By Caden Moore | September 24th, 2010
Pygmalion Festival began in 2005 and is been held every September in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Since then, the festival has hosted acts such as Andrew Bird, Yo La Tango, of Montreal, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Iron and Wine, and The Books, as well as local and lesser known bands.
These are my picks for the must-see acts this year at Pygmalion:
1. of Montreal
Canopy Club – Wednesday @ 10:30pm
You know who of Montreal is! Fronted by the enigmatic Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal is one of the greatest psychedelic indie pop bands ever. From their early beginnings as a part of the legendary Elephant Six collective in Athens, Georga in the late ninties, to their flamboyant electronic phase to their newest album, False Priest, of Montreal have always been at the top of their game. False Priest collaborator, Janelle Monae, will also be performing.
2. Surfer Blood
Canopy Club – Thursday @ 12:30pm
Indie rockers Surfer Blood gained much attention after their release of their first single “Swim.” Since then, they have released a debut album, Astro Coast, which peaked at #124 on the Billboard 200. Considering the fact they are from West Palm Beach, Florida, the summery nature of their music comes to no surprise. Is there any better way to finally say goodbye to summer than to see Surfer Blood? Probably not.
Canopy Club – Thursday @ 9:45pm
Cults are an indie pop duo who’s are best known for their song “Go Outside.” With only an EP and a 7” single out, I recommend taking advantage of this opportunity and seeing Cults live so you can tell all your friends you saw them before they got huge.
Independent Media Center – Thursday @ 9:30pm
Hailing From Tennessee, the girls of Those Darlins rock harder than I could ever dream of rocking. Their music, a fun blend of country, old school rock and folk, is sure to translate well in a live setting.
5. Candy Claws
The Art Theater – Friday @ 10:30pm
I have never heard of these guys before, but judging by the songs on their MySpace page, they are pretty great. The music is whimsical and dreamy, and reminds me of Animal Collective (I’m sure I am not the first or last person to make that comparison). Although there are eight members, I am still not sure how they are able to recreate the music in a live setting. Candy Claws is a must-see for me, not only because I am already in love with their music, but I feel like I have to see it to believe it.
Mike N Molly’s – Friday @ 11:15pm
If Bob Dylan played dream-pop it would sound like Tractor Kings. These Champaign-Urbana natives starting playing in 1998 and have since gained a following around the area.
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts – Friday @ 8:45pm
Roky Erickson is a man who has been to hell and back. One of the founding members of the legendary psychedelic band the 13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erickson’s music has influenced everyone from The White Stripes to Led Zeppelin to The Jesus and Mary Chain. In April, he released the album True Love Cast Out All Evil with the band Okkervil River, which marked his first new material release in 14 years. Pygmalion Festival is an amazing opportunity to see the two perform together.
Canopy Club – Friday @ 12:30pm
Cariibou, aka, Dan Snaith is an electronic musician from Canada, but listen to his music and you will find he is much more than that. Unlike many electronic musicians, Caribou’s music is organic sounding and includes many traditional instruments as well as vocals. While playing live, Snaith usually has a live band and a video projector.
Cowboy Monkey – Friday @ 11:30pm
Drink Up Buttercup’s percussion driven music sounds like it was made for a live show. I am seriously resisting the urge to dance around in my bedroom to their Beatles-esque tribal jam Doggy Head right now.
10. Holy Fuck
Canopy Club – Friday @ 9:30pm
I had the pleasure of seeing Holy Fuck at Wicker Park Fest this summer, and as cliché as it sounds; all I could say afterwards was “Holy fuck!” This band is amazing to see live, it is hard to believe what is taking place right before your eyes. Witness the glory that is Holy Fuck at the Canopy Club starting at 9:30.
Pygmalion Festival is happening right now, so get your asses over to Champaign-Urbana right now before you miss all the fun!