Smile Politely

The Overture: March 13–19

WHAT: Pamela Machala, Emily Otnes

WHERE: The Clark Bar (free)

WHEN: Tuesday, March 13th at 7 p.m.

Another installment of the Champaign-Urbana Singer-Songwriter Collective shows following the performance by Ryan Groff and Justin Kessel a few weeks ago. Urbana’s Pamela Machala has been posting some photos from her time at Pogo Studio, so I could image we should be on the lookout for something from her in the near future.The Clark Bar will continue to put these events on every week with free admission — I think these could begin to be more and more popular as the weeks go on.

Listen: Pamela Machala: “Speak Your Mind” (live)

WHAT: Battle of the Bands

WHERE: The Virginia Theater ($8 adults/$5 students)

WHEN: Wednesday, March 14th at 6:30 p.m.

The Virginia Theater hosts a variety of acts, including everything form Emmylou Harris a month or so ago to the newest up-and-comers in the Battle of the Bands. There are a decent amount of bands slated on this bill, and whoever wins gets to play a bunch of the summer festivals with other local artists. 



WHAT: Rachel Platten, Bess Rogers

WHERE: Canopy Club ($8 advance/$10 door)

WHEN: Wednesday, March 14th at 7 p.m.

Plenty of singer-songwriters early in the week in C-U, as NY’s Rachel Platten pulls through town. This one might be for more of the alt-college crowd as she comes off her tour with Matt Nathanson. Platten has been hitting the Billboard charts with a few of her singles, as well as making a splash writing some of the theme songs for a few ABC shows.

WHAT: Finer Feelings, Chasing Mars, Mille Nomi, Colonel, Tim Hayden

WHERE: Bentley’s Pub ($3)

WHEN: Friday, March 16th at 8 p.m.

Featured in our most recent edition of Smile Politely Radio last week, Chris Davies and Finer Feelings came on to discuss what it’s like to be a musician in this town. When he’s not talking about his band for us, he’s playing shows around C-U. This week his new-ish project, Finer Feelings, is joined by an entourage of acts that will cram into Bentley’s for a night of entertaining indie music at a venue that doesn’t host shows very often.

WHAT: Tractor Kings, Cap’n Captain, Ol’ No. 7

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($5)

WHEN: Friday, March 16th at 10 p.m.

There’s nothing like a bill filled with some solid alt-country acts taking place at a bar with the name “Cowboy” in it. Might be a generalization about these bands, but if you’re looking for some solid Americana, Tractor Kings are one of your best bets in the C-U music scene. It’s been a few years since their last release (2008’s Homesick), so you can check out tracks from their excellent Gone to Heaven LP from 2003 below if you need any convincing to head out to this one.

WHAT: Dino Bravo, Rvins, Midstress, Empty Isle

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Friday, March 16th at 10 p.m.

Any time Dino Bravo, Rvins, or Midstress are mentioned on a bill, you can typically expect your eardrums to hurt the next day. All of them on the same bill? Expect your entire body to hurt — in a good way of course. C-U’s punk scene is one to be proud of, but Chicago’s Empty Isle will have their time in the spotlight as well.

WHAT: As A Heart Attack, By Any Means,
Absconder, Redneck Remedy And Disastercase

WHERE: Canopy Club: tickets: ($7 advance)

WHEN: Saturday, March 17th at 9 p.m.

If chugging guitars and screamo metal is your thing, you’re going to have a hayday if you head over to Canopy on St. Patty’s Day. They call Illinois home, but have been making their rounds elsewhere. Their name isn’t misleading — one thing they are as serious as a heart attack about is being really, really loud. Three additional acts on this bill will get you your money’s worth.

Listen: As A Heart Attack: “Endure”

WHAT: Magic Milk, Goblin Colors, Folded Bones

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Sunday, March 18th at 10 p.m.

This week’s dose of garage rock comes from Chicago’s Magic Milk the weekend after playing in the PBR Sounds of Chicago Bands showcase at SXSW with White Mystery, Netherfriends & co. What you might have known as local act Petunias is now Goblin Colors, while Folden Bones are no strangers to playing on a bill with other garage rock bands. There’s no reason to stop celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday — get out there and have another round at this bill to finish off the weekend.

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