Smile Politely

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

Fall is upon us, and things aren’t slowing down in the music scene. Here’s my update for September, which is filled with upcoming shows and tours, new releases, local bands at PYGMALION, and more.

If you think there’s something I should know about, email me at

HUM’s MATT TALBOTT is playing his first-ever solo shows

MATT TALBOTT hasn’t performed solo… ever. The HUM frontman announced a living room tour via Undertow, Bob Andrews’ management company that exists locally. Before all that happens, Talbott will perform at Hogchute Harvest on October 13th, which is excellent news. Talbott will head out on a short tour starting in November, though the dates and locations are yet to be finalized, they will be available soon. Although it won’t be anything like this, here’s a video of HUM performing in 1997 for the hell of it.

Photo from HUM promo poster

PYGMALION is next week, here are where and when local bands are performing

Disclaimer: I’m one of the organizers of PYGMALION, owned by the same company that owns this magazine. That said, without being too self-serving, PYGMALION is next week, and there are a bunch of locals lined up to perform throughout the stretch of September 26-29. I’ve covered pretty much all of these bands in this column throughout the year, so I thought it was fitting to include this month.

Wednesday, September 26

  • BONES JUGS opening for Billy Strings @ IMC
  • NECTAR opening for Anna Burch @ Blackbird

Thursday, September 27

  • THE DRY LOOK opening for Diet Cig @ Canopy Club

Friday, September 28

  • NP0 opening for Kweku Collins + JPEGMAFIA @ IMC
  • ZECCA BOM opening for Rumpke Mountain Boys @ Street Stage

Saturday, September 29

  • CJ RUN opening for Playboi Carti @ Canopy Club
  • CASTOR opening for Post Animal @ IMC
  • MELVIN KNIGHT and AUSAR opening for Foxing @ Street Stage

Photo of CJ Run by Veronica MullenJARREL YOUNG is going on tour

Local rapper JARREL YOUNG has a tour ahead of him, which you can see dates for listed above. Young has been an emcee in the local scene for quite some time. The Millenial tour features Jay Moses and Jeff K%nz, and some DJs as guests as well. Listen to his debut record of the same name here, and watch a video for “One Night” below.

Longtime local musician ISAAC ARMS is moving

ISAAC ARMS has lived in Champaign-Urbana for quite some time, and sadly for us, is moving very soon. Arms has been a huge advocate for the scene and will be missed. Arms has performed as a solo act, but also spent time in projects Withershins, Evil Tents, Winder, The Struggle, Spandrels. Not only that, Arms is the owner/operator of Heirship Records, which is being put to rest as well. They performed this past weekend as a part of C-U Pride Festival, and their final show in town will be Monday, September 24th at WEFT sessions, as a solo acoustic act. I thought that the photo above would be a nice touch, performing with Withershins at Mike N Molly’s. Listen to MT. FUJI IN BLUE below, the final record released by Withershins.

Photo by David Cubberly

REVELATOR release new album For Raelyn

REVELATOR is the folk/country outfit lead by Kenna Mae Reiss, and all songs are performed by her, Sarah Cramer, Cody Jensen, and Colin Taylor on this release, For Raelyn. You can stream the whole thing below. The band recorded the record with Mark Wyman of ToneGood Studios (Wyman performs in We the Animals). Kenna Mae released a record a few years back called Blue Darlin’, so it is nice to see another release heading into the world with her on it — that, and a full band.

SIXTEEN TONS are back in 2018

SIXTEEN TONS describe themselves as “plowpunk”, performing back in the late-80s and early 90s. The band started in Charleston and ventured to Champaign-Urbana after that. They don’t perform often, but they’ve definitely started playing shows in 2018. They performed at the Great Cover Up, and they’re slated for this weekend at the Loose Cobra. Check out their tunes on Bandcamp, and stream Headshot below.

Photo from Sixteen Tons’ Facebook page

Here are a couple of new spots for shows near Downtown Urbana

Here’s a friendly PSA: There are a couple of spots that have been doing shows in Downtown Urbana as of late: SEE YOU CD & VINYL and 25 O’CLOCK BREWING COMPANY. Both have been hosting a few solo/acoustic acts, and they will have performances in the near future that might interest you. Check out their pages linked above for details about what is forthcoming, but always good to see different spaces having live music, mostly for free as well. 

Photo from Hogchute’s Instagram

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