Pygmalion is effing over, much to the delight of the wallets and sleep schedules of music fans all over town. While I was busy for most of the week (for instance, instead of seeing Decibully on Wednesday night, I was stuck listening to a sorority girl tell me she’d cry if I didn’t play the hot new Usher track … during 90s night — awesome), I ran sound for the Exile on Main St. show Saturday, which led me to the conclusion that this newest incarnation of the Living Blue might be the best the band has seen. Holy fuck did they kill. They suddenly have a ton of new gear that has morphed their sound considerably, with guitarist Joe Prokop using his guitar’s headstock to manipulate a theremin (an interesting addition to his expert guitar playing), the addition of players on Rhodes and saxophone and new songs that experiment all over the musical spectrum. People crammed into the shop to catch their set but had sadly dispersed for the most part by the time Sangamon began their set, which was the last CU show for the band’s guitarist P. Tyler Bundy. Bundy, who also served as bassist for Darling Disarm and several other acts, will relocate to Boston in two weeks. Sangamon will carry on with a new guitar player, so keep an eye out. The rest of Pygmalion has been covered by blogs and sites and publications, so if you want to find information about Dan Deacon out-rocking the Canopy’s stage or Owen singing sad songs, check out places like overuc.com!
Tonight, Cowboy Monkey will offer a free show from Seattle band Little Pieces — a band with some faces you might recognize if you remember former CU band Bantha. The band’s rhythm section, Grant Badger on bass and Rob Lloyd on drums, have forged the new group with guitarist/vocalist Herman Jolly of Sunset Valley, and the trio plans to rock the Monkey stage along with Golden Quality. Start time is 10:30 p.m.
Friday night will bring a show to the newly anointed Battle-dome (700 W. Oregon in Urbana), a house with a basement meant to host shows. Friday’s show will see sets from Native, the Reptilian and Hot Cops. The 7 p.m. show will cost you four bucks. Check out http://www/myspace.com/thebattledome for info about the venue and future shows.
CHETT, the Rockford rock band that keeps making me think of Bill Paxton in Weird Science, is forming a possibly unlikely alliance with CU funk-rockers Brother Embassy for a show this Friday. Make no mistake, though — BE can certainly step up the rock side, as evidenced by their Great Cover-Up performance this year as White Zombie, complete with two (one good, one bad) dancing ladies and a shirtless Brandon T. Washington reading ominous passages. Will there be similar antics at Friday’s show? How should I know? Go and find out. Mike ‘n Molly’s, 9 p.m., TBA cover.
Downtown Urbana’s Independent Media Center (you know, the IMC), which is located in the old post office next to Lincoln Square Mall, has long been a haven for DIY artists of all shapes and sizes. The space is all about inclusion and is open for events on pretty much any day of the week, including this Monday. Punk-pop band the Pink Spiders, out of Nashville, will be at the beginning of a nationwide tour when they play the IMC with like-minded local band JigGsaw, a band that has been laying low while a new album is being finished. CU’s the Signal, Springfield’s Renae and Danville’s Trash City Rockers will also perform, starting the show at 6 p.m. The show is all-ages and carries a $10 cover charge, which isn’t bad for a very diverse lineup featuring a great national act.

Record Store Roundup, Installment (sort of) #4

This week’s buzz is running a little short on space, so we’ll stick a little bit of this week’s record store column here and put the rest of it at the217.com. And now … Parasol Records! Parasol is the hidden little secret of downtown Urbana, tucked away at 303 W. Griggs St. in the unassuming little red building. While it’s known to most as a mail-order business with a strong Web presence (http://www.parasol.com) among music fans, local folks in the know are aware that in-store shopping is encouraged. The shop has plenty of new vinyl and CDs on display for easy viewing, along with scores of older releases on CD, 7” and 12” tucked into the back corner. Pricing on the new stuff is commensurate with other places, and used stuff is often on sale. As I often lament, there are far too many copies of Ward’s (yes, Ward Gollings, booking agent) 7” single sitting around not getting played.

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