This month is my favorite time of the year to be a Chicagoan: it is finally hot, every day is a bike-worthy day, and the outdoor music festivals are plenty and stacked. One week from now, myself and about 30,000 other groovy kiddos will be jamming in Union Park for the Pitchfork Music Festival for its 11th year showcase.
As usual there are some extreme heavy hitters on the line up. Brian Wilson will be playing Pet Sounds in its entirety, I recommend watching Love and Mercy as prep. Sufjan Steven’s is closing out Saturday and last year marked the 10th year anniversary of Illinois. Hopefully he will bless us with a demo of Chicago.
And now I’d like to take a minute to pay homage to the people who will be playing in the baking sun at the start of the day. Drag your hungover ass out of bed and make it to these sets if only so you can say you saw them back when… The first band I’d to recommend you check out is Whitney. Good ole Chicago boyos! Max Kakacek and Julian Ehrlich of Smith Westerns (Ehrlich also drummed for Unknown Mortal Orchestra) formed this band after the break up of their former band. Ehrlich’s vocals are haunting and there are even touches of horns. They dropped their debut album, Light Up on the Lake back on June 3rd and it’s quickly become a summer favorite. It does have a country vibe, if Chicago did country.
Will Toledo is the mastermind behind Car Seat Headrest. He’s literally been recording in his car since High School. Toledo put out 12 solo albums via BandCamp but was signed to Matador Records in 2015. He has a pretty intense following via the Internet and has a unique voice. The lo-fidelity is definitely something most pitchfork fans flock to and the work ethic alone is something to appreciate. He’s currently touring with his latest release Teens of Denial.
Royal Headache is a quartet of Aussies making an interesting mixture of garage rock and soul. Shogun leads the band in lyrics and vocals. There latest release High, is about the various stages of breaking up but contrary to what you’re thinking, it’s quite up beat. Definitely makes you want jump around and pound beer.
All things considered the lineup is amazing throughout but it’s best to see it for yourself. So whether this is your first or eleventh time at Union, I salute you and remember, be good to each other.