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Pitchfork Music Festival 2014 Preview: Friday

By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 15, 2014 6:00PM

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Beck, photo by Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Every year we recommend a few acts the staff is personally excited about for each day of the Pitchfork Music Festival. Today we're highlighting the bands we're most excited to see at Union Park Friday.

Best reason to leave work early.
Neneh Cherry with Rocketnumbernine on the Green Stage at 4:35 p.m.

Nineties revivalists and the current state of pop music owe a debt of gratitude to avant-garde trailblazer Neneh Cherry. Leave the butterfly clips to someone else though, Cherry won’t play to the nostalgia set. Ever ahead of the game, she embraces a minimal aesthetic on her new solo album, her first in nearly two decades. Whether appearing atop funky basslines or with sparse additional accompaniment, Cherry’s distinctive voice continues to carry pop music forward. — Jessica Mlinaric

Best summer jam.
SZA on the Blue Stage at 6:15 p.m.

An unassuming songstress out of New Jersey, SZA recently became the first lady of Top Dawg Entertainment after signing as its first female and R&B act. We’ve been enjoying the chillwavy soul sound of her latest EP, which features guests by the likes of Chance the Rapper and Kendrick. Yet, it’s the warped synth romance of Toro y Moi-produced “Hiiijack” that’s been soundtracking our summer nights. — Jessica Mlinaric

Best chance of hearing a song about you.
Sun Kil Moon on the Green Stage 6:25 p.m.

Singer-songrwriter Mark Kozelek’s earliest albums as Sun Kil Moon were primarily melancholy ballads (Ghosts Of The Great Highway) or reflections on love long lost (April). But at some point around the time of Among the Leaves in 2012 his songs started to be mostly about being Sun Kil Moon, his tour hotels, the weariness of a constant traveler, and sometimes uncomfortably real vignettes about the fans he met along the way. He broke the fourth wall. And if you’ve seen him live or met him, you might catch a glimpse of yourself in the lyrics. At that time his style also became more intimate—often just Kozelek on an acoustic guitar. You get a sense that standing there listening, you might just be part of Sun Kil Moon. — Melissa McEwen

Avery Tare photo via his Facebook page
Best reason to monster mash.
Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks on the Blue Stage at 7:15 p.m.

Music festivals are a creepy carnival of sorts, and the moody psych-pop of Avery Tare’s Slasher Flicks should be a good way to settle into the weekend's groove. Tare, of Animal Collective, former Dirty Projector Angel Deradoorian, and ex-Ponytail drummer Jeremy Hyman form the ghoulish power trio. Wailing outbreaks aside, it’s the “infectious” rhythm of “Catchy (Was Contagious)” and smooth summer melody of “Little Fang” that will have you moving alongside the Creeper like a Scooby Doo dance party. — Jessica Mlinaric

Best reason to get dressed up like you’re about to go on a coke binge.
Giorgio Moroder on the Red Stage at 7:20p.m.

We’re joking about the coke, but we make that reference since many probably, mistakenly, view Giorgio Moroder as some sort of relic of the Disco era. So due to that he gets a polite tip of the hat and people move on, but in doing so they’re missing the fact that there is probably no one else to have had such a heavy influence on popular dance music today. His work started with pop, bridged the gap between that and the dancefloor and created the notion of an endlessly undulating hypnotic groove as a driver to bumping, grinding and dancefloor sexiness. But what ultimately makes Moroder the king is that his sex is driven by smarts and everyone knows a good looking brain last way longer than anything else when it comes to keeping the fires going in your soul. — Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Biggest reason to stop worrying about it, because he’ll play the hits.
Beck on the Green Stage at 8:30 p.m.

Everyone we’ve talked to is afraid Beck is going to come out on stage and snooze it up, based on his most recent release. Look, people, Beck isn’t capable of being boring. What did he do the last time he released an introverted, thoughtful album? He chose The Flaming Lips to open for him and augment his backing band, opening himself to be taunted by Wayne Coyne every night. And recent set lists see Beck going deep into his catalog so if those shows are any indication we’re in for good show. So stop whining and get ready to enjoy it. And if he does go folkie on us? Well then, I’ll be this first one up there next to you at the front of the stage trying to toss the man two turntables to go along with that microphone. — Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

See also: Saturday's preview, Sunday's preview

Tickets are still available for Friday, but the rest of the festival is sold out.