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The Pitchfork Music Festival is back for a seventh year, and one of its headliners may be signalling new music on the way. Feist, Vampire Weekend and Godspeed You! Black Emperor are among the biggest names in this initial lineup announcement, in addition to Hot Chip, AraabMuzik, A$AP Rocky, The Field, Liturgy, Kendrick Lamar, Grimes, Cloud Nothings, Tim Hecker and Willis Earl Beal.
The Chicago-bound event runs July 13-15, with single-day and weekend tickets going up on March 9 at noon CST. Organizers' "goal has always been to create an affordable atmosphere with music at its focus," so ticket prices will not increase over last year's sum, with single-day going for $45 a piece and weekend at $110.
Pitchfork also says that 30 more acts are TBA, so we may not even be looking at the biggest names yet.
But confirming Vampire Weekend is at least somewhat informative: the band only scheduled five concerts in 2011, and the only U.S. stop, the Music To Know festival, was canceled. This new date may signal that the group has more U.S. touring action planned, if not offering ample opportunity for Ezra Koenig & Co. to bow some new material.
Also, interestingly, Lamar and A$AP Rocky are Drake's Club Paradise tour openers -- will they be bring any, uh, friends along?
Last year, I pointed out some of the Pitchfork batting averages of the artists that were performing at the fest, a parallel of what their rating on the site was prior to the lineup announcement. For this year:
Feist's "Metals" (2011): 7.7
Vampire Weekend's "Contra" (2010): 8.6
Hot Chip's "One Life Stand": 8.4
AraabMuzik's "Instrumental University" (2012) and "Electronic Dream" (2011): 6.4 and 8.2, respectively
The Field, "Looping State of Mind" (2011): 8.5
Liturgy, "Aesthethica" (2011): 8.3
Kendrick Lamar, "Section.80" (2011): 8.0
Grimes, "Visions" (2012): 8.5
Cloud Nothings, "Attack on Memory" (2012): 8.6
Tim Hecker, "Dropped Pianos" (2011): 7.8
I didn't include GY!BE because everybody know you gotta see 'em live anyway and they haven't put out a new album recently. They reunited to play shows in 2010/2011 and have scheduled a stop already at Coachella in 2012.
Willis Earl Beal -- who happens to be labelmates with Vampire Weekend -- is sure to get a good nod when that new album bows, with two "Best Tracks" under his belt.
Anyway, for contending bands: that's what you're looking. And don't even think about 9 or 10.