Smile Politely

The Overture: Jan. 11 – 17

With school, work, family and shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, 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: The Octagon, Hot Cops, Roses and Sake

WHEN: Friday, January 15

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s (10 p.m., $5, 21+)

Zachary Waldman knows a thing or two about what it means for bands to play on the road. As the talent buyer at Pianos in New York City — a hipster stepping stone for touring bands across the world — he is all too familiar with what it means to perform in rooms like Mike N Molly’s. Fortunately for the people of Champaign, his band The Octogon are no spring chickens and know how to manhandle a room. Locals Hot Cops, owners of perhaps the best tunes and most unfortunate name in town, will headline the night, and their presence is worth the price of admission alone. As for Roses and Sake, we’re not all that familiar yet, but we definitely like the name.

WHAT: The Sugar Prophets

WHEN: Friday, January 15

WHERE: Bentley’s Pub (9 p.m., $4, 21+)

Playing the blues is something only a very few can genuinely pull off, so we won’t blame the Sugar Prophets if they are still getting it together, but from the sounds of it, they know exactly what they’re doing and where they want to be. According to their Myspace page, they’ve got more than a dozen area shows lined up, and currently hold a bi-weekly residency at Cowboy Monkey, every other Thursday. On this occasion, they’ll be cornered at Bentley’s one of the most intimate venues in town. At this cheap a cost, it’s hard to not get into the idea of heating up in the bitter cold with some good old fashioned blues.


WHAT: The Satin Peaches, The Curses, Kilroy et. al.

WHEN: Saturday, January 16

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s (10 p.m., $5, 21+)

Detroit’s The Satin Peaches (right) and local band The Curses bring some garage-y goodness to Mike N Molly’s Saturday night. The Satin Peaches have something of a Strokes aesthetic, although their sound is more polished. The Curses play tuneful punk reminiscent of the Ramones, with song titles like “New Straitjacket” and “Blood and Whiskey.” Locals Kilroy et. al. don’t really fit into the same stylistic category, but they’ll get things off to a rollicking start, nonetheless.


WHAT: Kayla Brown

WHEN: Saturday, January 16

WHERE: Aroma (7 p.m., FREE, All Ages)

Former Darling Disarm-er Kayla Brown is playing a pre-release show for her new album, Steady Now, at Aroma on Saturday night. Brown, now based out of Nashville, has played several local shows over the holidays.


WHAT: The Great Cover-Up featuring Mike Ingram Band, Brother Embassy, Curb Service, Ryan Groff, Lonely Trailer, PopGun5

WHEN: Sunday, January 17

WHERE: The Highdive (Doors @ 8 p.m., $7 each night or 3-night pass for $15, 19+)

The local midwinter institution rolls into its 19th year, this time benefiting A Woman’s Place. For those unitiated among you, check out Doug Hoepker’s in-depth history of the event from last year. There’s a rich backstory to the event, and that accompanies some griping, but there’s no denying that The Great Cover Up is a central component to the C-U music scene. Whether you like cover bands or not, whether it used to be better ten or 15 years ago, it’s an Event, and it’s a Good Time. Hope to see you there.


Looking ahead…

The Highdive – Great Cover Up w/ Terminus Victor, Roberta Sparrow, The Chemicals, Robots Counterfeiting Money, Vvvvv, Dottie And Th’ Rail, Delta Kings (Doors @ 8 p.m., $7 each night or 3-night pass for $15, 19+)

The Highdive – Great Cover Up w/ Common Loon, Santah, DJ Belly & Friends, Jiggsaw, Hot Cops, Kayla Brown, The Duke Of Uke (Doors @ 8 p.m., $7 each night or 3-night pass for $15, 19+)
Canopy Club – Good Luck Jane, Breakers Broken, Audiac Arrest, Skalalitabs (9 p.m., $7, 18+)

Canopy Club – The Gold Motel (feat. Greta Morgan of the Hush Sound), Empires, Withershins (6:30 p.m., $10 Adv., 18+)

Mike N Molly’s – Jared Bartman, Chris Staples, Good Night and Good Morning, You & Yourn (10 p.m., $5, ?)
Canopy Club – Snowsera, The Natural, Jiggsaw (6 p.m., $7, 18+)

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

Canopy Club – Strange Arrangement, Daphne Willis, The Right Now (10 p.m., $5, 18+)

Canopy Club – Keller Williams (Doors @ 8 p.m., show @ 9:30 p.m., $20 Adv., 18+)
Mike ‘N Molly’s – Jookabox, Common Loon (10 p.m., $5, ?)

Canopy Club – Pecha Kucha (Doors @ 7 p.m., show @ 8:20 p.m., $10, 18+)
Canopy Club – World’s First Flying Machine CD Release Party, Flotation Walls (10 p.m., $10, 18+)
Cowboy Monkey – Elsinore EP Release Show, Elsinore, Brighton MA, We Landed On The Moon!, Zach May (9:30 p.m., $7/10 (includes digital copy of EP), 19+)
Mike ‘N Molly’s – Chew Toy, Mayhew the Traitor, Milk at Midnight (10 p.m., $5, ?)
Independent Media Center – Bruiser and the Virtues (7 p.m. swing lessons, 8 p.m. show, $TBA, all ages)

Canopy Club – The Prairie Ensemble: The Soldier’s Tale (7 p.m., $18 Adv., 18+)

Canopy Club – Zoso: The Ultimate Tribute to Led Zeppelin (8 p.m., $8 Adv., 18+)

Canopy Club – Gov’t Mule, Jackie Greene (9 p.m., $25 Adv., 18+)

Cowboy Monkey – Webb Wilder, Delta Kings (Doors @ 7 p.m. – show @ 7:30 p.m., $12 Adv., 19+)
Canopy Club – Lucky Boys Confusion, TBA (9 p.m., $12 Adv., 18+)
Mike ‘N Molly’s – Jet W. Lee CD Release Show, The Safes, JigGsaw (10 p.m., $5, ?)

Krannert Center – The Band of the Irish Guards

Canopy Club – Scratch Clash Vol. 1 w/ 217 Mafia vs. Rave to the Grave (9 p.m., TBA, 18+)

Krannert Center – Frederica Von Stade
Canopy Club – Nomo, Zach May and the Maps (9:30 p.m., $8 Adv. 18+)

Canopy Club – Roses and Sake, The Blue Heels, Little Boy Junior (6:30 p.m., $7, 18+)
Mike ‘N Molly’s – Jason and the Punknecks, The Burninators (10 p.m., $5, ?)

Mike ‘N Molly’s – Lookbook, Blah Blah Blah (10 p.m., $TBA, ?)

Canopy Club – Bela Fleck/The Africa Project (9 p.m., $25 Adv., 18+)

The Highdive – Scott Miller, TBA (Doors @ 7 p.m. – show @ 8 p.m., $10 Adv., 19+)
Canopy Club – Tim Be Told, Dustin Keele, With the Morning (7:30 p.m., TBA, 18+)

Canopy Club – Retribution Gospel Choir, TBA (9 p.m., $8 Adv., 18+)

The Highdive – State Radio, TBA (Doors @ 7 p.m. – show @ 7:30 p.m., $15 Adv., 19+)
Canopy Club – RJD2, Kenan Bell, Happy Chichester (7 p.m., $13 Adv., 18+)
Mike ‘N Molly’s – White Mystery, TBA (10 p.m., $5, ?)

Canopy Club – Joe Pug, TBA (7 p.m., $10 Adv., 18+)

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
Canopy Club – Cold Cave, Hair Police (9 p.m., $8 Adv., 18+)
Independent Media Center – Claudia Schmidt (8 p.m., $TBA, All Ages)

Krannert Center – Abraham Inc.

Assembly Hall – Martina McBride, Trace Adkins
Mike ‘N Molly’s – The Daredevil Christopher Wright, TBA (10 p.m., $TBA, ?)

The Highdive – Band of Heathens (Doors 7 p.m. – show @ 8 p.m., $12 Adv., 19+)
Mike ‘N Molly’s – Mittens on Strings, TBA (10 p.m., $TBA, ?)

The Highdive – Feudin’ Hillbillies (Doors 7 p.m. – show @ 8 p.m, $7 Adv., 19+)

Krannert Center – Danu
The Highdive – The Tossers, TBA (Doors @ 8 p.m. – show @ 9 p.m., $12 Adv., 19+)

Krannert Center – San Francisco Symphony

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

Canopy Club – Bassnectar (9 p.m., $17 Adv. – on sale 1/16, 18+)

Krannert Center – Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra

Krannert Center – Joshua Bell

Krannert Center – James Farm

Krannert Center – Ozomatli

Canopy Club – Central Illinois Metalfest 2010

Canopy Club – Central Illinois Metalfest 2010

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