MUSIC: Pitchfork

Updated: Jan 17, 2020

Music editor Erika Wojno gives the word on this year’s must-see/must-hear list. (Don’t even think about leaving home without protective ear gear.) —INGRAIN, Summer 2019

STORY / Erika Wojno


Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21

Goose Island beers will be available at vendor locations throughout the festival; special releases, like the Parquet Courts collab, and other limited releases will only be available at the Goose Island booth.

Union Park, 1501 West Randolph Street


Interested in both underground and a little more mainstream rock? This is by far the band I’m most excited to see at this year’s festival. Kinda punk, kinda twangy, and definitely scratchy, these guys rule. Something about Parquet Courts’ unique style evokes sounds of another era.


“Human Performance” and“Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience” are on my hope-to-hear list.

Pairing As we go to print, Goose Island brewers are working on a special collab beer with Parquet Courts that will be released at Pitchfork. Dank? Bitter? Citrusy? We’re guessing it will be as unique as the bands.


I’ll be grabbing a beer when Low hits the stage and setting up my blanket (JK, I don’t do that, but you get my drift). Check them out while you take a moment to recharge. Double Negative brings an almost eerie yet otherworldly sound with creepy rhythmic digital interludes, driving drums, an ever- present base, and the harmonious lyrics of Mimi Parker and Alan Sparhawk. Yes!


I’ll be waiting for “Always Trying to Work It Out,” and maybe if we’re lucky, the band will perform one of their famed cover songs.

Pairing An homage to Chicago-based Twin Peaks’s favorite beers (Modelo, Pacifico, and Sol), Natural Villain was the 2016 Goose band collab for Pitchfork. The crisp lager, rereleased in 2019, is my pick for taking a (relatively) mellow moment with Low.


Maybe it’s ’90s nostalgia, maybe it’s the comeback, maybe it’s the relatable lyrics. Whatever the reason, you know we’re all showing up for Robyn at Pitchfork. A well- deserved top ten contender on NPR’s Best Albums of 2018 (No. 7), Robyn’s Honey is sure to draw a people-watching-worthy crowd. And lots of neon.


Don’t let the heart-wrenching lyrics fool you—“Dancing on My Own” is sure to rev up some pretty neat dance moves.

Pairing A crisp and refreshing fruit ale with tangy passion fruit and sweet pineapple notes feels just like what this neon-infused crowd needs. SPF (Saison Passion Fruit) is a new release available nationwide.


Gotta show some love for this Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend. I’ll be stopping by Mavis Staples’s performance to absorb her throaty, robust voice and gospel songs. And let’s admit it: This is as close as we’re getting to church this weekend...


Staples has had a long list of collaborators throughout her career, so maybe we’ll be graced with a Jeff Tweedy appearance, or I’d love to see another Chicago artist jump onstage with her for a joint tune or two.

Pairing Swing by the Virtue booth for Michigan Brut, a dry cider made with hand-pressed heirloom apples and aged in French oak barrels; it was also released nationwide earlier this year. The crisp, complex, and subtly tart cider feels like an apt toast to Ms. Staples.


Whether sitting in the grass or smoking it, please show up (at least physically) for the casual and nonchalant likes of Kurt Vile. The former lead guitarist for the rock band The War on Drugs, Vile is clearly influenced by Tom Petty in his solo works.


Let’s hope the singer-songwriter plays “Pretty Pimpin” or“Bassackwards” OR does a version of one of the songs he recorded with Courtney Barnett for their album Lotta Sea Lice.

Pairing A tribute to the new age of IPAs, Next Coast has plenty of hops character balanced by a noticeable malt middle and tropical notes. I’m taking this beer on my next PNW vacay with Kurt Vile.


After the 2016 release of Light Upon the Lake, I was one of those who jumped on the Whitney bandwagon. They’re always a crowd-pleaser, with a sound that incorporates a touch of folk but clearly has been influenced by Chicago soul (as evident in their debut single, “No Woman”).


The big question: Will Whitney treat their hometown audience to some new tunes?

Pairing Our version of a summer ale, 312 Urban Wheat was inspired by Chicago. And like the city that hosts Pitchfork, this riff on an English-style summer sipper is densely populated with hops, fruit-forward flavor, and a spicy character.