Smile Politely

The Overture, Jan. 4 – 10

With school, work, family and thawing out your extremities, 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: Alma Afrobeat Ensemble

When: Thursday January 7, 2010

Where: The Highdive — (9 p.m., $TBA, 19+)

Back in the day, during the Aughts, there was a time when Afro-beat music filled the venues of Champaign and Urbana with a certain degree of regularity. Between Mhondoro Rhythm Success and Alma Afrobeat Ensemble, most weekends you could go out and catch a show that was highly consistent with dancing your silly ass off. But like many musicians before them, the band, led by Aaron Feder, decided that the best thing for them would be to move to a bigger city. In this case, however, that bigger city is in Barcelona. Yes — that Barcelona, not this one. And so, now, they are back — with a new, yes Spanish lineup, that includes some internationally known players that have peformed with the likes of Fela Kuti, himself. On this trip, however, Feder will reunite with some old friends, like Greg Spero and Dave Dickey, and reincarnate what was once one of the finest Afro-beat bands around.

So, if this type of thing is yours at all, The Highdive will definitely be the place to be this Thursday.


What: Transit, Make Do and Mend, Alleyway Sex, Victory Over Tyranny

When: Friday, January 8, 2010

Where: Canopy Club (9 p.m., $5, 18+)

A little punk rock to get 2010 off to an edgy start. Tennessee’s Transit are headlining, accompanied by Connecticut’s Make Do and Mend as well as locals Alleyway Sex and Victory Over Tyranny. The cover is a very punk five bucks, so it’s worth checking out if the holiday season left you feeling even more anti-establishment than normal.


What: Earshot, Scathe, Iniquity of Symmetry, Last Night’s Disaster

When: Saturday, January 9, 2010

Where: Canopy Club (9 p.m., $10 Adv., 18+)

Metal! Earshot, the only metal band I’m aware of whose name is a registered trademark, has been around since the late ’90s. They’ve toured with titans such as Kid Rock and Stone Temple Pilots, weathering several lineup changes along the way. They’re based out of L.A., and will be joined by locals Scathe, Bourbonnais’ Iniquity of Symmetry and Last Night’s Disaster, who are from a little west of here, the always-popular “Central Illinois.”


What: Alpha Mile, Usopp the Liar, Lonely Trailer

When: Saturday January 9, 2010

Where: Mike ‘N Molly’s – (10 p.m., $TBA, 21+)

My how things change, or stay the same. This lineup composed of downtown Champaign stalwarts and beyond represents, in some way, just how well the local C-U music scene endures. On will no doubt be a cold and/or snowy winter’s night, with the students gone and the holidays firmly in the rearview mirror, Mike N Molly’s brings to us a full-fledged rock show that should appeal to longtime scenesters and Pi Omega Omega pledges in waiting. Alpha Mile, with Tim Lash at the helm, trudges through crunchy power chords and big beats on their way to three-minute song structure nirvana. Usopp the Liar is the newest project from Wilson Henleigh, from which we expect good things, and Lonely Trailer is the latest Champaign band to rise from the dead to bring us back to when one could get away with singing songs about the intricacies and devastation of having to paint one’s house. Yes yes. It will be a fine evening of music at the Molly’s.

Photo by Robert Loerzel

Looking Ahead…

Canopy Club – Poser Roast 24 w/ Low Twelve, Seminary, Blessed With Pain, Whorrid, Judy Powder and Fallen Oath (9 p.m., $7, 18+)
Mike ‘N Molly’s – The Octagon, Hot Cops (10 p.m., $TBA, 19+)

Mike N Molly’s – The Satin Peaches, Kilroy et. al., TBA
Canopy Club – Verdict, Vanattica, Overcome, Trash City Rockers (9 p.m., $5, 18+)

The Highdive – Great Cover Up w/ Mike Ingram Band, Brother Embassy, Curb Service, Ryan Groff, Lonely Trailer, PopGun5 (Doors @ 8 p.m., $7 each night or 3-night pass for $15, 19+)

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+)

The Highdive – 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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