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  • White Lung
Credit: Max Herman

10. White Lung Still Slay In The Sun

On Saturday night, White Lung lead singer Mish Way tweeted that she was going to need to see a doctor and take vocal lessons after having wrecked her voice during an after-party performance. But it's that raw power she employs, along with the unrelenting ferocity of her bandmates, that makes White Lung's dark, driving music still feel as visceral when it's being performed under the early afternoon sun -- as it was on Saturday, when the band were booked in the 1 p.m. slot. Sonically, White Lung may be late-night tunes, but they destroy even when it's brunch time.

This past weekend, Chicago’s Union Park played host to Pitchfork Music Festival. The two-and-a-half-day event was packed tight with performances from the indiesphere’s current marquee artists and its icons. But it wasn’t just music — there was also a large fair offering crafts, handmade wares, and records; a mini-festival of print posters (a lust item for any huge music fan); and a book tent boasting independently published materials that also featured a reading from an array of music writers, including Stereogum weekend editor Liz Pelly.

The performances ranged from gods of heavy, Swans, to luminary Brit punks Wire, to the Breeders playing their classic Last Splash in its entirety, to Blood Orange covering Sky Ferreira’s “Everything Is Embarrassing” a few hours before Ferreira would take that same stage, to Chicago rap upstart Tree stealing the show, to Lil’ B bringing his based philosophy to the Midwest — he literally said “R.I.P. to all your loved ones” at the end of his set. The weekend was diverse. Here are the 10 best things that happened.

Comments (20)
  1. I noticed last year that Pitchfork is not afraid to book a lot of ladies, glad they kept with the theme. Chairlift was great, wish they hadn’t started late. They needed more time.

  2. I have the biggest man crush on Mac Demarco. He comes across as just the most happy-go-lucky musician out there right now.

  3. Needs more Parquet Courts. Best set of the weekend.

  4. I give the rain more credit than Rustie. We stopped at the blue stage for his set and I was less than thrilled. I saw less of a reaction to his choice of tracks and more of a response to the velocity of the rain. I did see, rain or not, a ton of white folk on the fringes doing silly dances as a defense mechanism, however.

  5. I commend you about the coverage of women performing at the festival. You need to add one. Her name is Bjork. You should check her out sometime.

  6. The name of Rustie’s album is Glass Swords, and it came out in 2011.

  7. Chairlift is incredibly underrated.

    • They were the band I hoped would show up in the lineup, but because I could only go one day I ended up missing out to go Saturday. Really enjoyed Saturday so I’m not complaining. I do regret not getting a chance to see Chairlift, but hopefully they’ll be around again soon.

  8. 1. Belle and Sebastian
    2. boobs
    3. boobs
    4. boobs
    5. boobs
    6. boobs
    7. boobs
    8. boobs
    9. rain/merch/food/Solange/Cannonball
    10. Belle and Sebastian’s on-stage dance party…featuring more boobs

  9. So is referring to R Kelly as Kells an actual thing? I don’t think it should be… I always read it as “Kelis,” and then I get confused as to why we’re suddenly talking about Kelis…

  10. Thanks Lil B I needed that.

  11. Also, thumbs up to Goose Island’s Sofie Paradisi and Run the Jewels (the beer version). The beer was much better than the last couple of years.

  12. Did we go to the same festival? Because as far as I see it the only legitimate way Chairlift could wind up on a Top 10 Best Things at Pitchfork Music Festival list is if the list maker observed no more than ten things it the Pitchfork Music Festival. They were somewhat hard on the ears.

    Eight of my own Top 10, in chronological order:

    Friday’s highlight was Wire. Had her performance not been truncated by weather, Björk might’ve made my Top 10.

    Saturday was a phenomenal day — one of the best I can recall of the six P4K Music Festivals I’ve attended. …And You will Know Us By The Trail of Dead makes my list, as do METZ, Swans, and Low. I’ve been a longtime fan of the latter two bands, but I had never seen either. Low in particular blew me away. (The Breeders were terrible; clearly cashing their paycheck and barely acting is if they gave a shit.). Savages were unexpectedly intense on the big stage in the hot sun. And Belle and Sebastian — a band to which I don’t have much of a prior connection — were the biggest, most pleasant surprise of the weekend. Their set, even with the rain falling, was something to behold.

    Sunday looked like it was going to be a crap day on paper, and it turned out to be a crap day in real life. Only a very good set by Yo La Tengo makes my personal Top 10. Every other Sunday act tried my patience to some degree or another.

    That leaves two non-performance things to put on my list, so I will select: 1) The tattoo spectacle, which seemed even more awful and bizarre than in years past, and 2) the Goose Island cider that was on tap (even if it was slightly overpriced).

    There. Now that’s a Top Ten list.

  13. Those guys who held up the frames during the Autre Ne Veut set deserve their own spot on the list.

  14. Wire definitely had the best set Friday. Agree that Parquet Courts had arguably the best set all weekend. Foxygen, Savages, and Yo La Tengo were also highlights for me

  15. Hate to be that guy, but from what I saw a good chunk of the rappers were on the Red & Green stages…

  16. M.I.A. didn’t go to film school in Philadelphia. She went to Central Saint Martin’s in London. Diplo is the one who went to film school in Philadelphia and was “deep into the city’s DJ culture.”

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