Smile Politely

The Overture: June 13-19

WHAT: Snayl album release party

WHERE: Library House in Urbana (free/donations suggested — message Facebook host for address)

WHEN: Monday, June 13th at 7 p.m.

Library House is a fresh take on venues, and today they’ll be hosting the fresh sounds of local drone rocker Snayl. Austin Duncan is his name, and he put out the first album of his project last Friday. Make sure to check out the album review here to educate you before you attend.


WHAT: Dale Watson

WHERE: The Rose Bowl ($20 advance/$25 door)

WHEN: Wednesday, June 15th at 7:30 p.m.

Texas honky-tonker Dale Watson is known as a crusader for true country music. He is touring for his latest album, Call Me Insane, and will be taking Urbana’s Rose Bowl by storm with his lauded band, The Lone Stars.


WHAT: Earthholder, Aseethe, Snow Burial, Mariner, Orator   

WHERE: Institute 4 Creativity ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, June 16th at 8:30 p.m.

The mightily loud instrumental rockers Earthholder released a new album recently, and they’ll be smashing in faces with it on Thursday, along with a handful of fellow metal/drone bands. You might want to bring earplugs to this one.


WHERE: The Accord ($8)

WHEN: Thursday, June 16th at 9 p.m.

Up-and-coming acoustic singer-songwriter Fiona Kimble will be playing a set alongside Penny Horses and the Bashful Youngens. Prepare for a down-to-earth, heartfelt night of local music.


WHAT: Andy McKee

WHERE: The Accord ($20 advance/$25 door)

WHEN: Friday, June 17th at 5:30 p.m.

Instrumental acoustic guitarist Andy McKee was one of the first musicians to explode on YouTube back when it was in its infancy. McKee was able to grab and hold the attention of fickle internet users with his innovative and original guitar work, which involves a specific two-handed technique and percussive elements. Combine that with his use of the exotic harp guitar, and he is bound to entrance you.


WHAT: C-U Folk & Roots Festival Folk & Roots Fridays 

WHERE: The lake house in Crystal Lake Park (free)

WHEN: Friday, June 17th from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

The organizers of C-U’s Folk and Roots Festival put on year-round events in the theme of the genre. Every first and third Friday of each summer month is a Folk & Roots Friday, featuring groups playing at the Crystal Lake Park lake house at noon. Come pick up some good vibes during your lunch hour and let them carry you through the rest of your work day.


WHAT: Styx and Cheap Trick

WHERE: The new Grange Grove at Memorial Stadium (tickets start at $37)

WHEN: Friday, June 17th at 7:30 p.m.

Don’t miss the opportunity to join the legendary rock and rollers Styx and Cheap Trick as they perform the inaugural concert at Grange Grove at Memorial Stadium. What better way to mark the end of the extensive construction of this venue than with the gilded swagger of classic rock? But really, these guys know how to put on one hell of a show, and they are the perfect lineup for a grand opening. Get ready to watch two music icons bust it open in an iconic setting.


WHAT: Mind Over Madness Cabaret Show

WHERE: Institute 4 Creativity ($20)

WHEN: Friday, June 17th at 9 p.m.

I4C is getting risqué on Friday night with a cabaret show. Katie Flynn will be hosting a show of fun and craziness, featuring a six-piece jazz band and lots of showy tunes. This event is sure to be a big, baudy blast.

WHAT: Turn it UP! 6th Annual Variety Show and Fundraiser

WHERE: The Accord ($10 advance/$15 door)

WHEN: Friday, June 17th at 7:30 p.m.

Friday night at The Accord will also feature the Uniting Pride Center’s 6th Annual Variety Show and Fundraiser. This evening will have enterainment of all sorts, including musicians, spoken word artists, comedians, and more. This is an especially poignant time for this sort of event, and it really should not be missed. Check out the lineup here:

host Leiloni Stars
New Souls
The Autocorrect
Jon Lecouris
Isaac Arms
MC Rota
Jesse Long


WHAT: Strawberry Jam 

WHERE: Meadowbrook Park (free)

WHEN: Saturday, June 18th from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Urbana’s annual Strawberry Jam is a family favorite event. It includes musical performances by local bands and free strawberries and cream, while supplies last. Stroll down Meadowbrook’s pleasing paths while listening to musicians that are planted along the way, and end your outing with a sweet treat.  


WHAT: Sunjacket, Boycut, Christy Hays The Fights

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($7)

WHEN: Saturday, June 18th at 9 p.m.

This Saturday is indie night at Cowboy Monkey, and Chicago’s Sunjacket have a very indie sound indeed, reminiscent of The National. Backing them are a few more bands in the same vein, including a C-U staple – the slightly more folksy The Fights.




WHAT: C-U StreetFest

WHERE: Downtown Champaign (free)

WHEN: Saturday, June 18th at 7 p.m.

Come downtown on Saturday for the first leg of StreetFest 2016. Live local music in the streets is always a great backdrop for exploring the shops and restaurants of the area. This is an event enjoyed by those seeking a family-friendly evening, as well as those wanting a more grown-up night. Here is Satuday’s lineup:

June 18 @ Neil St./Main St.
7:00 – 8:00p The New and Slightly Used
8:45 – 10:00p Jim Markum Swing Band
10:30 – Midnight Sun Stereo


WHAT: Golden State/Lone Star Blues Revue

WHERE: The Accord ($20)

WHEN: Saturday, June 18th at 7:30 p.m.

This show features three musicians: Anson Funderburgh, Little Charlie, and Mark Hummel. These blues musicians hail from Texas and California, and this night will pit them against each other while still getting along in a friendly battle of the bands. Come witness the harmony between three musicians that play similar music in very different ways.

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