Pitchfork Picks.

Now that Chicago summers have become blanketed with music festivals, we would feel remiss not to mention a few of our favorite bands that are coming through here this year. Pitchfork’s festival is up first, and for the second year in a row, they partnered up with All Tomorrow’s Parties for their kick off night: three bands doing their most seminal albums in its entirety. Mission of Burma is doing their 1982 opus Vs., which, one hopes, the younger indie rock crowd at Pitchfork recognizes as a starting point for much of what their beloved modern set churns out these days. Sebadoh’s Bubble and Scrape will provide light filler, but most eyes are on Public Enemy on Friday night, doing It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back, arguably (read: in this writer’s humble opinion) the best hip-hop album ever recorded. Chuck still fights the good fight, we all know what Flav is up to, and last we heard, Terminator X was ran his own ostrich farm. So there’s a lot of room for disappointment. Still, the potential for a monumental performance is omnipresent in everyone’s mind who grew up listening to them (rumor has it they’re even bringing the S1W’s!)

The line-up on Saturday kicks off with Gypsy brass kingpins Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar, but the early afternoon one to watch is Jay Reatard. His brand of punk-tinged garage rock is infectious to say the least, and his live show is notoriously insane (which is the only reason we can figure he’s playing so early in the line-up: the less booze and people there are, the less chance of something crazy happening). Miami Ice, the out-pop album that Icy Demons let loose last year is a dazzling and bizarrely angular piece of work, and they never disappoint live. Vampire Weekend dubs themselves “Upper West Side Soweto”, which is reason enough to make their 5pm slot your dinner break, and then return to see Kenyan Benga rockers, Extra Golden. Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker is an undeniable force who, at 45, still outperforms people half his age. LA duo No Age is blazing a trail of skate-rock anthems and punk rock inspiration across the world, and Pitchfork deserves a nod for letting them headline one of the stages Saturday night.

The festival has been paying a cursory tribute to the heavier side of rock, last year with Mastodon and this year with Japanese stoner-rock trio Boris playing earlier in the day on Sunday. King Khan & The Shrines’ soulful-garage rock sets are great fun. Ghostface and Raekwon will undoubtedly blow through an assortment of Wu-bangers, and Dinosaur Jr. — if their last live tour was any indication — have shown little sings of deterioration as they’ve gone on in years. And although Spoon has played the festival in the past, their sets can be unpredictably good.