Smile Politely

Pitchfork: Who we’re excited for

Pitchfork is upon us again. As the collective under twenty five population of Champaign-Urbana migrates up to Union Park, we’ve got our picks for each day. In addition to acts such as Animal Collective, Guided by Voices and TV on the Radio, you’ll be able preview Pygmalion acts Cut Copy, Gang Gang Dance and Toro y Moi.


Tune-Yards (Blue Stage, 4:30)

Whoever scheduled this thing decided to put Battles on at the same time. Go see John Stanier beat the crap out of that crash cymbal for ten minutes (which is the point at which you’re going to get bored) and then mozy on over to take in the twisted jazz-fusion of Merril Garbus.

Guided by Voices (Green Stage, 6:25)

Bob Pollard comes through Champaign often enough, but when are you going to get a chance to see the GBV classic lineup again? With no shortage of great pop songs to choose from (they’re kind of all classics), look for a back-to-back-to-back musical assault.

Animal Collective (Green Stage, 8:30)

I have to admit, I kind of hated Animal Collective the first time I saw them, and while I can get down on a few tracks (“Brother Sport”, “Purple Bottle”), I by and large ignore their recorded output. However, Pitchfork is home turf for them, and I’d expect them to close out in grand fashion with the new songs they’re road-testing and that always-insane light show.



Woods (Red Stage, 1:45)

In a recorded setting, Woods are an enjoyable band, if a little run of the mill. Live, they turn into a jammy, psychedelic juggernaut capable of putting most other groups to shame. This afternoon set should be a perfect primer for a very diverse day of music.

Off! (Blue Stage, 4:45)

The group that makes the least sense on this lineup is also one of the most exciting, and certainly has more historical cache than any of the big reunions this year (GBV, etc). Featuring Keith Morris (Circle Jerks/Black Flag) along with members of Rocket From the Crypt and Redd Kross, expect this to be a history lesson in hardcore. You can catch Gang Gang Dance at Pygmalion, so migrate to the shade of the side-stage area and get yr mosh on.

DJ Shadow (Red Stage, 7:25)

Yeah, The Outsider really pissed off a lot of people, myself included. But he still made Endtroducing, for god’s sake, and his material is promising, so even if you have to sit through a half hour of hyphy, he still might play “Midnight in a Perfect World”. Plus, there’s no way he can possibly bomb as hard as Panda Bear did in this slot last year.



Yuck (Red Stage, 1:45)

A welcome dose of straight-up guitar rock in a day otherwise filled with experimental and electronic textures, Yuck are worth getting out early for. The Londoners draw from Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth for an instantly familiar sound to soothe you into the last day of the fest.

OFWGKTA (Red Stage, 3:20)

The antic-prone teenagers of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All have been both lauded as the future of hip-hop and decried as second-rate Eminem imitators by the press, and the consensus on their live shows remains just as split. I’m expecting this to be the largest crowd of their careers thus far, and a potentially make or break show, even with head honcho Tyler, the Creator confined to a wheelchair.

Deerhunter (Green Stage, 6:15)

Bradford Cox and company won over the hippies in a big way on Thursday night at Bonnaroo last month (actual quote: “hey, this hipster shit isn’t too awful”), due in no small part to extended, feedback-drenched renditions of “Nothing Ever Happened” and “He Would Have Laughed”. It should be interesting to see how they adapt to playing a daytime set for what most likely is going to be a massive crowd.

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