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My Top 5 Artists to See at Pitchfork

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5. Foxygen

The songwriting duo of Sam France and Jonathan Rado have done a superb job of bringing back the sounds of the late 60s and early 70s. Their music wouldn’t be out of place in a time when your dad was your age, making their latest We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic a great addition to his old record collection you’ve inherited. And the fact that they’re due for a 1:45 set time on a Sunday afternoon is icing on the cake, letting you bask in the summer sun whilst indulging in some sensual psychedelic sounds.

4. Mac DeMarco

This man is  my new favorite Canadian, not that I really had one before. I am in love with the flanger effects he puts on his guitars;I literally can’t get enough of it. Whether he’s playing a funky riff, our just letting the strings breath on a soulful tune, it’s just absolutely gorgeous. He’s got a great sense of humor too, which makes him extremely entertaining to watch. Paying him a visit at 4:35 on Friday would be a perfect way to kick off the festival.

3. Parquet Courts

This Brooklyn outfit has an awesome brand of mellow and laid back yet still kicking and upbeat punk that really works to ground the genre in its American roots. Pair that with the fact that all their lyrics carry a straightforward message that’s impossible to get lost in, and you have a band that you can never get bored listening to. For-get about it. There’s no place I’d rather be this Saturday at 2:50 than Chicago’s Union Park headbanging til the cows come home.

2. Mikal Cronin

He’s a member of Ty Segall’s posse who’s making a name for himself by proving to be a supremely talented songwriter and musician, seeing as he crafted a collection of beautiful songs all by himself, albeit with the help of some guest musicians here and there, on the amazing MCII. There’s no easier way to get pumped for some Bjork-tion than to stop in and check him out that Friday night at 6:15.

1. M.I.A.

Indeed a definite departure from the rest of this list, which is why it deserves the top spot. I was all over “Bad Girls” last year, and I’m all over “Bring The Noize” this year. I’m really excited for the upcoming release of Matangi and the prospect of her offering even more peeks into the kinds of things we can expect from that album is just too enticing to pass up. But, the fact that she’s performing as early as 7:25 on the festival’s Sunday is just mind-bottling. I guess she must just be too cool and people need time to calm down during R. Kelly lest we witness another historic riot in Chicago, this time resulting from too many chains hitting chests.