Straddling genres at Pitchfork

Three days. Forty bands. Sonic Youth. Yoko Ono. Klaxons. The Ponys. These are the names on the marquee at Pitchfork Music Festival starting tomorrow in Union Park.

Headlining the sold-out festival Friday night is Sonic Youth, whose alternative-punk-noise rock has turned meditative, nearly ambient in its old age. The group has been together since the founding of the noise and alternative rock genres in early eighties New York City, and continues to grow.

A web of musicians built around founders Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon has evolved into the group's most recent sound, a tangle of house, conventional electronic, alternative rock, ambient and traditional punk. The group is performing its most recent release, an expanded reissue of 1988's Daydream Nation.

The group performs with the influential rock-punk-noise group Slint. Slint, temporarily reunited for a summer 2007 tour, is most known for its second album, Spiderland, which will be performed in its entirety this weekend.

Saturday's performances conclude with the eccentric wailing of Yoko Ono, whose most recent album, I am a Witch, features a surprisingly alternative backdrop. Highlights of the day include a performance by Cat Power, the minimalist acoustic performer, and the Dirty Delta Blues Band.

Kraftwerk is reincarnated in Fujiya & Miyagi, an electronic trio that combines the the harsh German sound with groups Air and Can. Listening to Professor Murder, reggae meets punk and pop, ending up somewhere between The Clash, Happy Mondays and back to the Talking Heads.

Indie super group The New Pornographers comes to the festival Sunday from Canada. The band's new album, out August 21, is entitled "My Rights Versus Yours". The title song pleasantly channels the Cheers television show theme song over a driving rhythm.

The rest of the festival features several more pop-electronic groups, including new bands Of Montreal and Klaxons. Georgia-based Of Montreal is equally poppy, but leans heavily on the Talking Heads for inspiration and vocals. Klaxons closes out Sunday night with a lightly English vocal over an electronic rhythm.

The festival is sold out, however some performances (including Sonic Youth and Yoko Ono) will be streamed online via the NeoKast player. A complete show schedule follows.

Friday, July 13

Union Park opens @ 5 p.m.

Connector Stage
6:30 Slint perform Spiderland

Aluminum Stage
7:45 GZA performs Liquid Swords
9:00 Sonic Youth perform Daydream Nation

Saturday, July 14:

Union Park opens @ noon

Connector Stage
1:00 The Twilight Sad
2:00 Voxtrot
4:00 Battles
6:00 Mastodon
8:00 Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues

Aluminum Stage
1:30 Califone
3:00 Grizzly Bear
5:00 Iron and Wine
7:00 Clipse
9:00 Yoko Ono (with special guests)

Balance Stage
1:00 Ken Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound
2:00 William Parker Quartet
3:10 Beach House
4:10 Fujiya & Miyagi
5:15 Professor Murder
6:15 Oxford Collapse
7:15 Dan Deacon
8:30 Girl Talk

Sunday, July 15:

Union Park opens @ noon

Connector Stage
1:00 Deerhunter
2:00 Menomena
4:00 The Sea and Cake
6:00 Stephen Malkmus
8:00 The New Pornographers

Aluminum Stage
1:30 The Ponys
3:00 Junior Boys
5:00 Jamie Lidell
7:00 Of Montreal
9:00 De La Soul

Balance Stage
1:00 Fred Lonberg-Holm's Lightbox Orchestra
2:00 Brightblack Morning Light
3:10 Nomo
4:10 Craig Taborn's Junk Magic
5:15 The Cool Kids
6:15 Cadence Weapon
7:15 The Field
8:30 Klaxons