Smile Politely

The Overture: April 17–23

WHAT: J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T.

WHERE: Assembly Hall ($23–$32)

WHEN: Tuesday, April 17th at 7:30 p.m.

The often over-hyped and often lackluster Campus Consciousness Tour makes its annual visit to the Assembly Hall with these two fellas Tuesday. A few years ago I went to this thing and saw Passion Pit get competely upstaged by Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, leaving PP’s set about 20 minutes in. Big K.R.I.T. has a couple of pretty solid mixtapes out there, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the same upstaging happened this time around. 

Listen: J. Cole: “Work Out”

WHAT: The Daredevil Christopher Wright, Common Loon, Santah

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($7)

WHEN: Thursday, April 19th at 9:30 p.m.

Wisconsin’s The Daredevil Christopher Wright joins a couple of mainstays in the C-U scene in Common Loon and Santah. He’s releasing The Nature of Things in June, but there’s a track to stream below. Also, if you want to see something hilarious, check out the Facebook page (linked above) to see an autographed picture of a shirtless Patrick Swayze on a white horse. R.I.P.


WHAT: Be My Doppelganger, Horrible Things, Midstress

WHERE: The Brass Rail ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, April 19th at 10 p.m.

The rock scene has been kicking it at The Brass Rail more and more recently. Thundertruck made their debut there last week, and this time around it’s a punk bill with Indiana’s Be My Doppelganger. Horrible Things just released their new album, Dumb Days, a few weeks back. Definitely worth checking out.


WHAT: Boneyard Arts Festival

WHERE: Exile on Main Street (free)

WHEN: Friday, April 20th at 3:30 p.m.

In what developed into its own mini-music festival, Boneyard Arts Fest combined with Record Store Day has turned out to be quite the production. Exile hosts two great events this week, and this one is a bit more abbreviated than RSD, but quality is maintained all across the board. Finer Feelings kick it off around 3:30 and New Ruins close it out. 


WHAT: JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, The Thin Souls

WHERE: The Highdive ($10)

WHEN: Friday, April 20th at 8 p.m.

Here’s some “post-punk soul” in the mix this week with JC Brooks & co. From all the press that I’ve seen, this cover of Wilco’s “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” has been something people want to get the word out about, so you can draw your own conclusions through the link below. Nevertheless, these guys have some soul, and even appear on the 2012 Lollapalooza lineup. Take that for what it’s worth.

Listen: JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound: “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” (Wilco cover)

WHAT: Withershins, Gospel Gossip, Take Care

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Friday, April 20th at 10 p.m.

Personally, the release of Silver Cities is something I’ve been anticipating for months now. I won’t talk too much about the record here because we’ll have a full review on the whole thing tomorrow. For now, you can preorder it on their bandcamp and listen to a few tracks below as a preview. Minnesota’s Gospel Gossip and local pals Take Care join this one. All you post-rock fans: this is the bill for you this weekend.


Exile on Main Street (free) – All Day Saturday, April 21st

It’s sometimes difficult to emphasize the importance of a day like this. Not only is it something that has significance in the C-U music scene, but Record Store Day is becoming a national holiday for musicians and fans every year around this time. It’s a day to not only treat yourself to that LP you’ve been eyeing for weeks now that you should finally break down and buy, but to watch a whole slew of acts that have the ability to light up this town time and time again.

The whole thing goes down at Exile on Main Street the day after they host the Boneyard Arts Festival, so they will definitely have their hands full. Bands and DJs will be on display all day, and last year it was pretty full almost all day long, so get there a little early if you have a band in mind that you’re looking to see. If you’re like me, you’ll probably be staked out there all day. You can see the lineup above, but as we all know, things can change at a moment’s notice, so be sure to keep your eye on Exile’s Facebook event page for changes and updates.

WHAT: Duke of Uke and His Novelty Orchestra, Lou DiBello

WHERE: The Highdive ($5)

WHEN: Saturday, April 21st at 7 p.m.

Duke of Uke celebrate RSD in style as well, releasing their new album, appropriately titled April’s Empire, at the Highdive. We’ll have our own recap of what to expect from this new release later this week, so keep your eye out for that. Regardless of our opinion on the new album, Duke of Uke put on an excellent live show, which is worth checking out. 

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