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Maybe you like live indie music but hate being surrounded by sweaty people. Maybe you like being surrounded by sweaty people but hate live indie music. Maybe that freelance check didn’t come in on time to buy Pitchfork tickets, or worse yet, the person who allowed you to put Pitchfork tickets on layaway totally scammed you (The lesson: never trust people who hang out near Currency Exchanges all day.)

Whatever your reason for not attending Pitchfork is, we have several solutions for achieving the Pitchfork experience without (a) spending much money and (b) not having to go the festival. In no particular order, we present:

Five Ways to get the Pitchfork 2011 Experience without actually Going to Pitchfork 2011

1. Argue about Odd Future: Are they gifted and witty or hateful and dangerous? Should this group of early 20-somethings be allowed to spew outrageously offensive lyrics in a nationally-discussed music festival that takes place in our beautiful Chicago?

Two members of Odd Future, including Tyler the Creator (left).

A quick description of the group: Odd Future (or if you prefer their longer title, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, aka OFWGKTA) is a rap collective. Their lyrics cavalierly discuss raping women, chronic masturbation and suicide. They use gay slurs. They say “swag” a little too frequently (this is not offensive, just annoying).

Our personal opinion is that they formed the group to start Twitter fights and create fodder for people who write about music. Odd Future really only exists because of the Internet, and we think the only people who really care about them are people who spend time on indie music websites. People not wrapped up in the indie music scene might never hear them, unless Odd Future washes out their collective mouths with soap. Then they might find a bigger audience, and with it, the proper outrage from the general public. All that being said, holy shit are they fun to argue about. So pick a side and start debating while you still can. Next time this year people will have either completely forgot about them, or they’ll have gotten big enough that your Mom will have an opinion about Odd Future. Neither scenario is too appealing.

2. Attend Vitamin Waters’ Uncapped Live Event: This event coincides with Pitchfork. You might say it piggybacks off of Pitchfork. And who does not like piggyback rides (receiving them of course). Like Pitchfork, Uncapped features food, music, art, and fashion. Unlike Pitchfork, it features air conditioning. And it’s free. Uncapped will be going on in the MCA Warehouse, 1747 W. Hubbard, Friday through Sunday. To attend, just RSVP with Vitamin Water and DO312. There will be a slew of DJs performing, and the event also features an All Saints Vintage pop up shop. We endorse All Saints almost as much as we endorse air conditioning on 90 degree days.

3. Go to the Renegade Handmade Store and visit your neighborhood record store: Pitchfork has a craft tent and a record sale tent, which is nice, especially for people who like to carry around newly purchased shit all day in Union Park. Of course, since you live in a huge city like Chicago, you can just go to an actual storefront for crafts and records. We know it’s not as much fun as standing outside under a crowded tent and looking for letterpress items and De La Soul b-sides. But it’s much more efficient.

4. Eat at the Rice Table: Everyone knows you don’t go to music festivals for the music. You go for the food selection. (And for anyone who cares, you don’t go to food festivals for the music. You go to food festivals to get stabbed). Okay, so maybe some people go to music festivals for the music. But not foodies. And foodies are not happy with the pedestrian selection of eats at Pitchfork. But they do recommend the banh mi from the Rice Table. Of course, you can just go to the Rice Table and skip the festival. You won’t get to sit on a patch of grass or a sidewalk curb while you eat, but on the bright side, if the banh mi throws a tantrum in your stomach, you can use a real bathroom instead of a portable one.

5. Go to North Avenue Beach: On the surface, the Pitchfork Music Festival and North Avenue Beach seem to have little in common. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll see they are nearly the same, except going to North Ave. beach is free. How are the same? Well, they are both crowded and require you to stand or sit on a blanket. They will both have various types of music blaring from every direction. And they will both be full of sweaty people silently judging crowds of strangers. However, North Ave. beach won’t have as high a number of ironic tattoos, unless tribal tattoos have reached the point of irony.

And one other thing…
We interviewed members of Blah Blah Blah today for an upcoming story. They’ll be playing a free show at the Double Door Sunday night, along with Theophilus London and Kenna, who once upon a time, was poised to headline major music festivals (we don’t want to say he’s the David Terrell of the early 2000’s music scene, but…). When we talked to the Blah Blah Blah’s sartorially inclined keyboardist and guitarist Phillip Fergueson, he promised he had some special attire he planned on showing off Sunday night. Will it be a unitard? Probably not, but you should still check out the show.