Smile Politely

The Overture:  Dec. 14—20

With school, work, family and the fall semester coming to a close, 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.

bobandpricillaWhat:  Bob and Pricilla, Chicago Farmer, You and Yourn, My Dear Alan Andrews

When:  Thursday, Dec. 17

Where:  Canopy Club, $7

Originally based out of Chicago, Bob Salihar and Pricilla Wallis have been steady on the regional folk and bluegrass scene since 2008, often appearing with additional stringed instrumentation to accompany their already rich, flutey dobro-laden folk sound They quickly made it into to the studio to put together Bob and Pricilla’s Folk Revolution, their debut record, which typifies their introspective and personal lyrical flair.  But perhaps more than any other local folk act, Bob and Pricilla inject their sound with a particular hippie zest, drawing from influences like the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin.  Chicago Farmer opens after what is sure to be a rousing opening from local folk staples My Dear Alan Andrews and You and Yourn, fresh off their opening slot for Andrew Bird.  


gentlemanauctionhouseWhat:  The Shadowboxer Collective presents the White Elephant Song Exchange with Gentlemen Auction House, Hathaways, You & Yourn, Jet W. Lee, He & Him (Ryan & Cole of Elsinore), Say it With a Smile and Angie Heaton

When:  Friday, Dec. 18, 9 p.m.

Where:  Mike N Molly’s

With successful C-U appearances ranging from the Highdive to the Pygmalion Music Festival, St. Louis’ Gentleman Auction House is growing more and more familiar with our community to our own enjoyment.  And what better time to host a band whose follow-up to their acclaimed debut full length, Alphabet Graveyard, was a Christmas EP, Christmas in Love?  And did we mention that it is the Shadowboxer Collective’s White Elephant Song Exchange?  Since releasing their debut EP in 2006, the men (and woman) of Gentleman Auction House have had an impressive track record, which included an opening slot for Brooklyn tech-pop duo Matt and Kim, but we love them for their equally adorable indie chamber pop sound.  They were busy recording their next full length all summer long, so expect to get some new flair this time around.  The bill is rounded out by a plethora of locals, so you’re sure to get your fix one way or another.  

deltakingsWhat:  The Delta Kings

When:  Friday, Dec. 18, 9 p.m.

Where:  Cowboy Monkey, $5

With the recent addition of former Starcastle guitarist Matt Stewart, the Delta Kings have cemented their legacy in C-U’s rock scene as, well, kings.  Since 1993, they have survived the onslaught of boy bands, grunge, gansta rap, post-grunge, girl groups, a second wave of boy bands, nu metal, the tween phenomenon, and everything in between, proving once again that straight up rootsy rock and roll has eternal staying power.  They’ve been putting the finishing touches on a new record with Mark Rubel of Pogo Studio, which takes some departures from their previous efforts with some pseudo-psych leads courtesy of Stewart.  If you haven’t caught the Delta Kings before you probably haven’t lived here long, but take our word for it, you will never be disappointed.  

redneckremedyWhat:  Metal Xmas Bash 2009 with Redneck Remedy, Leproso, Malevolent Minds, Ocularis and Gristle, $7

When:  Friday, Dec. 18

Where:  Canopy Club, $7

We’re not sure what the remedy to redneckery is, or if maybe redneckery is the remedy, or how much a metal band from Kankakee knows about deep frying southern metal, or why their bass player Tiny (standing far right) is so in need of a decent horticulturist, but Redneck Remedy sure knows how to slay.  To date, they’ve shared the stage with bands like Clutch and Texas Hippie Coalition, blasting their audience and fan base (dubbed “The Shotgun Crew”) with classic metal song titles like “Dead and Still Boozin,” “Bleed,” and “Dig Me a Hole.”  If you feel the urge to sing along Friday night, check out the lyrics page of their site, where you can find all the best one-liners to belt out from their self-titled debut, including “My soul is damaged from the pain / I feel so numb / like I’ve done a mound of cocaine” from “Devil in Disguise.”  The bill is rounded out by a similarly brutal onslaught of local metal from Leproso (Portuguese for a male leper), Ocularis, Malevolent Minds and Gristle.  Get there early and help them put a few more X’s in Xmas.  

neogaWhat:  Ugly Sweater Christmas Party with Neoga Blacksmith

When:  Saturday, Dec. 19

Where:  Mike N Molly’s

By now, Neoga Blacksmith is becoming fairly well established as one of C-U’s premier beer-drinkin’, hell-raisin’, hootin’, hollerin’, rockin’, ruckus-raisin’ rockabilly bands that makes grandma tap her toes and the youngsters get up and dance.  More importantly, they know what being in a band is and should be all about:  free beer.  The labels alt-country, country-rock, gruntry, or any other amalgamation thereof are a little nebulous, so just don’t show up expecting Kenny Chesney or Taylor Swift unless you brought a look-alike and plan on getting them hammered.  Having mastered the tacky Christmas get-up a few years ago at the Phoenix, expect them to take it up a notch or eleven Saturday night when ugly Christmas sweaters will be the norm.  

Know about something we don’t? Want to promote your own gig? Peep the comment section below.

Looking ahead…

Canopy Club – Bob Priscilla and Friends, Chicago Farmer, You and Yourn, My Dear Alan Andrews

Mike N Molly’s – White Elephant song exchange
Cowboy Monkey – The Delta Kings
Canopy Club – Metal Xmas Bash 2009 with Redneck Remedy, Leproso, Malevolent Minds, Occularis and Gristle, $7

Mike N Molly’s – Neoga Blacksmith
Canopy Club –  Atheory, Emberic, Deliver the Fallen, Leproso, Scathe, Solaris

Assembly Hall – The Oak Ridge Boys

Canopy Club – Pamela Machala, Liesel Booth, Megan Johns and Tristan Cogswell (early show)
Canopy Club – Victory Over Tyranny, Konspiracy, Icon 4 Hire, Less Than and Salinate
Canopy Club – Greenwood, Dari, Bisbee

Mike N Molly’s – New Years Eve with New Ruins
Cowboy Monkey – New Years Eve Dubstep Massacre

The Highdive – Alma Afrobeat Ensemble

Mike N Molly’s – The Satin Peaches, On Again Off Again, TBA
Canopy Club – Verdict, Vanattica, Overcome, Trash City Rockers

The Highdive – Great Cover Up, acts TBA

The Highdive – Great Cover Up, acts TBA

The Highdive – Great Cover Up, acts TBA

Canopy Club – The Gold Motel, TBA

Mike N Molly’s – Jared Bartman, Good Night and Good Morning, TBA

Krannert Center – Maxwell Street Klezmer Band
Krannert Center – Kronos Quartet, Wu Man

Canopy Club – Keller Williams

Canopy Club – The Prairie Ensemble: The Soldier’s Tale

The Highdive – Webb Wilder, Delta Kings

Mike N Molly’s – White Mystery, Stranger Waves, TBA

Krannert Center – The Band of the Irish Guards

Krannert Center – Frederica Von Stade

The Highdive – State Radio

Krannert Center – Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra

Cowboy Monkey – The Lesser Birds of Paradise, World’s First Flying Machine, Carl Hauck, My Dear Alan Andrews

Krannert Center – Abraham Inc.

Assembly Hall – Martina McBride, Trace Adkins

Krannert Center – Danu

Krannert Center – San Francisco Symphony

Krannert Center – What it Is! Featuring Mavis Staples, Booker T. JJ Grey

Krannert Center – Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra

Krannert Center – Joshua Bell

Krannert Center – James Farm

Krannert Center – Ozomatli

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