Smile Politely

The Overture: July 12-18

Normally, I spend a good chunk of every other weekend researching which bands are playing in town, picking out the ones that I think our readers will find most interesting, spending way too much time writing very short previews and finally scouring the net for pictures of the bands. But I just got back from a long vacation and all the negativity on Ben’s piece has left me sour.

Here’s a shortened version: Mike ‘n Molly’s has got some good shows this week with Ryan Groff and The Daredevil Christopher Wright. Lonely Trainer plays the Brass Rail and that should be fun. As always, the Iron Post has a bunch of great jazz shows, but they’ve also got a rock n’ roll show this week. You and Yourn play at Krannert’s Uncorked thing on Thursday. Fresh off headlining a stage at Champaign 150, the Delta Kings play at Bentley’s. And the Cowboy Monkey is having a block party featuring Captain Rat that’s billed as family friendly.

Okay, it was unfair of me not to give out more information:

Ryan Groff is tonight, Tuesday. DDCW is Friday (July 16). Both start at around 8 p.m. and should cost $5.
Lonely Trailer plays the Brass Rail at 11 p.m. on Thursday (July 15) not sure how much that will set you back.
Google the Iron Post’s Facebook page for bands and times.
The You and Yourn show is free and starts at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
The Delta Kings play Bentley’s on Friday (July 16) at 8:30.
Captain Rat plays at 8 p.m. for $5 on Saturday, July 17.
Also, I should have noted that the Shipwreck reunion slated for this Saturday has been rescheduled for July 31.

Okay on to the diatribe. For those of you who think the music section is all negativity and snark, I dare you to go back and read the last six months of articles (roughly the time Ben and I have been the music editors). There are dozens of show previews, live reviews and eight local album reviews. Almost every single one is incredibly positive, especially the album reviews. When I look back, I’m actually disappointed that we couldn’t have had more balance in our criticism — I think we should actually be more negative. I know what people perceive about the music section of this site, but this viewpoint would hold more water if those of us working on the music actually spent more time being petty and mean. It’s true we don’t do as many total puff pieces as the other media outlets in town — we are more likely to wonder about the point of something called a “Hip Hop Express.” I consider this a very good thing.

Yes, we have made a big deal about the Pygmalion lineup, and it’s accurate to say we haven’t really offered too much by way of real opinions yet. The three initial lineup lists are pretty puffy, but the majority of people who read these just want a little background information on the bands at this point. Maybe we haven’t done everything perfectly. We should probably be more upfront about the relationship of the Managing Editor of SP and the festival. At any rate Pygmalion is far and away the biggest rock-based musical event in C-U, and it’s actually quite fun that we get to announce exclusive information for once. The three articles listing the bands are among the top five read music articles of the last six months. Regardless of what people think, Ben and I actually like to see that people are reading the articles.

But where is the part where we spend all of our time shitting on everything that’s not Pygmalion? Ben did some Streetfest previews a couple months ago, and they were also mostly innocuous. All of our other preview pieces are on the whole very positive, including the 150th Anniversary.

As far as snark, I’m probably the worst offender, and all I can really find are a couple of shots at Third-Eye Blind, power emo punk, Lil’ Kim and a prop-based comedy band that played the 4th of July. Ironically, most of these bands were playing at the Canopy Club, where some guy named Seth does some stuff. And just to be clear, I will continue to take these shots.

Finally, I think David Dondero is quite terrible. And I’m really looking forward to expounding on that in September.

Remember that if you are playing, promoting, hosting, attending a show, you can add it to our events calendar.

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