Smile Politely

The Overture: July 3–9

WHAT: The Dirty Feathers, Action Camp, Meah!

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Tuesday, July 3rd at 8 p.m.

This might be the most American thing you see all day. If that doesn’t make you want to be patriotic and celebrate the 4th the night you actually can go out and not worry about work the next day, I don’t know what else will. If you didn’t catch them over the weekend at the Blues, Brews and BBQ fest, you’ll get your chance tomorrow night.


WHAT: Laughboy, Nerv, GRG 

WHERE: Red Herring ($3)

WHEN: Thursday, July 5th at 8 p.m.

For those unfamiliar with Laughboy, it’s a post-Diamond Stretch project that includes frontman Greg Clow. They don’t stretch far from the previous project as far as genres go, still sitting in the hardcore punk arena. They’ve paired up with a few out of towners: Nerv from Iowa City, and GRG from Oklahoma City. GRG appears to have just released Hound on their Bandcamp page, so check it out if you’re interested in this one Thursday.


WHAT: Withershins, Take Care

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, July 5th at 10 p.m.

Withershins is going on tour and this is the show to kick the whole thing off. They’ll be playing a handful of dates within Illinois, but will venture off into some other Midwest states on their week-long stretch of dates. Take Care has been busy tracking some new material on an album we’re hoping we get to hear sometime soon. For now, a live show will have to hold us over.




WHAT: Morgan Orion, Br’er, Charles n the Gnarlies 

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, July 5th at 10 p.m.

Morgan Orion is fresh off playing a show at Cowboy Monkey a few weekends ago, so he should be ready to go for this one across town at Mike ‘N Molly’s. Philadephia’s Br’er joins Orion, along with Charles n the Gnarlies who played C-U back when the Midwest Zine Fest was in town.

WHAT: Clarke Buehling

WHERE: Techline (307 S. Locust in Champaign) ($10)

WHEN: Friday, July 6th at 7 p.m.

Another installment in the summer series CU Folk & Roots Festival has going before next week’s Woodie Guthrie Tribute show (with SP Show Series) is Clarke Buehling. Leader of The Skirtlifters Old-Time Band, Clarke Buehling specializes in the 19th century banjo styles that pre-figured both clawhammer and Scruggs picking.



Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5) — Friday, July 6th at 10 p.m.

It’s not every day that someone who has some association with Pixies rolls through town. Kelley Deal’s side project R. Ring is coming through town Friday night, a side project which she has formed with Ampline’s Mike Montgomery. The Breeders are pretty damn great, which makes me think that this duo is something we should pay attention to as well. R. Ring also seem to have a sense of humor, or at least the artist they hired does. 

But all jokes aside, there is some pretty great stuff here with some fairly simplistic deep-acoustic tones mixed with Deal’s cozy and rapsy vocals. Mixed with Megan Johns Band’s nostagic rhythms and DeathTram’s skuzz rock, this would keep us warm at night, not that you’ll need it on a Friday night in July in C-U.


WHAT: The Curses, Kentucky Knife Fight 

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($5)

WHEN: Friday, July 6th at 10 p.m.

You’d surely see some cursing within a Kentucky knife fight, so why not combine them and have them play a show together? Makes a lot of sense to me at least. St. Louis’ Kentucky Knife Fight makes their way up to this part of Illinois to play with a C-U act that surely knows how to play their fair share of Americana on the week of Independence Day. Seems fitting for this one to be happening this week.



WHAT: Dibiase, Thundertruck, Alpha Mile

WHERE: The Highdive ($5)

WHEN: Saturday, July 7th at 10 p.m.

C-U’s own Earth Analog Records is home to Dibiase, a pretty rugged sounding crew from Collinsville. Fittingly enough, they are playing with a few others that are pretty rough around the edges in Thundertruck and Alpha Mile. You’ll get a good idea of what I mean if you listen to the track below.

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