Smile Politely

Seven things happening in our music scene right now: May 2018

As I’ve now written three of these columns, I never find it difficult to cull together more information about what’s going on in the music scene here in Champaign-Urbana. Releases, live shows, recording updates, festival announcements, and so much more — you name it, we have it. 

Check out the latest update below, which covers that spectrum. But remember, if you have something that you think we shoud know about, email us at and we’re happy to take a look. You never know when it could end up in one of these articles.

MELVIN KNIGHT AND THE AMBER SKY release new music video for “Ice Cream”

Melvin Knight and the Amber Sky (you might know the lead singer, Crofton Coleman) recently released a new video for their track “Ice Cream”, which I posted in the SPlog about around the time it happened a few weeks back. A heavy dose of… ice cream… was featured in the video, which you can watch below. The outfit hasn’t announced any shows in the near future, but they’ve performed a few times recently, once at Blackbird, and another time at Iron Post with Pressure Fit (check out our interview with Reginald Chapman, which was released yesterday).

Photo from the music video.

ELSINORE’s RYAN GROFF has been very active, playing a handful of solo shows

Elsinore’s frontman Ryan Groff has been playing his lovely heart out the last handful of weeks, performing at a ton of places around C-U. In the past: April 13th at Cowboy Monkey, April 21st at Record Store Day and Mporium, and April 27th at Seven Saints. In the future: May 11th at SipyardMay 18th at Avionics, and June 30th at Cowboy Monkey. I totally could be missing some, but that’s enough to get my attention. I know there is a new Elsinore record on the way at some point in the near future, so I’d imagine this is Groff getting back into the swing of things in prep for Elsinore shows.

Photo by Michael Heldebrandt

FESTIVALS are coming, several of them

Over the past few weeks, there has been more detail revealed about a lot of festivals in and around Champaign-Urbana: 

Get ready for these by checking out the posts, and seeing which artists are performing where. This is only the beginning, friends. 

Photo from Audiofeed’s Facebook page.

SEE YOU CD & VINYL has moved

After living down the street for a little while, See You CD & Vinyl has moved down the Main Street to occupy the space previously occupied by Pizza M — 208 W. Main to be exact. Cafe & Co. now occupies the front where Flying Machine Coffee previously existed. While this doesn’t seem like “scene” news, it certainly has added a pretty cool component to Cafe & Co., and now See You CD & Vinyl has a place to hang out, as the space is bigger, and there’s beer and wine, too. So, there’s a plus.

Photo from See You’s Facebook page.

LOUIE KASON dropped his debut EP, Louie and the Duffle Bag

Louie Kason used to go by the name of Macio Zelip, and under this new moniker, he’s released a new project called Louie and the Duffle Bag, which you can stream in full below. Kason recently performed at Canopy Club with Supa Bwe, which from what I’ve gathered was a pretty successful show in the Red Room at Canopy.

THE DRY LOOK is one of the scene’s most fun live bands

Have you been to Dry Look show? If you haven’t you should do just that. The band has released some new material this year, an EP called Arid Stare, and has proven to be a fun live band that can draw some people. I’ve seen them a couple of times lately and enjoyed it — once at the Mporium, and last weekend at Blackbird — but you should judge for yourself. 

Photo by Candie Kates Photography

酸葬儀 ACIDFUNERAL releases new material

“漂流通してスターレスレルム drifting through a starless realm” — that’s the name of the newest track from black metal outfit Acidfuneral. The outfit landed on our year-end list last year, and they are making their live debut at Audiofeed Festival in July (read about that one above). There will be a five-piece lineup, complete with members of Marathon, Ode Vinter, Acker, A Hill To Die Upon, Collector, Arboris, and more. There’s something to look forward to.

Listen to the 2 minute scorcher below:

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