Smile Politely

The Weekender: Feb. 13–15

Welcome to Smile Politely’s run down of weekend events for those in love, out of love, or wholly indifferent.


They’re not undefeated any longer: Last year’s Illini men’s hockey team finished the season undefeated and won the ACHA national tourney. This year’s group of goons, grinders, snipers, and goalies haven’t fared as well. They currently sit at 22–6 and are suffering from a two-game losing skid. Friday and Saturday they host No. 1 Lindenwood University, who the Illini defeated to win the title last season. So grab your favorite puck bunny and head to the UI Ice Arena for the 7:30 p.m. games ($6 students/$8 public).

Underage kids crashing a bar near you: Champaign Central’s high school jazz band will be joined by Chicagoland’s Mt. Prospect jazz band for a happy hour performance at the Iron Post. Central’s jazz band, which includes a few All-Staters, recently took home top honors at the North Shore Jazz Festival. Be there by 6 p.m., or be square.

Good-bye, Pages: Savoy’s hometown bookstore is having a liquidation sale this weekend. Everything is marked down 40%, from books to CDs, and they’re even selling the furniture. Yes, they are honoring gift cards. Be sure to get there before it’s all gone, and be prepared to brave lines that snake around the breadth of the entire store. The sale ends at 5:00 p.m. Sunday. We’ll miss you, Pages. (UPDATE: The sale ends on Monday evening, not Sunday.)

Who says there are no house shows anymore?: 700 W. Illinois St. hosts a punk-rock basement show featuring a smattering of young’un bands. It’s a record release show for We Must Dismantle All This, and the Teenage Martians (a Misfits cover band!) also play. I wonder if Ellen Degenerate got their tour bus purchased by American Express? $2 suggested cover for this all-ages affair. Basement opens at 8 p.m.

The fucking punks are taking over: You want diversity in your Friday night punk rock options? Well, this is Champaign-Urbana, after all, where the young, loud, and snotty grow on trees. How about former Braid frontman Bob Nanna, who knows a thing or two about house shows in Urbana, performing with his new band at The Courtyard Cafe as an opener for The Smoking Popes (pictured above). 9 p.m., $5 students/$7 grown-ups … we kid!

Call us the Third City, then: It’s hard to believe, but C-U is home to more than one, or even two, sketch comedy troupes. Fishing with Dynamite has recently taken on The Canopy Club as their new home and will be performing six times a semester from here until eternity … er … at least until May. Their first show is Friday at 6:30 p.m. and it’s chock full of brand new material. At five chips, it’s perhaps the best bargain in town.

Not exactly a Friday night upper, but … : The Krannert Center hosts an intriguing play, Necessary Targets, which examines women who survived the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Written by activist-playwright Eve Ensler and performed by the University of Illinois Department of Theatre, the “sparse drama” includes a rather unusual warning: This performance includes cigarette smoking. Tickets range from $8 to $15, and the play starts at 7:30 p.m. and continues on Saturday, as well as next week.


Eat your vegie-tables, and grow ’em too: Prairie Gardens presents a 9:30 a.m. seminar on the finer points of getting your garden off the ground this spring, including site selection, soil preparation, and fertilizing. It’s free and pre-registration is suggested, but we bet they’d let you join in if you asked nicely.

Find the books The Man doesn’t want you to see: Meet with the Radical Librarians and Anarchist Archivists from 11 a.m. to noon in the IMC Library. They have all kinds of books, zines, and other resources available both in print and online.

Writing the book of love: What better day than Valentine’s Day to discover what the world of romance writing has to offer the aspiring author? From noon to 3 p.m., the local chapter of the Romance Writers of America gathers in the basement of the Urbana Free Library to talk shop. Visitors and newbies are welcome.

Papa Piero makes a glorious return: For those of you looking for last-minute plans to wine and dine your special friend, keep in mind an old classic with a new place to show: The Great Impasta is officially back in business. MedBread here we come!

I find Valentine’s Day to be hilarious: Funnyman Eugene Mirman, who you may recognize from his bit part on Flight of the Conchords or from appearances on Comedy Central and Conan O’Brien, brings his brand of “rock club” humor to campus’ decidedly un-rock club, Courtyard Café. If you’re a fan of absurdist humor, or just want to taunt a Russian-born comic from the Big Apple, then check him out. $5 for students and $7 for locals, but absolutely free for the four people who won tickets this week thanks to our giveaway. 9 p.m. start.

“Twins, Max! 16 years-old. Can you imagine the mathematical possibilities?”: Annie Hall is playing twice at The Virginia, once at 1 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. If you haven’t seen it, then shame on you; but here’s a chance to right that wrong for just $5.

From one downtown to the other: Spend the afternoon checking out a trio of art exhibits. Furniture Lounge in downtown Champaign hosts the collages and paintings of Rosalyn Schwartz, who will be present between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to bask in your accolades. The Springer Cultural Center, also tucked away in downtown Champaign, has an exhibit which wraps up this weekend and features sculpture, mixed media, and paintings from three artists, including Brandice Guerra. Meanwhile, the Cinema Gallery in downtown Urbana is displaying new paintings by Jamie Kruidenier and Judy Dethmers.

If the words Duke and Uke don’t mean anything to you … : Then no wonder you appear so crestfallen. The Duke of Uke (pictured, right), a local legend (in his own mind, and, well, ours too), performs for free at Bentley’s Pub at 9:30 p.m. His “Novelty Orchestra” will be in tow. Who knows, maybe he’ll revamp some of his killer T. Rex set from this year’s Cover Up.


Indian Food is no longer monopolized in C-U: Praise to the new owners of Zyggy’z Indian restaurant for having the courage to open up a new joint in the middle of an economic crisis, but also because we finally have more options than Bombay on Green or Bombay on First (for a dollar more). According to our homies at, it’s damn good. We’ll let you know what we think soon enough. For the moment though, you should head over there and let us know.

Haven’t you always wanted a “Monkey”?: Take a low-risk trip to the Station Theater. It’s the last day of the opening weekend of “Monkey,” a solo performance by University of Illinois faculty member Deke Weaver. And the 8 p.m. Sunday show is only six bucks, so if you blew a bunch of cash on Valentine’s Day, here’s a chance to regroup. Check back next week for our review.

Meet children just like me: Well, maybe not just like me, per say. The Spurlock Museum hosts this traveling exhibit titled after the award-winning book, Children Just Like Me. Kids can partake in multi-sensory activities that will aid them in discovering the languages, foods, music, clothing, and more of children from around the globe. From noon to 4 p.m.

Books, books, and more books: The Champaign Public Library continues to peddle used books each and every Sunday afternoon from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. CDs and DVDs are included as well, with most titles priced at a buck or less. The Center for Children’s Books at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science is holding its annual children’s book sale. Sunday is the pre-sale ($20 ticket) from 1 to 4 p.m., with the sale continuing (no ticket required) on Monday through Wednesday. All sorts of kids books, with paperbacks for $1–$2 and hardcovers for $5. @501 E. Daniel St.


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