Smile Politely

The Overture: July 25-31

WHAT: Champaign County Fair

WHERE: Champaign County Fairgrounds (prices vary – see site)

WHEN: Monday, July 25th – Saturday, July 30th

If you haven’t gone, The Champaign County Fair continues all week long with performances by a variety of musicians and lots of other activities to explore, like tractor pulls and motorcycle races. What’s not to like about a fair? A little funnel cake in the summertime never hurt anyone.


WHAT: The Soil and the Sun

WHERE: The Accord ($ advance/$10 door)

WHEN: Tuesday, July 26th at 8:00 p.m.

The Soil and the Sun is a Michigan-based band that makes experimental orchestral rock. The seven-piece outfit features all sorts of different instrumentation, including oboe, violin, and accordion, in addition to the standard guitar and drums.Tigerbeat and Kayla & The Moondance Band will also be there to back up their full and expansive sound.


WHAT: Tuesday Jazz Night

WHERE: Boomerangs (no cover)

WHEN: Tuesday, July 26th at 7 p.m.

Did you know Boomerangs has Tuesday Jazz Nights? Did you even know Boomerangs was a place? Well it is – an east Urbana bar and grill that’s definitely worth visiting. Jazz night even has two-buck domestic bottles – check it out.


WHAT: Christopher the Conquered with Jon Lecouris & poetry by Xuxa Rodriguez

WHERE: Library House (free/donations suggested)

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27th at 7 p.m.

Soul artist Christopher the Conquered will be coming in from Iowa, and he’ll be assisted by the charismatic C-U singer-songwriter Jon Lecouris. Local poet Xuxa Rodriguez will add a different flavor to the evening with readings of her work and some performance art.


WHAT: Wild Child

WHERE: The Accord ($15 advance/$18 door)

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27th at 8:00 p.m.

Wild Child are a duo who make charming indie pop that never fails to warm the hearts of their audiences. Chrome Pony and The Bashful Youngens will help keep the evening breezy.


WHAT: Lines in the Sky/Slick Lisp/Weed-Whackin’ Johnson

WHERE: Institute 4 Creativity ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, July 29th at 9 p.m.

Here’s another rockin,’ guitar-forward show from the Institute, with some experimental sounds added to the mix. Weed-Whackin’ Johnson will be playing his very first show, and he’s got the peace and positivity of I4C to help make it a great one.


WHAT: Shaman’s Harvest

WHERE: The Accord ($15 advance/$18 door)

WHEN: Thursday, July 18th at 9 p.m.

Shaman’s Harvest have been through a lot as a band. The hard-hitting rockers made their latest album, Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns, while singer Nathan Hunt was battling cancer. He made it through with help from his bandmates, and it’s testament to just how strong this group is. Come watch them kill it on Thursday.


WHAT: The Appleseed Collective

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($8 at the door)

WHEN: Thursday, July 28th at 9:30 p.m.

The down-to-earth folk and bluegrass guys of Appleseed Collective play folk music like no other. In fact, they don’t fit well within genres, slanting rather indie at times and country at others. The guys are socially conscious, so the live and play with the greater good in mind. Their Thursday set at Cowboy Monkey is not one to miss.


WHAT: Kurt Bielema Cassette Release Party

WHERE: Iron Post ($4)

WHEN: Friday, July 29th at 9 p.m.

Kurt Bielema is following the release of his album in June with this celebration of his cassette release. The album, Typeset, features the same material as the tape, Letterpressed, so the two releases offer different and interesting takes on the same songs. Come hear him perform the songs to add a third perspective to it all.


WHAT: Bookmobile!

WHERE: The Accord ($7 at the door)

WHEN: Friday, July 29th at 9 p.m.

Local goofy punkers Bookmobile! are shaking it up per usual this Friday, with assists by Mercy Bangs, Risky Casanovas, and Lonely Trailer.


WHAT: Dub Foundation

WHERE: The Accord ($8 advance/$10 door)

WHEN: Saturday, July 30th at 9 p.m.

Dub foundation operates solely on the power of good vibes. These guys give no room to negativity or party poopers, and their dub-reggae beats are so huge that no one could squeeze any squareness in there if they tried. Feel the vibes at The Accord on Saturday.


WHAT: Sounds at Sunset Concert Series

WHERE: Centennial Park (free)

WHEN: Sunday, July 31st at 6 p.m.

Mike Ingram and the New Souls will play this session of Sounds at Sunset, a family-friendly concert series that takes place in C-U parks. Bring a blanket and enjoy July’s last session.  


WHAT: MOONSONG/The Golden Fleece/Condor and Jaybird

WHERE: Institute 4 Creativity ($7)

WHEN: Sunday, July 31st at 9 p.m.

It’s psychedelia night at I4C, which means a handful of musicians are prepared to blow your mind. These three touring bands have sojourned from near and far to bring you an “extremely magical” evening, according to the I4C site. I think we know to trust them.


WHAT: Planning For Burial with DROOL, Bath Naps, and August Traeger

WHERE: Library House (free/donations suggested)

WHEN: Sunday, July 31st at 7 p.m.

Sunday will be shoegaze night at Library House, with some punk and ambient stuff in the mix as well. Close out your weekend with some spacey echoes and fuzz.



WHAT: Danny Schmidt

WHERE: Urbana Farm Concerts (message through website for more details)

WHEN: Sunday, July 30th at 7 p.m.

C-U Folk and Roots Festival is sponsoring this show, featuring Danny Schmidt, a poetic singer-songwriter hailing from Texas. With easy information available only about the performing artist, this is a show shrouded in mysteries that can only be fully solved by further investigation. Are you curious?

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