Smile Politely

The Overture: Jan. 25 – 31

With school, work, family and pretending like winter’s over, 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: Keller Williams

WHEN: Friday, January 29, doors @ 8 p.m., show @ 9:30

WHERE: Canopy Club ($20 in advance)

The jam band world is littered with trash. And by trash, we mean terrible bands that simply don’t know when to stop playing and can’t write a decent song to save their life. This is precisely why a musician like Keller Williams is such a breath of fresh air… er… reefer smoke. Williams takes his songs seriously, even if the lyrics aren’t always that. He has mastered the art of the “one-man-band” and despite the fact that he gets lumped into the jam band world, his songs are such that they’d made any ol’ person tap a foot or hum a tune anytime and anywhere. Oh sure — he doesn’t know when to stop playing sometimes, too, but it’s likely because he’s a good enough performer that he just knows how to play to the crowd. A perennial favorite at the Canopy Club, Keller Williams makes for a great show at fair price. Honest.


WHAT: Common Loon, Jookabox, The Duke of Uke

WHEN: Friday, January 29 @ 10 p.m.

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

Our conflicts of interest abound with this show, so take all this with a grain of salt, but: this show will be worth your time. Yes, these are two Nicodemus Agency artists, but both are quite good, actually, in completely different ways. Common Loon are also editors and writers for Smile Politely, and they are on the heels of releasing one of the more anticipated records of the past couple years locally, and are gearing up for a national tour and an appearance at SXSW in Austin come Daylight Savings. We’ve written about them ad nauseum, so we’ll trust that by now, you know whey we’d like for you to attend the show. Jookabox is an Indianapolis based freak-psych act that is often labeled “insane” and “awesome” in the same sentence. Make it an adverb and give it a name if you must, but their latest LP, Dead Zone Boys spent 13 weeks in the Top 50 of the CMJ charts, and is still there, checking in last at #40. Signed with Asthmatic Kitty Records, the likelihood of your being bored during their set is almost non-existent. Not for everyone, but definitely worth a viewing. Locals The Duke of Uke open the show, and theirs is a performance with the price of admission alone.


WHAT: Elsinore EP Release Show w/ Brighton MA, We Landed On The Moon!, Zach May and the Maps

WHEN: Saturday, January 30 @ 8 p.m.

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($7 in advance/ $10 D.O.S./ includes digital copy of EP)

Speaking of anticipated local records, here’s one that you can own for the [still extremely reasonable] price of admission. Elsinore will be rolling out The Chemicals on Saturday night, to what will surely be a packed house at Cowboy Monkey, so don’t show up at 11 and expect to find a comfortable seat. If you haven’t already, check out the lovely video for the title track here. The hard-working locals have been touring almost constantly lately, but they’re home for the release of their EP.

If that weren’t enough to get you out to the show, then consider the supporting acts: Chicago’s Brighton MA and Louisiana’s We Landed on the Moon! are Elsinore’s fellow-travelers in heartfelt power-pop, and Zach May and the Maps are harder to describe, but no less enjoyable.


WHAT: World’s First Flying Machine CD Release Party w/ Flotation Walls

WHEN: Saturday, January 30 @ 10 p.m.

WHERE: Canopy Club ($7; WFFM show included with admission to Pecha Kucha @ 8:20 p.m.)

Can anyone remember the last time two album-release shows happened on the same night? World’s First Flying Machine reconvenes after their first out-of-state tour for a release party for their debut album, The House You’re Living In. The septet fills a stage and a room with their loose, freewheeling music that probably falls under the big umbrella of Americana.

And heck, if you’re going to the show anyway, why not make a night of it and show up for Pecha Kucha beforehand; it’s two events for the price of one!




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+)

The Highdive – Mike Posner (8 p.m. doors, 10 p.m. show, $20 Adv., 19+)

Mike ‘N Molly’s – Jet W. Lee CD Release Show, The Safes, JigGsaw (10 p.m., $5, ?)


Mike ‘N Molly’s – Chew Toy, Mayhew the Traitor, Milk at Midnight (9 p.m., $TBA)


Mike ‘N Molly’s – Kayla Brown, Rebecca Williams (7 p.m., $TBA)


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+)

Cowboy Monkey – Hot Cops, Dr. Manhattan, The Fantasic Plastics, and The Private Thoughts (9 p.m., $5)

Mike ‘N Molly’s – Jason and the Punknecks, The Burninators, Roberta Sparrow (10 p.m., $5, ?)


Mike ‘N Molly’s – Lookbook, Blah Blah Blah, Santa (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, New Ruins (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, The Fresh Kills (10 p.m., $5, ?)


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


Krannert Center – Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra


Springer Cultural Center – Jane Boxall ~ marimba (12 noon, free)


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.

Mike ‘N Molly’s – A Sunny Day in Glasgow, TBA (9 p.m., $7)


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+)


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

Mike ‘N Molly’s – Mittens on Strings, Pet Lions (10 p.m., $5, ?)


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

The Highdive – St. Vincent (Doors @ 8 p.m. – show @ 9 p.m., $13 Adv., 19+)


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


The Highdive – Japandroids, Love is All (Doors @ 7 p.m. – show @ 8 p.m., $12 Adv., 19+)


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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