Pitchfork rates Pitchfork Music Festival a 7.5

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Pitchfork Music Festival packs a crowd into Union Park.

Pitchfork Music Festival packs a crowd into Union Park.


Viewed through the lens of Pitchfork's own numeric rating system, this weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival lineup gets a 7.5 out of 10. For a little perspective, the site gave a score of 7.5 to Chief Keef's Finally Rich, Phoenix's Bankrupt!, and She & Him's Volume 3.

Dusting off dormant math skills, we crunched the numbers on Pitchfork critics' appraisals of every available album for each act on the festival lineup. (The site had no reviews of two of the fest's 46 artists, Evian Christ and DJ Rashad.) TOC managing editor Brent DiCrescenzo did the math on new records from artists on the 2008 Pitchfork lineup; the average that year was 8.2.

The results from 2013? No surprise to see Pitchfork darling Joanna Newsom, who plays tomorrow at 7:20pm, on the top of the heap, with a muscular average album rating of 8.9. Friday headliner Björk and Sunday headliner R. Kelly rub shoulders toward the bottom of the pack with 6.6 and 6.7 album rating averages, respectively.

Bringing up the rear is Blood Orange; Coastal Grooves, Dev Hynes's only proper album under the citrusy moniker, got a 5.9. Meanwhile, the peak is stacked with newcomers whose debut albums received high marks from Pitchfork. The likes of Savages and TNGHT have the distinct advantage over vets such as Yo La Tengo and Saturday headliner Belle and Sebastian—who rank toward the middle of this year's fest—of having not had years of releases on Pitchfork's critical chopping block.

Only one band on the bill boasts a 10: …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, which garnered a perfect rating for its 2002 album Source Tags and Codes. The worst single album rating of any other artist at Pitchfork 2013? Björk, whose 2002 "disaster" box set Family Tree got slammed with a 3.6.

Here's the festival lineup listed by average Pitchfork album score:

Joanna Newsom – 8.9
Savages – 8.7
Metz – 8.5
TNGHT – 8.5 
Frankie Rose – 8.4
Waxahatchee – 8.4
Julia Holter – 8.3
Mikal Cronin – 8.3
Andy Stott – 8.2
Foxygen – 8.2
KEN Mode – 8.2
Killer Mike – 8.2 
Pissed Jeans – 8.2
Rustie – 8.1
Angel Olsen – 8.0
Autre Ne Veut – 8.0
EL-P – 8.0
Parquet Courts – 8.0
Phosphorescent – 8.0
White Lung – 8.0
Merchandise – 7.9
Ryan Hemsworth – 7.8
Trash Talk – 7.8
Belle and Sebastian – 7.7
Mac DeMarco – 7.7
Tree – 7.7  
Woods – 7.7
M.I.A. – 7.6
Solange – 7.6
The Breeders – 7.6
Toro y Moi – 7.6
Swans – 7.5
Low – 7.4  
Wire -7.4
Daughn Gibson – 7.2
Yo la Tengo – 7.2
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – 7.0
Lil B – 7.0
Sky Ferreira – 7.0 
Chairlift – 6.8  
R. Kelly – 6.7
Björk – 6.6
Glass Candy – 6.1
Blood Orange – 5.9
DJ Rashad – N/A
Evian Christ – N/A 

Research by Samantha Caiola and Alexandra Kukulka

RECOMMENDED: Complete guide to the 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival


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