Smile Politely

The Overture:  Nov. 30 — Dec. 6

With school, work, family and that turkey day hangover, who has the time to find out about the best shows happening in Champaign-Urbana?  No need to fear, because the editors at Smile Politely have taken care of it.

viewzWhat:  J. Viewz

When:  Thursday, Dec. 3, 10 p.m.

Where:  Cowboy Monkey, $8

The holiday season will start off bumpin’ this week with Brooklyn-based Israeli producer Jonathan Dagan’s solo project, J. Viewz.  Combining more musical genres than we can get our heads around, Dagan “metamorphosized into freestyle chill” using elements of soft breakbeat, trip hop, two step, jazz and trance.  Since starting J Viewz in 2002, Dagan has bumped elbows with Sinead O’Connor, Sneaker Pimps, Massive Attack, Mike Oldfield and Paul Oakenfold to name a few.  If the DJ element isn’t your thing, though, don’t worry.  They’re bringing along a full band assault to bring Dagan’s raw energy to the next level.


chemWhat: The Chemicals, Crane and Badger

When:  Thursday, Dec. 3, 10 p.m.

Where:  The Brass Rail, $4

Heads up, Champaign-Urbana! The Brass Rail is reinstituting bi-weekly shows in C-U’s most historic and Squint-tastic (ask your bartender) dive. And we can’t think of a better way to ring in the new Rail than with one of C-U’s newest bands, Crane and Badger, and local staples since ’04, the Chemicals. Chemicals always manage to bring an intensity unrivaled by many in these parts, so expect the intimate atmosphere at the Rail to amplify that eleven fold. Crane and Badger share members with Chemicals so you can even expect that to carry over into their also have a frontman named Justin, and have a plodding and heavy sound.  

pguWhat:  WPGU’s Laughing Prairie Dog Festival with The Hood Internet, Santah, Smoking Popes, Pet Lions, Headlights and Common Loon

When:  Friday, Dec 4, 8 p.m.

Where:  Canopy Club, $10 in advance

Say what you will about WPGU, but you have to give them credit for putting together a pretty mean bill chock full of local and regional flavor for their first annual Laughing Prairie Dog Festival.  Not only that, but they also managed to put together seemingly disparate acts that should actually mesh well together.  Take the hip-hop indie mash-ups of the Hood Internet, a dash of dream pop courtesy of Headlights and the indie rock croons of Smoking Popes, and you’ve got the recipe for a party.  Our perennial favorites Common Loon and Santah are only the icing on the cake.  

eotoWhat:  EOTO (featuring Michael Travis and Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident), Dubstep Massacre DJs

When:  Saturday, Dec. 6, 10 p.m.

Where: Canopy Club, $12 in advance

If you didn’t get your hump day started off bumpin’, you can always get your fix Saturday with EOTO (pronounced like Kyoto without the K).  Their genre-blending electronic jam band sound borrows heavily from the members shared with the String Cheese Incident and one of the most exciting facets to EOTO’s live act is that everything is entirely improvised with no pre-recorded tracks.  Michael Travis is often credited with pioneering the field of jam band drumming, so expect great things as that translates into EOTO’s live mix.  

laarksWhat:  Smile Politely’s 2nd Birthday Party with Laarks, My Dear Alan Andrews, and Zach May and the Maps

  Saturday, Dec. 6

Where:  Mike N Molly’s

Perhaps you have heard?  Smile Politely celebrates its second birthday this month and we teamed up with a great bill at Mike N Molly’s to celebrate. Wisconsin’s Laarks take the top spot with the precise electronic textures and layered sunny melodies that have earned their debut record, An Exaltation of Laarks, praise in their hometown of Eau Claire and abroad.  My Dear Alan Andrews balances the digitalia of Laarks with a celebration of the high brow acoustic guitardom that dominated the revolution in social consciousness in the 60s and continues to this day.  Zach May and the Maps add the other traces of local flavor on the evening, so get there early to party with all your favorite polite smilers and stay late to rake in the sweet sweet sounds.  

Know about something we don’t? Want to promote your own gig? Peep the comment section below.

Looking ahead…

Mike N Molly’s – For Great Justice, Breath, Brother Embassy

Canopy Club – Slow Intentional Damage, Scathe, Pound for Pound, Ten Ton Halo

Mike N Molly’s – Kayla Brown, G. Lee, Angie Heaton

Cowboy Monkey – J.Viewz
Canopy Club – Am Taxi, Vanattica, the 312’s, The Fireship

Canopy Club – Laughing Prairie Dog Festival with The Hood Internet, Santah, Smoking Popes, Pet Lions, Headlights and Common Loon

Canopy Club – EOTO (featuring Michael Travis and Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident)    
Canopy Club – Good Luck Jane, the Least of These, the Hatters Mad (early show)
Mike N Molly’s – Laarks, My Dear Alan Andrews, and Zach May and the Maps
Courtyard Café – Icy Demons (Man Man/E6 members), Traveling By Sea
Cowboy Monkey – Snowsera

Canopy Club – Elmwood, Daphne Willis
Canopy Club – Mayday Parade, There for Tomorrow, Dangerous Summer, City Lights

Foellinger Auditorium – Andrew Bird

Mike N Molly’s – Carley Wolf and the Howls, Hathaways, Megan Johns
Canopy Club – Fall Semester Showdown with Epyrean Soul, Audiac Arrest, Akansas Dogjaw, Kilroy et al, Jet W. Lee

Mike N Molly’s – Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, TBA
Cowboy Monkey – Love Me Nots, the Hounds Below
Canopy Club – Fall Semester Showdown with Roses and Sake, Butterfly Assasins, the Withershins, Neoga Blacksmith, The Cellar Door, the Skalalatibs, Shark Bandit

Cowboy Monkey – Vanattica
Canopy Club – Desafinado, Bate Collago,  (early show)
Canopy Club – Fall Semester Showdown with Worlds First Flying Machine, Zach May and The Maps, Heyokas, Hot Cops and On Again Off Again

Canopy Club – Bob Priscilla and Friends, Chicago Farmer, You and Yourn, My Dear Alan Andrews

Mike N Molly’s – White Elephant song exchange
Cowboy Monkey – The Delta Kings
Canopy Club – Emberic, Deliver the Fallen, Leproso, TBA

Mike N Molly’s – Neoga Blacksmith

Assembly Hall – The Oak Ridge Boys

Canopy Club – Pamela Machala, Liesel Booth, Megan Johns and Tristan Cogswell (early show)
Canopy Club – Victory Over Tyranny, Konspiracy, Icon 4 Hire, Less Than and Salinate
Canopy Club – Greenwood, Dari, Bisbee

Mike N Molly’s – New Years Eve with New Ruins
Cowboy Monkey – New Years Eve Dubstep Massacre

Mike N Molly’s – The Satin Peaches, On Again Off Again, TBA
Canopy Club – Verdict, Vanattica, Overcome, Trash City Rockers

Canopy Club – The Gold Motel, TBA

Mike N Molly’s – Jared Bartman, Good Night and Good Morning, TBA

Krannert Center – Maxwell Street Klezmer Band
Krannert Center – Kronos Quartet, Wu Man

Canopy Club – Keller Williams

Canopy Club – The Prairie Ensemble: The Soldier’s Tale

Mike N Molly’s – White Mystery, Stranger Waves, TBA

Krannert Center – The Band of the Irish Guards

Krannert Center – Frederica Von Stade

Krannert Center – Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra

Cowboy Monkey – The Lesser Birds of Paradise, World’s First Flying Machine, Carl Hauck, My Dear Alan Andrews

Krannert Center – Abraham Inc.

Assembly Hall – Martina McBride, Trace Adkins

Krannert Center – Danu

Krannert Center – San Francisco Symphony

Krannert Center – What it Is! Featuring Mavis Staples, Booker T. JJ Grey

Krannert Center – Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra

Krannert Center – Joshua Bell

Krannert Center – James Farm

Krannert Center – Ozomatli

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