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The Pygmalion Festival announces initial 2015 lineup

The time has come again — The Pygmalion Festival unveils the 2015 initial lineup, complete with speakers, artists, guests, authors, vendors and more. Do yourself a favor and check out what’s in store for the festival this year, with new components and all that good stuff.

Tickets for the festival go on sale this Friday, May 8th at 10 a.m., and you can find the link here.



One of the original pioneers of shoegaze, the British band RIDE, got back together and is making Pygmalion a stop on one of their first tours since reuniting.


Purity Ring is a Halifax/Montreal-based duo comprised of Corin Roddick and Megan James. Their sophomore record, Shrines, came out earlier this year, a follow up to their 2012 debut Shrines. Purity Ring make lullabies for the club, drawing equally from airy 90s R&B, lush dream pop, and the powerful, bone-rattling immediacy of modern hip hop.


The indie pop duo of “Hey Mami” fame, featuring the duo of singer/songwriter Amelia Meath and electronic producer Nick Sanborn will bring their evocative, yet elusive electro folk-pop confections to C-U.


tUnE-yArDs might be the perfect festival band—sunny, percussive, experimental yet catchy as heck.


Zola Jesus is the project of Nika Roza Danilova, who crafts dark music dominated by her operatic vocals and keyboards.


Strand of Oaks AKA Timothy Showalter came to the Highdive not too long ago to play his unique version of folk-rock. Catch him at the fest this year if you missed it.




With the Nashville establishment complacently riding a walmartized wave of bro-country, Whitey Morgan & 78s’ brand of tough and tight, loose and loud outlaw honky tonk is a breath of fresh motor oil, sweat, and grease. 


Ryley Walker is the reincarnation of the true American guitar player. That’s as much a testament to his roving, rambling ways, or the fact that his Guild D-35 guitar has endured a few stints in the pawnshop. Swap out rural juke joints for rotted DIY spaces and the archetype is solidly intact.



The indie hip-hop musician, born Kristine Flaherty, had released two mix tapes and three EPs, but was trapped on the roster of a major label that wouldn’t commit to an album. So at the end of 2013, Flay unhooked herself from the label and began writing songs for what would become the most cohesive, truest representation of herself – her debut album, Life As A Dog.


Heavy-pop-psych innovators & former Capitol & Sub Pop artist TRULY features all original members including singer songwriter-guitarist Robert Roth, Hiro Yamamoto (Soundgarden founder) & Mark Pickerel (Screaming Trees founder) and Ty Bailie on keyboards. The band toured the US, the UK and Europe and released several E.P. s, singles and two highly critically acclaimed full length albums for Sub Pop & Capitol


Drawing simultaneously from Swedish pop and nineties trip-hop, indie dreamwave and pitch-black trap, Cathedrals effortlessly merge these disparate pieces into the gorgeous geometry that defines their kaleidoscopic debut EP.






STEPHEN WOLFRAMStephen Wolfram is a distinguished scientist, technologist and entrepreneur. His Mathematica software system launched in 1988 has been central to technical research and education for more than a generation. In 2009 Wolfram built on his earlier work to launch Wolfram|Alpha to make as much of the world’s knowledge as possible computable — and accessible on the web and in intelligent assistants like Apple’s Siri. In 2014, as a culmination of more than 30 years of work, Wolfram began to roll out the Wolfram Language, which dramatically raises the level of automation and built-in knowledge available in a programming language, and makes possible a new generation of readily deployed computational applications.

JIMMY CHAMBERLINGrammy Award winning musician, writer, producer, and educator, Jimmy was a founding member of the Smashing Pumpkins and the band’s highly acclaimed drummer for over 20 years. In 2011 Chamberlin got involved in the Chicago tech scene as an investor and advisor. In 2013 Chamberlin expanded his role and helped co-found LiveOne Inc., a Chicago-based digital entertainment startup, of which he was soon after appointed CEO.



WILL LEITCH: Will Leitch is a senior writer at Sports On Earth, culture writer for Bloomberg Politics, contributing editor for New York Magazine and the founder of Deadspin. He is the author of four books: Are We Winning, God Save The Fan, Catch and Life as a Loser.

MORGAN OLIVEIRA (pictured): Morgan Oliveira is the Director of Communications at Hampton Creek, a technology company pioneering the food space that to date has raised over $120M, including from Li Ka-shing, the wealthiest man in Asia, along with 11 other billionaires. Morgan is the first employee at Hampton Creek, who joined CEO Josh Tetrick a month after he founded the company in December 2011

AL GOLDSTEIN: Al Goldstein is the co-founder and CEO of, one of the fastest growing national online providers of consumer loans. After securing more than $1 billion in funding, Avant was the most funded company in Chicago in 2014.

SARAH BUHR (pictured): Sarah Buhr writes full-time about digital health, tech culture and biotechnology for TechCrunch. She has worked in TV, radio and online news for over a decade with top news organizations including TechCrunch, NPR, and USA Today.

ROGER DICKEYRoger Dickey is a serial entrepreneur & active angel investor based in San Francisco. Roger’s first company was an AirBnB for tutoring started in Austin in 2006. He entered the games industry in 2007 with a Facebook app startup, launching 19 apps with the largest generating 300M+ pageviews per month. After an acquisition by Zynga, Roger went on to found Mafia Wars (100M users), FishVille (35M users), and 5 other titles in his 3 years there.

TOMMY CRAGGS (pictured): Tommy Craggs is the former editor-in-chief of Deadspin and currently serves as the executive editor of Gawker Media.

CHRIS KASKIEChris Kaskie is the President of Pitchfork, the award-winning online music magazine that Time has called one of the world’s 50 best websites and the New York Times has hailed as “the most prominent brand in online music journalism.”



TAYLOR ROOKS (pictured): Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Rooks enrolled at the University of Illinois in 2010 and has appeared on Comcast Sports Network Chicago, CBS Sports Network, and in various capacities with the PGA Tour. Rooks is currently an on-air talent for the Big Ten Network.

MICHAEL SOLANA: Michael works at Founders Fund, where he focuses on the intersection of creative programming and the firm’s network of entrepreneurs, technologists, and professionals. His leading initiatives have included CS-183, Shop Talk, Anatomy of Next, and Symposium (F50), the firm’s annual summit and conversation.

ALBERT BURNEKOAlbert Burneko is a harried dad and eating enthusiast; he writes about food, sports, and culture for Deadspin. His chicken cutlet recipe earned inclusion in Best Food Writing 2014 by DaCapo Press; his Skyline chili and Philadelphia 76ers opinions earned him countless enemies in Cincinnati and Philadelphia.

BRANDON STOSUY (pictured): Brandon Stosuy is the Managing Editor of Pitchfork and writes the site’s monthly metal column, Show No Mercy. He is a Music Curator at MoMA PS1 and books the ongoing Tinnitus series, the annual Basilica Soundscape festival, and various other Pitchfork and non-Pitchfork events.





ADRIAN MATEJKA (pictured): Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University and the MFA program at Southern Illinois UniversityCarbondale. His most recent book, The Big Smoke, was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The Big Smoke was also finalist for the 2013 National Book Award and for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

BRIAN EVENSON: Brian is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection Windeye (Coffee House Press 2012) and the novel Immobility (Tor 2012), both of which were finalists for a Shirley Jackson Award. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship.

JENNINE CAPO CRUCET (pictured): The author of the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers (August 2015) and the story collection How to Leave Hialeah, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award, the John Gardner Book Prize, the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and named a Best Book of the Year by the Miami Heraldand the Latinidad List. A PEN/O. Henry Prize winner, Bread Loaf Fellow, and former sketch comedienne and NPR script writer, she was raised in Miami and teaches English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

JESSICA HOPPER (pictured): Jessica Hopper is a music and culture critic based in Chicago. Her work has been included in Best Music Writing 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2011. Her book, The Girls Guide to Rocking, was named one of 2009’s Notable Books for Young Readers by the American Library Association. Her forthcoming book The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic is out now.

MORTIFIEDWitness adults sharing their most embarrassing childhood artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, plays, home movies, art) with others, in order to reveal stories about their lives. Hear grown men and women confront their past with tales of their first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, and reasons they deserved to marry Jon Bon Jovi.

MICHAEL CZYZNIEJEWSKI: Michael Czyzniejewski is the author of three collections of stories: Elephants in Our Bedroom (Dzanc Books, 2009), Chicago Stories: 40 Dramatic Fictions (Curbside Splendor, 2012). In 2010, he received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship for his fiction. He is an assistant professor at Missouri State University and Managing Editor of Moon City Review.

MARK NEELY: Mark Neely is the author of Beasts of the Hill (winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize) and Dirty Bomb, both from Oberlin College Press. A graduate of University High School, the University of Illinois, and the University of Alabama, his awards include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Individual Artist Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission.

JAMIE BRUNTON: Jaime Brunton is the co-author (with Russell Evatt) of The Future Is a Faint Song (Dream Horse Press, 2014). Her poems appear in Denver Quarterly, The Journal, The Cincinnati Review, Diagram, SPECS, Hotel Amerika, and elsewhere. Her poetry manuscript Reclaimed has been a semifinalist for the Walt Whitman Award, as well as a finalist for prizes from Omnidawn, Four Way Books, Red Hen Press, and other presses.

RUSSELL EVATT: Russell Evatt’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street,  Cimarron Review, Devil’s Lake, Lake Effect, and Salt Hill. He is the author of the chapbook, “We Are Clay” (Epiphany Editions, 2012) and the coauthor, with Jaime Brunton, of the chapbook “The Future Is a Faint Song” (Dream Horse Press, 2014).



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