Now feels like a good time to cover some of the extra “things to do” at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival that don’t revolve around standing in front of a stage and watching an artist play their songs. Obviously there are food and drink tents where you can get all kinds of different delicious things. If you’re a fan of limited edition craft beer, you might want to check out the Goose Island booth, where they’ll be offering Wit Awake, a collaboration with the band Parquet Courts that will be sold exclusively at the fest. All proceeds from those beer sales will go to the Freedom for Immigrants charity. Other spots you may want to explore in Union Park include the Flatstock poster fair, where artists showcase and sell various concert posters they’ve designed. There’s the CHIRP Record Fair, where you can find a whole lot of limited edition LPs for sale. If you’re bringing young children under 10 with you there’s also a Kids Zone featuring some fun distractions. And new for this year, Pitchfork Radio will be broadcasting live from the festival grounds. You’ll be able to watch some special live performances, DJ sets and interviews with artists on the lineup, and a few other things. Check out the full programming schedule and drop by if you’re looking for a break from hanging out at the stages. Oh! One last thing. All weekend at the Blue stage in between sets there will be live poetry readings from the Young Chicago Authors Louder Than A Bomb Poets. I love a good poem, so that should be lovely. So there you go. There are plenty of distractions to be found at Pitchfork if you’re looking for them. And I’m not even including some of the clothing vendors, environmental activist booths, and sponsored free giveaways of food and merch. It all adds up to one unforgettable weekend. I hope you’ll be there! Here’s the link to buy tickets if you still need to do so. The Sunday lineup this year looks particularly special, and I’m excited to see and hear how it all plays out. Check out the hour-by-hour guide below, once again noting that any starred (**) artists are the ones I’m recommending most. In case you missed them, here are links to the preview guides for the other days as well:
If the weather forecast is to be believed, this could very well be one of the hottest Pitchfork Music Festivals ever. 97 degrees on Friday. 92 degrees on Saturday. 83 degrees on Sunday. When you factor in the heat index, two of the three days are probably going to feel like 100+ degrees in Union Park. Self care is so incredibly important, especially at a music festival where you’re outside in the heat all day! Dress for the weather. Always keep water close at hand, and drink as much of it as humanly possible. As security or medial personnel for water if you need it, and they will get it for you. Stay in the shade if you can. Whatever it’s going to take so you don’t wind up dehydrated or passed out. Yes, it’s fun to drink some alcohol and maybe even take a drug or two to make your festival experience more enjoyable, but don’t do it at the expense of your own health! Maybe wait until after the sun goes down and the temperature cools off a few degrees before having a beer? Just a thought. Okay, that was your moment of parental advice in this preview guide. Now let’s take an hour-by-hour look at which artists will be performing at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival on Saturday. As always, my personal picks will be starred (**), so keep an eye out for those. Here are links to other Pitchfork Fest 2019 guides in case you need them:
Now that you’ve heard a couple of songs from every artist performing at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, let’s get down to brass tax. If you’re planning to spend some time in Union Park this weekend enjoying some live music, who should you see? Sure, you probably purchased a ticket because some of your favorites are playing, but realistically speaking you might not have enough information to know the best choices for every single hour of the schedule. Don’t worry, let this preview guide help! Here’s a more detailed breakdown of every artist performing at Pitchfork Fest this Friday, along with their set times and stage location (red, green, and blue). My personal recommendations are starred (**). Check back later this week for preview guides detailing the schedules and lineups for Saturday and Sunday!
Welcome to the start of another Pitchfork Music Festival Week here at Faronheit! There’s so much to cover over the next seven days, but the first step involves familiarizing yourself with the lineup. The diverse collection of talent that takes the stage in Chicago’s Union Park every July remains unparalleled, as the festival provides a breeding ground for tomorrow’s superstars while simultaneously paying respects to legends. Artists such as Bon Iver, The National, Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend, LCD Soundsystem, Kendrick Lamar, and Chance the Rapper all performed at Pitchfork before they became household names. But you also get seasoned pros like Public Enemy, Yoko Ono, The Jesus Lizard, Guided By Voices, Pavement, A Tribe Called Quest, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Bjork, and George Clinton with Parliament Funkadelic showing up to guide everyone through their classic catalogs.
The 2019 edition of the Pitchfork Music Festival maintains a strong grasp on that dynamic, celebrating the decades of music we’ve gotten from The Isley Brothers, Mavis Staples, Belle & Sebastian, Neneh Cherry, and Stereolab while also providing an introduction to local and international names like Clairo, Black Midi, Tirzah, Lala Lala, and MIKE. It may interest you to know that the lineup is gender balanced, and makes a particular point to include a number of Chicago-based artists. If you’re planning to attend the festival this weekend but haven’t yet studied up on everyone that will be performing, what are you waiting for?
To help on your journey of discovery, I’ve assembled a playlist that you’re welcome to explore at your own discretion. The Spotify version embedded below features a pair of songs from every artist on this year’s lineup, with the exception of the Great Black Music Ensemble. They are sorted in the order they’re scheduled to perform, starting with early Friday afternoon and ending with Sunday night. As an alternate option, since not everyone has Spotify or wants to dig through an 80+ song playlist, you can also scroll through the lineup in alphabetical order and click on links to listen to individual songs from artists on YouTube. Hopefully that will satisfy just about everyone. So explore a bit. Find something new that inspires or motivates you. Then prepare to make some tough decisions when planning out your festival weekend. Speaking of which, please continue to check the site over the coming days for preview guides and advice on artists you shouldn’t miss at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival! If you still need tickets, here’s where you can buy them. Prices increase on Tuesday 7/16, so you may want to move quickly to save a few bucks.
As summer in Chicago (finally) starts to fully kick in, the Vans House Parties are just getting warmed up. The last couple of months have seen shows curated by everyone from Vince Staples to The Breeders to Julien Baker, with more on the way from Taking Back Sunday, Anderson .Paak, The Rapture, and Converge. Yeah, it’s a pretty stacked lineup. It all happens at the House of Vans Chicago location in the West Loop, and every show is 100% FREE based on capacity and advance RSVP.
Thursday night’s House of Vans show was headlined and curated by alt-R&B artist BANKS, who also happened to be celebrating the release of her new album |||. It marked her first proper show in close to two years, and she used that gap to recharge, write/record new songs, and compose a book of poetry with illustrations (that’s titled Generations of Women from the Moon and will be out soon). Some of her poetry and artwork was on display as part of a special installation at the venue, which was a nice addition (and complement) to the music itself.
There’s plenty to love in today’s edition of Pick Your Poison, but let’s get started with something new from an old favorite, Of Monsters and Men. They’ve got a new record on the way, and you can get a preview of it with the track below. It’s also exciting to share a new song from electro-pop duo SOFI TUKKER, and a song that sounds really cool through my headphones from Strange Ranger. Keep riding beyond the jump for even more music from Eve (ft. Konshens), Isaac Dunbar, Mike Posner (ft. Ty Dolla $ign), NF, Seb Wildblood, Sherwood Marty, tobi lou (ft. Tony Bigz), and more!
Of Monsters and Men – Wild Roses
SOFI TUKKER – Swing
Strange Ranger – Message to You
After taking a few days to recharge the old batteries and prepare for the second half of the year, Pick Your Poison returns with a special extended edition on a Tuesday. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Blake Banks, Blunderbust, Dan Rico, KPT, and Ryan Traster. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from BANKS, Bassboy, Caleb Giles (ft. Pink Siifu), Campfires, Cousin Stizz (ft. City Girls), Godlands x NXSTY (ft. Lil Traffic), Made By Tsuki, Madeon, Matveï, Party Hardly, RALPH, and Rynx (ft. TMG).
One more edition of Pick Your Poison before taking a short break in celebration of the 4th of July holiday. Highlights at the top come from Bonobo, Luke Rathborne, and Sandro Perri, who are all talented artists making their own distinct styles of music. Elsewhere in this set you’ll find music from 03 Greedo x Travis Barker, Brooke Candy (ft. Charli XCX & Maliibu Miitch), Dinamarca (ft. COUCOU CHLOE), Grey, Ivan Ave, Jeezy, Paco Versailles, Peaer, and Rich the Kid x Famous Dex x Jay Critch.
Bonobo – Linked
Luke Rathborne – Depending
Sandro Perri – Time (You Got Me)
It’s easy to get the impression that 2019 has been a relatively quiet year for music so far. There haven’t been quite as many high profile album releases, and few things have really captured the cultural zeitgeist beyond Lil Nas X and perhaps Billie Eilish. We’re in a pretty weird place, right? If you were to ask me point blank what five of my favorite albums were this year, it’d take me a few minutes to come up with a clear answer. I haven’t been listening to less music overall, there’s just less things managing to grab and hold my attention. Or so I thought.
In reflecting on the first half of the year, I wanted to assemble and share a playlist of about 50 songs that I genuinely enjoyed and/or frequently returned to over these last six months. The rules for the list were simple: only one song per artist, either released as a standalone single or as part of a 2019 LP/EP. The goal was to spread the love around, but I had to reach 50 songs first. It was tougher than I expected, until it wasn’t. What started out at barely 50 songs quickly ballooned to nearly twice that amount after taking a closer look at some release lists. A 100 song playlist would have been too much, but 50 ultimately felt like too little.
So here’s the final compromise: 75 great songs from the first half of 2019. They’re arranged in alphabetical order by artist, because official rankings are best saved for a year-end wrap-up. Please enjoy this five hours of music! Play it at your BBQ or just in your car while driving around on a hot day. I hope you discover some tracks and artists you missed earlier this year, or rediscover some fun songs you may have forgotten about over the last few months. Listen through the Spotify embed below, or follow this link. You can also listen to every song (minus Julien Baker & Thom Yorke) on the playlist individually via YouTube by clicking on the title.
Happy July! It’s going to be a shortened holiday week here on the site, but I’m happy to share some new music in addition to a little mid-year review should you have any interest. Basically a lot of this stuff will be great for your BBQs and other random events you might have coming up this week. Don’t miss downloads in this set from Elle Belle, The Empty Page, Modern Native, Monster Rally, and Robert LaRoche. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream tracks from ayokay, Else, GothBoyClique, Kemba, Landon Cube, Kevin George, Niko The Kid & Bipolar Sunshine, Seb Wildblood (ft. Mauv), Souly Had, Trixxie X Cheat Codes, Wildlife, and Yves V (ft. Afrojack & Icona Pop).
Clairo is quickly evolving into one of the most fascinating artists to invade the pop world in recent memory, bolstered in part by her strong lyrics and production work from Rostam. I’m getting the feeling she’ll wind up closer to Sky Ferreira than Billie Eilish in terms of overall success, but it’ll be fun to watch either way. Get another taste of her upcoming debut album via the track below. Few artists possess a voice as powerful and emotionally complex as serpentwithfeet, so we’re always fortunate when he decides to grace us with new material. His new collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign keeps up his streak of great music. Then Portland band Summer Cannibals offer one last taste of their excellent upcoming record (out tomorrow!) if you’re interested in hearing some fuzzed out rock and roll. But wait, there’s more! If you journey beyond the jump you’ll find additional songs from Beach Bums, Clark, Fifty Grand (ft. Kankan & Mixed Matches), The Goa Express, GRAACE, Jacques Greene x Cadence Weapon, Janice Prix, Monomotion (ft. FEYNMAN), and mxmtoon.
Clairo – Closer to You
serpentwithfeet – Receipts (ft. Ty Dolla $ign)
Summer Cannibals – Behave
The cure for your mid-week blues lies within today’s Pick Your Poison. Great tracks in this set start with a new one from The Appleseed Cast. You might remember Kevin Krauter from the band Hoops, but he’s been doing quite well with some solo material lately. “Pretty Boy” is the first song he’s released since last year’s lovely debut album Toss Up. And I’m always in favor of a good cover, so Laura Jean Anderson’s version of “I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet)” offers an interesting take on The White Stripes original. Roll through the jump for even more music from Ajani Jones, Alex Winston, Chris LaRocca, CODE, Matt Muse, Petite Meller, So Sensitive, Tisoki (ft. KARRA), and Zero (ft. boonn).
The Appleseed Cast – The Journey
Kevin Krauter – Pretty Boy
Laura Jean Anderson – I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet) [The White Stripes Cover]
We’re nearing the end of June, and it feels like the weather in Chicago is finally starting to match. Now if it would only stop raining long enough to enjoy the nicer temperatures. Here’s an extended edition of Pick Your Poison to celebrate the start of another week. Don’t miss downloads in this set from BE GOOD, Errant Boy, Jaco, Manwomanchild, and Tummyache. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream tracks from Blood Cultures, Horse Head & YAWNS (ft. Zubin), Laxcity, LICK (ft. Tori Letzler), Maggie Lindemann (ft. Travis Barker), Quinn XCII, TroyBoi (ft. Skrillex), What So Not & Diablo, Wild King, Winona Oak, YK Osiris (ft. DaBaby), and Yung Bae x bbno$ x Billy Marchiafava.
Today’s Pick Your Poison is overflowing with goodnewss, so I’ve chosen to highlight three songs at the top that hit hardest on my emotional register. If you’re not deep into Cuco already, “Feelings” is a great entry point into his world. I’ve always admired Kelly Lee Owens for her introspective take on electronic music, because it’s clear she puts a lot of time and care into generating nuanced and beautiful songs you can also dance to. Then there’s Luke Temple, who’s back recording and releasing music under his own name after projects like Here We Go Magic and the pseudonym Art Feynman. His song “Wounded Brightness” is simply stunning folk music. Keep going past the jump and you’ll find even more songs from artists such as Bronze Whale, Fly Pan Am, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Lil Nas X, Poppy, Saint Daniel, Sunbathers, Youth Sector, and more!
Cuco – Feelings
Kelly Lee Owens – Let It Go
Luke Temple – Wounded Brightness
The official start of summer is only a few days away (Friday is the Summer Solstice), yet a weird flux in the weather has been holding Chicago hostage in some sort of early spring vortex for the past month. Lots of rain and below normal temperatures. It’s not been fun exactly, so let’s try and get past it with an extended edition of Pick Your Poison. Make sure to check out downloads from Biglemoi, Grace Savage, Holy Beach, Kazyak, and Ryan Traster. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Allies For Everyone, Big Gigantic (ft. Nevve), Black Grapefruit, Feint & Laura Brehm, Manu Dia (ft. Panama), mimi bay, Qnete, QUIX (ft. Sanna Martinez), Showtek & Sultan + Shepard, YBN Cordae (ft. Chance the Rapper), YUMI, and more!