It seems anyone with even a passing interest in indie music has a complicated love-hate relationship with Pitchfork
. On one hand, they stay on top of the ever-changing, rapidly growing music scene by providing relevant news and reviews and use their undeniable influence to bring many deserving but relatively unknown bands into the public eye. On the other hand, they've spawned hordes of hipster automatons that blindly follow recommendations to the decimal and then spend more time at shows preening to invisible party photographers than actually enjoying the music. Go figure.
All criticism aside, it should come as no surprise that a website so in touch with today's music chose to take matters into their own hands and organize a festival
to rival the Lollapalooza/Bonnaroo/Coachella/Sasquatch giants. Not only are tickets refreshingly cheap ($35 a day!) but the lineup is a great mix of up-and-coming bands, well-established artists, and flavor-of-the-week contenders. Not bad for a festival that's only three years old.
Stay tuned for Baeble coverage of this weekend's festival, but until then, here are the top 5 bands tempting me to catch the next plane/hot air balloon/covered wagon to Chicago. - Nina Mashurova
1. The Flaming Lips
When The Flaming Lips
bring their fluffy psychedelic space-pop to town, it's like a troupe of alien buskers from a planet composed entirely of rainbows descends on stage in a fine mist of bubbles and potent LSD, with their only mission being to lift your spirits and blow your mind. Prepare accordingly.
2. The National
Much like Wilco, The National
is short on frills, mostly because they don't need them. Matt Berninger
's deep voice weaves dark poetics that take root in hollow recesses of your brain and return to haunt you on long walks home down empty city streets in the waning night hours, simultaneously comforting and vaguely threatening.
Brace yourself for torrents of reverb, tidal waves of noise, and epic emotions as M83
supply beautiful shoegaze music that infuses everyday activities with all the drama of collapsing universes and apocalyptic storms.
was an unexpected highlight at Bonnaroo, and we can't wait to see them again and again. They beat Beirut at their own game, and they do it with an engrossing honesty and catchiness that wraps you up in foreign shades of summer rather than baroque ostentation. (Unless you do prefer Beirut, in which case, they'll be there too!)
5. The Mae Shi
This scrappy LA outfit burst out of The Smell scene with a punky enthusiasm and a sound that's basically West Coast Japanther. If The Mae Shi
don't have the crowd moving, all hope is lost.
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Flaming Lips on Myspace
The National on Myspace
M83 on Myspace
Yeasayer on Myspace
The Mae Shi on Myspace