Smile Politely

Five questions with Kelly McMorris of Heyokas

Featuring Marc Turner on bass, Jesse Greenlee on drums and Kelly McMorris on keyboards, Heyokas is a relatively new addition to the C-U music scene. With driving, clap-along melodies, the band plays music for drinking, dancing and apparently even whittling. We knew primary songwriter McMorris would be an ideal candidate for our five questions when we first heard the song “Champaign.”

Favorite C-U band past or present
The Headlights. Super catchy, simple structure, complex layers and sharp hooks. They’re pretty nice folks to boot.

Favorite C-U venue
Cowboy Monkey. The layout is perfect….not too big/small. The sound guys are friendly and competent. It’s located right in the central hub of downtown Champaign, lending itself well for all the downtown-going folk. And you’ve got to love the lush red curtain.

Favorite C-U restaurant/bar
It completely depends on what I’m in the mood for. A burger? Farren’s. Pizza? Papa Del’s or Minneci’s. Chicken strips? Esquire. Dos Reales on University is always solid too.

Favorite album of all time (does not have to be from C-U)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I got Sgt. Pepper’s for Christmas when I was eight and listened to it non-stop the entire day. The opening guitar riff is sick. I love how the alter-ego fictitious concept lends itself to each song, which in turn, due to placement within the album, provides a through-line from beginning to end. Pet Sounds, Thriller, Dark Side of the Moon, Abbey Road, Blue Train, and The Goldberg Variations are up there too.

Why readers should come see your show this Saturday
For those who did not qualify for the Winter Olympics, now’s your chance to compete…beersled, nude skating, sloshed skiing and a half-pipe connected to the stage for the prestigious belly dive competition. There will also be original music. Come get the gold.

Heyokas plays this Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Cowboy Monkey with Carta Marina and Kilroy, et al. (10 p.m. $5)


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