The Pitchfork “Don’t Miss” List

DJ Shadow

There are a sh**tload of bands performing at Pitchfork this year.  For real, I know because I read about and listened to every single one of them editing our Pitchfork Preview that consisted of every f**king band.  With more than 40 bands squeezed into 2 and half days, it would be damn near impossible to catch everyone of them without going crazy, and possibly pulling a hamstring.  If you check this site, that means you value our taste, or at least like to see what we like to then s**t on it. Either way, it’s hits to me… Anyway, here is a helping hand in making your Pitchfork Festival with our own “Don’t Miss List” broken down by day. Let’s get into it, shall we?



James Blake

Pitchfork kicks off at 3PM on Friday with early sets from Chicago natives Gatekeeper, followed by EMA out of Sioux Falls. If you’re looking to get the party started quickly, and do some daytime tripping, start your Pitchfork off with the home team, and head to the Blue Stage. Gatekeeper and EMA start 30 minutes apart from each other, so the first real pick and choose moment comes when tUnE-yArDs hits the Blue stage at 4:30, followed by a 4:35 set time for Battles at the Green Stage.  Both artists make strong cases, and Battles situation of losing their frontman makes me wonder what their new stage show will sound like.  But, my time in this industry has taught me to always go with the act that pays more attention to the spelling of their name and tUnE-yArDs’ use of capitalization and a hyphen make me want to make sure I’m over at the Blue Stage when she kicks off.  Plus she paints her face, and from all accounts, gets pretty fierce. Adavtange: tUnE-yArDs.

Pitchfork has two pretty big guns squaring off at 5:30 PM as Curren$y hits the Blue Stage and Thurston Moore hits the Red Stage.  These artists are pretty much polar opposites though, and my guess is that many Moore fans don’t know who Curren$y is and vice-versa.  It’s pretty much a no-brainer for Hip Hop fans to head over and catch Spitta, who performs regularly in the Chi.  But, if you want to see something new, I would recommend seeing Thurston Moore.  You may know him from Sonic Youth and his recently released solo album.  Plus Moore was named the 33rd best guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone, and as a music fan, that’s just someone I’d want to see if given the chance.

The next showdown on Friday is Superchunk vs. Das Racist, both kicking off around 6:20.  Thurston Moore kind of quenches my nostalgia and ‘see this guy while I can’ thirst.  All due respect to Superchunk, but Das Racist are blowing up and they’ve been championed by Pitchfork for quite some time.  They just announced their first official album, and I’m sure have some crazy s**t planned, including bringing out BBU for “Please No Pictures”.

Next up is Neako Case who starts at 7:20 at the Red Stage, followed by James Blake at 7:30 at the Blue Stage.  This is another pretty easy one for me. Although I think Neako Case is really nice, and she has Chicago ties, I need to see what all the hype is about surrounding James Blake.  The UK-native kind of came out of nowhere, and dominated the online world for a while earlier this year.  I missed him at SXSW, and am going to make sure I catch his set tomorrow night right before Animal Collective.  Animal Collective have the headlining spot all to themselves, and they are another band on my must see list.


DJ Shadow

My Saturday list of must see artists starts and ends with DJ Shadow.  I can’t wait until his 7:25 set at the Red Stage. Expect something super dope, as Shadow has really just gotten back in the swing of performing and is also readying a new album.   But, since there is 6 and a half hours between the start of the day and Shadow’s set, I’ll give you some other artists to check while passing time.

Chicago’s Chrissy Muderbot is someone I’m interested to check out. He’s got a unique brand of party music, and his set will also feature MC Zulu. If you want to get your day started, catch him at 1:00 at The Blue Stage.  One of the few Hip Hop acts beyond Curren$y and Odd Future is G-Side, a group from Athens, Alabama that I’d never heard of until they got announced for the PF lineup.  The duo out of ‘Bama makes breezy southern music, and have a really dope track with Freddie Gibbs we’ve been playing the last few days.  Catch someone totally new when they play at 2:50 at the Blue Stage.  Fast forward to 4:45 and we have a set from the hardcore band, OFF!, which is a supergroup of sorts out of L.A.  Everyone needs to let out some aggression, and this is where I plan to be. Hopefully I can punch someone in the face, cause I just have a lot of anger lately.

Following OFF!’s set, we again have some older bands making comebacks in The Dismemberment Plan and Destroyer.  I’ve not too keen on either, making this really a toss up for me. It’s also a great time to check out some of the local vendors and record labels that will be displaying their stuff.  Our home Schwerve will be there repping his soon to launch record store, H-Plus Records.  So go check him out… When you get back check out Twin Shadow at 6:45, at the Blue Stage as he sets the table for DJ Shadow.


Odd Future

Sunday is packed with some dope bands that I’m looking forward to checking out, the first being Yuck who take the Red Stage at 1:45.  Yuck reminds me of alternative bands from the 90’s, before rock music started to suck and I’m excited to catch their set.  Another heavily buzzing crew is none other than Odd Future, who will take the Red Stage at 3:20.  Their set could be pretty crazy, as women’s rights groups will also be on the Pitchfork grounds in protest of the LA collective’s musical content.  Another Hip Hop act will take the Blue stage shortly after Odd Future at 3:45, Seattle’s Shabazz Palaces.

SP is another crew I’m not too familiar with are another interesting group to check out.  They’ll be battling the OFWGKTA crowd, but hey, that’s life. At 4:45 L.A.’s Baths takes the stage, definitely a cat I to see. His mix of space out funk, Hip Hop, and soul beats is a dope mix and his set will provide a great chance to chill a little bit after Odd Future and enjoy the grooves. Sunday only gets better as Toro Y Moi and Deerhunter take the stage during the 6 O’Clock hour. If you’re looking to continue the chilled out vibe, definitely hit Toro Y Moi, but I’m going to check Deerhunter (also at Beauty Bar Saturday night).

Cut Copy is the next big act, and for some, they are this year’s headliners.  But, the true headlining spot, and ultimate don’t miss performance is TV On The Radio’s closing set at 8:30 at the Green stage.  Coming off a stellar new album, and the untimely passing of their bassist, this should be a deep and emotional set for the New York based band.

Alexander Fruchter

Original co-founder of RubyHornet. President of Closed Sessions

Leave a Reply