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35 (Mostly) Rock Records You Need to Hear from 2013

Here are 35 (mostly) rock records you should hear from 2013. Why 35? Who said 10, or 20, or 50, or 100 was the standard? Not all years of music are equal. Some years, I list 20 albums. Some years, it's 25 albums. Others, it's 25 and a handful of honorable mentions. This year it's 35 because there was a definite line between albums I've spent considerable time listening to and I've grown to love, the second group, those that are flawe...READ MORE
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2013 Pitchfork Music Festival: R MFN Kelly

R. MFN Kelly, the R&B legend. R. MFN Kelly, the first R&B artist to headline the Pitchfork Music Festival. R. MFN Kelly, the man who pees on underage women. R. MFN Kelly, the creative genius (?) behind the hip-hop opera, Trapped in the Closet. The big question on many minds leading up to the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival, was how exactly would R. Kelly fare as a headliner. Your answer was awesomely. How awesome was R. ...READ MORE
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2013 Pitchfork Music Festival: M.I.A.

There were times during M.I.A.'s Sunday evening set at the Pitchfork Music Festival, where she appeared to be every bit the headliner as the night's official closing act, R. Kelly. The stage was decorated with six large, white wheels, each which lit up in carnival colors. A large, rectangular pattern, near the rear of the stage, lit up like a technicolor Persian rug. The bass was crisp. The beats were sharp. Dressed in a long, go...READ MORE
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2013 Pitchfork Music Festival: The Breeders Play Last Splash

The difference between the Breeders today, on Saturday's main stage of the Pitchfork Music Festival, and the Breeders of, let's say just three years ago, extended beyond the line-up. Sure, surrounding Kim Deal on stage was her sister Kelly, Josephine Wiggs on bass, and Jim McPherson on drums, basically everyone responsible for their 1993 breakthrough album, Last Splash. But there was a bigger difference between The Breeders then ...READ MORE
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Friday at the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival

The best part about Friday, besides Mikal Cronin's shredding and Daughn Gibson's honky-tonk stomp, of course, was that I didn't here one peep out of Joanna Newsom and that goddamn harp of hers. She was so quiet, even if you were on the main field Friday night, you couldn't make out anything coming from the Red Stage unless you were right up there. Her sound did not carry at all. My voice was louder. More people heard me talk about ...READ MORE
Mikal Cronin

2013 Pitchfork Music Festival: Mikal Cronin

Mikal Cronin shreds, ok. Mikal Cronin's bassist shreds. Mikal Cronin's guitarist REALLY shreds. Hell, even Mikal Cronin's drummer, who technically can't shred because she's playing drums, shreds. The amount of shredding coming from the Blue Stage shouldn't have come as a complete surprise to those familiar with the man. While his 2013 album, MC II, was as sugary and sweet as any power pop album recorded during either the genre...READ MORE
Angel Olsen

2013 Pitchfork Music Festival: Angel Olsen

Have I mentioned the heat? Daughn Gibson said it was "Hotter than a two-peckered billy goat," during his set earlier in the day at Union Park. By the time Angel Olsen took the Blue Stage at 5:15, the heat had yet to abate. If anything, the threat of evening thunderstorms only upped the oppressive humidity. Ahh, but here we were at the shaded stage. And there was Olsen, with a timeless voice fluttering on an early evening breez...READ MORE
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2013 Pitchfork Music Festival: Mac DeMarco

Mac DeMarco is a Grade A goofball. Look at his sheepish grin, loose-fitting Mets t-shirt, and jeans with holes in their knees. He's practically a double for Brat Pack actor Anthony Michael Hall. Who knows? Maybe this rock and roll gig of his is one long play to get the girl of his dreams to realize he's not the dork he appears to be. I write all of this in the most complimentary way a critic can call an artist a goofball while...READ MORE
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2013 Pitchfork Music Festival: Daughn Gibson

Midway through his early Friday set at the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival, Daughn Gibson shared some of that country charm of his with the old colloquialism, "It's hotter than a two-peckered billy goat." Yep, the man was right. As Gibson and his band took the stage late Friday afternoon, the temperature was still pushing the high '90s at Union Park in Chicago. Oh, it wasn't a dry heat, one of those heats people who like heat say i...READ MORE
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I Rock Cleveland’s Guide to the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival

The Pitchfork Music Festival has always prided itself on attracting a diverse line-up, stacked with both up-and-comers and vets from the worlds of indie rock, electronic music, hip-hop and pop. The lineup for the 2013 edition, this upcoming weekend at Union Park in Chicago, may be the most diverse yet, with nightly headliners Bjork, Belle and Sebastian and R Kelly, a Saturday schedule stacked with rock bands and a Sunday schedule hea...READ MORE