Faronheit | A Chicago Centric Music Blog

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Author: Faronheit (Page 1 of 154)

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018: Friday Preview

One of the best things about Friday at Pitchfork Music Festival every year is how relaxed the overall vibe is compared to the rest of the weekend. It’s less a product of the artists on the lineup and more the result of lower attendance (because many people are working), later arrivals (some show up after work), and people wanting to conserve their energy for the days ahead. You spend the day getting your bearings, learning where everything is located, and trying not to over-extend yourself. Yet it’s still a blast and the lineup is certainly nothing to sneeze at either. This year one of the biggest features of Pitchfork Fest is just how LOCAL it is. Yes, it’s very local every year, but that’s mostly reflected in the vendors and fun side attractions rather than the music itself. There are always a handful of Chicago artists and bands on the lineup, which has been nice but felt more like an afterthought than an actual intention. With 13 Chicago acts (out of 42 total) on the 2018 lineup, that’s no longer the case. Not only that, but the artists that were booked are all highly respected and critically acclaimed. If this is something Pitchfork hopes to continue in the future I worry they may run out of good choices, even though the local music scene is pretty massive. But we’ll take what we can get, and this year promises to be one of the best yet. There are five Chicago artists performing on Friday, including two bands that kick off the festival proper. Learn a bit more about all of them, and check out my personal picks for who to see hour-by-hour below.

Before we get started:
Click here for a playlist of all the Pitchfork Music Festival 2018 lineup
Click here to buy tickets to the 2018 Pitchfork Music Festival
Check back later this week for the Saturday and Sunday preview guides, plus coverage of the festival all weekend long!

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2018: Hear the Lineup

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the music for festing and everyone telling you have a cold beer. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yes friends, it’s time once again for Christmas in July, aka the start of music festival season in Chicago. I’m thrilled to once again to spend the week providing wall-to-wall coverage of this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival. The next seven (or so) days will be jam packed with previews, reviews, highlights, and music direct from Chicago’s Union Park. The 2018 Pitchfork Music Festival officially begins this Friday, July 20th, and runs all weekend with 40+ performances from a diverse set of artists and bands from the (figurative) past, present, and future. So whether you’re already planning to attend, are thinking about attending, or are simply wishing that you could go, my hope is there’s something for everybody with this extensive guide to one of the best and most unique music festivals on the planet.

Before attending a smaller, more boutique festival like the Pitchfork Music Festival, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the lineup. Pitchfork historically has one of the most well-rounded lineups every year, and often includes smaller, up-and-coming artists you’ll be hearing much more about in the coming years. Not every band is a household name, so if you’re not up on, say, Irreversible Entanglements, you might want to know what they sound like before choosing to include them as you plan out your schedule for the weekend. This is where a playlist comes in handy. Below you’ll find a variety of ways to learn a bit more about the artists performing at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, including tracks to stream on YouTube and Soundcloud. If Spotify is your preferred streaming service, I’ve also assembled a playlist (ordered by day and set time) at the very bottom of this post featuring two songs from just about everyone on the lineup. Click around, explore a bit, listen to some tracks, and get your bearings before this weekend!

If you’re thinking about attending this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival but don’t have your passes yet, here’s where you can go to find out more information and purchase tickets. The official preview guide starts tomorrow, with an hour-by-hour breakdown of the best acts to see on Friday. Join me, won’t you?

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 7-16-18

Oh, I love these extended editions of Pick Your Poison, mostly because I still believe in free music downloads as a format. There’s something comforting about having a song always available on your laptop or phone, where you don’t need to connect to Spotify or Soundcloud to listen to it. Of course I realize that’s a somewhat unpopular opinion these days, but don’t particularly care. If downloads are still your thing as well, you might want to check out tracks from The Chairman Dances, Favours, Lee Mazin, and Static Diary. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, you’ll also find songs from Chantel Jeffries (ft. Vory), CHILDCARE, Fabolous (ft. Ty Dolla $ign), Future Generations, Galantis, I Am J Dubb (ft. Money Man), K. Roosevelt, Late Night Episode, Russo, Seafret, World’s Fair (ft. Nasty Nigel, Cody B. Ware, Freaky Franz), and more!

The Chairman Dances – No One Can Hurt You (Like a Friend Can Hurt You)

Favours – In the Night

Jeanne Vomit-Terror – Jokes Come True

Lee Mazin – Ooh Baby

Leo Star – Soft & Gentle

Static Diary – Phrase From Business

Teyana Taylor – WTP (Lupe Fuentes Remix)

yellowbirdd – Let the Engine Run

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 7-12-18

One of my favorite things about Turntable Kitchen’s “Sounds Delicious” series is that they convince a whole bunch of cool indie artists to record full album covers of often underappreciated classics. Artists like Death Cab for Cutie, Frankie Rose, and Pure Bathing Culture have all participated in the past, and now it’s Cults’ turn. They’ve chosen to cover the 1979 self-titled debut album from California new wave band The Motels, which seems like a good choice for them. You can get a taste of what that sounds like with their version of “Total Control” below. Speaking of covers, the Beastie Boys’ Hello Nasty turns 20 years old this week, and plenty of people are feeling nostalgic about it, including Jacuzzi Boys. Their version of “Song for the Man” is a little different from the original, as they turn it into a more energized surf rock/Beach Boys-esque summertime jam. I’ve always held an appreciation for Tokyo Police Club, a band that has spent the last decade writing bouncy, upbeat, and addictive rock songs while somehow never getting the massive fame they so richly deserve. It wouldn’t surprise me if they eventually wind up like Phoenix, Cage the Elephant, or Portugal. the Man, all of whom released a few great records with very little recognition before finally hitting it big. Will this be the one for Tokyo Police Club? Get your first dose of their next long player TPC (out Oct. 5th) with the single “Hercules”. Keep going past the jump and hear more music from artists that include Abbi Press, Cubicolor, Denzel Curry, Howard, Marquis Hawkes (ft. Jamie Lidell), RL Grime, Rubblebucket, Tony Molina, Wild Pink, and more.

Cults – Total Control (The Motels cover)

Jacuzzi Boys – Song for the Man (Beastie Boys cover)

Tokyo Police Club – Hercules

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 7-10-18

The new Astronauts, etc. album Living in Symbol will be out in a couple of weeks, but you can get another taste of what’s ahead with the lush and lightly psychedelic “Shut My Mouth”. Up-and-coming Chicago rapper Juice WRLD teams up with Lil Uzi Vert for the very solid and very catchy “Wasted”. Lo-fi electro-folk artist Westerman’s latest single “Easy Money” floats along on only the most relaxed vibes, but it’s still quite a delight. Cruise on past the jump and you’ll find plenty more music to digest, including tracks from Benny Benassi & Sofi Tukker, BIJOU (ft. Way), Blanke & Kayoh, Gold Star, JPEGMAFIA, Majik, Matroda & RICCI, Matt Muse (ft. Femdot), and Thin Lips.

Astronauts, etc. – Shut My Mouth

Juice WRLD – Wasted (ft. Lil Uzi Vert)

Westerman – Easy Money

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 7-9-18

Let’s start the post-July 4th weekend hangover edition of Pick Your Poison with a little bit of local love. Fauvely is a talented Chicago-based singer-songwriter whose voice happens to sound a bit like Natalie Merchant. That’s not really of any importance other than to provide a frame of reference. Her latest single “Tides” feels like a step forward for her, as it’s more cleanly recorded/produced and includes additional instruments to really give everything a bigger, more widescreen sound. Speaking of a bigger sound, the new song from Henri manages to feel expansive even as the figurative walls seem like they’re closing in around it. Some remarkably great House music with a guest vocal from Imogen Rose that gives it a very distinctive Chromatics-like vibe. There’s also a lovely new one from Her’s, which adds some energy and synths to the waltzy melody, which makes it easy to get stuck in your head. Keep on driving past the jump, and you’ll also get songs from Lima x Syn, Michael Paradise, Montevideo, The Night Cafe, Nightseason, Sky Keller, Thomas Fehlmann, YK Osiris, and more.

Fauvely – Tides

Henri – Last Dance (ft. Imogen Rose)

Her’s – Harvey

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 7-3-18

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, aka Independence Day here in America, so the site will be taking a short vacation for the rest of this week. But before setting off some fireworks though, let me pass along one more collection of tracks for your extended holiday weekend (if you’re celebrating). Norwegian dance-pop producer Bearson has collaborated with electro-pop musician and producer MNDR for an effortlessly catchy track that’s perfect for a day at the beach. One of the more iconic pop/R&B songs of the last several years has been Drake’s “Hotline Bling”. One of the more iconic pop stars so far this year has been Billie Eilish. Pair the two, and the result is pretty solid. I’d argue it’s not as good as the original, but absolutely still worth a listen. And hey, Jack White is releasing a live album as part of his Third Man Records Vault subscription series! It’s a vinyl-only pressing that contains audio from intimate shows he performed in Nashville and Detroit earlier this year. You can hear a wild version of “Corporation” that he performed at Detroit’s Cass Corridor below. There’s more explosive fun past the jump, including songs from ayokay (ft. Future Jr.), Fabian Mazur (ft. Nevve), Hosannas, Inner Wave (ft. Bane’s World), LIINKS, MUGGS x DOOM (ft. Kool G Rap), Nightseason, Rob Garza, and Scott Xylo (ft. Afronaut Zu, Catherine Sera & Marcus Joseph). Have a great 4th of July holiday everyone!

Bearson – I Only Need One (ft. MNDR)

Billie Eilish – Hotline Bling (Drake cover)

Jack White – Corporation (Live at Cass Corridor)

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 7-2-18

Welcome to July, where the weather is hot, and the music is even hotter! Ugh, I feel like some sort of cliche advertiser spouting that sort of schtick. But hey, it’s a holiday week, and I want to help supply you with some fresh tunes for your parties, cookouts, and fireworks. There’s a little something for everyone in this set. A short but white hot fire track from A$AP Ferg helps to kick things off. Not sure why NONONO aren’t massively popular yet. The Swedish band had a minor crossover hit with their song “Pumpin Blood” back in 2014, but haven’t released much since then. There’s a new album presumably on the way, but they wanted to share this breezy pop song “Ego” now to help fill out your summer soundtrack. Getting some interesting Screaming Trees vibes from the new Slothrust track “Peach”, which is to say that the guitars have just the right amount of heaviness to make them feel like a blissful punch to the face. It’s muscular but tender at the same time, kind of like the fruit the song was named after. Soar beyond the jump and you’ll find more music from Beezewax, cleopatrick, dijon., GANZ (ft. CUT_), Julia Michaels, Majken, Mr Little Jeans, The Score, and Sevenn.

A$AP Ferg – Not the Boy


Slothrust – Peach

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 6-28-18

It’s been a minute (two years, to be exact) since we last heard from Mr Twin Sister, so news of a new song and record are more than welcome. “Jaipur” very naturally marries the band’s offbeat, jazz-infused disco funk with some Indian pop textures, and the result is pretty sublime. If you’re not hip to producer/DJ/multi-hyphenate Roosevelt, maybe his new single “Under the Sun” will inspire you to give his particular brand of synth-heavy electropop a try. It’s basically a cocktail of new wave, house music, and disco that kind of feels like a cross between Hot Chip and Cut Copy. In keeping with that theme, the band VHS Collection named themselves after what’s now (sadly) a relic video format of the ’80s and ’90s, which is a solid description of their music as well. I don’t mean that their music itself is a “relic”, but rather it leans strongly on the soaring synth-pop that was hugely popular a couple decades ago. If that appeals to you, give their latest single “Animal” a shot. Take your time machine beyond the jump to find more music from the past, present, and future, including tracks from Bjorn Torske, Delta Sleep, Exploded View, Moon Panda, Tanukichan, Ukiyo, Valley Queen, Young & Sick, and more!

Mr Twin Sister – Jaipur

Roosevelt – Under the Sun

VHS Collection – Animal

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 6-26-18

Singer-songwriter Nik Freitas takes the lead in this edition of Pick Your Poison. It’s more of an alphabetical thing rather than a “you should listen to this first” thing, but his collaboration with Maria Taylor is certainly good enough to call it a highlight. The low-end rumble that courses through the new Ovlov tune below feels a lot like its blood, in that you wouldn’t immediately notice it but just beneath the surface it’s secretly giving everything else energy and life. Another great rock song from that band is what we need right now. One of my favorite things about the band Rubblebucket is their somewhat unorthodox approach to indie rock, which is basically my way of saying that they incorporate horns and woodwinds and beats and samples and vocal harmonies and other non-guitars to craft irresponsibly bouncy and addictive songs. But why read these words when you can simply hit the play button on their latest? Skip past the jump for more fresh music from the likes of Allure, Antra, rx Soul (ft. The Kount), Saint Mesa, Stickybuds (ft. Blackout JA), Tristan Eckerson, WAJU & AIYA, YG (ft. 2 Chainz, Big Sean, & Nicki Minaj), and more!

Nik Freitas – Listen (ft. Maria Taylor)

Ovlov – Stick

Rubblebucket – Lemonade

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 6-25-18

It’s a good Monday for an extended edition of Pick Your Poison, complete with some really fun tracks perfect for your summer BBQ or general outdoor activities. Case in point, don’t miss downloads in this set from Avid Dancer, PJ Wasserman, Rocky Steps (ft. Lucy Graham), and Chicago’s own Vic Mensa. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from Cannons, Cheat Codes x Little Mix, Das Body, G-Eazy (ft. Black Youngsta & BlocBoy JB), Hippie Sabotage, Laura Jean Anderson, Maty Noyes, Pete Yorn (covering the Pixies), The Vryll Society, Win and Woo (ft. Cosmos & Creature), YUMI, and more!

Avid Dancer – Hearts Are For

The Black Watch – Georgette, Georgette

Jozzy – Push Thru

PJ Wasserman – Cruising

Rocky Steps – Bubble Screen (ft. Lucy Graham)

Ryder Havdale – Good Girls (Edit)

Vic Mensa – 10k Problems

XNOVA – Wish Me Only

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 6-21-18

Happy Summer Solstice! Today marks the official beginning of the summer season, as well as the longest day of sunlight for the year. Unfortunately Chicago is trapped in some severe storms all day, so we won’t get the benefits of the sunshine. It happens. The good news is that there are plenty of songs in this edition of Pick Your Poison to properly channel whatever specific weather event or mood you might be dealing with. Underground legends The Mary Onettes return with a darkly smooth synth-pop single that falls somewhere in the spectrum of The Cure and Depeche Mode. Rising hip hop star MIKE continues his pattern of great releases with his second album in two months. You can stream all 33 minutes of it below. Then there’s multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana, who’s giving us yet another taste of her forthcoming debut full length album that’s due out at the end of August. She’ll be performing at pretty much every music festival around the world this summer (Lollapalooza included), so make sure to catch her set, as she does incredible, mind-blowing things with looping pedals. Ride on past the jump for more songs from 101, Adron, Dillon Francis (ft. Jarina De Marco), El Ten Eleven, Felicity, Matt Muse (ft. Shawnee Dez), Restorations, Tony Molina, and Tory Lanez (ft. Rich The Kid).

The Mary Onettes – Cola Falls

MIKE – Renaissance Man

Tash Sultana – Salvation

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Pick Your Poison: Tuesday 6-19-18

Rising pop star Colin Magalong has a new single out that showcases his ability to handle some slower, R&B-style vibes, and it turns out well enough to be worth highlighting as part of today’s Pick Your Poison. Local Chicago artist to watch Gia Margaret also has a quieter song in this set, and it’s so intricately composed and lush in its arrangement that the mixture of synths, guitars, and powerful drums is completely spellbinding. The boost of energy you’re looking for can be found in Zeds Dead’s collaboration with Redman and Jayceeoh, which is about what you’d expect when EDM and hip hop collide. If you’re up for exploring past the jump, there’s some other tracks in this set from Clans, Cocoa Futures, FRND, Gallant x A$AP Ferg, Joell, KOLE, Madge, Riley, and more!

Colin Magalong – After Hours

Gia Margaret – Birthday

Zeds Dead x 1000volts (Redman x Jayceeoh) – Kill Em

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Pick Your Poison: Monday 6-18-18

It’s a Monday, it’s so mundane. What exciting things will happen today? How about a fresh, extended edition of Pick Your Poison to get things started on the right foot? Don’t miss downloads in this set from great artists like Darren Jessee, The Eyebrows, Flint Eastwood, and The March Divide. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream plenty more music from the likes of 2 Chainz (ft. Drake & Quavo), Alessia Cara, Ariaa, Fizzy Blood, Kamixlo, Kotek, Papadosio, Picture This, Riot Ten & Krimer, Smokescreens, Tropics, and Whethan (ft. Oh Wonder).

Cava Grande – Playing Fields

Darren Jessee – Anything You Need

The Eyebrows – Suicide Love

Flint Eastwood – Real Love

The March Divide – I Don’t Care

Rainstorm Brother – Drivin

Static Diary – UFOs

Yanimal – Spirit Molecule

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Pick Your Poison: Thursday 6-14-18

I’m always intrigued when artists make the conscious decision to make music for children. They Might Be Giants have done that multiple times over the years, and that strategy seems to work well for them. But it also leaves me curious as to why these artists feel the need to move in a more simplistic direction to fully appeal to that younger demographic. Most kids are smart enough to understand and enjoy complex melodies and lyrics, even as toddlers. The Beatles might be one of the best examples of that, and they never made an album targeted at small children. To each their own I guess, and now Best Coast is jumping into that arena. Bethany Cosentino’s songs and lyrics have always leaned on the simpler side of life, so this feels like a natural extension of that, only with less lyrics about getting high or falling in love and more lyrics about pets and such. Get a taste of the upcoming Best Coast kids album below. One of the things I love most about Laurel Halo is her curiosity and willingness to take chances with her music. Case in point, after her excellent experimental pop record Halo from last year, she’s putting out a new mini-album full of ambient, instrumental electronica inspired by some recent soundtrack work. Strap in for the flowing yet ominous vibes of the 10-minute “Raw Silk Uncut Wood”. One of the great, unsung album treasures of the ’80s is The Blue Nile’s Hats. It’s a gorgeous piece of synth-pop that contains some magical qualities that are tough to define, but keep you coming back for more. Pure Bathing Culture have noticed this, and have chosen to cover the album in full for the ongoing Sounds Delicious series for Turntable Kitchen. Because he likes fun things, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie also contributes vocals to two songs, including “Saturday Night”, which is featured below. Other artists featured in today’s Pick Your Poison include Astronauts, etc., Bugge Wesseltoft & Prins Thomas, Cam Meekins, Sap & Michael Christmas, GODAMN, GoldLink (ft. Miguel), Guts Club, Hosannas, Marquis Hawkes (ft. Ursula Rucker), and Omik.

Best Coast – Cats & Dogs

Laurel Halo – Raw Silk Uncut Wood

Pure Bathing Culture – Saturday Night (The Blue Nile cover ft. Ben Gibbard)

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