Pitchfork Music Festival 2015: Quick picks

Sleater Kinney's Carrie Brownstein performs at the Southgate House. -- photo by Damon Green
Sleater Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein performs at the Southgate House. — photo by Damon Green

The Pitchfork Music Festival is taking over Chicago’s Union Park this weekend (July 17-19). And with three stages, three days of music and upwards of 50,000 attendees, deciding where to spend one’s time is no simple feat. But fear not! Below, you’ll find some of LV‘s top Pitchfork picks, so crank up that Spotify playlist, put together a plan and we’ll see you in Chicago.

LISTEN: Pitchfork 2015 Spotify Playlist


Saturday — 8:30 p.m. (Green Stage)

In the mid-1990s, I once snuck out of a queer theory grad class to see Sleater-Kinney (true story). After a long hiatus, this all-female band that began in the Riot Grrrl era returns at the top of their form to headline the Pitchfork Festival’s Saturday lineup. Not to be missed.

Run the Jewels

Sunday — 7:25 p.m. (Red Stage)

The greatest hip-hop duo this side of EPMD will bring their ferocious live set to the Pitchfork stage as the festival’s penultimate main stage act. Watch MCs Killer Mike and El-P merge like Voltron to bring the noise, the ruckus and anything else they have to throw at us.

Todd Terje & the Olsens

Sunday — 7:45 p.m. (Blue Stage)

In the great tradition of programming great dance acts in the more remote and intimate Blue stage (The Field’s performance a few years ago was among the best shows I’ve seen at the festival), Todd Terje and company will put on their dancing shoes and leave you out of breath.

Parquet Courts

Saturday — 5:15 p.m. (Red Stage)

For those who like their lo-fi ’90s rock chopped, diced and smoothied up by Gen Y-ers, which I do.

Courtney Barnett

Sunday — 4:15 p.m. (Green Stage)

Fantastic, clever songs by the latest Aussie musical export from the country that brought you The Church, Ben Lee and other alt-y songsmiths.


Saturday — 6:15 p.m. (Blue Stage)

Shamir — a singer in a long line of forward-thinking R&B artists known by their first name, such as Prince — will be a breath of fresh air as the sun begins to set on Saturday night.

The Julie Ruin

Sunday — 2:50 p.m. (Blue Stage)

Former Bikini Kill and Le Tigre front-woman will lead her latest band, The Julie Ruin! ’Nuff said.