Pygmalion Roundup: The 2012 Pyggy Crown

The best weekend of the year in Champaign-Urbana wrapped up Saturday night, and left bands like Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors marveling at the line-up founder Seth Fein was able to produce. We were there for it all, traveling between Krannert Art Museum, Canopy Club, downtown Urbana outside of Black Dog, and downtown Champaign behind the High Dive. So without further ado, here’s the fourth and final part of the four part ACITM Pygmalion Roundup. The second annual Pyggy Crown, awarding the best performers of the festival. We’re doing it bracket style this year. Enjoy, and let us know if you agree!

Click here for Part 1 featuring Night Beds, Santah, and HUM.
Click here for Part 2 featuring Tennis, Lord Huron, Dirty Projectors, and Best Coast.
Click here for Part 3 featuring Willis Earl Beal, Dinosaur Jr, Cloud Nothings, Grizzly Bear, and Big Freedia.

Seeding in the Pyggy Crown tournament was determined by the bands position on the original schedule. Headliners of each night were given the higher seeds, then seeding among them was determined by the bands current buzz (aka who I thought was more popular at the moment). 

Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors, Dinosaur Jr., and Best Coast have first round byes.

To advance to the next round, the bands show had to be incredible. If the performer gave it absolutely everything they had, they’ll move on, which will probably be the case. When it comes down to it, I’m deciding whose show was the best based on how much fun I had, how much the crowd was into the performance, set selection, and the quality of the sound. Higher score moves on to the next round. Enjoy, and feel free to argue with my decisions! I’d love to hear who you thought was the best this past weekend. 

1. HUM vs. 8. Night Beds

HUM

Sound Quality: 4
Set Selection: 4
Crowd Hype: 3
Bojda Score: 3

Total Score: 14

Night Beds

Sound Quality: 3
Set Selection: 4
Crowd Hype: 2
Bojda Score: 4

Total Score: 13

HUM narrowly avoids upset and gets by in the first round. In a match-up of bands that played Thursday night, the crowd hype really killed Night Beds here. Matt Talbott is really awesome too, so that killed Night Beds some more. I mean 40+ year old former rock stars reuniting? Grunge beats ballads this time.

2. Santah vs. 7. Lord Huron

Santah

Sound Quality: 4
Set Selection: 5
Crowd Hype: 3
Bojda Score: 5

Total Score: 17

Lord Huron

Sound Quality: 4
Set Selection: 4
Crowd Hype: 3
Bojda Score: 5

Total Score: 16

In one of the toughest match-ups of the first round and in another close battle, Santah sneaks out a victory against a band I never listened to before Friday night at Canopy Club. Santah is going to be tough to beat, the versatility of the band and the fact I said they would beat up the fictional Arctic Monkey/Reptar baby has them a special place in my heart.

3. Tennis vs. 6. Big Freedia

Tennis

Sound Quality: 4
Set Selection: 4
Crowd Hype: 3
Bojda Score: 3

Total Score: 14

Big Freedia

Sound Quality: 3
Set Selection: 4
Crowd Hype: 5
Bojda Score: 5

Total Score: 17

Need I say why?

4. Willis Earl Beal vs. 5. Cloud Nothings

Willis Earl Beal

Sound Quality: 4
Set Selection: 4
Crowd Hype: 3
Bojda Score: 5

Total Score: 16

Cloud Nothings

Sound Quality: 3
Set Selection: 4
Crowd Hype: 7
Bojda Score: 4

Total Score: 18

No, that’s not a mistake. The Cloud Nothings did score a 7/5 in “Crowd Hype.” If you were there you know why. It sucks eliminating Willis Earl Beal since he’s one of my favorite artists, but seriously, the Ohio quartet was insane Saturday night.

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To recap: HUM, Santah, Big Freedia, and Cloud Nothings move on. 

You are reading that right ladies and gentlemen, we had 3 of the top 4 seeds get knocked out in the second round. Grizzly Bear stood no match for the booty bouncin’ prowess of Big Freedia and although Dirty Projectors were probably my favorite band coming into the festival, I just can’t get over the fact that the Cloud Nothings crowd moved the security barrier to literally a centimeter away from the stage.

On the other side of the bracket, Santah used their hometown advantage to knock off alternative legends Dinosaur Jr. (their total scores were a tie so I decided to move Santah forward because Dinosaur Jr. has already achieved so much).

Big Freedia takes down Best Coast in the final 4, although if Beth Cosentino responds “Yes” to my marriage proposal, I may have to replacement ref this situation. To be serious for a second though, Best Coast just didn’t bring the same energy Big Freedia did. Granted the music is way different, enthusiasm shouldn’t be an issue. I love Best Coast, but Freedia gets the edge.

In the other final 4 match-up, CU band Santah ran into the buzz saw that is the Cloud Nothings band with their army of supporters.

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The Freedia/Cloud Nothings match-up was the most difficult I’ve ever had to deal with in the 30 minutes since I began writing this piece. At one show, you probably had a hook-up ratio of 4.5 to 1, with tons of potential babies spawning from Freedia’s  booty poppin. At the other, you probably had a broken rib or fat lip. The quality scores were the deciding factor, although they’re both champions in my mind.

That concludes our coverage of Pygmalion 2012. We had a blast. If you ever see Seth Fein anywhere make sure to give that guy a big hug because he rules. Tell him ACITM sent you. To next year!

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Filed under Features, Live Reviews, Michael

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