Smile Politely

The Overture: August 24 – 30

With school, work, family, and picking up some sweet coupons at Quad Day, who has the time to find out about the best shows happening in Champaign-Urbana? No need to fear, because the editors at Smile Politely have taken care of it.

What: Justin Townes Earle w/ Cory Younts

When: Wednesday, August 26 @ 8 p.m.

Where: Rose Bowl Tavern; $12 advance, $15 door

We’ll spare Mr. Earle the burden of another interview this time around, since we’ve spoken with him at length twice in the past 10 months. Every time he visits, though, he’s got a little bit higher profile. His latest album, Midnight at the Movies, has a little bit more of a pop feel, but it’s still deeply rooted in old-timey music.

If you’d like to win a pair of tickets to this show, click here to find out how.

What: Throw Me The Statue, The Brunettes, Nurses & World’s First Flying Machine

When: Thursday, August 27 @ 8 p.m.

Where: Courtyard Cafe; FREE

We’ll have an interview with Seattle’s lo-fi Throw Me the Statue later in the week, but really, what more reason do you need to go to a free show with four bands? It’s nice to have more than a few hours’ notice about who’s playing at the Courtyard, too.


What: Hot Buttered Rum, High Cotton, Duke of Uke, Post Historic

When: Friday, August 28 @ 5 p.m.

Where: Research Park Amphitheatre; FREE

Veterans of the summer festival scene, San Francisco’s Hot Buttered Rum play bluegrass with some entertaining twists.

This will be Post Historic’s penultimate show, as well, so it’s well worth the lack of a price of admission. Schedule from the Research Park website:

5 p.m. Post Historic

6 p.m. Duke of Uke

7 p.m. High Cotton

8 p.m. Hot Buttered Rum


What: Vivian Girls, The Beets, My Werewolf Diary

When: Saturday, August 29 @ 10 p.m.

Where: Cowboy Monkey; $5

After saving all that money from free shows earlier in the week, shell out the five bucks and check out Vivian Girls, a red-hot garage-y collective straight outta Brooklyn. They’re fresh off an appearance at Pitchfork; this will be a good opportunity for the new class of U of I hipsters to figure out where Cowboy Monkey is. UPDATE: Please note that My Werewolf Diary (New Ruins’ Elzie Sexton solo) is opening.


What: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Those Darlins, Common Loon

When: Saturday, August 29 @ 8 p.m.

Where: Courtyard Cafe; FREE

This should be a fun show. SSLYBY is on Polyvinyl and plays hook-laden power pop, Those Darlins come from Tennessee with ample sass (see William Gillespie’s review of their new album here), and Common Loon continues to be one of the best things about the C-U music scene. Here’s SSLYBY’s “We Can Win Missouri”:

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