Smile Politely

Overture: Oct. 5 – 11

WHAT: Kid Cudi, Jay Electronica

WHERE: Assembly Hall (various prices)

WHEN: Tuesday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Kid Cudi is a divisive figure — you either love his version of modern rap or you hate it. Either way, you have to admit he has an interesting backstory and busloads of skill. Plus, Kanye loves him. Jay Electronica’s has been buzzed about without even attempting to realease an album. All he’s done so far is mysteriously leak a couple of genre-defying sound collages. This is actually a pretty impressive (and gutsy) booking for the Assembly Hall so kudos to them.


WHAT: Portugal the Man, Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band

WHERE: The Canopy Club

WHEN: Tuesday, October 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Not at all interesting fact, Portugal the Man share a home town with Sarah Palin. Interesting fact, this band is prolific — they’ve released like 10 albums and EPs in the last five years. Meaning there should be a lot of songs to draw from tonight. Their music merges rock with undertones of R & B. Sort of like a more electronic Cold War Kids. Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band recently released their second album, and it seems to be getting much better reviews than their first effort. To me it’s a pretty generic indie rock sound — I’m sure to others its blueberry pie. (But I don’t like blueberry pie either.)

WHAT: Big Sean, Mickey Factz, Freesol

WHERE: Highdive ($18)

WHEN: Wednesday, October 6 at 9 p.m.

Big Sean’s biggest claim to fame at this point is being signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music. And that’s a very good thing. He also just released a free mixtape that you can get here. Combine that with last week’s sold out Wiz Khalifa show and the just-announced Curren$y show (10/14 at Highdive), and Champaign-Urbana is having a pretty awesome run of hip hop. Now when’s the Assembly Hall going to go ahead and make up that twice-canceled T.I. show?



WHAT: High on Fire, Torche, Kylesa

WHERE: Canopy Club ($15 advance)

WHEN: Saturday, October 9 at 8:00 p.m.

Another week, another knock-out metal bill at the Canopy Club. Headlining are stoner-doom gods High on Fire, who feature Matt Pike (guitarist for the grandaddy of all stoner bands, Sleep). Support comes from Pitchfork darlings Torche and Georgian crust/sludge group Kylesa. One thing’s for sure — this is going to be one of the loudest shows to hit the area in a good long while, so bring your earplugs.


WHAT: Dark Fog, Alpha Mile

WHERE: Mike ‘n Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Saturday, October 9 at 8 p.m.

Dark Fog is a loud rock band that incorporates elements trance and psychedelia. They sound like they should have come out of the UK in the early ’90s if that reference point works for you. If it doesn’t, you should spend the next couple of days listening to nothing but Ride, Slodive and Medicine (or not it’s your life). Alpha Mile is the project featuring Hum’s Tim Lash and former members of Scurvine. They play out pretty infrequently, so you might want to take advantage of this opportunity.

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