Smile Politely

The Overture: Jan 25 – 31

WHAT: Cameron McGill, Evil Tents

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($7)

WHEN: Friday, January 28th at 9:30 p.m.

Cameron McGill’s rock-solid songwriting has made him a touring fixture in town for years now, but the main attraction for many this Thursday will be the debut of Evil Tents, a new local group formed by John Isberg (formerly of the Firebird Band, as well as several others) and visual artist Nathan Westerman. Evil Tents will supposedly feature a more organic direction than Isberg’s previous group, the downtempo/ambient project reds.



WHAT: Philanthwompy hosted by Positive Vibr8tions and Milk n Cookies with Marshmellow, Tigorilla, CZO, Spydek, Luniks, Kosmo, Belly, Solo, and Beeson Brothers

WHERE: Canopy Club ($10)

WHEN: Saturday, January 29th at 10:00 p.m.

The dubstep scene is using the giant head of steam it’s collected in the last year to throw this benefit for the Special Olympics and local charity Crisis Nursery, which is dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect. A bags tournament begins at 2:00 p.m., followed by music at 10:00.


WHAT: Maltross, Oh Well, Horrible Things, Sweater Weather

WHERE: The Board Boutique (free)

WHEN: Saturday, January 29th at 8:00 p.m.

If there’s one thing Champaign-Urbana desperately needs, it’s a good all ages venue. With indie rock having effectively vanished from the Courtyard, IMC and Iron Post, we’re essentially preventing a whole, whole bunch of kids from having a chance to go to shows and become involved. And let’s face it — I’m sure most of our parents wouldn’t have wanted us at a house show when we were fifteen. The Board Boutique is considering having more shows if this one goes well, so this is a show well worth supporting.


WHAT: New Ruins, Withershins, Andrew Voris

WHERE: The Iron Post ($TBA)

WHEN: Saturday, January 29th at 9:30 p.m.

New Ruins are emerging from Great Western to play this one-off at of all places, the Iron Post. I know I literally just mentioned their avoiding indie rock, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Plus, there is no greater room in all of town in which to drink PBR. Withershins are coming off a wildly successful set at the Cover Up, and should be itching to get back to their original material. Also on the bill is stand-up comic Andrew Voris.


WHAT: Santah, Art Majors, California Wives

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Saturday, January 29th at 10:00 p.m.

Did I mention this weekend was packed yet? Santah are another act who did extremely well at the Cover Up, and they’re the definition of “at home” upstairs at Mike ‘N Molly’s. This is before you get to the touring acts, California Wives (long story short: they’re from Chicago and sound kind of like Hot Chip). As Santah head out on tour this Spring, local shows are going to become quite a bit more scarce, so catch ’em while they’re still around.


WHAT: Snoop Dogg, Pilot

WHERE: Canopy Club (SOLD OUT)

WHEN: Monday, January 31st at 9:00 p.m.

This one is long-since sold out, but those who are lucky enough to have tickets (Chalice Dubs will be giving away a pair at their show on Saturday) are in for what’s turned out lately to be one of the best live shows in hip hop. Snoop really goes for an organic, Roots-esque vibe with his live band, and he’s got an insanely good back catalog to draw from. Bring your eyedrops, folks.

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