So, the Pygmalion Music Festival is finally here and you’re likely tired of hearing about it at this point. Something to keep in mind, however, is when something gets talked about this much, it’s for a reason. There are a lot of great shows from many great national acts, along with a sampling of some of the best local and regional acts. I’m going to highlight a few of the shows I’m most excited about (and that are rarer to the scene). If a show starts on a certain day, that’s the day I’m listing, even if the set time is after midnight. You can still go to http://2007.pygmalionmusicfestival.com or openingbands.com for full lineups and times.
Maserati – Canopy Club – Thursday (10:30 p.m.) If you’ve never seen Maserati live, you need to do so tonight. As good as their records are, they don’t capture all of what you see and hear in the live setting. This band melts faces. Maserati is also nicely paired with (playing directly before) local rock band Shipwreck. Shipwreck is by far one of the coolest bands in town. I mean, is your bass player named Vlad? I didn’t think so. If you get there a little earlier (8:50 p.m. to be precise), you can even see me in all my glory as the guitar player for Darling Disarm.
Krukid/Pulsar 47 – Cowboy Monkey – Thursday (1:15 a.m.) Krukid has quickly established himself as one of the best rappers in the area. He recently release a fantastic album featuring several CU mainstays, and tonight he will once again pair up with instrumental juggernaut Pulsar 47. It’s a local music mashup, and it will be awesome. Casados are also on the bill, and will use the occasion to perform their most ambitious live set ever. The (usually) three-piece will perform with seven members for the night, on a wide array of instruments (including the unbeatable combo of pedal steel and tuba!) Larry Gates will also play, solo acoustic, and will possibly debut some songs from his new record Silly Hats and Hookers.
Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s – Canopy Club – Friday (1:00 a.m.) I’ve never been quiet about the fact that I love this band. The songwriting, the musicianship, the lyrics, the harmonies – I’m a fan of every detail. The wait for a new album has been excruciating, but some new tunes will certainly appear in Friday night’s set. The Redwalls have bailed on their set, so the night’s schedule has changed up a bit. Be sure to check out the festival Web page for more info to make sure that you don’t miss someone you wanted to see. Noah Harris (formerly of CU and still, I think, an Elanor) is one of the opening slots that you won’t want to miss.
Death Ships – Mike ‘n Molly’s – Friday (9:30 p.m.) These guys have made a few stops in town over the last year, and each time the show has been better than the last. About to call CU home for a month or so while they record a new album with Jay Bennett (who they supported and backed on his last tour), the band originally hails from Iowa, though they’re now spread around the Midwest. Great songs, great live show. Oh, and they’re playing with Tractor Kings, which will be excellent.
Caleb Engstrom – Caffe Paradiso – Saturday (7:45 p.m.) Caleb’s set opening for David Bazan’s secret show at last year’s fest is still one of my favorite performances. His songwriting is top-notch and if everyone is quiet, his dynamic vocals are amazing to hear.
Gentleman Auction House – Cowboy Monkey – Saturday (10:20 p.m.) It has been too long since this band has graced CU with its presence. These guys are building quite a reputation for being fantastic live, playing shows all around the Midwest, and they’ve hopefully got a big future in front of them. Catch them while you can along with the Foundry Field Recordings – another hot Missouri band.
Cameron McGill – the Iron Post – Tuesday (10:00 p.m.) Alright, so Cameron’s returning from a West Coast tour too late to be a part of the festival, but we shouldn’t hold that against him. I count the man amongst the best in songwriting today, and he’ll play an intimate solo set at the Post Tuesday. Supporting him will be a trio of sirens – newcomer Mars, a tiny little thing with a guitar that reminds me all too often of Mazzy Star; Canadian songstress Ana Miura, who writes fantastically and will be making a tour stop in town; and local mainstay Kayla Brown. With an early start time (8 p.m.) and only a $5 cover, this show is the perfect post-festival show.
Mike Ingram can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org