Okay. I have no excuse, but despite being a student at U of I for the past four years I have yet to go to the Pygmalion Music Festival. I could blame it on my major (molecular biology will suck out your soul), my friends, or my own laziness, but really there is just no good reason not to be a part of something so close and filled with so much good music. So since this is my first time (yes, be gentle), I hope to be an inspiration to those who have yet to go and provide a refreshing perspective for the veterans.
First off here’s a tip: Myspace. It’s a wonderful appetizer before a real show. You can get a quick taste of bands you don’t know and even find your new favorite song to sing along to.
Wednesday, September 17: Hump-day gets a lift as the festival eases into gear at the Canopy Club beginning at 10:30 p.m. Many of the bands showcased tonight like Common Loon and Mute Era have a smooth, low-key, experimental sound perfect for the middle of week, but the night ends with Times New Viking, a lo-fi band with a lot of energy just to make sure you’re awake.
Thursday, September 18: Things kick off a bit earlier today at 12:30. Now I’m all for academics, but if you can, I suggest skipping, er, moving around a few things and heading out to Canopy for these early shows. Besides, why not eat lunch and enjoy live music especially when you get to hear local bands The Brother Whys and Eureka Sky? In addition to the tough choice between class and seeing a good show, today you’ll also have to decide which bands you’d most like to see because Thursday night, and for the rest of the festival, nothing is all in one place. Therefore, and again, I’m suggesting Myspace, do a little research if you don’t know where to turn. Listen to a few songs and let your ear guide you. Personally, I plan on stopping by Krannert Art Museum first for Oceans and Oxford Collapse then hightailing it over to the Courtyard Café for Wye Oak. However, that’s me. If you like harder, high energy stuff then I suggest heading for Canopy at 9:30 after you’ve checked out Jonathan Childers and Pontiak at the Courtyard.
Friday, September 19th: I’ve decided to start with Good Night & Good Morning as well as have lunch at Blues BBQ. Then by 2:30 be at Canopy for Post-Historic and Sunset Stallion. Now here’s where it got hard for me. 6:15 is the start at Krannert Art Museum with Casados, a local duo with an honest, earnest sound. Jared Bartman and Caleb Engstrom are two great lyricists and the choice is close. I’d say Caleb is the more sensitive of the two. I plan on being at Canopy most of the night with the whimsical World’s First Flying Machine, The Foundry Field Recordings, and neo-jazz band Pattern is Movement. However, in between, I plan on catching a glimpse of Tall Tale and Dr. Manhattan at Red Herring. Thao With The Get Down Stay Down is someone I don’t want to miss. So somehow, at 9:15, I’ll be back at Krannert Art Museum.
Saturday, September 20th: Good news — if you missed locals Santa and the Living Blue Friday, then Saturday you can check them out at Exile on Main. Bad news — you’ll be missing some other good artists, like Peter Piek from Germany at Jennifer North and Angie Heaton at Canopy. Still, before you make that decision, I suggest Brian Esmao, a local, 2:30 at Jennifer North. If you like Ben Folds, then you’ll love Brian. The Polyvinyl Records showcase with Asobi Seksu and Headlights will be difficult to choose over Krukid and Treologic at the Red Herring. Again, its all about tastes and who you can’t live without seeing live. I’m thinking Yo La Tengo at 8:30 at Krannert Center and definitely Asobi Seksu to round out the last night of the festival.
Pygmalion offers a variety of choices, but with a little research and planning you won’t be disappointed with where you go.

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