Everyone, meet John. John, meet everyone.
This is the first guest post on Bubs. (I ought to give that honor to my husband, yes?) Few people know, but John used to have a blog of his own, "The Gettin' Place," back in the day. His writing always made me laugh, and I never failed to learn a new word (whether it be real or made up). I always found myself going to his Blogspot page to check for updates, but they were unfortunately rare. Perhaps I feel a series coming on?
I have thought about different areas in which I could plug in his writing talents. But most of his focus lies in the Cubs, the Bulls, the Cubs, the Cubs or music. So... I figured a portion of this audience could benefit from a little chat about music. Specifically, the upcoming Pitchfork Music Festival we are headed to this weekend (so college).
I used to be more aggressive in my pursuit of new music, but since he came into my life, I have let him take the wheel. I always love what he plays, and he spends a lot of time on the interwebs making sure he finds the good stuff.
So, without further ado, here he is. My husband in all of his glory. (Earmuffs to the elders and those adverse to swearing.)
We’re plowing headlong into the ironic-NBA-jersey-adorned belly of the Steampunk beast this weekend. Remember us fondly. Sing songs of our bravery.
The following is my personal Pitchfork agenda. Let it be your guide. Or if you’re too old and emotionally frail for festivals then let it inspire you to broaden your musical horizons.
Or don’t, whatever, I’m not your dad.
This is not a summary of all musical acts in attendance. This is a breakdown of what I hope to see and why I hope to see it. So if I skip something you like, feel free to let everyone know why you’re better than me in the comments section.
Before I spell out the itinerary, here are my honorable mentions, one for each day. The schedule gods can be cruel. These are my sacrificial lambs. Come now, lambs. Be still. Accept your fate.
Friday: Tobias Jesso Jr. - The Beatles meets Randy Newman, if Randy Newman cooled it on the songs about toys.
Saturday: The New Pornographers - Power pop supergroup with a hell of a catalogue and a knack for a hook.
Sunday: Todd Terje - Modern disco fit for Ibiza. And I mean Ibiza with a hard “z,” not that stupid Spanish pronunciation that gets used when co-eds return home from studying abroad in “Bar-thuh-lona.” Ugh.
iLoveMakonnen - You know Makonnen, even if you don’t know you know him. Have you gone up? On a Tuesday? Of course you have. There are other turnt anthems to be had of course. Exhibit B. Exhibit C. Let’s be candid, he’s a goofy dude. This show might be fun as hell. It might be a flaming village of trash. I like to live dangerously.
Mac DeMarco - He’s really only got one speed. This is some sunny day shit right here. So if you’re looking for something aggressive, seek help elsewhere. If you want some guitar-driven, shambly (is that a word?) musical Valium, head here and get your sway on.
Panda Bear - A card carrying member of Animal Collective--whom I’m pretty sure have the detonation codes to a nuke mysteriously housed in the Pitchfork writers' room--there’s no way to be certain what you’re getting here. Psychedelic, electro-centric pop with layered, echoed vocals that will remind you of The Beach Boys. This year’s release was quite good, but go spend some time with Person Pitch.
Wilco - Not much to say here. Has the recent output been perfect? Nah. Who cares. One of the best live bands on the planet and givers of a four to five album stretch that is pretty damn difficult for anyone to compete with. The crown jewel of which is one of the ten best albums of the last couple decades.
Future Brown - This shit has the potential to be all kinds of fun. A four-person DJ collaborative that blends Dancehall, Drill, Trap and a bunch of other things I don’t even know about. There’s probably a “core” or a “wave” in there somewhere. CoreWave? I just birthed a genre. It’s that easy. Anyways, this show could be a party.
Kurt Vile - Love this guy. Another great one for the outdoors, assuming the weather cooperates. Hazy, finger-picked long-players. Back in my day we called those “jams.” But these aren’t of the heady variety. He channels some Neil Young and Crazy Horse, minus the Neil Young voice.
A$AP Ferg - FERGENSTEIN. Probably worth it just for people losing their shit during “Work.” He keeps getting better as a rapper, and he keeps adding bangers to the catalogue that should help manufacture some major festival moments.
Future Islands - What a super natural segue this will be, you guys. You’ve probably heard “Seasons.” As you should have. It’s a good song. Now get a load of the stage game on display. This guy gives ZERO fucks. Sign me up.
Vic Mensa - Yes, he’s from Chicago, and now he’s got his first real hit courtesy of Yeezy, but the closing spot on Saturday night? I have heard good things about the live show, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see some unannounced guest activity here.
Viet Cong - Think a more aggressive Interpol that will push the limits of song structure with some bad-ass instrumentation. It might not be for everybody and it’s a bit of an outdoor wildcard, but absolutely worth a flyer this early in the day.
Madlib/Freddie Gibbs - Freddie can bring the flame emojis. And he’ll definitely smoke some weed on stage which GETS THE PEOPLE EXCITED! He’s flaunting society’s conventions! (Does anyone else wonder about this? How do you know when you’ve gotten big enough to get away with that shit? Is that in the contract? Whatever.)
Jamie XX - DJ Wunderkid whose music you wouldn’t recognize or expect based on his original outfit. With a near perfect new album that should be ideally calibrated for the festival experience, this is probably my most anticipated set of the weekend. That’s right, you heard it here first everyone. STOP THE PRESSES.
Caribou - We’re now in the thick of the best run of the weekend. Caribou and Jamie XX might as well form a double bill and turn this into a tour. They’re of the same ilk. Which sounds like elk. Which is similar TO A CARIBOU! (Jumps off the balcony.)
Run the Jewels - Remember what I said about the best run of the weekend? You should. It was literally like three sentences ago. Just scroll up. You don’t even need to scroll. It’s in your field of vision. These guys have got to be the most unlikely rap heroes ever. And they absolutely destroy. Get there early.
Chance the Rapper - Chicago’s other golden child. Assuming he ever decides to actually drop a proper follow-up to Acid Rap, this is your prime candidate for “I saw 'so-and-so' back when they were 'such-and-such;' see, your old man was pretty cool in his day,” material. Chance is the complete package, and I’m sure they’ll be some surprises in store to close out the festy (gross).
Well that’s a wrap. Hopefully I’ve convinced some of you that I’m still cool and managed to convince myself in the process. Feedback is welcome. Just don’t be a prick or anything.
Get Karen to a 1,000 pageviews on this American classic and I’ll burn you a CD or something. LET’S GET VIRAL, EVERYBODY.