The Promise Ring
The Promise Ring Credit: Chrissy Piper

On Tuesday the Pitchfork Music Festival announced its first confirmed acts, though surely regular readers weren’t surprised by much—weeks ago Gossip Wolf called Willis Earl Beal and Cloud Nothings and guessed Grimes. Topping the bill so far are Vampire Weekend, Feist, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. This Wolf expects the following acts to be announced shortly: Spiritualized, Sharon Van Etten, Sleigh Bells, and nouveau-rap phenom Azealia Banks. There’s some speculation about this year’s nostalgia-slash-comeback pick: chances are it’s Mazzy Star or Fiona Apple, who plays Pitchfork’s SXSW showcase.

At last weekend’s sold-out Promise Ring reunion show at Metro, the VIP section was packed with emo stars. In attendance were Motion City Soundtrack keyboardist Jesse Johnson (who flew in from Portland), Owen’s Mike Kinsella, Bob Nanna and Todd Lee Bell (of Braid and Hey Mercedes “fame”), and Joan of Arc’s Bobby Burg (who reminisced about meeting JoA’s Tim Kinsella at a Ring gig at the Metro in 1996). Also spotted: celebrity chef and TPR tattoo model Graham Elliot walking in with bottles of wine, and DJ Bald E and the Hood Internet singing along to all the hits. The Promise Ring has a couple more shows lined up and a rarities compilation due this summer on Dangerbird.

The steady stream of chatter Gossip Wolf has heard about Chicago orch-pop eight-piece Panoramic & True was dead-on—they’re pretty darn great! They adorn the sweet songwriting stylings of honey-voiced front man John Lennox (who has a few solo releases under his belt) with a proper string section, and they’re working on their sophomore album—which they hope to have out by the summer. If songs like “Dead End Girl” (off their 2010 self-titled debut) are any indication, the new effort should be bananas good. Panoramic & True will play some new cuts when they open for post-emo rockers Maritime (featuring Davey Von Bohlen and Dan Didier, both from the Promise Ring) at the Empty Bottle on Fri 3/9.

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