Gossip Wolf: Pitchfork predictions, round one 

Cloud Nothings and Willis Earl Beal for sure—maybe Bon Iver, Chavez, or Frank Ocean? Plus: A fund-raiser for stricken DJ Jonathan Toubin and a delicious new album from Bobby Conn

click to enlarge KEITH HERZIK

So what if there's snow on the ground—it's never too early to start talking about Chicago's endless summer concert season! This Wolf got wind of two acts scheduled to play this year's Pitchfork Music Festival—Cloud Nothings and local XL signee Willis Earl Beal. Other acts Gossip Wolf expects to see onstage at Union Park: Bon Iver (front man Justin Vernon cocurated Pitchfork's inaugural Paris festival in October), Best Coast, electro it-girl Grimes, the reunited Chavez, and noncontroversial Odd Future crooner Frank Ocean. Speculation is rife about whether the freshly re-formed At the Drive-In will appear, but industry birdies tell this Wolf that Lolla is more likely since that fest has more cash to throw around.

In December renowned New York DJ Jonathan Toubin was struck by a cab while asleep in a Portland hotel room; those close to Toubin say he was discharged from the hospital on Friday, but he still has a long road to recovery. The national indie community has banded together to raise money to help cover his personal expenses as he recovers, and on Fri 1/20 the Empty Bottle will host a fund-raiser. Chicago punks Radar Eyes headline, and their set should be shit-hot—they're readying a self-titled debut LP so mighty it'll make your eyeballs puke rainbows! Outer Minds and House Sounds open, and a slew of locals will DJ throughout the night; it's $8 and kicks off at 10 PM.

Disturbo-rocker Bobby Conn has long been lampooning gooey strands of capitalism while looking sweet in high-heeled boots and conking this Wolf's noodle with his glammy, Bowie-esque funk-rock jams. Gossip Wolf hears the dude is doubling down on the satire in this era of cheesy corporate welfare; he just finished recording an intricately Kraft-ed new album called Macaroni with his violin-playing wife, Monica Boubou, and backing band the Burglars. The group includes local heavyweights like drummer Josh Johannpeter (of Lazer Crystal), keyboardist Jon Steinmeier, and bassist Jim Cooper (both of Detholz!). British label Fire Records will release Macaroni in March.

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