PreFork: Pitchfork Music Festival Sunday Preview
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 17, 2008 5:50PM
The Pitchfork Music Festival kicks off its 2008 edition this weekend at Union Park, and we've been highlighting some of the "can't miss" acts of the weekend on Chicagoist over the next few days. Today we'll tackle eight acts from the sold-out Sunday line-up. But before we do, you should know that Saturday and Sunday are completely sold out and there are only a few walk-up tickets that will be available for tomorrow's show. If you waited too long though, you can still catch a few of the acts -- Fleet Foxes, Extra Golden, Boban Markovic, and A Hawk and a Hacksaw -- for FREE starting at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Now on to Sunday's highlights.
We would have never predicted Spoon would become festival mainstage regulars even five years ago, but here we are. We saw the band play an intimate set at Schuba's last year and it reminded us how much we miss seeing them perform in smaller venues, but we can't really begrudge them their current popularity, based as it is on two impressively strong recent albums. Some of the more nuanced turns may get swallowed up by the vastness of Union Park, but look for a solid set regardless. (9 p.m. on the Aluminum Stage)
Dinosaur Jr is the wild card of the weekend. The band pulled off the impressive feat a few years of reuniting all the original members AND releasing a new album that sounded just as vibrant and sonically punishing as the group's early "classic" work. We've missed the baand's live sets every time they've come to town -- we've been cursed by "emergencies" every time and had to skip the show -- and the reports we've gotten from friends range from "oh my GAWD they were awesome!" to "they literally slept through the whole set." We're obviously pulling for the former to be true Sunday night. (8 p.m. on the Connector Stage)
Spiritualized's new LP, Songs in A&E, sounds like the result of a man who barely escaped death. Maybe because it is. After overcoming illness that put him near death, J. Spaceman has returned to fine form on the group's latest LP but also shows some restraint that had been missing on previous efforts. The late evening sunset provides the perfect setting to enjoy Spiritualized's beautiful and epic arrangements. (7 p.m. on the Aluminum Stage)
What's Pitchfork Fest without a Wu-Tang member? Last year's fest had GZA/Genius performing Liquid Swords on opening night and this year has Ghostface Killah & Raekwon taking the stage. The 'Fork has long been a fan of Ghostface and with good reason - his machine gun lyrics over funky soul beats is some of the best hip-hop around. That he's being joined by the equally talented Raekwon just makes it even more worth the trek over to the Balance. (6:25 p.m. on the Balance Stage)
Dodos are the band that the actual festival organizers are going ga-ga over, and we recently heard a radio interview where they admitted that upon seeing the band at this year's SXSW they realized they just had to have them at this year's Pitchfork. On Visiter they combine minimal instrumentation with invigorating arrangements to create a barnd of psych-folk that actually kind of rocks. They make it look easy as they transition with bouncy little numbers like "Fools" into multi-part mini-epics of jarring art-rock like "Joe's Waltz." (5 p.m. on the Aluminum Stage)
You can always count on Les Savy Fav to deliver unpredictable, entertaining, and incredibly memorable live sets. While the band's angular twisted take on pop deserves the acclaim it receives, the band's secret weapon is the deranged stage antics of singer Tim Harrington, who will probably strip to his skivvies, pour stuff all over himself, and rub up against various members of the audience, all while never missing a beat. (4 p.m. on the Connector Stage)
With the exception of Of Montreal, Elephant 6 bands no longer hold the cachet they once did, but we don't care. Robert Schneider's Apples In Stereo has been kicking around for 16 years now and the line-up has shuffled in recent years, but their power-pop still packs a wallop. Their last record, New Magnetic Wonder, carries on their tradition of indie pop gems and bouncy guitar ditties. Their set promises to make a hot, sunny day even brighter. (3 p.m. on the Aluminum Stage)
Times New Viking insists on recording albums that are so lo-fi as to be unlistenable. So the only way to really hear their enjoyable take on mid-'90s influenced indie-rock is to catch the band live. They aren't the most compelling band in the line-up, or even the most entertaining, but we're recommending them just because it's your only chance to hear what they really sound like! (1 p.m. on the Connector Stage)
The Pitchfork Music Festival takes place at Union Park this weekend, July 18-20, Saturday and Sunday are sold out, but some walk-up tickets will still be available for Friday's show.
Additional reporting by Marcus Gilmer
Image of Spoon by Jim Kopeny