Exploding under the radar

_Editor’s note: The original version of this article referenced that the band Explosions in the Sky performed to a crowd of a “few hundred” at its show at the Canopy Club Sept. 21, 2011. The band was performing in a sold out venue that holds 814 individuals. The article also claimed that Explosions in the Sky last performed in Illinois to a crowd of about 40 or 50; while exact numbers could not be confirmed, the band’s last performance in the state was in 2003 at a sold out performance at Caffe Paradiso, which seats more than 50. This article also originally referred to the band Slowdive as a 1980s band, while the band did not record its first album until 1990. The Daily Illini regrets these errors._

If your music fest is named after a ’90s English alternative band’s worst-received album, there’s a good chance the acts you book will exist under the radar.

Even though atmospheric instrumentalists Explosions in the Sky are headlining this year’s Pygmalion Music Festival, the setting at Canopy Club was more intimate than the band would likely play in a major city. The band last played central Illinois in 2003 in a sold-out performance at Caffe Paradiso.

This time around, they played to sold-out performance Wednesday night at the Canopy Club, which has a capacity of 814; considerably less than their evening set at Lollapalooza this summer.

In fact, three of the bigger names on Pygmalion’s billing — Gang Gang Dance, Toro Y Moi and Cut Copy — played Chicago this summer at Pitchfork Music Festival, perhaps the country’s most pre-eminent indie music festival.

But the “indie” label is something of a misnomer at this juncture. “Buzzworthy” might be a better way to describe the bands given favor by Pitchfork, whose fest headliners like TV On The Radio are nearly arena-size acts. If you’re a self determined indie-rock purist, Pygmalion might be your ticket.

And while bands like Washed Out and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart must attribute some of their popularity to Pitchfork, many of the acts at this weekend’s Pygmalion exist below even the e-zine’s radar, including:

* MiM0SA: The biggest dub-step name on the lineup is no Skrillex; his attention to melodies is more in the vein of astral-experimenters like Flying Lotus.

* The Hood Internet: All mashup artists will inevitably be compared to Girl Talk, but the crowd at Hood will not be nearly as sweaty.

* Braid: The Illinois natives have been around since the early ’90s, and it’s about time their math-rock eccentricities were given a headlining slot (Saturday at The Highdive).

_Joe Ward is a senior in Media._