Smile Politely

The Overture: November 1–7

WHAT: New Ruins, The Chemicals, Icarus Himself

WHERE: Mike ‘N Molly’s ($5)

WHEN: Wednesday, November 2nd at 10:00 p.m.

Come out to this and relax before you gear up for Folk and Roots this weekend. New Ruins are going to play songs from This Life is Not Ours to Keep, their excellent new album on Hidden Agenda. Also on the bill are the Chemicals, one of the best kept secrets in downtown Champaign.

WHAT: C-U Folk and Roots Festival

WHERE: Various Venues, Downtown Urbana

WHEN: Friday, November 4th and Saturday, November 5th

While things technically kick off on Thursday at Krannert Uncorked, the meat of the party falls on Friday and Saturday. While there are dozens of shows going on, we especially recommend hitting Evil Tents (midnight Friday at the Iron Post), The Viper and His Famous Orchestra (11:30 the next night, also at the Post) and Dan Hubbard (3 p.m.  Saturday at Das Cafe)

WHAT: Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Stagnant Pools, Coco Butter Kids

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($10 advance)

WHEN: Friday, November 4th at 10:00 p.m.

Jesse Sykes should be familiar to anyone who was at Yo La Tengo when they played Pygmalion, seeing as how she opened. She’s waded into much darker territory since, and anyone expecting an evening of breezy alt-country will probably not be thrilled. But if you like your music with some kick, this would be a good place to be.

WHAT: Smoking Popes, Missing the Point

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($12 advance)

WHEN: Saturday, November 5th 10:00 p.m.

Last time Smoking Popes were in town at Canopy a few years back, they played an incredibly tight and on-key set that I still count among my favorite concert memories. Break out your copies of Destination Failure, because seeing them in a room as small as the Monkey should be a no-brainer.

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