Smile Politely

Weekender: Mar. 30–Apr. 1


Winter Jam 2012, 6:00-10:00 p.m.

Assembly Hall
Doors: 5:00 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door (no ticket required)

I believe (pun!) that, Winter Jam is Christian music’s largest annual tour. (TN)

Bands performing:

  • Skillet
  • Sanctus Real
  • Peter Furler
  • Kari Jobe
  • Newsong
  • Building 429
  • Group I Crew
  • Dara Maclean
  • We as Human
  • For King and Country


Eat some carbs, eat a piece of cake: Pekara Bakery, Downtown Champaign: Open hours

As I whittle my weight down to a respectable level, the first time in almost a decade, I have committed myself to a low-carb diet for the most part. Nary a week day passes without the thought of stuffing my face with a soft loaf of bread and a small clump of home churned compound butter. So, when the weekend comes, and I get to cheat a little, I head to Pekara Bakery in downtown Champaign to get my fix. All their breads and pastries are handmade at the bake house on North First St. across from the police station, and delivered to many fine restaurants region wide. But if you want to get your hands on their freshest goods, stop in on North Neil at their coffee shop and pastry house and grab a loaf of sourdough and a piece of cake for good measure. It’s always worth it. (Seka, the lovely owner, is pictured here with former baker, Dusan) (SF)

Go see a movie at the Harvest Moon Twin Drive-in, Gibson City, $6 (cash only for admission)

If the documentary festival at the Art isn’t really your thing and you’re looking for some Hollywood blockbusters you can still skip the theaters in town. Hey I’m not super thrilled about the film selections (The Hunger Games and The Wrath of the Titans), but we’re lucky enough to have a drive-in theater within 45 minutes of us, at least until the digital conversion kills that too. I can take my own gummy bears, a homeade pizza, some agave sweetened soda, and wear my pj’s if I want. It’s a relatively cheap date night and something to mix things up a bit. (JS)

Justice, Self-Respect and the Culture of Poverty,” Tommie Shelby, Professor, Harvard University, 4 p.m.

Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum; 600 South Gregory Street, Urbana

From the event announcement: “Ghettos in the U.S. are predominantly black metropolitan neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty. Tommie Shelby will examine the limitations of technocratic and paternalistic solutions to the problem of ghetto poverty and look for ways to engage the ghetto poor as potential allies in the fight against injustice rather than seeing them solely as the passive beneficiaries of liberal reform efforts.”(JG)

Illini Union Board Annual Drag Show, 8:30 p.m.

Illini Union
Tickets: $5/student with I-car; $7/general public

I, again, neglected to include a local drag show in the Rainbow Connection. I, again, suck. Thank goodness for the Weekender. (TN)

Performing for your pleasure are:

  • Amaya Mann
  • Calexus Carrington
  • Mona Monclair
  • Ceduxion Carrington
  • Sienna Mann
  • Chanel Cavalier
  • Kelisa Karmikal

It’s a Celebration, feat. Mike and Kayla, 9:30 p.m. 12:30 a.m.

JT Walker’s Restaurant & Sports Bar

I love that the owner of JT Walker’s calls Mike and Kayla “the best show in the CU area!!” (two exclamation points!) I’ll bet he’s right too.

JT Walker’s bartender, April, is celebrating her birthday, so, at first it sounds like it’s going to be a great time, but then they say this, “Please drink responsibly, cause why risk it!?” and ruin everything. (TN)

Place has totally legit food. After a round of golf at Lake of the Woods, there’s no better place to whet yr whistle and lament another 100+ round. (SF)

Rvins, Aseethe, Lost Coves, 10:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.

Mike ‘N Molly’s

Rvins – Local post-metal heavies
Aseethe (IA) – Doom giants return to collect more souls
Lost Coves (NY) – Stoner post-rock from out east



Occupy a Street Corner, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Illinois and Vine, Urbana

These guys are still there, still fighting the Good Fight. I love them. (TN)

The Soybean Press Book and Print Arts Show, 12 noon–4 p.m.

Indi Go Artist Co-op

From the Facebook event: “Local print and book artists will be displaying and selling some of their work at our 1st annual show.”

Check out the Soybean Press’ website here. (JG)



LA Birthday Show with Jade of RuPaul’s Drag Race, 9:30 p.m.–?

Emerald City Lounge
Age: 19+
Cover: $5 (All tables are sold out)

Two drag shows in one week? Our fine cities are turning into their very own Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s wonderful!

The Emerald City Lounge Divas, Leiloni Stars and Aurora Lamont-Carrington, welcome Jade Sotamayor in her debut appearance in the Divas Show Series .

Jade was an original cast member and contestant in the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and she heads the Glamazon Review at Spin Nightclub in Chicago. Her performances range from spicy numbers with Latin-flare to high-energy dance routines to mind-bending looks of androgyny. (TN)


1st Annual Tacky Beachwear Excursion, 3:00-9:00 p.m.

The 1st Annual Tacky Beachwear Excursion comes to Downtown Champaign!

“Get your arm floaties, foam wedge sandals, tacky Hawaiian shirts and spray tan ready for this pre-summer extravaganza!” This is to promote environmental sustainability and local shopping. There’s even a contest for whoever wears the tackiest outfit. I swear this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. And I’ll bet it’s going to be a great time for a lot of people. (TN)

Registration: $10 before the event and $15 day-of


Event Schedule:

2:30–3:30 p.m. – Check-in and registration opens at Boltini
3:00 p.m. – Boltini – Food and registration
4:00 p.m. – Luna
5:00 p.m. – Quality
6:00 p.m. – Mike ‘N Mollys
7:00 p.m. – Brass Rail
8:00 p.m. – Radio [Maria?]
9:00 p.m. – SODO Theater – Tacky Beachwear Costume Competition!
10:00 p.m. – Blind Pig 2 – End of Event Celebration

Brunch Hunt — Luna, order the Croque Monsieur: 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

As hard as I’ve looked, and believe me I have, there still isn’t a better sandwich in Champaign-Urbana than the Croque Monsieur at Luna in downtown Champaign, if — and I stress IF — it’s been executed properly. At times, the restaurant struggles with consistency and service problems, but I can always overlook it based on the prospect that I very well might get to walk out feeling as though I’ve died and gone to heaven. To be clear, the sandwich is comprised of these ingredients: fresh, crusty white bread, for sandwiches; thinly sliced ham, seared on the flat top until just warm, but retaining all flavor and moisture; covered in a heady but subtle gruyere cheese; and then buttered and toasted on the griddle. Then, they cover it in a bechamel sauce (which is the most versatile of all the mother sauces, in my opinion) and bake it fast at a high heat so that it’s bubbly, brown. They top it with a sunny side up egg, and add a side of crispy pomme frites. It’s a heart attack, but it’s the best. (SF)

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