless creative outlets. The singer, producer and songwriter also exists as a director, painter and writer. Her worldly influences are as diverse as her artistic interests resulting in music that’s hard to categorize as anything other than “beautiful.” Grimes plays on the Red Stage at 7:25 p.m. on Sunday.
Pitchfork Music Festival is this Friday through Sunday, July 17-19. Three-day passes and Saturday and Sunday single-day tickets are sold out. Friday single-day tickets are still available here for $60.
Photos Courtesy of (Creative Commons): Jason Persse via flickr; Giorgio Moroder Facebook; Weekly Dig via flickr; The Come Up Show via flickr; Teresa Sedó via flickr