What: Pitchfork Music Festival
Where: Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St.
When: 3:20 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
What: 45 bands/artists, three stages, hosted by e-zine pitchfork.com
Tickets: Ticketweb.com ($45/day).
B = Blue Stage; G = Green Stage; R = Red Stage
XXXX = Must-see sets
8:30 p.m., Animal Collective (G): The trippy melodic pleasures of the occasional album aside (“Merriweather Post Pavilion” in 2009), this Baltimore collective is up and down in concert, ecstatic crescendos sometimes few and far between long bouts of zone-out noodling.
7:30 p.m., James Blake (B): British songwriter specializes in snoozy ballads dressed in contemporary electronic textures.
XXXX 7:20 p.m., Neko Case (R): The voice can break your heart or rip it out, depending on her mood. Expect plenty of witty repartee with her equally gifted sidekick, singer Kelly Hogan.
XXXX 6:30 p.m., Das Racist (B): Clever surrealists sprinkle their raps with pop-culture references, jokes and wayward glimpses of insight; after a series of winning mix tapes, their official debut, “Relax,” is due in September.
6:25 p.m., Guided By Voices (G): Robert Pollard reassembles his garage-rock band for a bunch of really short, brilliant songs that’ll provide plenty of 1994 flashbacks. Where were you when “I Am a Scientist” was almost a hit?
5:30 p.m., Thurston Moore (R): Don’t expect the usual Sonic Youth mayhem from the guitarist, who will be showcasing songs from his acoustic chamber-pop solo release, “Demolished Thoughts” (Matador).
5:30 p.m., Curren$y (B): The prolific mix-tape rapper from New Orleans is well-suited to headphone listening with his chorus-free delivery. But will his cannabis-worshiping streams of consciousness translate on a bigger stage?
XXXX 4:35 p.m., Battles (G): ThisNew York band tranforms complex ideas and rhythms into buoyant, ridiculously catchy tunes. Worth it just to watch the mighty John Stanier attack the drums.
XXXX 4:30 p.m., Tune-Yards (G): Merrill Garbus puts every available limb to work, thrashing a ukulele while looping her voice into a choir and pounding a drum. Her second album, “Whokill,” ranks with the year’s best.
XXXX 3:30 p.m., EMA (R): The head-on collision between melody and noise, orchestrated by a vocalist who insinuates, coos, converses and cries – that’s the approach of thisSouth Dakota native on her bracing debut, “Past Life Martyred Saints.”
3:30 p.m., Gatekeeper (B): Chicago-Brooklyn electronic duo Aaron David Ross and Matthew Arkell bring back fond memories of the brutish Wax Trax sound, perfect for dancing while wearing a spiked dog collar.
XXXX 8:30 p.m., Fleet Foxes (G): The Seattle group’s harmonies made for a stirring Pitchfork moment in 2008; now they’re back as headliners with even more elaborate hymns in store.
7:40 p.m., Zola Jesus (B): Wisconsin native Nika Roza Danilova brings the sensual Goth vibe.
XXXX 7:25 p.m., DJ Shadow (R): The auteur behind the now-legendary “Endtroducing …” album that reinvented the art of sampling in the ‘90s is back with “The Less You Know the Better” in September. Let’s hope he previews a few tracks, such as the jumping single “I Am Excited.”
6:45 p.m., Twin Shadow (B): George Lewis Jr. replicates the flashy keyboards and soul-rock flourishes of mid-'80s Prince, without bringing much new to his Paisley Park retro.
6:15 p.m., The Dismemberment Plan (G): Emo mainstays from Washington D.C. broke up in 2003 after releasing a classic album, “Emergency & I.” Singer Travis Morrison’s solo album, “Travistan,” was not nearly as well-received, earning a notorious 0.0 rating from Pitchfork in 2004.
5:45 p.m., The Radio Dept. (B): The Swedish trio, touring America for the first time this year after a decade-plus in Europe, mixes wan vocals, fuzzed-up guitars and dreamy textures.
XXXX 5:15 p.m., Destroyer (R): Everyone’s going nuts about Bon Iver, but if it’s slightly kitschy ‘80s-influenced pop you want, Destroyer’s Dan Bejar does it best on his latest album, “Kaputt” (Merge).
XXXX 4:45 p.m., Off! (B): Brutally compact, one-minute hardcore songs delivered by alumni of the Circle Jerks, Redd Kross, Burning Brides and Rocket from the Crypt.
4:15 p.m., Gang Gang Dance (G): Quirky vocals and experimental tones contorted into oddly catchy songs.
3:45 p.m., Wild Nothing (B): Jack Tatum turns singer-songwriter longing into lush pop.
XXX 3:20 p.m., No Age (R): No frills duo Dean Spunt and Randy Randall rip it up on drums, guitar and vocals over a bed of buzzing electronics.
2:50 p.m., G-Side (B): TheAlabama duo of Stephen Harris (ST 2 Lettaz) and David Williams (Yung Clova) put their own introspective spin on bass-rumbling Dirty South funk.
XXXX 2:30 p.m., Cold Cave (G): Wesley Eisold shows a flair for anthems on his band’s latest, “Cherish the Light Year” (Matador), a thumping cocktail of big beats, springy keyboards and noir-ish vocals.
1:55 p.m., Sun Airway (B):Philadelphia electro duo has a way with pretentious album titles (“Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier”) and Coldplay-like songcraft.
1:45 p.m., Woods (R): In case you missed the Dave Matthews Caravan the weekened before and are looking for a guitar jam to break out, it’s likeliest to happen during the set by this genre-blending psychedelic outfit.
XXXX 1 p.m., Julianna Barwick (G): The Brooklyn artist electronically loops her voice from a lone whisper to a choir.
1 p.m., Chrissy Murderbot feat. MC Zulu (B): The Chicago DJ-producer runs Sleazetone Records, writes the My Year of Mixtapes blog and throws a wicked dance party.
XXXX 8:30 p.m., TV on the Radio (G): One of the finest bands of the last decade threw a curve with its latest album, “Nine Types of Light” (Interscope). It’s lower key, more ballad heavy and atypically full of love songs.
7:40 p.m., HEALTH (B): Part of the same Los Angeles punk scene that spawned No Age, this quartet loves to pit electronic distortion against relatively mellow, melodic vocals.
XXXX 7:25 p.m., Cut Copy (R): Rave alert; this Australian trio will be pumping the dance ecstasy.
6:45 p.m., Toro Y Moi (B): Chaz Bundick puts a funky spin on bedroom introspection.
6:15 p.m., Deerhunter (G): The prolificAtlanta quartet spans noisy futurism to classic ‘60s-inspired pop, with big washes of guitar providing ballast.
XXXX 5:45 p.m., Kylesa (B): Easily the hardest hitting band of the weekend, thisGeorgia quintet brings a double-drummer attack to songs that straddle metal andpsychedelia.
XXXX 5:15 p.m., Superchunk (R): TheNorth Carolina band is the backbone of mighty indie label Merge Records, and as last year’s “Majesty Shredding” affirmed, they remain masters of pogo-worthy pop-punk.
4:45 p.m., Baths (B): Los Angeles singer-songwriter Will Wiesenfeld gums up breezy songs with glitchy beats.
XXXX 4:15 p.m., Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti (G): Ariel Rosenberg crafts hazy, tripped-out pop brimming with hooks.
XXXX 3:45 p.m., Shabazz Palaces (B): Seattle group makes hip-hop for lighting up and spacing out.
3:20 p.m., Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (R): Notorious, high-energy hip-hop that makes mincemeat of political correctness.
2:50 p.m., Twin Sister (B): A Long Island quintet specializing in breezy dance pop.
XXXX 2:30 p.m., Kurt Vile and the Violators (G): Defiled folk, take-your-time melodies and sometimes intricate guitar playing are the hallmarks of this Philadelphia artist.
1:55 p.m., How to Dress Well (B): Tom Krell layers his voice into voluptuous waves of serenity.
1:45 p.m., Yuck (R): American alternative-rock hits of the early ‘90s as reimagined by a band from London.
XXXX 1 p.m., The Fresh & Onlys (G): Reverb-heavy guitars and vocals time-trip back to ‘60s Laurel Canyon pop and Sunset Strip acid-rock.
1 p.m., Darkstar (B): James Young and Aiden Whalley, since joined by vocalist James Buttery, won international acclaim for the chilled 2009 electro-pop single "Aidy's Girl is a Computer."
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