Thursday, July 17, 2008

Plan Your Weekend at Pitchfork

Pitchfork Music Festival kicks off Friday in Union Park with evening performances by Mission of Burma, Sebadoh and Public Enemy, but goes into full swing Saturday and Sunday with bands starting sets from 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on each day. Single day passes for Saturday and Sunday have sold out, but those of you who already have them or plan to somehow hunt them down will need to figure out how to spend your time at the fest, which features three stages. Here's a few of the acts not to miss:

Saturday, July 19

- The Ruby Suns - New Zealand's Suns blend psychedelic indie pop with sounds from around the world, creating a unique vibe worth checking out in a live setting. Balance Stage, 4:15 p.m.

- Vampire Weekend - It seems people either love this band or discount them as uninteresting or unoriginal. I choose the first, and as evidenced by how quickly their debut record gained momentum, so do a lot of people. This is fun, slightly Afro-inspired indie pop that boasts instantly memorable hooks. If you're like me and missed their April show at Metro, here's your chance to make up for it. Aluminum Stage, 5 p.m.

- Elf Power - If you did happen to catch Vampire Weekend's Metro show or subscribe to the latter school of thought above, check out the lo-fi indie pop of Elf Power, who perform on a different stage at a conflicting time. Balance Stage, 5:20 p.m.

- The Hold Steady - The brash, Springsteen-esque sounds and highly energetic performances of Craig Finn and company have made them a popular choice among indie rock fans over the past few years, and the band's newly released LP, "Stay Down" is sure to bring them even more buzz. Aluminum Stage, 7 p.m.

- Animal Collective - The experimental noise pop of this New York City-based band translates to an unpredictable live show that often features improvisation and a bevy of bizarre sounds. Aluminum Stage, 9 p.m.

Sunday, July 20

- Mahjongg - These locals cook up a quirky and random mix of tribal beats and dancey indie rock, some of which has drawn comparison to Talking Heads. Balance Stage, 12:30 p.m.

- The Apples in Stereo - Like Spoon, The Apples in Stereo have been around for a while, offering up hooky, 60s-inspired pop since their debut record in 1994. Aluminum Stage, 3 p.m.

- Cut Copy - This Aussie trio marries dancey electro with traditional pop and rock elements for a sound that will help keep you energized in the July heat. Balance Stage, 8:25 p.m.

- Spoon - When it comes to indie rock you really can't get better than Spoon, who have most recently been in the spotlight for last year's oddly titled LP "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga," which spawned irresistible singles in "The Underdog" and "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb." Aluminum Stage, 9 p.m.

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