Pitchfork Music Fest 2014 Preview

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Tomorrow begins another Pitchfork Music Festival at Chicago’s Union Park. And once again, Loud Loop Press will be on-site all weekend long bringing you the best coverage we possibly can.

What can you expect? Updates throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Then on 10 a.m. the day after (Saturday, Sunday and Monday), we’ll have a full recap of the previous day’s happenings complete with blurbs on the acts we caught, photos and more!

Of course, like every Pitchfork Fest, there’s a ton of music everyday, some of which you have no clue about, so we’ve decided to help out with a brief, but informative, guide to the acts we’re most looking forward to checking out.

FRIDAY, JULY 19

Hundred Waters Red Stage, 3:30 p.m.


Gainesville, Florida isn’t exactly known as a hotbed of musical talent, so it’s pretty surprising to see any hip new bands come out of the area, let alone ones with such a unique sound as Hundred Waters. Members Zach Tetreault, Paul Giese and Treyer Tyron have been making music together since they were in grade school. They met Nicole Miglis and Sam Moss at the University of Florida and Hundred Waters was born. They spent the tail end of their time at UF writing and recording what would become their self-titled debut album. The LP ended up in Skrillex’s hands, he invited them on his Full Flex Express Canadian Train tour, and soon after the band signed to his label, OWSLA. They released their second album The Moon Rang Like A Bell, earlier this year to critical acclaim. (Dan Henshaw)

SZA Blue Stage, 6:15 p.m.


It wasn’t long ago that Solanna Rowe was more likely to become a professional gymnast than share a label with Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. Born in Missouri but based out of New Jersey, Rowe was ranked 5th nationally in gymnastics as a high schooler. After attending three colleges and failing out, she began to pursue music. She self-released two EPs, and caught the attention of Top Dawg Entertainment president Terrence “Punch” Henderson, when a friend passed her music to the label head at a Kendrick Lamar show. Her debut album for TDE, Z, was released in April of this year. (Dan Henshaw)

Giorgio Moroder Red Stage, 7:20 p.m.


I have absolutely no facts to back this up, but I’d bet most younger/EDM-loving dance music fans didn’t realize how much of a big deal it was when Giorgio Moroder collaborated with Daft Punk on the intoxicating Random Access Memories track, “Giorgio by Moroder,” but it sort of was. Moroder is one of, if not the, most influential synth disco producer and DJ in electronic music history with a resume that includes producing the Donna Summer hit single, “I Feel love,” the full score for Midnight Express (which earned him an Academy Award for best original score) and just last year a collab with Daft Punk. The collaboration with the robot rockers brought Moroder back into the mainstream’s consciousness including remixes of Coldplay and HAIM as well as a new single released by Adult Swim only last month, which you can listen in the above embed. (Richard Giraldi)

SATURDAY, JULY 20

Twin Peaks Green Stage, 1:00 p.m.


Twin Peaks are one of the most buzzworthy rock bands in Chicago right now. Hailing from Rogers Park, the quartet released their debut mini-LP Sunken, a year ago, when they were all just 19. The album – made using “a crappy iMac from 2004, a broken digital mixer, and a digital recording studio from the 90s according to frontman Cadien James – has garnered praise and produced all sorts of buzz around the band. It’s a hard hitting and catchy record, with super short songs that get in and get out in a hurry. Very much a key member of the Chicago scene, they attended the same high school as Chance the Rapper and used to play his open-mic events. Their festival appearance might not have happened, as they actually disbanded to attend colleges on opposite ends of the country. However, they began to draw label interest during their first semester and elected to put school on hold to return to the scene they love. (Dan Henshaw)

KA Red Stage, 1:45 p.m.


Kaseem Ryan is coming up at an odd time. He’s 41, and though he’s been making rap music for over twenty years, he’s just recently finding some traction in the hip hop landscape. Hailing from Brownsville, Brooklyn, he spent time in the nineties in the underground hip hop group Natural Elements and his own group, Nightbreed. He didn’t release a proper solo LP until 2008, and at the time he intended it as a tombstone for his career. It was supposed to be something physical to give to his friends and family, to thank them for their support before bowing out of music. A friend of Ka’s got the album to GZA who not only gave it a listen, but liked what he heard enough to give Ka a guest feature on “Firehouse” from his Pro Tools album. Since then he’s released two well-received albums and is working on another. (Dan Henshaw)

Empress Of Blue Stage, 2:50 p.m.


Empress Of is the solo art pop project of 23 year old Lorely Rodriguez. Her music first started getting attention early last year after she anonymously uploaded 13 minute-long Youtube clips, each blocked with a different color. The clips, titled Color Minutes, showcased Rodriguez’s strong vocals as well as her artful and labyrinthine production. The clips got people’s attention, and she expanded some of the pieces into full length tracks such as “Champagne” and “Don’t Tell Me.” Her debut EP, Systems, was released last year, and featured two songs in Rodriguez’s native Spanish. (Dan Henshaw)

The Range Blue Stage, 4:45 p.m.


Out of all the acts of Pitchfork Music Festival to have a professional sports-slant, the last you’d guess would be James Hilton, better known as Providence, RI, producer The Range. But Hinton, in a recent Pitchfork interview, spilled his love for Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux, saying this about his track, “Greg Maddux Change Up,” “I liked how he was this normal guy that didn’t have much velocity, but with small changes in his grip, he could totally change the ball’s trajectory.” That thought honestly fits to The Range’s music as well – inspired electronic music that uses seemingly simple aesthetics including hip-hop and R&B beats, synth melodies and the occasional vocal sample that shift a song from on direction to another while still in orbit. (Richard Giraldi)

FKA Twigs Blue Stage, 7:45 p.m.


For someone who grew up in largely rural Gloucestershire, UK, Twig’s music recalls a warm but possibly dystopian future. At times, the synths and electronic gurgles of her latest single, “Two Weeks,” feels close and earnest, but the surrounding soundscape of space echoes and fluid drum machines make it feel like there’s a larger ecosystem at hand. It’s a technique better utilized on her 2013 release, “EP2,” on which cuts such as “Papi Pacify” that foggily lumbers along and “Ultraviolet,” which begins innocently before spiraling into a gloomy, deep-throated sample at its mid-section. (Richard Giraldi)

SUNDAY, JULY 21

Mutual Benefit Green Stage, 1:00 p.m.


Mutual Benefit is the creation of singer/songwriter Jordan Lee. Lee is the project’s one constant member, and he surrounds himself with an ever changing cast of players. This communal feeling shines through on his gorgeous debut LP, Love’s Crushing Diamond. Though he has digitally self-released a half dozen records, Love’s Crushing Diamond is his first major release, and it’s a strong statement. Written and composed in St. Louis, the album was recorded during “a year of notable absences” in Austin, San Diego and Boston. Full of beautiful baroque pop melodies and folky harmonies, the LP was first released on bandcamp, where it quickly received a lot of attention. Label Other Music gave it a wider release in late 2013 and Lee has spent the better part of 2014 touring behind it. (Dan Henshaw)

Perfect Pussy Blue Stage, 1:55 p.m.


Regardless if they’re authentically punk or not (because, really, who cares?), Perfect Pussy’s intensely chaotic live show nears, what I’m guessing is, worlds-largest-water-slide entertainment levels. Singer Meredith Graves’ near-buried word spasms sound good on their latest, Say Yes To Love, but they sound even better when matched with her impassioned delivery on stage. Meanwhile, the band sprints through their manic take on hardcore punk and noise pop. But it’s Graves’ emotional outpouring that sets Perfect Pussy apart. It feels real and likely is. Not sure if that’s punk rock or not, but it’s working. (Richard Giraldi)

Isaiah Rashad Blue Stage, 2:50 p.m.


Isaiah Rashad grew up listening to rappers like Too $hort and Scarface at an early age when his father would allow him to stay up late listening to music. His father left him early on, and brief ambitions to be a preacher were squashed when his stepbrother lent him a copy of OutKast’s ATLiens. Rashad took to rapping seriously as a sophomore in high school. He attended college and was introduced to a friend of friend in possession of a recording studio, who turned out to be Rashad’s cousin. He soon dropped out of school and began recording wherever he could. He got his big break in the summer of 2012 when he was invited on the Smoker’s Club Tour with Juicy J, Joey Bada$$ and Smoke DZA. He signed with Top Dawg Entertainment last year and released his debut EP, Cilvia Demo in January of this year. The record was positively received and featured guest appearances from labelmates Schoolboy Q and SZA, both of whom are also playing the festival this weekend. (Dan Henshaw)

Slowdive Green Stage, 6:15 p.m.


For precisely 14.9381873% of Pitchfork attendees, the Slowdive reunion is far and away the biggest story at this year’s festival. And that’s not a bad thing. The landmark English shoegazers haven’t been an honest to goodness band since their breakup in 1995. But they did manage a couple of impressive albums in retrospect including 1991’s “Just for a Day” and 1993’s “Souvlaki” (which features the glimmering “Alison” and haunting “When The Sun Hits”) in-spite of some very unfortunate marketing mishaps. But, as most reunions go these days, a Twitter account was created and the official reunion was underway shortly thereafter. (Richard Giraldi)

COMPLETE SCHEDULE

BOLD = Loud Loop Pick

FRIDAY, JULY 18 – gates at 3pm

8:30 Beck (GREEN)
7:20 Giorgio Moroder (RED)
7:15 Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks (BLUE)
6:25 Sun Kil Moon (GREEN)
6:15 SZA (BLUE)
5:30 Sharon Van Etten (RED)
5:15 The Haxan Cloak (BLUE)
4:35 Neneh Cherry (GREEN)
4:15 Factory Floor (BLUE)
3:20 Hundred Waters (RED)

SATURDAY, JULY 21 – gates at 12pm

8:30 Neutral Milk Hotel (GREEN)
7:45 FKA Twigs (BLUE)
7:25 St. Vincent (RED)
6:45 The Field (BLUE)
6:15 Danny Brown (GREEN)
5:45 Kelela (BLUE)
5:15 tUnE-yArDs (RED)
4:45 The Range (BLUE)
4:15 Pusha T (GREEN)
3:45 Mas Ysa (BLUE)
3:20 Cloud Nothings (RED)
2:50 Empress Of (BLUE)
2:30 Wild Beasts (GREEN)
1:55 Circulatory System (BLUE)
1:45 Ka (RED)
1:00 Twin Peaks (GREEN)

SUNDAY, JULY 20 – gates at 12pm

8:30pm – Kendrick Lamar (GREEN)
7:45pm – Hudson Mohawke (BLUE)
7:25pm – Grimes (RED)
6:45pm – DJ Spinn (BLUE)
6:15pm – Slowdive (GREEN)
5:45pm – Majical Cloudz (BLUE)
5:15pm – Real Estate (RED)
4:45pm – Jon Hopkins (BLUE)
4:15pm – Schoolboy Q (GREEN)
3:45pm – Dum Dum Girls (BLUE)
3:20pm – Earl Sweatshirt (RED)
2:50pm – Isaiah Rashad (BLUE)
2:30pm – Deafheaven (GREEN)
1:55pm – Perfect Pussy (BLUE)
1:45pm – DIIV (RED)
1pm – Speedy Ortiz (BLUE)
1pm – Mutual Benefit (GREEN)

For More information and/or tickets to Pitchfork Music Festival, visit: Pitchforkmusicfestival.com.

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