Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 Preview: Friday

By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 16, 2013 7:00PM

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This crowd from a previous Pitchfork Music Festival is really enjoying themselves. Photo by Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Looking forward to this weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival, we open the first of our three days of previews with the bands we're most looking forward to on Friday. Friday may feature a truncated schedule since doors open a little later than on the other two days, but that doesn't mean the schedule is any less packed with bands to get you excited about. The whole line-up is strong, but here's a few that Chicagoist staffers are most excited to see.

Best set to guarantee a weird start to your Pitchfork:
Daughn Gibson on the Red Stage at 3:30pm

Josh Martin got his first taste of musical success drumming for Pearls and Brass, a stoner metal band popular amongst stoner metal fans, before spending a few years on the road, out of the rock game, working as a truck driver. At some point between then and now, he'd crafted a Lynchian musical persona that is as indebted to Johnny Cash as it is to influential dubstep producer Burial. Martin's recordings as Daughn Gibson are fascinating, sometimes absurd pastiches of country, rock, and electronic musical tropes from the last 50 years. His heavily accented, crooning baritone at times seems like it was recorded at the wrong speed, as it stands in stark contrast to the sample-heavy, upbeat backing music on his latest album, Me Moan. Imagine Scott Walker's 21st century output was less abstract and more song oriented and you're already halfway there. - Matt Byrne

Best place to mosh hard:
Trash Talk on the Blue Stage at 4:15

There are a handful of acts at Pitchfork this year billed as "punk" or "post-punk" but the festival won't get any louder or brasher than Friday afternoon when Bay Area hardcore outfit Trash Talk takes the stage. Their performances are on par with that of former label mates Converge or even Dillinger Escape Plan. Interestingly enough, Odd Future Records (Tyler the Creator and co.) released an elegantly written statement last year announcing that Trash Talk was their newest signee and first non-hip hop artist on its roster. - Katie Karpowicz

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Angel Olsen
Most likely to become the cult hit of the festival:
Angel Olsen on the Blue Stage at 5:15pm

Though you may know her best as the biggest asset to each of the last handful of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy releases, or from the industry trades, which recently announced her signing with venerable indie label Jagjaguwar, this singular Chicago-based singer-songwriter is on track to be a phenom by year's end. Upon first listen to Angel Olsen's remarkable debut LP, 2012's Half Way Home, it's easy to understand why folks are quick to grasp for touchstones. Her affecting vocal style, which has been compared to that of Elvis, Jason Molina, and Francoise Hardy, is endlessly expressive and can, admittedly, be alienating to some. That said, once everything clicks, it clicks hard. - Matt Byrne

Best place to (temporarily) escape city life:
Woods on the Red Stage at 5:30 p.m.

We appreciate it when a band's chooses a name appropriate for the music it creates. Woods' serene melodies remind us of road trips through the countryside and campfires in nature's hideouts. Woods have been on Pitchfork's radar ever since their debut in 2009 with Songs of Shame so we're not surprised to see them back at the festival again this year (they also performed in 2011). Their songs are simple, stripped and folky enough to soothe us but possess enough electric elements to not get buried in a festival setting.
- Katie Karpowicz

Prime time to let your hair all down:
Mikal Cronin on the Blue Stage at 6:15 p.m.

Mikal Cronin often gets lumped in the garage rock category, in no small part due to his affiliation with Ty Segall, but his latest album MCII shows the man’s got a broad musical palette he works from. There’s some swirling psychedelia, and a fair amount of straightforward pop and in general we find Cronin’s music to be delightful. Live, much of that nuance is thrown out the window as he and his band turn up the volume and thrash out number after number at a breakneck pace. We saw him earlier this year at The Empty Bottle, the second show he played that night, and the energy in the room threatened to strip what little paint was left on those walls. We expect he’ll bring that same energy to town Friday afternoon. - Tankboy / Jim Kopeny

Most likely set to cause everyone to go WTF?!
Björk on the Green Stage at 8:30 p.m.

We admit it; we have no idea what Björk holds in store as her set closes out Friday night in Union Park. The Icelandic songstress is anything but predictable. We can tell you what we hope to see, and that’s plenty of older material. We know Björk isn’t one to get sentimental about anything, but since the chance to see her perform is so rare we’re praying her setlist pulls from across her entire career and doesn’t depend too heavily on some of her more recent—and to be honest less interesting—work. Whatever it is she decides to do we’re predicting that the show will leave the crowd standing in amazement, awe, confusion …. and probably all of the above.- Tankboy / Jim Kopeny

O.K., which acts are you most looking forward to on Friday?

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 Preview: Saturday
Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 Preview: Sunday
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