Smile Politely

Shadowboxer back at it tonight

The Shadowboxer Collective has another unique show in store this evening at Mike ‘n Molly’s, as Chicago’s Them Damn Kids and Bloomington, Indiana’s Sam Lowry join forces with our very own Ryan Groff for a 9 p.m. show amidst the cool breezes of the beer garden. It’ll probably be below 90 by the time the show starts, so pony up seven bucks at the door, grab a cold one and settle in for some low-key jams that won’t overheat you. Here’s some info on the out-of-towners:



Home base: Chicago, Illinois

“Bad Decisions” by Them Damn Kids

Former seminarians Chris Darby and Rolland Gairroes (not to be confused with the French tennis stadium) have been performing together off and on since 2001, by themselves and as part of larger collections. They have a new album titled Arm Yourself with Perspicacity on Chestnut Tree Records, and are generally well-behaved. This is the second date on an 11-show tour that will take them as far as Brunswick, Maine.

Smile Politely: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never seen you perform before?

Them Damn Kids: We play a mix of folk, roots, and rock, but more on the mellow side — think Cat Stevens meets Tom Waits … maybe. I always have trouble answering that question.

Smile Politely:  Have you played in C-U before?

Them Damn Kids: We have played Champaign several times in the past, at Aroma Cafe.



Home base: Bloomington, Indiana

“Manhattan Took Us First” by Sam Lowry

Sam Lowry has been on tour supporting his new, fourth album, With/Without. He’s no stranger to the road, playing over 600 shows over the last several years.

Smile Politely: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never seen you perform before?

Sam Lowry: Typically my sound can be summed up as lyric driven Americana with a penchant for darker subject matter. I’ll be performing solo [tonight] so it will be a bit more stripped down in nature for this show.

Smile Politely:  Have you played in C-U before?

Sam Lowry: I have had the good fortune of playing the C-U a few times. This year I’ve been at the Canopy Club twice, first as the opener of the Murder by Death/Fake Problems tour, and then a few months later as the opener on the Asobi Seksu tour. I’ve also performed there a few years ago as part of Pygmalion Fest, and once several years ago I performed at the Iron Horse as part of a songwriters in the round night with Larry Gates of the band Lorenzo [Goetz].  He still owes me a beer and a shot so hopefully he’ll read this and come to the show to repay his gentleman’s debt.

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