PreFork: Pitchfork Music Festival Saturday Preview

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 16, 2008 9:17PM

!!!'s Nic OfferThe Pitchfork Music Festival kicks off its 2008 edition this weekend at Union Park, and we're going to highlight some of the "can't miss" acts of the weekend on Chicagoist over the next few days. Today we'll tackle eight can't-miss acts from the sold-out Saturday line-up.

Jarvis Cocker's set is easily one of the most anticipated acts of the entire festival. The archly British ex-frontman of Pulp continues to pen lyricallly rich and glamorously elegant songs that continue to bolster Cocker's reputation as one of the most gifted songwriters of his generation. His output has always been infused with both dark humor and bleak characters creating songs that take one's breath away in equal parts shock and delight. (8 p.m. on the Connector Stage)

The Hold Steady's new LP, Stay Positive, has been making the rounds in the Chicagoist office and with good reason: it's another great collection of fist-pumping, sing-a-long anthems perfect for an outdoor festival. We've never been disappointed by Craig and the band and we can't wait to work up a sweat to their set. (7 p.m. on the Aluminum Stage)

2008_07_pfork_logo.jpgWhile !!!'s last album left us a bit cold, the same can't be said for their live show. The band nearly stole last year's Lollapalooza as singer Nic Offer kept the security detail busy with his forays into the crowd and beyond the stage. Their dance-punk never fails to get the masses roiling and we're looking forward to seeing all those hipsters shake the bony booties God gave 'em. (6 p.m. on the Connector Stage)

We want to like Vampire Weekend, we really do. No, we didn't think their debut was the second coming of The Talking Heads but we do admit to finally falling a bit for the group's playful melodies and light as air tunes. While we admit we're bit nervous that the band could wreck the souffles they call songs onstage, we pulling for them to pull it off. (5 p.m. on the Aluminum Stage)

The terms "British" and "Rapper" are two words that just don't seem like they go together. Thankfully, Dizzee Rascal skewers this perception and has taken the grime genre worldwide. His crazed, rapid-fire delivery on top of thumping garage beats make him one of the more intriguing performers on stage this weekend and well worth catching. (4 p.m. on the Connector Stage)

Icy Demons arose as a side project -- it's members hail from Man Man and Bablicon -- but their recent Miami Ice album proves the froup can stand firmly on it's own laurels. That disc was populated by sleekly cool, slightly remote electronic dance pop with a jagged streak. We're curious how they'll pull off the fine balancing act between disco and The Fall onstage, so we're really looking forward to their set. (2:20 on the Balance Stage)

Jay Reatard is a fucking mess, and we mean that in the best possible way. There may be blood after his set. (1:30 p.m. on the Aluminum Stage)

Titus Andronicus only recently came across our radar, but they haven't left our view since. Their debut, The Airing of Grievances, is chock-full of Springsteen-ian anthems fueld by snotty punk speed-freakery. Their self-titled anthem kicks off with drums that sound like Phil Spector manning a cell-phone recorder before exploding into a seriously distorted harmonica and finishing with the band injecting an optimistic fervor into the nihilistic refrain of "your life is over." These New Jersey kids just may be the break-out act of this year's festival. (1 p.m. on the Connector Stage)

The Pitchfork Music Festival takes place at Union Park this weekend, July 18-20, and some tickets are still available.

Additional reporting by Marcus Gilmer

Image of !!! by Jim Kopeny