Smile Politely

Weekender: July 20–22


Living & Wrestling, Fire Academy, Andrew Johnathan, EntaThe Red Herring

You can see shows all over Champaign most of the weekends, but you don’t always have the chance to see some pretty great hardcore bands at a vegetarian restaurant. Living & Wrestling hail form Wisconsin and ths venue has been on fire recently, so it isn’t shocking that they are putting together a pretty great bill. (PS)

Buy a record at Exile on Main, varies, all weekend 

Last weekend I went into Exile and walked away with some pretty excellent records for very, very cheap. They just recently received a decent sized batch of used LPs that they were selling for next to nothing. I walked away with a handful of them, so maybe you can do the same. You’d be surprised what you can find in there when you least expect it. In all hoensty, I’m hoping next time I walk in there I can find a decent copy of at least one Tom Waits record that I can take home and show off to someone. If not, I can still pump my copy of Purple Rain that I found there a few weekends ago for $7. (PS)

Hunger Games, the Art Theater, Friday & Saturday, 10:00 p.m., $5

I admit that I loved these books. I admit that I saw this film the week it was released. I admit that I’ll watch the rest too.

Hunger Games is as close to being as good as the book as any film can be. If you’re still awake and wondering what to do at 10 p.m. this weekend, I highly recommend seeing this movie. (TN)


Champaign County Fair, Champaign County Fairgrounds (Coler & Fairview in Urbana), 5 p.m. to next Saturday

Holy shit, it’s fair time again! Last year we took you behind the numbers, but I’m sure you’ll be fine on your own this time around.

Fried food, carnival rides, and grandstand shows for days and days. The county fair formula is time-tested and has been perfected. Have at it, C-U. (JG)

Sit at Farren’s outdoors, open until 10 p.m.

The weather is supposed to cool for a couple of days this weekend, so during the brief respite from the stifling heat, check out the recent addition of the outdoor seating at Farren’s. While you’re there, if you have a big appetite, order the twin Chicago-style, Waygu beef hot dogs on their menu. I still can’t believe I ate them both, but they were too good to leave behind. Open until 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. (SK)


Brat Pack with Camden Scott, PNC Parking Lot, 4:00 p.m., free. 

The show that has been tagged as the headlining act of the Red Hot Summer Fest 2012 features what I am sure will be family friendly covers from the 80s, 90s, and beyond. Don’t go to this show because you love pop music from that era. Of course you do. Go to this show because there is something immensly pleasing about watching great hits breathed back to life by kings and queens of karaoke. I don’t know, maybe it’s because the fair is back in town and I’m in the mood for a little bit of the cliche, but there is sure to be plenty of over-the-top costumes, guitar solos, bubble gum dance moves, and all in the parking lot of a bank. That amuses me. Round out the afternoon with some cotton candy and deep fried something at the fair. (CC)


Drag King Show, Emerald City Lounge, 10:30 p.m.–2:00 a.m.

Ten Kings are scheduled to entertain you at this week’s Drag King Show. Tables are still available, so call or text Amy for reservations at (217) 552-9445.

These shows are always fantastic, as are the drink specials, so check these guys out and don’t forget to tip. You’ll surely be rewarded. (TN)

I’m not exactly sure what to make of this type of Drag Performance, but with the weather as hot as it is right now, it feels like it’s the best time of the year for it. Are there ten performers? If so, will there be robes and crowns? I guess I just feel like I want to see some crazy shit this weekend, so I very well may attend. (SF)

Robes and crowns are worn by Queens, Seth! Kings usually wear suits and caps. (TN)

Buy some peaches, Market at the Square, 7:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

This is the moment, really. And you happen to live in the best place in the world to buy and eat locally grown peaches — arguably, the best in the world. California grows everything well, and Georgia’s marketing wizards have turned their state into the de facto leader on all things when it comes to peaches, but let me tell you this: I’ve been eating these bastards all week, and every single bite seems to be as good as the next. So, get out to the Market early, and grab an entire box. Save some for winter by quickly boiling water, scoring the skin, and then blanching them to make it easy to peel. Throw them in a ziplock bag and freeze away. You will be able to enjoy them for the next 6 months if properly stored. I ate peaches and cream last year in December just to remind myself of what it felt like to be a person who understood Summer, and they tasted delish. (SF)

Biting into a Market peach is like biting into sunshine. (TN)

Mexican-American breakfast or brunch, Huaraches Moroleón (Washington and Philo, Urbana), 7:30 a.m.
Whether you want a traditional Mexican breakfast of a Mexican frittata or a decadent American breakfast, with bacon pecan or chocolate chip pancakes, check out Huaraches Moroleón in Urbana this weekend. I’m always up for trying a new breakfast spot, especially one off the radar (read: less crowded) than some of the more excessively visited places in town. For more about Huaraches Moroleón, check out the article in the food section this weekend. (SK)


Future Shorts film festival, the Art Theater, 1:00 p.m. $6–$7, based on ticket type

The Future Shorts film festival is a quarterly event, with screenings in 55+ countries. Many of the films shown have already won prizes at festivals like Sundance and SXSW.

The Art’s lineup features four live-action narrative shorts, two animated shorts, and one short documentary.

Go here for more information about the festival and films. (TN)

Eat Hawaiian Ice, corner of Prospect and Bradley, Open ’til around 8–9 p.m.

I just can’t get over how fucking hot it is outside. I walked to downtown Champaign today, less than a mile, and my godforsaken t-shirt was soaked all the way through. I didn’t do anything except take some steps. I just hate it.

The only thing that is making it tolerable is the delicious and super affordable Hawaiian Ice stand just down the road from our house on Prospect and Bradley. At most hours, the Mas Amigos truck is there as well, but for me, right now, I’d rather eat most anything than a hot taco in the blistering sun. So, I stick to the ice. I, for one, wish to God they served it with custard on the bottom, but I’ll take what I can get. The flavors are endless, but there’s only one that matters anyway: Tiger’s Blood. It’s strawberry and coconut mixed, and it’s just about perfect. (SF)

Hit It Run DJs, Outbound Drive, The Dirty Feathers, Diva & The Dude, The Impalas, Mr. Late, Cowboy Monkey, 4:00 p.m., $5

What is easily the best musical lineup of the weeklong string of events that is the Red HotSummer Fest, this show features a little bit of everything. It is no secret that both of us music editors here at Smile Politely thoroughly enjoy the Dirty Feathers, but go kick it on the patio for a few hours and check out the rest as you see fit. This is a really eclectic show. You have everything from a very country sounding Diva & the Dude to the all out sweatfest that is the Dirty Feathers. The lineup over at the Cowboy Monkey website has this order if you are looking to cherry pick a few acts:

Mr. Late: 4:00–5:00 p.m. The Impalas: 5:15–6:15 p.m. Diva & the Dude: 6:30–7:30 p.m. Dirty Feathers: 7:45–8:45 p.m. Outbound Drive: 9:00–10:30 p.m. Hit It Run DJs: 10:30 p.m.–close. (CC)

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