Smile Politely

The Overture: February 28–March 5

WHAT: Ryan Groff, Justin Kessel

WHERE: The Clark Bar (free)

WHEN: Tuesday, February 28th at 7 p.m.

Ryan Groff steps away from Elsinore for a bit to play a solo set with singer-songwriter Justin Kessel this week. Groff hasn’t released anything as a solo artist for some time now, so it will be interesting to see if he has any shiny new tracks to play for his audience. New and old tracks are great, but seeing him bust out a cover of Radiohead’s “Nude” is still very satisfying. Do yourself a favor and watch it.


WHAT: The Duke of Uke and His Novelty Orchestra

WHERE: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts lobby (free)

WHEN: Friday, March 2nd at 12:00 p.m.

Who would’ve thought you could go see a quick show during your lunch break? Escape work for a bit and head over to see some “ukulele funk for all occasions” free of charge and check out Krannert’s “Intervals: Recess, Refresh” series while you’re at it.

ListenThe Duke of Uke and His Novelty Orchestra: “Breathe” (live)


WHAT: Vaudevileins, Scurvine, Deathtram

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Friday, March 2nd at 10:45 p.m.

Vaudevileins are hard at work on new material for 2012, where they are prepping a new EP with an eventual follow up full length. Deathtram will close this show out and DJ Mark Wyman of Take Care will close out the night in style. 


WHAT: Mammoths, Enta, American Wolf, An Evening With Your Mother, Hank

WHERE: The Red Herring ($5)

WHEN: Friday, March 2nd at 8:30 p.m.

The Red Herring hosts a show for the first time in a little while with this group of acts ranging from Mammoths’ often-thunderous post-rock to An Evening With Your Mother’s folkiness. American Wolf comes in from Chicago and mixes in the middle with these C-U crews.


WHAT: Terminus Victor, Doublestandardpractice, Lonely Trailer

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Saturday, March 3rd at 10 p.m.

A full weekend of rock ‘n roll at Mike ‘N Molly’s as they follow up Vaudevileins with this bill. C-U rock staple Terminus Victor take the stage after performing as Cheap Trick at the Great Cover Up back in January.

Listen: Terminus Victor: “A Shoulder To The Lengths” (live)



WHAT: The Life and Times, Withershins, Alpha Mile

WHERE: The Highdive ($8)

WHEN: Sunday, March 4th at 8:30 p.m.

Plenty of post-rock to go around for this bill as The Life and Times pay a visit to C-U following the recent release of their solid new LP No One Loves You Like I Do. Surprisingly, no advance tickets for this one — not to mention this is a steal at only $8. Withershins and Alpha Mile join the fun to make this lazy Sunday a little more enjoyable.

Listen: The Life and Times: “My Last Hostage”


WHAT: Yonder Mountain String Band

WHERE: Canopy Club ($20 advance/$25 door)

WHEN: Sunday, March 4th at 9 p.m.

Similarly to Umphrey’s McGee last week, Yonder Mountain String Band is another one of those bands who is revisits their residency at Canopy Club. Surely this wildly popular bluegrass outfit will be greeted by plenty of PBR drinkers to ingest their jammy-acoustic riffs — a delicious combination.

LIsten: Yonder Mountain String Band: “Must’ve Had Your Reasons”


WHAT: You Blew It!, Direct Effect, Horrible Things, Enta

WHERE: Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center ($5)

WHEN: Monday, March 5th at 8 p.m.

The C-U Collective presents another show over at the IMC in Urbana with Florida punks You Blew It! and Direct Effect. Fittingly joined by Horrible Things and Enta (busy week for them), this one will be a loud one.


WHAT: The Head and The Heart, Drew Grow & The Pastors’ Wives, Black Girls

WHERE: Canopy Club ($15)

WHEN: Monday, March 5 at 9 p.m.

The very first installment of the Pygmalion Music Festival Spring Show Series does not waste any time in booking a quality act in Seattle’s The Head and The Heart. Their debut was remastered and re-released by Sub Pop (Wolf Parade, Dinosaur, Jr., Fleet Foxes) last year, which gave them the boost they needed to get a bit of attention. For those of you who can’t wait until September (like me) to roll around again, this appetizer will hold you over for a bit.

Listen: The Head and The Heart: “Lost In My Mind”

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